Introduction to 16 Steps of Mindfulness on Breathing



Bhikkhus, Mindfulness with Breathing that one has developed and make much of has great fruit and great benefit.

Even I myself, before awakening, when not yet enlightened, while still a Bodhisatva (Buddha to be), lived in this dwelling (way of life) for the most part. When I lived mainly in this dwelling, the body was not stressed, the eyes were not strained, and my mind was released from the asava (corruptions, cankers) through non-attachment.

For this reason, should anyone wish "may my body be not stressed, may my eyes be not strained, may my mind be released from the asava through non-attachment," then that person ought to attend carefully in his heart to this Mindfulness with Breathing meditation.


(Samyutta-nikaya. Samyutta LIV, Sutta 8)




The 16 stepping stones represent the 16 steps of Anapanasati: Mindfulness with Breathing, which is taught in every retreat in the Sunnataram Forest monastery. 

The Breathing technique, as claimed by the Buddha, is the universal meditation technique which any one can practise at any time. It includes both concentration of the mind and Vipassana meditation, leading to the End of Unhappiness in life ( Nirvana /  Nibbana).

The 1st -4th steps involve with developing mindfulness and gain calmness of the mind while experiencing the different effect to the body between short and long breath. Then, people will learn how to refine the breath using additional meditation techniques for example tai chi qi gong, walking meditation, Metta (Loving-kindness) visualization etc.

The 5th – 8th steps deal with positive feelings of joy and happiness, which help to keep inspiring people to continue their meditation. However, people will be learn the different impact between exciting joy and calm happiness to the quietness of the mind, and learn to reduce that thrilling joy to relaxation.

( to be continued)




For More Details: