To begin meditating, one needs to focus all their attentive energy in the rise and the fall of their breathing.
Observing the fluctuations of our rhythmical breathing through the duration of all the meditation stages is the key to reach Nirvana. In order to advance into all these stages we will need to be able to sustain the same level of attention to the breathing process. We will often be tempted by different factors to interrupt our attentive observation.To complete the meditation practice one needs to deal with the challenges with full attention, always having the rise and fall of the breathing as an ally.
During a meditation practice one needs to keep constant and steady attention to the movement of the breathing. The breathing is continual and so is our attention to it. By surrendering to its core we will find the strength to resist to the challenges that come in the form of thoughts and emotions. When we are focused on the breathing and a thought arises, the mind will instantly want to surrender to that thought, enjoy the idea behind it or even use it as an excuse to interrupt our attention. The mind will immediately tend to react to this idea by interpreting it, analyzing it and avoiding the breathing observation out of boredom or maybe a simple negation. We will need to deal with our reactions using our patience and not follow their lead. If we attentively look at our impulsive responses to the busy mind and not get carried away by them we will discover the power of attention. With this power the thoughts will rise and then fall in the same way. They won’t be able to conquer the mind.
When interruptions come we should not face them with fear or desire but as something inevitable that cannot interfere really with our observation to our breathing. The breathing continues to flow and so does our meditation. During the next stage of meditation we may experience a sense of boredom. We should not use it as an excuse for stopping our focus. If we continue to follow the rise and fall at this stage we will reach a state of resilient attention. For a few minutes nothing will matter apart from the rhythmical fluctuations of our breathing.
At this stage we cannot be affected by any internal or external influence or factor. Even if we hear a very loud sound or observe an intense emotion we are able to avoid any psychological disturbance which help us move on to the next stage. The state of calmness and freedom will pour out of the psyche and we will encounter a very clear and new perspective. This might feel like a renaissance of the old Self. The new reborn psyche will have a pure understanding and awareness that has almost reached Nirvana.
If our attention can remain steady at that point we will advance to another state. This is the most important stage of meditation and we should not be afraid to dive into it and then come back to consciousness. We can feel a vigorous flow of energy and life pouring into the depths of our soul and experience an unfamiliar process where we are alone and have no knowledge about anything that could easily frighten us and disrupt our attention. The secret is to be able to mediate this stage when it passes. This state awakes our insight and intuition and we can reach a clear awareness after it has run its course.