Mindfulness of Breathing (Anapanasati)
I will now sit so that you can see what is the correct posture for meditation. (Acariya Buddhadasa then sat in the formal, meditation posture). Today I shall talk about how to practise meditation, or concentration (Samadhi). I shall speak particularly on Mindfulness of Breathing, as requested by the students and some of the teachers. But before I give instructions on how to practise meditation, I would like to mention a few preliminary points. These points will help you to understand the meaning and purpose of concentration or meditation.
The first point is that the state of concentration is a natural phenomenon. It can come about by itself naturally or even instinctively. However, natural meditation is not up to the standard. Even animals, when they are faced with an enemy have strong, concentrated will - power. This will - power manifests itself through mental forces and through the eyes in order to frighten and to overpower the enemy. Or when animals do anything with serious intensity, they have a state of concentration. The same is true with human beings. We also have natural concentration. When we are intent on doing anything properly such as – solving a mathematical problem or shooting a target — we have natural concentration. But as I just said, such natural concentration is not deep enough to be up to the standard. Therefore, to develop full or deep concentration, we must apply the methods that were discovered by the ancients and handed down to us from generation to generation; this is a very important point.
The next important point to keep in mind is that there are two kinds of concentration or meditation: They are respectively called wholesome and unwholesome concentration or Right Concentration and Wrong Concentration. Concentration is unwholesome or wrong if the intention or motive is not pure. For instance, wrong concentration is the concentration that is developed for giving rise to different supernormal or psychic powers with the intention to dominate or to take advantage of others. This we are not concerned with. Even the wicked ones, the Mara, the devil, have this kind of concentration; and this is why they can fight or can fly. We shall deal only with Right Concentration which is pure, purposeful, not dangerous, and not harmful for oneself or for others.