Anapanasati Sutra

Discourse on the Mindfulness of Breathing

(exerpts translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu)

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Now in what way does the monk develop and frequently practice mindfulness of in-and-out breathing so that it bears great fruit and great benefits?

There is the case of a monk who, having gone to a forest, to the shade of a tree or to an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect and keeping mindfulness to the fore. Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.

1.   Breathing in long, he discerns that he is breathing in long; or breathing out long, he discerns that he is breathing out long.

2.   Or breathing in short, he discerns that he is breathing in short; or breathing out short, he discerns that he is breathing out short.

3.   He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to the entire body, and to breathe out sensitive to the entire body.

4.   He trains himself to breathe in calming the bodily processes, and to breathe out calming the bodily processes.


5.   He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to rapture, and to breathe out sensitive to rapture.

6.   He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to pleasure and breathe out sensitive to pleasure.

7.   He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to mental processes, and to breathe out sensitive to mental processes.

8.   He trains himself to breathe in calming mental processes, and to breathe out calming mental processes.


9.   He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to the mind, and to breathe out sensitive to the mind.

10.   He trains himself to breathe in satisfying the mind, and to breathe out satisfying the mind.

11.   He trains himself to breathe in steadying the mind, and to breathe out steadying the mind.

12.   He trains himself to breathe in releasing the mind, and to breathe out releasing the mind.


13.   He trains himself to breathe in focusing on inconstancy, and to breathe out focusing on inconstancy.

14.   He trains himself to breathe in focusing on dispassion (literally, fading), and to breathe out focusing on dispassion.

15.   He trains himself to breathe in focusing on stopping, and to breathe out focusing on stopping.

16.   He trains himself to breathe in focusing on relinquishment, and to breathe out focusing on relinquishment.

It is through developing and frequently practicing mindfulness of in-and-out breathing in this way that it bears great fruit and great benefits.

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