Last Friday, I went to Singapore National Gallery with my buddy to view Georgette Chen’s painting. One of the oil paintings that I like is the Meditating Bhikkhu. He looks serene and at peace.
Looking at the painting reminds me of Buddha’s teaching on the importance of meditating to gain wisdom to end samsara. One go through the cycle of rebirths due to delusion and craving for sensual pleasures of the five senses.
2500 years ago, Buddha Shakyamuni sat in meditation at the foot of the Bodhi Tree and resolved not to rise until he had reached enlightenment. On the full moon of the fifth lunar month, he attained enlightenment. First he recollected his many past lives, understood the cause and effect that affects the next rebirth and nature of samsara, and the path to end samsara. At dawn, while 100,000 world systems trembled, he became the Fully Enlightened Buddha.
After enlightenment, the compassionate Buddha Shakyamuni spent the next 49 years of his life teaching many sentient beings the path to end samsara- The Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold path. Just meditating is not enough- Wisdom and Precepts are also important.
To read more on Meditation on Breathing, you can click Access Insight here.
From Access Insight:Anapana Sati
Meditation on Breathing
Ven. Mahathera Nauyane Ariyadhamma
Let us first examine the meaning of the text expounded by the Buddha on anapana sati. The text begins:
“Herein, monks, a monk who has gone to the forest, or to the foot of a tree, or to an empty place, sits down cross legged, holding his back erect, arousing mindfulness in front of him.”
This means that any person belonging to the four types of individuals mentioned in this teaching — namely, bhikkhu (monk), bhikkhuni (nun), upasaka (layman) or upasika (laywoman) — desirous of practicing this meditation, should go either to a forest, to the foot of a secluded tree, or to a solitary dwelling. There he should sit down cross-legged, and keeping his body in an erect position, fix his mindfulness at the tip of his nose, the locus for his object of meditation.
If he breathes in a long breath, he should comprehend this with full awareness. If he breathes out a long breath, he should comprehend this with full awareness. If he breathes in a short breath, he should comprehend this with full awareness. if he breathes out a short breath, he should comprehend this with full awareness.
The Meditating Bhikkhu