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Both Anapansati and Vipassana are described as the direct path to Nibbana. What are the main differences along these paths?

Does one fully include the other, or do they diverge from each other, or they in a sense parallel to each?

  • This question is a duplicate of buddhism.stackexchange.com/questions/3547/… – ruben2020 Apr 19 '15 at 12:13
  • @ruben2020 not quite. The question you point is asking about differences between samatha and vipassana. Anapanasati describes, primarily, a sati practice (as per it's very title). It just happens that parts of it are used to teach samatha. – Thiago Apr 19 '15 at 19:50
  • @ThiagoSilva Thank you for correcting me. Mindfulness of breathing can be used for both Samatha and Vipassana, in different ways. Is that what you're telling me? – ruben2020 Apr 20 '15 at 6:03
  • Yeah. Like Kayagatasati sutta details mindfulness of the body practice, and the presence of jhana series further suggests that it may be applied as a samatha practice. Also, this dhammawheel thread has some discussion over this topic. – Thiago Apr 20 '15 at 6:26
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Anapana is Vipassana Meditation also.

It has 16 stages. In sets of 4 (triads) they cover the 4 Satipatana.

If I am to reinterpret the question above as "What is the difference between Anapansati and Satipatthana" as I feel this might be what you meant.

Satipatthana shares as section on Anapana. They come up to "Sabbakayapatisamvedi" - you are sensitive to your whole body; "Passambhayam kayasamkharam" - calming the body fabrication. (Disclaimer: this might be interpreted differently by different linages / teachers.)

In Anapana you more on to feelings which has arisen (when you have calmed your bodily fabrications and you are sensitive on your whole body generally it is pleasant)

In Satipatthana stay with the body, looking at it in more detail and remedying general miss perceptions about it if you have such polarity. When you are doing this you are looking at the feeling outline of the body as initially developed you sensitivity so you can feel the full outline of the body.

Though at the very high level the flow of both methods are the same. Body <=> feeling (**) <=> mind <=> dhamma.


Also any Buddhist Meditation you start off with you have to come to the junction of Sabbakayapatisamvedi and as you progress it will not be limited to the Satipatthana you started off with. In Anapana you start off with the breath but all 4 Satipatthana develops in the process. All 4 has to develop as the Satipatthana correspond to the aggregates. Also any impact on one aggregate effects the others. Hence something you observe in one foundation of mindfullness will impact the other.

  • Thanks @Suminda. In Anapansati is insight developed at the stage when we observe the mind, or is it more cyclical? – Parag Apr 21 '15 at 4:33
  • It is from the start it self. Depending on your state there will be effects on the breath. This is also an insight. Main juncture is when you are fully aware of the whole body. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Apr 21 '15 at 11:38
  • Insight follows. In my personal opinion, getting there itself the rest follows as long as you make a effort and keep practicing. (If you skip practice you fall back. ) – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Apr 21 '15 at 11:44
  • That's a great point - whichever path one chooses, if the practice is diligent then insight will follow. Thanks :-) – Parag Apr 22 '15 at 8:16

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