Eight Stages of Anapanasati Meditation

Vipassana meditation is part of Ananpanasati Meditation. Use of the breath is the central to Ananpanasati Meditation. Observing freely where the mind wanders is vipassana. Developing focus on breath is ananpanasati. The word derives from a verb, sarati, meaning “to remember” – remember your breath.

Ananpanasati was originally taught by Gautama Buddha. A smaller area of awareness = greater resistance to our minds and sharper awareness into the subtler realities.

Sri Amit Ray expressed that developing inner peace and inner beauty is the first step of Ananpanasati Meditation. Inner beauty comes from love and compassion and inner peace comes from  let go, positive thoughts and by activating the awareness muscles of the mind.

ananpana sati

Eight Stages of Anapanasati Meditation

There are eight stages of meditation through which a meditator usually progresses, more or less in order, though it is quite possible to sometimes fall back to an earlier stage.

[1] Breathing in long, he discerns, ‘I am breathing in long’; or breathing out long, he discerns, ‘I am breathing out long.’

[2] Or breathing in short, he discerns, ‘I am breathing in short’; or breathing out short, he discerns, ‘I am breathing out short.’

[3] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in experiencing all bodies.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out experiencing all bodies.’

[4] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in calming the body fabricator.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out calming the body fabricator.’

[5] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in experiencing rapture.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out experiencing rapture.’

[6] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in experiencing pleasure.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out experiencing pleasure.’

[7] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in experiencing the mind fabricator.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out experiencing the mind fabricator.’

[8] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in calming the mind fabricator.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out calming the mind fabricator.

Here, ‘experiencing all bodies’ (sabba kaya), simply means experiencing both the breath & the (internal) physical (external) body together.

Here,  ‘bodily fabrications’ means any ‘tension’ felt anywhere in the body subtle or gross.

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Kristin Russel

Kristin Russel is a certified yoga teacher, nutritionist, independent medical researcher, natural health consultant and author of many books. She marries the best of yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, nutrition science, and western medicine to help people get to the root of their imbalances and find optimal health. She is the author of many holistic health books including Beautiful hair: natural care, Yoga for Hair Growth and Yoga for Glowing Skin. She is a Wellness Specialist, Soul-Coach. She creates personalized packages for corporate and individuals seeking wellness solutions and adventure travel for the soul.