I have been meditating for a while now and have been practicing more seriously (few hours per week) for about a year now. I have been to two Goenka 10-day retreats, which have helped me develop a deeper understanding of meditation and how to practice it. Currently, I mainly practice Anapanasati (focusing on the sensations produced by the breath above the upper lip) and Vipassana body-scanning technique.
In order to deepen my understanding, I have read a few books on meditation, notably this one : http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/anapanasati.pdf
which focuses on Anapasati and have also started reading "Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha" by Daniel Ingram.
Most books seem to place a high importance on states called "Jhanas". I am getting more and more interested in these states, particularly since I feel they would allow me to have great "checkpoints" and assess my progress more easily.
The thing I'm puzzled about is how to actually reach these states. I read some sources that seem to claim that one should concentrate on the sensations produced by the breathing (such as in the Goenka retreat) while others say we should transcend those sensations and focus on the "conceptual breath".
Can anyone help me?
Thank you & have a nice day.