The meditation used in the practise of Buddhism is called Buddhist Meditation. It uses any method of enlightenment as its ultimate aim. Buddhists identify meditation with mental development.
Buddhist meditation is broadly divided in to
1. Samatha (tranquility meditations) &
2. Vipassana (insight meditations) meditation.
1. Samatha meditation calms the mind and develops one-pointed concentration and positive emotions.
The samatha meditation includes anapana (mindfulness of breathing, or mindfulness of the in-breath and out-breath) and the four brahma-viras (sublime abodes) of which metta bhavana (development of loving kindness) is the most often practised one.
2. Vipassana meditation builds on the calmness, focus, and positive emotion generated in Samatha meditation, and helps to develop an awareness of the impermanence, interconnectedness, and the contingent nature of our experience.
The vipassana meditations include contemplation on impermanence, the six element practise, and contemplation on conditionality.
Samatha meditations usually precede and prepare for vipassana meditations.
Each of the five methods is an antedote to one of the five mental poisons.
|Anapana (mindfulnes of breathing)
||Hatred and sentimental attachment
||Loving and kindness|
||Cruelty, sentimental pity and horrified anxiety
||Resentment, envy and vicarious enjoyment
||Fixed indifference and apathetic neutrality
|contemplation on impermanence
|Inner peace and freedom|
|six element practice
||Clarity regarding nature of self|
|Contemplation on conditionality
||Wisdom and compassion|
Every form of meditation uses some object on which we direct our attention. We can use the sensations of the breath, our emotional connection with ourselves and others, the physical sensations of the body, sounds, visualized images, etc.
Meditation has been shown to have many medical and psychological benefits, including promoting a sense of wellbeing, boosting the immune system, promoting the development of cortical matter in the brain, and slowing aging.