Breath; Not Jhana

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Breath; Not Jhana

As you’re settling down with the breath, you don’t want to think too much about it, just enough to make it comfortable. You don’t want to analyze things to the point where you start losing the breath and getting caught up in the analysis.

So you ask yourself just a few simple questions:

Where do you feel the breath right now?
Does it feel comfortable?
What would make it feel more comfortable?
What would make it feel more like something you’d really want to settle down and spend some time with?

That’s pretty much it.

As I’ve said before, when you’re getting the mind into concentration and developing jhana, the object isn’t jhana. The object is the breath. It’s only when you’ve settled down with the breath for quite a while that you begin to be in a position where you can step back a little bit to really question and understand what you’re doing, so that it does become more of a skill.

You begin to see patterns. And one of the patterns you begin to notice is that you really are developing what the Buddha called the seven factors for awakening.

This reflection by Ajaan Geoff is from the book, Meditations 9, (pdf) p.86.