Who does not want peace in life? Who does not want happiness? There are many difficulties and sorrows in life. In such a way how can someone live a life of happiness, peace, and bliss?
All these questions were answered by Lord Buddha in the form of Vipassana about 2500 years ago. Vipassana is such an art that makes us aware of our truth. When we know the truth inside us, then all the sorrows disappear automatically.
Anapana Meditation is the basis of Vipassana. This is the initial stage of learning Vipassana. There are many benefits of Anapana Meditation. Let us know about it.
What Is Anapana Meditation?
Anapana Meditation is the initial and tiny step of Vipassana. Despite the initial step, it is very welfare and well-being. This small step is based on experience and truth. With the help of experience and truth, we get to know the truths hidden within us which nobody talks about. There are countless benefits of Anapana Meditation.
The concentration of mind is required for learning Vipassana. Concentration should also be such that is achieved based on truth and not based on imagination.
In Anapana, breath is used to focus the mind. In this article, we will know about Anapana in detail and will also discuss the benefits of Anapana Meditation.
How Is Anapana Meditation Done?
Anapana is a very simple practice. In this, we close our eyes, sit with a straight waist (on the ground or chair), and focus on our incoming and outgoing breath. It is a process of knowing. There is no difference in practice whether the breath is long or short, slow or fast. Whatever the breath is, it has to be known. Whenever the mind wanders here and there, we focus our attention back on our breath without distracting the mind.
It is the old nature of the mind that even for a few moments, it does not know to stick in one place. The mind is always engaged in memories of the past and plans for the future. The mind does not know how to live in the present. Anapana concentrates the mind and brings it into the present. So whenever our mind wanders during the practice of Anapana, we bring our focus back on the breath without any reaction.
The most special thing about Anapana is that the mind is concentrated by taking the help of pure breath. In this, we do not associate any word or mantra with the breath. It is practiced by making smooth and pure breath a base of concentration.
Anapana is not an exercise for breath. And it has nothing to do with Pranayama. Though Pranayama has its advantages, Anapana is the practice of concentrating the mind while Pranayama is related to the body.
Difference Between Anapana Meditation & Pranayama
- Anapana Meditation is concerned with the concentration of the mind while Pranayama is related to the body.
- In Anapana, we do not control the speed of breath, whereas the basis of Pranayama is to reduce the speed of breath.
- When we become proficient in Anapana Meditation, then we can practice it anywhere and anytime, whereas after being proficient in Pranayama, we need proper posture and environment for its practice.
Benefits Of Anapana Meditation
Anapana Meditation acts as a miracle medicine for our mind. There are many benefits of Anapana Meditation. Let’s know about those benefits:
Increases Our Ability To Sustain Attention
This is one of the important benefits of Anapana Meditation. The problem is seen in all of us, especially in the students, that our focus is not on the work. Due to this, many times the work is not completed or the work gets spoiled.
This is a common problem among students. In today’s environment, there are many things to distract them such as mobile, TV, video games, etc. In such a situation, the attention of a student wanders away from studies and goes on these things. Even if he sits to read, then attention is elsewhere. This is a common but serious problem.
Anapana amazingly increases our ability to sustain our focus steadily. If we practice it regularly then its effect starts appearing in a few days.
Improves Our Ability To Work Under Stress & Pressure
Stress is a serious problem in today’s time. Some people are unable to work under stress and pressure. As soon as they come under stress or pressure, they completely lose their ability to work.
No one can escape from home or office stress. Many times in life, we have to go through stress and tension. And at that time many of us are unable to do our work according to the ability.
One of the many benefits of Anapana Meditation is that it makes our mind so strong that any stress and pressure does not affect it. Due to this, we can work according to our ability in every situation.
Keeps Us In The Present Moment
In today’s time, people adopt many spiritual paths to live in the present moment. But not everyone gets the fortune to be able to live in the present moment. While living in the present, we can see many truths inside us.
The basis of Anapana is the present moment. In this, we live more and more in the present moment by observing our incoming and outgoing breaths. This is also one of the many benefits of Anapana Meditation.
Increases Our Pain Tolerance
It’s important. One of the many benefits of Anapana Meditation is that it increases our ability to bear the pain. There have been many experiments on this fact as well.
A research group of the University of Montreal conducted a test. They formed two groups of some people. In one group there were Anapana Meditators and in the other group, there were people who were non-meditators. People of both groups were given an equal amount of pain. And his brain was observed by the fMRI scanner. Less pain was recorded in the mind of the Anapana Meditators group, rather than the mind of non-meditators.
Anxiety has become a part of our life now. No one (child, young man, old man) is free from it. It has a bad effect on our mind as well as body. Such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Rage on trivial matters
- The sequester
One of the major benefits of Anapana Meditation is that it kicks out the anxieties from our life. Psychologists have proved from their research that with Anapana, there is the complete elimination of anxiety. The full treatment is possible with the continuous practice of 3 months for Anapana.
Reduces Depression And Increases Mindfulness
Depression is a mental disorder. It is a hypothetical disease of the mind. It has nothing to do with reality. In depression, people drown in imaginary concerns that do not exist. This is a serious mental condition that goes on hollowing our mind and body from inside. A person with depression can prove to be dangerous for himself as well as others.
Medicines given for their treatment have side effects. Consumption of medicines given for depression makes a person’s brain dull and sluggish.
Anapana is a boon for people with depression. It takes some time but Anapana eliminates this problem from the root. In Anapana we practice Mindfulness. Mindfulness is nothing but an art of keeping the mind in the present moment.
By its constant practice, a person with depression starts living in the present moment more and more. Gradually, the person’s mind starts to understand the reality of the present and imaginary problems. As soon as a person’s mind accepts reality, he/she gets rid of depression.
Provides Good Sleep
Quality of sleep matters and not quantity. If we sleep even for 8-10 hours but the quality of that sleep is not good, then after waking up we do not feel refreshed.
Conversely, if we sleep for 3-4 hours and the quality of that sleep is good, then after waking up we feel refreshed. Energy remains inside us throughout our day.
One of the major benefits of Anapana Meditation is that the regular practice of this gives us high quality sleep. Regularly practicing it before bed (10 minutes) reduces the amount of sleep we get and increases the quality.
Increases Memory Power
This is one of the major benefits of Anapana Meditation for all of us, especially for the students.
Today, thousands of products are available in the market to increase memory power. And all those products are also selling well. Memory boosting products are unnatural that have side effects.
Anapay acts as a natural medicine to increase memory power. Thousands of researches have proved that any technique of meditation can naturally increase our memory power.
Reduces Our Anger
No person in this world can say that he/she does not get angry. No one has survived from this impurity of the mind till date. Anger brings many troubles and after some time of anger, we have nothing but regrets.
One of the main benefits of Anapana Meditation is that it reduces our anger gradually. We are not claiming here that Anapana roots out anger. Vipassana is the only technique to eliminate anger from the root.
But yes, it reduces the intensity of our anger. On small matters, our habit of anger gets reduced. This is also a big deal.
How To Learn Anapana Meditation?
As we mentioned above, Anapana is the initial step of Vipassana. To learn this, we have to apply for the 10 day Vipassana Meditation Course. We can apply by filling the form on the official website of Vipassana. We are notified by mail and phone a few days after applying. After doing this course, along with Anapana, we can also take benefits of Vipassana. Various Courses of Vipassana are conducted at Vipassana centers.
Frequently Asked Questions Related To Anapana Meditation
Q: What are the difficulties while learning Anapana Meditation?
A: While learning Anapana Meditation, we have to face the versatility of the mind. We all have a very fickle mind. Although our attention does not go on it, as soon as we focus on our breath during Anapana Meditation, mischiefs of mind start coming in front of us.
The mind does not want to remain stable and in Anapana we try to stabilize it. For this reason, the mind commits more mischief. Our mind sometimes roams in the past or sometimes in the future during the practice of Anapana.
If we have to learn this technique and take the benefits of Anapana Meditation, then we have to put our mind firmly in its practice. This technique has to be learned with full devotion and dedication, not being distracted by mischiefs of the mind.
Q: What is the fee for this course?
A: This course is free.
Q: Why do we use breath for Anapana Meditation?
A: Anapana and Vipassana are the paths of truth. There is no room for imagination in this. Breath is such a fact of all our lives that stays with us till death. By practicing it on any imaginary figure or mantra, we cannot know the hidden truth within us.
Q: How long should we practice Anapana Meditation?
A: This is the practice of a lifetime. Just like we eat food to keep our body healthy, similarly do Anapana and Vipassana to keep our mind healthy.
If you practice it daily for 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening, then within a few months you will see amazing results.
Q: Anapana Meditation is related to which religion?
A: It is not related to any religion, sect, and caste. This is the science of our mind. And science has no religion. As we mature in Anapana and Vipassana, we understand the true meaning of religion
Q: How is Anapana different from other Meditation?
A: The basis of Anapana is truth. In this technique, the mind is concentrated while looking at the truth of the present moment in a neutral sense. However, there are all kinds of meditation techniques that converge the mind. And all techniques have their advantages.
Anapana, as stated earlier, is the initial stage of Vipassana. Vipassana is the path of truth. Imagination has no place in Vipassana.
Breath is such a fact of our life that stays with us at all times and everywhere till death. Concentrating the mind with the help of breath is simple and the best practice. Many meditation techniques use imagery and chants. Although they also have a lot of advantages, Anapana is used for Vipassana, which eliminates the impurities of our mind and opens the door to liberation.
Q: Can Anapana be learned without taking a course?
A: Yes, Anapana Meditation can also be learned by staying at home. A 10-minute mini Anapana Video Course is available for this.
But in our opinion, Anapana Meditation should be learned at the Vipassana Center itself. At the center, there is an environment conducive to learning Anapana Meditation.
By staying in the discipline and routine of the center, we can concentrate our mind easily. At the same time, we also get to learn Vipassana, which opens the door of liberation for us.
On the contrary, we are very unlikely to find a favorable environment at home or elsewhere. Every day we remain entangled in some or the other problem. Many kinds of thoughts and concerns keep coming into the mind. In such a situation it is very difficult to concentrate the mind.
Well, the decision is yours. If you want to learn it at home with strong determination, then you can learn and take benefits of Anapana Meditation.
Anapana is nothing less than a boon. It brings happiness and peace to our life. It is an art that sharpens and concentrates our mind. Anapana is the initial stage of learning Vipassana. To learn Vipassana, we need to sharpen and concentrate our mind and for this, we have to be proficient in Anapana Meditation.
Anapana is a practice based on the science of mind. In this, we sit in a quiet place with our eyes closed and waist straight. After sitting, we concentrate on our incoming and outgoing breath.
Anapana is not a breathing exercise. It is wrong to associate it with Pranayama. There is a lot of difference between Anapana and Pranayama.
There are so many benefits of Anapana Meditation. To learn this, we have to attend a 10-day course of Vipassana. For the first three days of this course, we are made to practice Anapana Meditation only.
To learn Anapana, we have to make our mind strong. There are a lot of problems while learning this. We have to face these problems with firmness, only then we can reap the benefits of Anapana Meditation.
If you also want to experience happiness and peace in your life. If you also want to change the outlook of your life. If you also want to reap the benefits of Anapana Meditation, then you are welcome to this course.
Famous Vipassana Centers In India:
- Igatpuri Vipassana Center (Dhamma Giri)
- Jaipur Vipassana Center (Dhamma Thali)
- Mumbai Vipassana Center (Dhamma Pattana)
- Delhi Vipassana Center (Dhamma Sota)
- Bangalore Vipassana Center (Dhamma Paphulla)
- Kolhapur Vipassana Center (Dhammalaya)
- Pune Vipassana Center (Dhamma Punna)
Thanks for reading this article. Be Happy.