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Feature: Anapana meditation
Anapanasati (Pali: Sanskirt: anapanasmrti, English: mindfulness of breathing)
is a form of Meditation originally taught by Gautama Buddha in several places,
mainly the Anapanasati Sutta. Anapanasati is common to both eastern and
western audiences.
Simply put, anapana is the act of focusing on the sensations of breath in the
body's nasal cavity and nostrils. Some practices will focus on the sensations
in the belly instead (this is why there's fat buddha statues), but the author
of this feature finds that the sensations of breath in the nostrils are a lot
easier to focus on.
The method presented in this feature is based on the method taught in The Art
Of Living by William Hart and S.N. Goenka. If you want a copy of this book you
can get one here: http://www.cicp.org.kh/userfiles/file/Publications/Art%20of%20Living%20in%20English.pdf
Please do keep in mind that this book definitely skews towards the Buddhist
lens and as it is presented the teaching methods really benefit from it.
Note: "the body" means the sack of meat and bone that you are currently living
inside. For the purposes of explanation of this technique, please consider
what makes you yourself separate from the body you live in.
Background:
Given no assumption about meditation background
And a willingness to learn
And no significant problems with breathing through the body's nose
And I am seated or laying down comfortably
And no music is playing
Scenario Outline: mindfulness of breathing
As a meditator
In order to be mindful of the body's breath
When I <verb> through the body's nose
Then I focus on the sensations of breath
Then I focus on the feelings of breath through the nasal cavity
Then I focus on the feelings of breath interacting with the nostrils
Then I repeat until done
Examples:
| verb |
| inhale |
| exhale |
Scenario: attention drifts away from mindfulness of breathing
As a meditator
In order to bring my attention back to the sensations of breathing
Given I am currently mindful of the body's breath
When my attention drifts away from the sensations of breathing
Then I bring my attention back to the sensations of breathing
Scenario: mindfulness of unconscious breathing
As a meditator
In order to practice anapana without breathing manually
When I stop breathing manually
Then the body will start breathing for me after a moment or two
Then I continue mindfulness of the sensations of breathing without controlling the breath
Scenario Outline: meditation session
As a meditator
In order to meditate for <time>
Given the Clock app is open on a phone or tablet
And the timer function is open
And the time is set for <time>
When I start the timer
Then I clear my head of idle thoughts
Then I start drifting my attention towards the sensations of breathing
Then I become mindful of the sensations of breathing
Then I continue for a moment or two
Then I shift into mindfulness of unconscious breathing
Examples:
| time |
| five minutes |
Scenario Outline: imagery during breathing
As a meditator
In order to symbolically link anapana to destressing
Given an understanding that this is symbolic and not literal
When I <verb>
Then I feel <action>
Examples:
| verb | action |
| inhale | peaceful air flowing in through the nose |
| exhale | the stresses of the day leaving through the nose |