The Mindfulness of Breathing, fourth stage.
In the fourth stage of this meditation practice we work on developing one-pointed concentration.
This involves encouraging the mind to move to a more subtle level of perception by deliberately paying attention to very delicate sensations connected with the breath.
By doing this we help produce a much deeper level of calmness in the mind.
We’re also going to be paying attention to some rather subtle sensations connected with our breathing, and this requires that we “change” gear and look at our experience at a finer level of detail. It also means that we really have to let go of unnecessary thinking so that we can become absorbed in these subtle physical sensations.
Prepare for the meditation by setting up your posture, by becoming more aware of the physical sensations of the body, and by relaxing as best you can.
Stages One, Two, and Three
Follow the stages in order, first of all counting after the breath, then before the breath, and then letting go of the counting.
In the fourth and final stage of this practice, begin to narrow the focus of your awareness, so that you’re focusing more and more on the sensations where the breath first passes over the rims of the nostrils.
You may even notice the sensations where the breath passes over the upper lip. But if any of these sensations are hard to find, just notice the breath at the first place you can feel it as it enters and leaves the body.
You can listen to an MP3 guided meditation that will lead you through the full four stages of the practice by clicking on the player below: