On a full moon night that marked the end of the rains retreat period, in the open air, surrounded by the community of monks; Buddha reflected on how pleased he was with the progress they made in practice. He said to them that he would delay his travels and would remain with the monks to give them a new special instruction. This special instruction was Mindfulness of Breath (Anapanasati Sutta) and has since become lauded as most detailed meditation instructions within the Pali Canon.
Mindfulness of Breath is one of the most common practices of meditation due to its ease of focus and support of tranquility. However, this simple technique is but one step that invites us into a greater exploration. Buddha states that the practice of Anapanasati perfects the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, which leads to the perfection of the Seven Factors of Enlightenment or Awakening, which leads thus leads to clear vision and deliverance (vijjā-vimuttiṃ).
In this 8-week class series, we will examine the 16 progressive exercises taught in the Anapanasati Sutta that cultivates both samatha (concentration) and Vipassana (Insight) skills that cover the path towards liberation.