On the off chance you really don't understand my explanation, look at MN 20.
I broke it down in pali+english, table of contents, subheadings, really easy to follow.
In contrast to the 5 methods on there to stop vitakka, the first two methods are the ones that are used the most by meditators the most, and they involve using skillful thinking to remove unskillful thinking. Whereas breath meditation need not use thinking at all to remove thinking. That's why it's particularly useful for that.
This has nothing to do with whether breath meditation needs thinking in first jhana, or must skip directly to second jhana, or whatever other kind of cart behind the horse argument you're shooting for.
Volo wrote: ↑Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:46 pmSo, at the beginning you said that ānāpānasati for cutting off vitakka is referring to the 2nd jhāna. I replied that any second jhāna is without vitakka. About what stage are you taking now? Is it when the meditator is attempting to attain the first jhāna or when he attained it? If you are talking about preliminary stage (before 1st jhāna) then it is nonsense: the yogi cut vitakka on preliminary stage, and at the first jhāna vitakka is back! If you are talking about a person who is in the first ānāpānasati jhāna in contrast to, say, 1st metta jhāna, then again it doesn't make sense, because there's no cutting off vitakka in the first ānāpānasati jhāna by definition. Please clarify.frank k wrote: ↑Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:29 pmThe reason breath meditation is mentioned in particular, is because it need not involve any thinking (for a learner mentally reciting instruction words) once one becomes competent or at least familiar from practice with the instructions. This is in contrast with the meditations such as metta, brahmaviharas, 31 body parts, dukkha, anicca, nirodha, etc, that do involve more mental processing/cogitation.
Just like learning a new physical skill, like juggling, riding a bike, walking on a tightrope, is challenging enough to drive out any irrelevant vitakka/thoughts. You have to completely be in samadhi of what's happening with your body or you lose your balance, fall and experience great pain. There's no room or time for extraneous thinking. Similarly, breath meditation done properly fills the entire bandwidth of your attention with pleasant tactile breath sensations.