kozureokami wrote:According to my understanding of the teachings of Bhante Henepola and Ayya Khema, one can notice the decay and disappearance of a distraction that one is attending to. I don't understand how this is even possible, let alone how to accomplish it. (A) All I can do is return to the breath, at which point the distraction DOES decay/disappear because I am now attending to something else--namely, my breath. But Bhante Henepola and Ayya Khema seem to be saying that (B) I am to observe the decay of the destraction and THEN return to the breath.
If I understand your quandary:
A. attending to breath --> distraction --> attend to breath --> distraction dissipates as a resultv
B. attending to breath --> distraction --> distraction dissipates --> attend to breath as a result
They do seem opposed to each other... but then wouldn't either case make it impossible to engage in the third tetrad of anapanasati?
He trains thus: ‘I shall breathe in experiencing the mind’; he trains thus: ‘I shall breathe out experiencing the mind.’
Therefore, why not schematize things as follows:
While attending to breath:
A. distraction arises --> directed meditation
--> distraction ceases
B. distraction arises --> undirected meditation --> distraction ceases