GUIDED MEDITATION: Breath, Joy and Letting Go - Ajahn Dhammasiha
Ānāpāṇasati, mindfulness of the in and out breath, is the Buddha's own favourite meditation object, and the one he has given particular detailed instructions about. One peculiar advantage is that breath meditation can be used to develop both samatha (calm/samādhi/concentration) and vipassana (insight/wisdom).
To cultivate and deepen samādhi, we develop gladness, joy, rapture and bliss with every breath.
To develop insight, we contemplate impermanence, dispassion, fading away, ending, cessation and letting go with every breath.
In this guided meditation, Ajahn Dhammasiha directs us not to apply the contemplation of impermanence and letting go directly to the breath itself. The breath is our anchor, and when we let go of the breath, we loose our meditation object. Instead, we contemplate the fading away of distracting thoughts, the cessation of anxieties about the future, the letting go of unwholesome or sensual feelings and emotions.