Anapana meditation is a simple technique with many benefits for a happy, harmonious life
Anapana is a simple mindfulness practice that I use daily to return to the present moment. In this short article, I’ll explain the basics and how to get started.
Since discovering Vipassana in India I’ve become daily practitioner. I’ve sat thousands of hours of meditation. I sit an hour each morning and an hour in the evening.
Anapana, combined with Vipassana, has been a significant catalyst for change in my life and has helped shift my perspective in the most beneficial way.
The Law Of Impermanence
The core teaching of Vipassana is that of impermanence. The true nature of reality is the ever changing nature of everything.
Happily, the realisation of this truth then leads to the insight of perspective.
Objective reality is multidimensional and can be at once viewed from many different places as different experiences.
The benefit is that of acceptance of our experience of life moment to moment – as it is.
What is Anapana?
The introductory technique of Anapana is the foundation stone on which Vipassana is built. Anapana simply means ‘mindfulness of breathing’.
Observation of our breath takes us into a heightened state of alertness and awareness. It’s a wonderful technique that has helped me to improve the quality of my experiences of reality ten-fold.
How to practice Anapana meditation
Firstly, sit cross-legged or on the edge of your bed or a chair. Ensuring that your back is straight, shoulders are rolled back, chest is open, arms hanging with their natural weight.
Your body should feel relaxed yet comfortably active in this position.
Close your eyes. Place your hands in your lap, right hand in the left, thumbs touching. Bring your awareness to your breathing.
Focus your attention on the sensation of the breath. Bring awareness to the triangle from the top of your nostrils to the base of your upper lip. Feel the breath coming in and going out. Breathe here for ten minutes.
Remain alert, remain attentive
Bring your full awareness to the breath as it comes in and the sensations across the upper lip into the nostrils.
Now, shrink the triangle of awareness to just the upper lip and the base of the nostrils. Feel the sensations around the entrance to each nostril. Keep breathing.
Breathe here for ten minutes. This is Anapana. The first stage of Vipassana meditation.
Anapana meditation cushion
In my experience, I’ve found that a proper meditation cushion goes a long way to creating the perfect conditions for a consistent practice.
Ultimatey, you will establish a more committed meditation practice by making a dedicated space to meditate.
My personal anapana meditation practice happens in the same room of my house each day. I’ve have a thick rug with a large cushion on top. On top of that I have my meditation cushion.
Shop meditation cushions on Amazon.
Benefits of Anapana meditation
Finally, I’d like to share some of the benefits of anapana. Since learning the technique I’ve found that I have a greater sense of inner peace. My daily life is filled with equanimity and balance.
Even at the most challenging of times, I simply come back to anapana to tune in to the breath. It’s an intuitive way to navigate the world.
Generally, if we are finding a task or situation difficult, it is because our breathing pattern has changed. Once we return to awareness of our breath things ease up.
In all honesty, my sleep has never been better. I wakre refreshed and alert from a deep nourishing sleep. Anapana is a wonderful gift.
For more information about anapana and to learn more about sitting a course of Vipassana meditation visit Dhamma.org