I would actually love a copy of the Visuddhimagga, but I usually don't have a lot of pocket money and the library in my area doesn't have much in the way of Buddhist studies. Luckily, I will be moving to a much larger city for college where I will have access to a very nice university library, as well as surplus credit from my financial aid award.Ben wrote:No problem Eric
Something that has been of enormous benefit to me has been the section on the anapana in the Visuddhimagga. The Vism isn't everyone's cup of tea because the language is very formalistic and the amount of detail captured in it is incredibly dense. If you have access to a copy, even if you get one via inter-library loan via your municipal library, I would recommend that you have a read through and just concentrate on those pages which are relevant to the tetrad you are working with.
I would also reiterate my earlier advice, recommending Satipatthana: the direct route to realization. While Analayo's work deals mostly with satipatthana, there is valuable material in it on anapana-sati.
The instructions I utilise when doing anapana, and I practice the samatha variant, is to maintain awareness of the touch of the breath - for longer and longer periods. When you notice awareness has slipped away, gently bring it back.
I will look in to that other book. I am interested in satipatthana anyway. I've written a nice outline of part of Ven. Thanissaro's "Wings of Awakening" that I read online, which discusses satipatthana. I eventually plan to move on to vipassana practice once I have attained a workable degree of concentration. Is samatha anapanasati considered a part of satipatthana practice? I thought it was, since it involves mindfulness of the body (I also try to stay mindful, ardent, and alert throughout the day, although I still have a ways to go in this realm) Or is satipatthana specifically used to refer to insight practices?
I'm also looking in to some of those organizations that offer free Dhamma books.