Buddhist Meditation Techniques

Different Buddhist Meditation Techniques

There are a​ ​ number of ​ different Buddhist meditation techniques that followers and many meditation enthusiasts practice. Despite their differences,​ the​ techniques are all generally based on​ developing two things- mindfulness and concentration. Attentiveness to​ ​ the​ movements of ​ the​ body and to​ ​ the​ ever changing states of ​ mind is​ ​ to​ ​ be developed in​ ​ order to​ ​ identify the​ real concept of ​ self. Objectivity in​ ​ this case can be a​ ​ valuable aid to​ ​ clear thinking. With objectivity comes concentration,​ the​ ability to​ ​ focus the​ mind and keep in​ ​ focused on​ a​ ​ single point or object.

Many Buddhist schools employ different techniques in​ ​ meditation. Some may focus on​ such practices as​ breathing meditation while others on​ movements. the​ diversity can be so wide ranging that there are a​ ​ multitude of ​ variations available. Most Buddhist techniques can be school specific. Only a​ ​ few masters aim to​ ​ combine and categorize the​ techniques from several Buddhist traditions.

One of ​ the​ known meditation techniques is​ ​ that being practiced by Western Order meditation master Kamalashila. the​ teacher identifies that there are five basic methods to​ ​ be used as​ a​ ​ traditional set for meditation. Each method can be used as​ an antidote to​ ​ one of ​ the​ five primary obstructions to​ ​ Enlightenment- distraction,​ hatred,​ craving,​ conceit and ignorance.

One of ​ the​ five basic methods is​ ​ the​ mindfulness of ​ breathing. This involves the​ practice of ​ tranquility meditations. This method helps to​ ​ counteract distraction and aims to​ ​ develop better concentration. Another of ​ the​ five basic methods laid out is​ ​ the​ Metta Bhavana. This method includes the​ four brahma viharas and is​ ​ used to​ ​ counteract sentimental attachment or hatred. This method aims to​ ​ develop loving kindness in​ ​ a​ ​ person.

Another of ​ the​ five basic methods in​ ​ Buddhist meditation is​ ​ the​ contemplation of ​ impermanence. This method can help counteract craving and develop inner peace and the​ feeling of ​ freedom. the​ six element practice is​ ​ based on​ meditation involving the​ six elements- earth,​ water,​ space,​ air,​ fire and consciousness. the​ six element practice method of ​ meditation counteracts craving and develop instead some clarity in​ ​ a​ ​ person regarding to​ ​ self. the​ fifth basic method of ​ meditation is​ ​ the​ contemplation of ​ conditionality which aims to​ ​ counteract ignorance and instead develop wisdom and compassion. There are also other Buddhist meditation techniques not identified by the​ five basic methods. This includes different methods of ​ visualizations,​ meditation by sitting and the​ walking meditation.

Another of ​ the​ many techniques used in​ ​ Buddhist meditation include the​ five types of ​ Zen as​ grouped by Kuei-feng. in​ ​ this case,​ the​ Zen practices were grouped according to​ ​ five categories. Although mostly common for Zen practitioners,​ the​ techniques are also applicable to​ ​ Buddhist meditation methods. One of ​ the​ types is​ ​ the​ bonpu or ordinary meditation that is​ ​ done to​ ​ achieve physical and mental well-being in​ ​ absence of ​ any spiritual goal. There is​ ​ also the​ gedo or outside way which is​ ​ meditation that is​ ​ used for non-Buddhist purposes. the​ third is​ ​ the​ shojo or small vehicle which is​ ​ meditation used in​ ​ pursuit of ​ self-liberation or nirvana.

The fourth of ​ the​ Zen Buddhist meditation techniques as​ grouped by Kuei-feng is​ ​ the​ daijo or great vehicle which is​ ​ the​ meditation in​ ​ pursuit of ​ achieving self-realization to​ ​ experience the​ unity of ​ all things. Then there is​ ​ also the​ saijojo or supreme vehicle which is​ ​ the​ meditation aimed to​ ​ realize the​ Buddha nature as​ imminent in​ ​ all beings.

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