As I research I am hearing people say pick a single point and focus on that. Then I hear other say you should just focus on the sensation that arise in your body. Personal one point focusing is much easier and I often get distract on if I should focusing only on the breath or move it to the inch on my leg or the numbness from sitting. Most people from the east that I hear say single point focusing more western meditator that hear say focusing on different sensation. Which is it?

5 Answers 5


The main objective of meditation is to maintain a mind of equanimity (calmness).

When the mind is calm, it can also develop insight.

Meditating upon one thing helps establish equanimity (calmness).

The main practise in the teachings of the Buddha is to establish the mind on knowing when the body breathes in & when the body breathes out.

In does not matter where this knowing of breathing in & breathing out is established.

The knowing can be in a small area, such as the nostrils, nose-tip & upper lip.

Or the knowing can be in a larger area, such as the abdomen; or even a larger area, from the nostrils, throat, chest to abdomen (stomach).


You should find a teacher and follow their method. There are two meditation branches, namely Samatha and Vipassana, in general the former developes great concentration whilst the second developes insight into the nature of things.


I think what you described is foundation of mindfulness (2 out of 4 in your question).

My reccomendation is to study satipatthana sutta first. Buddha said we may focus on one of :

  • mindfulness of the body; (breath is form of body)
  • mindfulness of feelings or sensations (vedanā);
  • mindfulness of mind or consciousness (citta); and.
  • mindfulness of dhammās

Buddhist meditation practices can be broadly divided into Samatha and Vipassana. For more information on them see this question and this explanation. Vipassana meditation is mainly based on the Satipatthana Sutta which describes four foundations of mindfulness, namely:

  1. Mindfulness of Body
  2. Mindfulness of Feelings
  3. Mindfulness of Consciousness
  4. Mindfulness of Mental Objects

Generally agreed view is that Samatha helps to develop concentration required to develop insight - which is knowing the three marks of existence impermanence, suffering and non-self based on mindfulness.

Although mindfulness of breath is fairly simple and one could practice it by watching online videos or reading online, technique of Vipassana is quite complex and requires special guidance from teacher. One of the many available options would be 10 day retreat at one of the meditation centers established in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin and as taught by Ven S. N. Goenka. You could register for a course near you at Dhamma.org


As I understand it, there are different techniques within meditation. The one-pointed focussing technique is one, the letting things arise is another. They are useful for different things. One pointed focus will help develop equanimity and concentration, while letting things arise is good for insight.

So when you ask, which is it, there is no hard and fast answer, it depends on what you are trying to do. Often a meditation teacher will try and guide you through different processes over time, and when you have a teacher it is best to follow their sequence.

If you don't have a teacher, mindfulness of the breath is a good place to start. This is a technique which can be begun very simply by just sitting and focussing on the breath, but can be extended by taking account of correct sitting and becoming more aware of the breath's subtleties. YouTube carries a number of good guides.

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