Venerable Sirs,

After much studying of the Suttas and sifting through the various opinions on the interpretation of 'whole body' in the 3rd line of the 1st tetrad in MN118:
sabbakāyapaṭisaṁvedī assasissāmī ti sikkhati,
he trains like this: experiencing the whole body I will breathe in
I am left feeling very confused as to whether this means [body of breath] (being aware of the breath sensations from the beginning, to middle, to end at a chosen spot) or the [flesh body] (being aware of the breath sensations through the physical body as a whole). There are very reliable sources on both ends...

from the wikipedia entry on MN118:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anapana...nterpretations
the whole "breath body" (as indicated in the sutta itself [Nanamoli, 1998, p. 7: "I say that this, bhikkhus, is a certain body among the bodies, namely, respiration."], as perhaps supported by the Patisambhidamagga [Nanamoli, 1998, p. 75], the Visuddhimagga [1991, pp. 266–267], Nyanaponika [1965, pp. 109–110], and Brahm [2006, p. 84]) or the whole "flesh body" (as supported by Bhikkhu Bodhi's revised second translation of the sutta [in Nanamoli & Bodhi, 2001, see relevant footnote to MN 118], Buddhadasa [1988, p. 57], Goenka [1988, pp. 29–30], Nhat Hanh [1988, p. 26] and Rosenberg [1998, pp. 40, 43])
I've spend some time experimenting with both methods of practice and i feel the difference in interpretations has serious implications for the direction and experience of the meditation. the [body of breath] interpretation seems to make more sense in my practical experience but the Suttas, specifically the jhana similes seem to paint a clear picture of the [flesh body]. Any input you have on this topic would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your time and help with this matter,
Marc