Anapanasati Sutta (Nanamoli)

Anapanasati Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya 118), The Discourse on Mindfulness of Breathing, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhus Nanamoli

INTRODUCTION
Thus have I heard. At one time the Blessed One was living at Sávatthì, in the palace of Migára’s mother, in the Eastern Park, together with many very well-known elder disciples—the Venerable Sáriputta, the Venerable Mahá-Moggallána, the Venerable Mahá-Kassapa, the Venerable Mahá-Kaccáyana, the Venerable Mahá-Koþþhita, the Venerable Mahá-Kappina, the Venerable Mahá-Cunda, the Venerable Anuruddha, the
Venerable Revata, the Venerable Ánanda, and other very well-known elder disciples. Now at that time the elder bhikkhus were teaching and instructing the new bhikkhus: some elder bhikkhus were teaching and instructing ten new bhikkhus; some elder bhikkhus were teaching and instructing twenty new bhikkhus; some elder bhikkhus were teaching and instructing thirty new bhikkhus; some elder bhikkhus were teaching and
instructing forty new bhikkhus. And these new bhikkhus, taught and instructed by the elder bhikkhus, successively achieved high distinction.1
And at that time, on the assembly day (uposatha) of the fifteenth, on the night of the Paváraóá ceremony,2 when the moon was full, the Blessed One was seated in the open surrounded by the Order of bhikkhus. Then, surveying the silent Order of bhikkhus, he addressed the bhikkhus thus:
“I am content, bhikkhus, with this progress; I am content at heart, bhikkhus, with this progress. Therefore, strive still more strenuously to attain the unattained, to achieve the unachieved, to realize the unrealized.3 I shall wait here at Sávatthì for the Komudì moon of the fourth month.”4

The bhikkhus of the countryside heard: “The Blessed One, it
seems, will wait there at Sávatthì for the Komudì moon of the
fourth month.” And those bhikkhus of the countryside left for
Sávatthì to see the Blessed One. And the elder bhikkhus were
still more strenuously teaching and instructing the new
bhikkhus: some elder bhikkhus were teaching and instructing
ten new bhikkhus: some elder bhikkhus were teaching and
instructing twenty new bhikkhus; some elder bhikkhus were
teaching and instructing thirty new bhikkhus; some elder
bhikkhus were teaching and instructing forty new bhikkhus.
And those new bhikkhus, taught and instructed by the elder
bhikkhus, successively achieved high distinction.
Now, at that time, on the assembly day of the fifteenth, on
the night of the Komudì moon of the fourth month when the
moon was full, the Blessed One was seated in the open
surrounded by the Order of bhikkhus. Then, surveying the
silent Order of bhikkhus, he addressed the bhikkhus thus:
“Free from chatter bhikkhus is this community, free from
idle talk, bhikkhus, is this community; it is purified and consists
purely of heartwood.5 Such, bhikkhus, is this Order of bhikkhus;
such, bhikkhus, is this community.
“Such a community, bhikkhus, as is worthy of gifts, worthy
of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of homage, as is an
incomparable field of merit for the world—such, bhikkhus, is
this Order of bhikkhus; such, bhikkhus, is this community.
“Such a community, bhikkhus, that a small gift given to it
becomes great, and a great gift greater—such, bhikkhus, is this
Order of bhikkhus; such, bhikkhus, is this community.
“Such a community, bhikkhus, as it would be hard for the
world to see its like—such, bhikkhus, is this Order of bhikkhus;
such, bhikkhus, is this community.
“Such a community, bhikkhus, as would be worth travelling
many leagues with a knapsack to see—such, bhikkhus, is this
Order of bhikkhus; such, bhikkhus, is this community.
“There are, bhikkhus, in this Order of bhikkhus, bhikkhus
who are arahats, in whom the cankers are destroyed, who have
lived the life, done what is to be done, laid down the burden,
reached the highest good, destroyed the fetters of being, and,
through knowing rightly, are liberated—such bhikkhus, indeed,
are there, bhikkhus, in this Order of bhikkhus.
“There are, bhikkhus, in this Order of bhikkhus, bhikkhus
who, with the destruction of five lower fetters,6 will reappear
spontaneously (in the Pure Abodes) and there attain complete
extinction without ever returning here from that world—such
bhikkhus, indeed, are there, bhikkhus, in this Order of bhikkhus.
“There are, bhikkhus, in this Order of bhikkhus, bhikkhus
who, with the destruction of three fetters,7 and the attenuation of
greed, hate, and delusion, are once-returners; returning once to
this world, they will make an end of suffering—such bhikkhus,
indeed, are there, bhikkhus, in this Order of bhikkhus.
“There are, bhikkhus, in this Order of bhikkhus, bhikkhus
who, with the destruction of three fetters, are stream-enterers, and
being no more subject to states of woe (and) assured (of their
future), are headed for full enlightenment—such bhikkhus,
indeed, are there, bhikkhus, in this Order of bhikkhus.
“There are, bhikkhus, in this Order of bhikkhus, bhikkhus
who dwell devoted to the practice of the four foundations of
mindfulness8 … to the practice of the four right efforts9… … to
the practice of the four roads to power10… to the practice of the
five faculties11… to the practice of the five powers12… to the
practice of the seven factors of enlightenment13… to the practice
of the noble eightfold path14… to the practice of amity … to the
practice of compassion … to the practice of altruistic joy … to
the practice of equanimity15… to the practice of meditation on
the foul16… to the practice of perception of impermanence17…
to the practice of mindfulness of breathing.

MINDFULNESS OF BREATHING
“Mindfulness of breathing, bhikkhus, developed and repeatedly
practised, is of great fruit, of great benefit; mindfulness of
breathing, bhikkhus, developed and repeatedly practised,
perfects the four foundations of mindfulness; the four
foundations of mindfulness, developed and repeatedly practised,
perfect the seven enlightenment factors; the seven enlightenment
factors, developed and repeatedly practised, perfect clear vision
and deliverance.
“And how developed, bhikkhus, how repeatedly practised,
is mindfulness of breathing of great fruit, of great benefit?

THE METHOD: THE FOUR TETRADS
“Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu, gone to the forest, or to the root of a
tree, or to an empty place, sits down; having folded his legs
crosswise, set his body erect, established mindfulness in front of
him, ever mindful he breathes in, mindful he breathes out.

First Tetrad (Contemplation of the Body)
(i) “Breathing in long, he knows, ‘I breathe in long’; or
breathing out long, he knows, ‘I breathe out long.’
(ii) “Breathing in short, he knows, ‘I breathe in short’; or
breathing out short, he knows, ‘I breathe out short.’
(iii) “Èxperiencing the whole body (of breath), I shall
breathe in,’ thus he trains himself; ‘experiencing the
whole body, I shall breathe out,’ thus he trains himself.
(iv) “`Calming the bodily formation, I shall breathe in,’ thus
he trains himself; ‘calming the bodily formation,’ I shall
breathe out, thus he trains himself.18
Second Tetrad (Contemplation of Feeling)
(v) “Èxperiencing rapture, I shall breathe in,’ thus he trains
himself; ‘experiencing rapture, I shall breathe out,’ thus
he trains himself.19
(vi) “Èxperiencing bliss, I shall breathe in,’ thus he trains
himself; ‘experiencing bliss, I shall breathe out,’ thus he
trains himself.
(vii) “Èxperiencing the mental formation, I shall breathe in,’
thus he trains himself; ‘experiencing the mental
formation, I shall breathe out,’ thus he trains himself.
(viii) “`Calming the mental formation, I shall breathe in,’ thus
he trains himself; ‘calming the mental formation, I shall
breathe out,’ thus he trains himself.
Third Tetrad (Contemplation of Mind)
(ix) “Èxperiencing the mind, I shall breathe in,’ thus he
trains himself; ‘experiencing the mind, I shall breathe
out,’ thus he trains himself.
(x) “`Gladdening the mind, I shall breathe in,’ thus he
trains himself; ‘gladdening the mind, I shall breathe
out,’ thus he trains himself.
(xi) “`Concentrating the mind, I shall breathe in,’ thus he
trains himself; ‘concentrating the mind, I shall breathe
out,’ thus he trains himself.
(xii) “`Liberating the mind, I shall breathe in,’ thus he trains
himself; ‘liberating the mind, I shall breathe out,’ thus
he trains himself.
Fourth Tetrad (Contemplation of Mental Objects)
(xiii) “`Contemplating impermanence, I shall breathe in,’ thus
he trains himself; ‘contemplating impermanence, I shall
breathe out,’ thus he trains himself.
(xiv) “`Contemplating fading away, I shall breathe in,’ thus he
trains himself; ‘contemplating fading away, I shall
breathe out,’ thus he trains himself.20
(xv) “`Contemplating cessation, I shall breathe in,’ thus he
trains himself; ‘contemplating cessation, I shall breathe
out,’ thus he trains himself.
(xvi) “`Contemplating relinquishment, I shall breathe in,’
thus he trains himself; ‘contemplating relinquishment, I
shall breathe out,’ thus he trains himself.”21
That is how mindfulness of breathing, developed and
repeatedly practised, is of great fruit, of great benefit.

PERFECTION OF THE FOUR FOUNDATIONS OF
MINDFULNESS
“And how developed, bhikkhus, how repeatedly practised, does
mindfulness of breathing perfect the four foundations of
mindfulness?

A. (i–iv) “On whatever occasion, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu,
breathing in long, knows, ‘I breathe in long’; or breathing out
long, knows, ‘I breathe out long’; breathing in short, knows, ‘I
breathe in short’; or breathing out short, knows, ‘I breathe out
short’; trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in experiencing the whole
(breath) body’; trains thus, ‘I shall breathe out experiencing the
whole (breath) body’; trains thus, ‘I shall breathe in calming the
bodily formation;’ trains thus, ‘I shall breathe out calming the
bodily formations’—on that occasion, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu
abides contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly
comprehending, mindful, having put away covetousness and
grief regarding the world.22
“I say that this, bhikkhus, is a certain body among the
bodies, namely, the breath. That is why on that occasion,
bhikkhus, a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body in the body,
clearly comprehending, mindful, having put away covetousness
and grief regarding the world.

B. (v-viii) “On whatever occasion, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu trains
thus, ‘I shall breathe in experiencing rapture’; trains thus, ‘I shall
breathe out experiencing rapture’; trains thus, ‘I shall breathe in
experiencing bliss’; trains thus, ‘I shall breathe out experiencing
bliss’; trains thus, ‘I shall breathe in experiencing the mental
formation’; trains thus, ‘I shall breathe out experiencing the
mental formation’; trains thus, ‘I shall breathe in calming the
mental formation’; trains thus, ‘I shall breathe out calming the
mental formation’—on that occasion, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu
abides contemplating the feelings in the feelings, ardent, clearly
comprehending, mindful, having put away covetousness and
grief regarding the world.
“I say that this, bhikkhus, is a certain feeling (experience)
among feelings (experiencings), namely, the giving attention
completely to in-breathing and out-breathing. That is why on
that occasion, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu abides contemplating the
feelings in the feelings, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful,
having put away covetousness and grief regarding the world.

C. (ix-xii) “On whatever occasion, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu
trains thus, ‘I shall breathe in experiencing the mind’; trains
thus, ‘I shall breathe out experiencing the mind’; trains thus, ‘I
shall breathe in gladdening the mind’; trains thus, ‘I shall
breathe out gladdening the mind’; trains thus, ‘I shall breathe in
concentrating the mind’; trains thus, ‘I shall breathe out
concentrating the mind’; trains thus, ‘I shall breathe in liberating
the mind’; trains thus, ‘I shall breathe out liberating the mind’—
on that occasion, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu abides contemplating the
mind in the mind, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful,
having put away covetousness and grief regarding the world.
“I do not say, bhikkhus, that there is development of
mindfulness of breathing in one who is forgetful and does not
clearly comprehend. That is why on that occasion, bhikkhus, a
bhikkhu abides contemplating the mind in the mind, ardent,
clearly comprehending, mindful, having put away covetousness
and grief regarding the world.

D. (xiii–xvi) “On whatever occasion, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu
trains thus, ‘I shall breathe in contemplating impermanence’;
trains thus, ‘I shall breathe out contemplating impermanence’;
trains thus, ‘I shall breathe in contemplating fading away’; trains
thus, ‘I shall breathe out contemplating fading away’; trains
thus, ‘I shall breathe in contemplating cessation’; trains thus, ‘I
shall breathe out contemplating cessation’; trains thus, ‘I shall
breathe in contemplating relinquishment’; trains thus, ‘I shall
breathe out contemplating relinquishment’—on that occasion,
bhikkhus, a bhikkhu abides contemplating mental objects in
mental objects, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having
put away covetousness and grief regarding the world.
“Having seen with understanding what is the abandoning
of covetousness and grief, he becomes one who looks on with
complete equanimity. That is why on that occasion, bhikkhus, a
bhikkhu abides contemplating mental objects in mental objects,
ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having put away
covetousness and grief regarding the world.
“That is how mindfulness of breathing, developed and
repeatedly practised, perfects the four foundations of
mindfulness.

PERFECTION OF THE SEVEN ENLIGHTENMENT
FACTORS
“And how developed, bhikkhus, how repeatedly practised, do
the four foundations of mindfulness perfect the seven
enlightenment factors?
A.(1) “On whatever occasion, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu abides
contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly
comprehending, mindful, having put away covetousness and
grief regarding the world—on that occasion, unremitting
mindfulness is established in him.
“On whatever occasion, bhikkhus, unremitting mindfulness
is established in a bhikkhu—on that occasion the mindfulness
enlightenment factor is aroused in him, and he develops it, and
by development it comes to perfection in him.
“Abiding thus mindful, he investigates, examines that state
with understanding, and embarks upon a scrutiny (of it).
(2) “On whatever occasion, bhikkhus, abiding thus mindful,
a bhikkhu investigates, examines that state with understanding,
and embarks upon a scrutiny (of it)—on that occasion the
investigation-of-states enlightenment factor is aroused in him,
and he develops it, and by development it comes to perfection in
him.
“In him who investigates, examines that state with
understanding, and embarks upon a scrutiny (of it), tireless
energy is aroused.

(3) “On whatever occasion, bhikkhus, in a bhikkhu who
investigates, examines that state with understanding, and embarks
upon a scrutiny (of it), tireless energy is aroused—on that
occasion the energy enlightenment factor is aroused in him, and
he develops it, and by development it comes to perfection in him.
“In him who has aroused energy, unworldly23 rapture arises.

(4) “On whatever occasion, bhikkhus, in a bhikkhu who has
aroused energy, unworldly rapture arises—on that occasion the
rapture enlightenment factor is aroused in him, and he develops
it, and by development it comes to perfection in him.
“The body and mind of one whose mind is held in rapture,
become tranquillized.

(5) “On whatever occasion, bhikkhus, the body and the mind
of a bhikkhu whose mind is held in rapture become
tranquillized—on that occasion the tranquillity enlightenment
factor is aroused in him, and he develops it, and by
development it comes to perfection in him.
“The mind of one who is tranquillized in body and blissful
becomes concentrated.

(6) “On whatever occasion, bhikkhus, the mind of a bhikkhu
who is tranquillized in body and blissful becomes
concentrated—on that occasion the concentration enlightenment
factor is aroused in him, and he develops it, and by
development it comes to perfection in him.
“He becomes one who looks with complete equanimity on
the mind thus concentrated.

(7) “On whatever occasion, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu becomes
one who looks with complete equanimity on the mind thus
concentrated—on that occasion the equanimity enlightenment
factor is aroused in him, and he develops it, and by
development it comes to perfection in him.
B. (1)–(7) “On whatever occasion, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu
abides contemplating the feelings in the feelings …24—on that
occasion the equanimity enlightenment factor … comes to
perfection in him.
C. (1)–(7) “On whatever occasion, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu
abides contemplating the mind in the mind …—on that
occasion the equanimity enlightenment factor … comes to
perfection in him.
D. (1)–(7) “On whatever occasion, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu
abides contemplating mental objects in mental objects …—on
that occasion the equanimity enlightenment factor … comes to
perfection in him.
“Thus developed, bhikkhus, thus repeatedly practised, the
four foundations of mindfulness fulfil the seven enlightenment
factors.

PERFECTION OF CLEAR VISION AND
DELIVERANCE
“And how developed, bhikkhus, how repeatedly practised, do
the seven enlightenment factors perfect clear vision and
deliverance?

(1) “Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the mindfulness
enlightenment factor dependent on seclusion, on fading away,
on cessation, resulting in relinquishment.

(2) “He develops the investigation-of-states enlightenment
factor dependent on seclusion, on fading away, on cessation,
resulting in relinquishment.

(3) “He develops the energy enlightenment factor
dependent on seclusion, on fading away, on cessation, resulting
in relinquishment.

(4) “He develops the rapture enlightenment factor
dependent on seclusion, on fading away, on cessation, resulting
in relinquishment.

(5) “He develops the tranquillity enlightenment factor
dependent on seclusion, on fading away, on cessation, resulting
in relinquishment.

(6) “He develops the concentration enlightenment factor
dependent on seclusion, on fading away, on cessation, resulting
in relinquishment.

(7) “He develops the equanimity enlightenment factor
dependent on seclusion, on fading away, on cessation, resulting
in relinquishment.

“Thus developed, bhikkhus, thus repeatedly practised, the
seven factors of enlightenment perfect clear vision and
deliverance.”
So said the Blessed One. Glad at heart, the bhikkhus rejoiced
at his words.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s