If I understood your answers correctly, you are recommending the use of concept-method first to gain samadhi. Allright then, even if it sometimes reminds me of hypnosis.
Now, there's another question which has been certainly discussed before, but I feel the need to bring it up again: Where to locate the breath?
I know many of you allready spoke about that the breath needs to be observed at one particular point, like at the nostril or the upper lip, and that your attention should stay fixed there, not following the breath all the way down to the lungs. And I also read about it in books of Bhante Gunaratana and other teachers.
Therefore, I was surprised to find out that some others respected authorities like Ajahn Brahm tell exactly the opposite: In fact it is best not to locate the breath anywhere! If you locate the breath at the tip of your nose then it becomes nose awareness, not breath awareness, and if you locate it at your abdomen then it becomes abdomen awareness. Just ask yourself the question right now, 'Am I breathing in or am I breathing out?' How do you know? There! That experience which tells you what the breath is doing, that is what you focus on in breath meditation. Let go of concern about where this experience is located; just focus on the experience itself.
Source: http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books/Ajahn_ ... tation.htm
- it's in part 2.
Of course, I've tried both, and both methods have their benefits and difficulties:
Just focussing one point strongly was indeed more calming for the mind - until the moment where either the point went numb (after only a few minutes) or my entire nose started feeling so itchy that I had to interrupt and scratch, again and again.
On the other hand, focusing on the experience without looking at any point at my nose allowed me not to lose touch with the breath ( I would first feel it around the left nostril, then the right nostril, then more up in the nose, and so on...). The bad thing about this: My mind wanders around with the breath as well, and it also feels so different in these multiple areas that feel I like...this: