Ānāpānasatisuttaṁ (MN 118)
The Discourse about Mindfulness while Breathing

Mindfulness while Breathing

Santi bhikkhave bhikkhū imasmiṁ Bhikkhusaṅghe
Monks, there are monks in this Community of monks

ānāpānasatibhāvanānuyogam-anuyuttā viharanti.
who live engaged in and devoted to the development of the meditation of mindfulness while breathing.

Ānāpānasati bhikkhave bhāvitā bahulīkatā mahapphalā hoti mahānisaṁsā.
Mindfulness while breathing, monks, when it has been developed and made much of yields great fruit and brings great advantages.

Ānāpānasati bhikkhave bhāvitā bahulīkatā Cattāro Satipaṭṭhāne paripūrenti, BJT, PTS, ChS; paripūreti, here and below, but a plural verb is needed, compare the next two lines.01
Mindfulness while breathing, monks, when it has been developed and made much of fulfils the Four Ways of Attending to Mindfulness,

Cattāro Satipaṭṭhānā bhāvitā bahulīkatā Satta Bojjhaṅge paripūrenti,
the Four Ways of Attending to Mindfulness when they have been developed and made much of fulfil the Seven Factors of Awakening,

Satta Bojjhaṅgā bhāvitā bahulīkatā Vijjāvimuttiṁ paripūrenti.
the Seven Factors of Awakening when they have been developed and made much of fulfil Knowledge and Freedom.

Kathaṁ bhāvitā ca bhikkhave ānāpānasati?
And how, monks, is mindfulness while breathing developed?

Kathaṁ bahulīkatā mahapphalā hoti mahānisaṁsā?
How, when it has been made much of, does it yield great fruit and bring great advantages?

Preliminaries

Idha bhikkhave bhikkhu araññagato vā, rukkhamūlagato vā,
Here, Pṭs: Idhā ti imissā Diṭṭhiyā, imissā khantiyā, imissā ruciyā, imasmiṁ ādāye, imasmiṁ Dhamme, imasmiṁ Vinaye, imasmiṁ Dhammavinaye, imasmiṁ pāvacane, imasmiṁ brahmacariye, imasmiṁ Satthusāsane; Here means in this View, in this belief, in this opinion, in this persuasion, in this Teaching, in this Discipline, in this Teaching and Discipline, in this creed, in this spiritual life, in this Teacher's Dispensation.02 monks, a monk who has gone to the wilderness, or to the root of a tree,

suññāgāragato vā, nisīdati.
or to an empty place, sits down.

Pallaṅkaṁ ābhujitvā, ujuṁ kāyaṁ paṇidhāya,
After folding his legs crosswise, setting his body straight,

parimukhaṁ satiṁ upaṭṭhapetvā,
and establishing mindfulness at the front,

so sato va assasati, sato ChS: sato va, another of ChS unwarranted standardisations.03 passasati.
ever mindful he breathes in, mindful he breathes out. Pṭs: bāttiṁsāya ākārehi sato kārī hoti: dīghaṁ assāsavasena (...pe...) cittassa ekaggataṁ avikkhepaṁ pajānato, sati upaṭṭhitā hoti, tāya satiyā tena ñāṇena sato kārī hoti; in thirty-two ways he is one pratising mindfulness: because of breathing in long (etc.) he knows his mind is one-pointed and unscattered, he is attending to mindfulness, he is practising mindfulness with this knowledge and this mindfulness (and the same with the other methods).04

Mindfulness of the Body

Dīghaṁ vā assasanto “dīghaṁ assasāmī” ti pajānāti,
While breathing in long, he knows “I am breathing in long”, There is a disagreement in the Commentaries as to the meaning of assasati and passasati and their cognates; the Vinaya says it means out-breathing and in-breathing; the Sutta Commentary says it is the other way around. Here we follow the Sutta Commentary.05

dīghaṁ vā passasanto “dīghaṁ passasāmī” ti pajānāti,
while breathing out long, he knows “I am breathing out long”, Pṭs explains that as he is contemplating the long breath coming in and out wholesome desire (chando) and gladness (pāmojja) arise, and eventually equanimity is established. 06

rassaṁ vā assasanto “rassaṁ assasāmī” ti pajānāti,
while breathing in short, he knows “I am breathing in short”,

rassaṁ vā passasanto “rassaṁ passasāmī” ti pajānāti,
while breathing out short, he knows “I am breathing out short”,

sabbakāyapaṭisaṁvedī assasissāmī ti sikkhati,
he trains like this: experiencing the whole body I will breathe in, Pṭs: Kāyo ti dve kāyā - nāmakāyo ca rūpakāyo ca; body means the two bodies - the mind-body and the physical body. Pṭs then explains mind as feelings, perceptions, contact, application of mind, and mental processes; and body as the four great elements, matter that is derived from them, breathing, the sign (nimitta), and whatever bodily processes there are. It would seem from this that Pṭs. does not agree that kāya here should mean only the whole body of breath (sakala assāsakāya), which is how it is taken in Vism.07

sabbakāyapaṭisaṁvedī passasissāmī ti sikkhati,
he trains like this: experiencing the whole body I will breathe out, Notice that we see a change in the instructions from the present tense of the verb to the future. Vism. says that in the first section he should just be breathing, and only now should he deliberately cultivate knowledge and that the change in tense signifies this.08

passambhayaṁ kāyasaṅkhāraṁ assasissāmī ti sikkhati,
he trains like this: making the bodily process calm I will breathe in, Pṭs: dīghaṁ assāsā (...pe...) kāyikā, ete dhammā kāyapaṭibaddhā kāyasaṅkhārā, te kāyasaṅkhāre passambhento nirodhento vūpasamento sikkhati; long in-breath (etc.) belong to the body, these things are bound up with the body, are bodily processes, he trains in calming, settling and pacifying these bodily processes.09

passambhayaṁ kāyasaṅkhāraṁ passasissāmī ti sikkhati.
he trains like this: making the bodily process calm I will breathe out.

Mindfulness of Feelings

Pītipaṭisaṁvedī assasissāmī ti sikkhati,
He trains like this: experiencing joy I will breathe in,

pītipaṭisaṁvedī PTS: -paṭī-, printer's error.10 passasissāmī ti sikkhati,
he trains like this: experiencing joy I will breathe out, Pṭs: dighaṁ (...pe...) assāsavasena cittassa ekaggataṁ avikkhepaṁ pajānato, uppajjati pīti pāmojjaṁ; because of the long breath (etc.) he knows his mind is one-pointed and unscattered, and joy and gladness arise.11

sukhapaṭisaṁvedī assasissāmī ti sikkhati,
he trains like this: experiencing pleasure I will breathe in,

sukhapaṭisaṁvedī passasissāmī ti sikkhati,
he trains like this: experiencing pleasure I will breathe out, Pṭs: sukhan-ti dve sukhāni: kāyikañ-ca sukhaṁ, cetasikañ-ca sukhaṁ; pleasure means there are two kinds of pleasure, bodily pleasure and mental pleasure. In brief, bodily pleasure is described as bodily agreeableness and pleasure arising from bodily contact; mental pleasure is described as mental agreeableness and pleasure arising from mental contact.12

cittasaṅkhārapaṭisaṁvedī assasissāmī ti sikkhati,
he trains like this: experiencing the mental process I will breathe in,

cittasaṅkhārapaṭisaṁvedī passasissāmī ti sikkhati,
he trains like this: experiencing the mental process I will breathe out, Pṭs: dīghaṁ assāsavasena (...pe...) saññā ca vedanā ca cetasikā, ete dhammā cittapaṭibaddhā cittasaṅkhārā; because of the long breath (etc.) there are the mental factors of perception and feeling, these things are bound up with the mind, they are mental processes. The same definition applies to the next pair as well.13

passambhayaṁ cittasaṅkhāraṁ assasissāmī ti sikkhati,
he trains like this: making the mental process calm I will breathe in,

passambhayaṁ cittasaṅkhāraṁ passasissāmī ti sikkhati.
he trains like this: making the mental process calm I will breathe out.

Mindfulness of the Mind

Cittapaṭisaṁvedī assasissāmī ti sikkhati,
He trains like this: experiencing the mind I will breathe in,

cittapaṭisaṁvedī passasissāmī ti sikkhati,
he trains like this: experiencing the mind I will breathe out, Pṭs: dīghaṁ assāsavasena (...pe...) viññāṇaṁ cittaṁ; because of the long breath (etc.) there is mind-consciousness.14

abhippamodayaṁ cittaṁ assasissāmī ti sikkhati,
he trains like this: gladdening the mind I will breathe in,

abhippamodayaṁ cittaṁ passasissāmī ti sikkhati,
he trains like this: gladdening the mind I will breathe out, Pṭs: dīghaṁ assāsavasena (...pe...) cittassa ekaggataṁ avikkhepaṁ pajānato uppajjati cittassa abhippamodo; because of the long breath (etc.) he knows his mind is one-pointed and unscattered, and gladness arises in the mind.15

samādahaṁ cittaṁ assasissāmī ti sikkhati,
he trains like this: concentrating the mind I will breathe in,

samādahaṁ cittaṁ passasissāmī ti sikkhati,
he trains like this: concentrating the mind I will breathe out, Pṭs: dīghaṁ assāsavasena (...pe...) cittassa ekaggatā avikkhepo samādhi; because of the long breath (etc.) his mind is one-pointed, unscattered and concentrated.16

vimocayaṁ cittaṁ assasissāmī ti sikkhati,
he trains like this: freeing the mind I will breathe in,

vimocayaṁ cittaṁ passasissāmī ti sikkhati.
he trains like this: freeing the mind I will breathe out. Pṭs: rāgato ... dosato ... mohato ... mānato ... diṭṭhiyā ... vicikicchāya ... thinato ... uddhaccato ... ahirikato ... anottappato vimocayaṁ cittaṁ assasissāmī (...pe...) ti sikkhati; he trains like this: freeing the mind from passion ... hate ... delusion ... conceit ... (wrong) views ... doubt ... sloth (and torpor) ... agitation (and worry) ... lack of conscience ... (and) shamelessness I will breathe in (etc.).17

Mindfulness of (the Nature of) Things

Aniccānupassī assasissāmī ti sikkhati,
He trains like this: contemplating impermanence I will breathe in,

aniccānupassī passasissāmī ti sikkhati,
he trains like this: contemplating impermanence I will breathe out, Pṭs: kiṁ aniccaṁ? Pañcakkhandhā aniccā. Kenaṭṭhena aniccā? Uppādavayaṭṭhena aniccā; what is impermanence? The five constituent groups (of mind & matter) are impermanent. In what way are they impermanent? By way of rise and fall they are impermanent.18

virāgānupassī assasissāmī ti sikkhati,
he trains like this: contemplating dispassion I will breathe in,

virāgānupassī passasissāmī ti sikkhati,
he trains like this: contemplating dispassion I will breathe out, Pṭs: rūpe ādīnavaṁ disvā, rūpavirāge chandajāto hoti saddhādhimutto, cittañ-cassa svādhiṭṭhitaṁ; having seen the danger in form he is desirous for dispassion towards form, he is intent on faith, he determines his mind. The same is said for feelings, perceptions, (mental) processes, consciousness, the eye ... old age and death. Ñāṇamoli (PD 198) mentions that the factors (including those marked by ... ) add up to 20 items, but no list I can see in Pṭs would give that number, and I am unable to find a list that would suit here. The same explanation is given for contemplating cessation below.19

nirodhānupassī assasissāmī ti sikkhati,
he trains like this: contemplating cessation I will breathe in,

nirodhānupassī passasissāmī ti sikkhati,
he trains like this: contemplating cessation I will breathe out,

paṭinissaggānupassī assasissāmī ti sikkhati,
he trains like this: contemplating letting go I will breathe in,

paṭinissaggānupassī passasissāmī ti sikkhati.
he trains like this: contemplating letting go I will breathe out. Pṭs: dve paṭinissaggā, pariccāgapaṭinissaggo ca pakkhandanapaṭinissaggo ca. Rūpaṁ pariccajatī ti, pariccāgapaṭinissaggo, rūpanirodhe nibbāne cittaṁ pakkhandatī ti, pakkhandanapaṭinissaggo; (there are) two (types of) letting go, letting go through abandoning and letting go through entering. Abandoning form is known as letting go through abandoning, the mind entering into Emancipation though the cessation of form is known as letting go through entering. The same is said for feelings, etc. upto old age and death.20

Evaṁ bhāvitā kho bhikkhave ānāpānasati.
Like this, monks, is mindfulness while breathing developed.

Evaṁ bahulīkatā mahapphalā hoti mahānisaṁsā.
Like this, when it has been made much of, it yields great fruit and brings great advantages.