Births like ours are rare in samsara. We have been fortunate to encounter the Buddhas message, to enjoy the association of good friends, to have the opportunity to listen to the Dhamma. As we have been endowed with all these blessings, if our aspirations are ripe, we can in this very life reach the final goal of Nibbana through its graduated stages of stream entry, once returner, non returner and arahantship. Therefore, let us make our life fruitful by developing regularly the meditation of anapana sati. Having received proper instructions on how to practice this method of meditation, one should purify ones moral virtue by observing the precepts and should surrender ones life to the Triple Gem.
One should choose a convenient time for meditation and practice with utmost regularity, reserving the same period each day for ones practice. One may begin by briefly reflecting on the abundant virtues of the Buddha, extending loving kindness towards all beings, pondering the repulsiveness of the body, and considering the inevitability of death. Then, arousing the confidence that one is walking the very road to Nibbana walked by all the enlightened ones of the past, one should proceed forth on the path of meditation and strive with diligent effort.
Bodhi Leaves No. 115 (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1988). Originally delivered as a sermon under the Bodhi Tree at Kalutara. Published as a Bodhi Leaf with the kind permission of the author. Translated from the Sinhalese by Professor U.D. Jayasekera. Transcribed from the print edition in 1994 by Steven McPeak & John Bullitt under the auspices of the DharmaNet Dharma Book Transcription Project, with the kind permission of the Buddhist Publication Society.