Buddha’s way was VIPASSANA – vipassana means witnessing. And he found one of the greatest devices ever: the device of watching your breath, just watching your breath.
Breathing is such a simple and natural phenomenon and it is there twenty-four hours a day. You need not make any effort.
Buddha discovered a totally different angle: just watch your breath – the breath coming in, the breath going out. There are four points to be watched. Sitting silently just start seeing the breath, feeling the breath. The breath going in is the first point. Then for a moment when the breath is in it stops – a very small moment it is – for a split second it stops; that is the second point to watch. Then the breath turns and goes out; this is the third point to watch. Then again when the breath is completely out, for a split second it stops; that is the fourth point to watch. Then the breath starts coming in again… this is the circle of breath.
If you can watch all these four points you will be surprised, amazed at the miracle of such a simple process – because mind is not involved. Watching is not a quality of the mind; watching is the quality of the soul, of consciousness; watching is not a mental process at all. When you watch, the mind stops, ceases to be. Yes, in the beginning many times you will forget and the mind will come in and start playing its old games.
But whenever you remember that you had forgotten, there is no need to feel repentant, guilty – just go back to watching, again and again go back to watching your breath.
Slowly slowly, less and less mind interferes.
And when you can watch your breath for forty-eight minutes as a continuum, you will become enlightened.
Excerpted from : The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 5.Chapter#1