MN.10.1.1. Mindfulness of BreathingMajjhima Nikāya ("The Collection of Middle-length Discourses")
And how does a mendicant meditate observing an aspect of the body?
It’s when a mendicant—gone to a wilderness, or to the root of a tree, or to an empty hut—sits down cross-legged, with their body straight, and focuses their mindfulness right there. Just mindful, they breathe in. Mindful, they breathe out.
When breathing in heavily they know: ‘I’m breathing in heavily.’ When breathing out heavily they know: ‘I’m breathing out heavily.’
When breathing in lightly they know: ‘I’m breathing in lightly.’ When breathing out lightly they know: ‘I’m breathing out lightly.’
They practice breathing in experiencing the whole body. They practice breathing out experiencing the whole body.
They practice breathing in stilling the body’s motion. They practice breathing out stilling the body’s motion.
It’s like a deft carpenter or carpenter’s apprentice. When making a deep cut they know: ‘I’m making a deep cut,’ and when making a shallow cut they know: ‘I’m making a shallow cut.’
And so they meditate observing an aspect of the body internally, externally, and both internally and externally. They meditate observing the body as liable to originate, as liable to vanish, and as liable to both originate and vanish. Or mindfulness is established that the body exists, to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness. They meditate independent, not grasping at anything in the world.
That’s how a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body.
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