Buddhist Meditation in a Modern World

Buddhist meditation requires a strong discipline, commitment, and a will to block out all the distractions of everyday life. When the person is totally and utterly at peace form their surroundings nirvana can be achieved. Buddhists have practiced meditation for centuries to reach a higher being and learn the true meaning of life by sacrificing from oneself from material objects. Buddhists believe desire causes pain and suffering, so no desire and the will not to pursue material goods, enlightenment can be achieved. With meditation, this can be used as a “distraction” from the material and to stay purified.
There are two central kinds of Buddhist meditation which are Tranquility or Samantha meditation and Insight or Vispassana meditation.

Tranquility or Samantha meditation

The goal of tranquility or Samantha is to focus the mind and train it to concentrate. There are four stages to Samantha meditation which include detachment from the outside world, concentration, joy, and equanimity. Samantha can also be broken into forty different types of kammatthanas which a person should choose of his own inclination. Virtues like kindness, devices like light or colors, grotesque things like a dead body, and recollections like sayings of Buddha are just a few of the forty.

Insight or Vispassana meditation

Insight or Vispassana meditation goal is to focus on the Buddhists truths, to reflect inside. Unlike tranquility meditation which focuses on concentration, insight meditation focuses on mindfulness. Mindfulness is trying to understand the object and learn its meaning not just to focus on it. If one focuses on a pencil, focus on what the purpose and meaning is of the pencil, what is it made of, and why does it exist. There are also different stages of insight meditation which are walking and sitting meditation.

Walking meditation takes a very strong discipline to achieve. The practitioner must focus and relax in a quite place blocking out the surroundings and focusing on the movements of the walking. If one can achieve this and focus on nothing but the walking a blissfulness can occur.

Sitting meditation is more commonly practiced. Breathing is the central focus of the sitting meditation. Everything else should be out of ones mind and the focus is directly on the breathing, from in and out and again and again.

The goal here is to be applied to everyday life. Live in the moment and not think about the past or future when doing a specific task. When cooking focus on the cooking, when eating focus on the eating and enjoy the food, when sleeping focus on the sleeping and enjoy the sleep. Buddhist mediation is meant to enrich and enhance lives and to have a better understanding of the world we live in. Anyone can practice meditation, not just a Buddhist. Buddhist meditation is a form to find inner peace with oneself. While the average man may not find total nirvana and spiritual peace, meditation still provide a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction in every day life.

Jane Michael is the head writer at the Center for Meditation. Meditation is her practice and her passion. Buddhist meditation is a great way to start your meditation practice.

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