Vipassana Meditation (awareness) is a method said to be first taught by Buddha to his disciples. This method involves concentration on breathing.
Budhha said: “inhale attentively, exhale attentively”. These simple words reveal the essence of practicing this form of meditation. The Yogi watches his breathing with the same total attentiveness as an open-eyed sentinel watches movements in and out of a citadel. Typically, such observing is made at the ends of the nostrils where one is the most sensitive to both the cold sensation of the incoming air and the warm sensation of the outgoing air. An alternative focus is the awareness of the abdomen rising and falling. Both techniques are equally efficient.
Choose the technique you prefer and do not oscillate between them. If your decision is for the nostril area, be careful not to watch the breath as it goes down towards the lungs. After all, a sentinel leaves never his watch tower without approval.
After you can maintain your attention on inhaling and exhaling, you have developed the awareness of breathing. The Buddha laid stress on the consciousness [awareness] of the quality of breathing. Once this has been achieved, the meditator can finally permit ”the sentinel” to leave the gates of the citadel, and using a so-called scavenging technique, allow the consciousness to travel slowly, down the face, down the arms, body and legs, then back up, to the nostrils, moving as slow as possible and perceiving separately each subtle sensation.
Obtaining awareness through this method immeasurablely strengthens the power of concentration and perception and allows you to finally direct your attention upon the mind and examine in detail and objectively, what actually happens there.