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Buddhist Meditation

Buddhism is renowned all over the world for the promotion and encouragement of the technique of meditation, so much so that it is regarded as one of the fundamental factor that makes up Buddhism. In the course of enlightenment, Buddhist meditation is regarded as a crucial and indispensable practice. Every Buddhist meditation technique is elucidated and specified in detail. Lord Buddha who himself took up meditation and his accounts provide guidelines for people who want to follow him in this path.    

In Buddhism meditation theoretical and factual knowledge of techniques is not considered to be as significant as the actual practice of meditation. There are two vital techniques in the beginner mode of Buddhist meditation :

Samatha : This technique in meditation in Buddhism is used for concentration of the mind. Samath factually means peace, being calm and tranquility. The student is supposed to select from forty subjects consisting of the ten kasinas and a series of bodily decay. Mindfulness of breathing occurs after this which is also known as anapanasati. By concentrating on one’s breathing, a person can calm his body and his mind. As the being, focuses his mind on one specific element, the five chief obstacles in his path known as sensual desire, ill-will, sloth, anxiety and doubt will not exist anymore, even though it’s on a temporary basis. The being who meditates goes on a different plane of great happiness, delight and contentment which is called jhanas. This does not mean that he accomplishes enlightenment.  

Vipassana : Vipassana means insight and in this technique of Buddhist meditation, a person attempts to see things as they actually, in reality and truly exist. The person makes an effort to free and release his mind from aversions and all forms of it so that it does not impair his judgment, decision and conclusion. This is the first state of vipassana, known as bare awareness. The method of breathing meditation also is a part of vipassana. It is very important at the same time that a person knows and has insight into the three marks of existence: suffering, not self and impermanence. This method can help a person attain enlightenment.

A Combination of the Two : Several times a combination of these two methods are used by a person. Initially a person uses samatha. When, with time and practice he becomes trained and skilled in the art of concentration, the person moves ahead and goes on to practice vipassana.