More information on stage four
Congratulations! You’ve now learned the full four-stage practice of the Mindfulness of Breathing meditation.
Spend some time practicing all four stages of the meditation practice, and reviewing what you already know in order to deepen your experience of them.
Explore the links on this page to deepen your understanding of what this stage is about and how to work effectively within the fourth stage.
Then you’ll be ready to begin learning another practice, or to further develop your meditation skills.
We recommend alternating the Mindfulness of Breathing practice and the Metta Bhavana practice. Each practice feeds into and deepens the other. You can do them on alternate days, or even do one in the morning and one in the evening.
But before you head off to learn another meditation practice we’d suggest that you spent a bit of time familiarizing yourself with this stage of the meditation. Each stage of the meditation is in itself a practice for developing skills in working with your mind. Simply trying the practice once with a kind of “check-list” mentality isn’t going to bring any real benefits, while exploring the practice of developing one-pointedness will help to bring more centeredness and calmness into your life.
Simply sticking with the practice is a form of spiritual practice in itself insofar as it encourages the development of patience and acceptance. The mind tends to have a grasping quality, and it’s this grasping, Buddhism tells us, that leads to suffering. The effort of setting aside our craving for new experiences and simply continuing to explore more deeply those practices we are already familiar with will bring us closer to spiritual awakening.