By Bhikkhu Nanamoli
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Extra info for Anapanasati - Mindfulness of Breathing
They also should not lack confidence in each other — otherwise troubles may arise which will be detrimental to the practice in general. The ceremony as discussed here is a low-level practice for people just introduced to Buddhism. In the days of the Buddha there existed no trace of such ritual. It sprang up only when teachers of later days wished to formalize every step. ” This is, of course, similar in form to the ritual of taking the Precepts. On thinking it over we see that to ask for a meditation object or Kammaññhàna in the same way as one asks for the Precepts reduces the status of the meditation object to that of the Precepts.
But people who are attached to the idea of magical powers cannot help twisting the meaning of even this custom. They take it as a sort of submission, which is of course completely wrong. Apparently an ever-present instinctive need to change and distort the meaning of good customs exists in people who are timid or superstitious. This distortion of a meaningful custom demonstrates clearly how beliefs motivated by desire and based on misunderstanding can never lead to the highest insight. Resolving to practise is something the meditator must definitely do in order to strengthen his willpower and prepare himself to practise seriously.
All these Preliminaries have to be taken into account by the person preparing himself to practise meditation. 48 Chapter ii Environment The trainee in ànàpànasati must have a clear idea of the practice as a whole, deriving what help he can from metaphors. ” The “wise man” is anyone with inborn insight (sahajàta-pa¤¤à) or what is nowadays called intelligence. This is an immature form of insight which has to be developed into true and genuine insight (vipassanà-pa¤¤à). The person who is to take up the mental training has to be sufficiently sharp to develop further intuitive insight.
Anapanasati - Mindfulness of Breathing by Bhikkhu Nanamoli