Remember those Chinese martial art movies that feature monks with their heads shaved off? Well, those folks practice Buddhism which is a spiritual movement designed to make the person find the true nature of life. At the heart of this is meditation which is the means of making this possible.
But to understand Buddhist Meditation, you have to know the Buddhism itself is centered on the Four Noble Truths. First, we have to realize that there is suffering in the world which happens because of our ignorance and our desires. When we do understand ourselves, we can finally find a way to end this suffering. Those who find the answer have reached a state of Nirvana.
This then leads us to the core of Buddhist meditation which is the practice of the eight fold path. These virtues namely are the right action, right concentration, right effort, right livelihood, right mindfulness, right speech, right thought, and right view.
The proceedings of Buddhist Meditation are based on two things. The first is called “Samatha” which means tranquility and the second is called “Vipassana” which means mindfulness.
Let’s talk about this a little further. “Samatha” meditation involves a lot of breathing which is designed to develop concentration, detachment, equanimity and happiness. There are 40 samatha meditations and each teaches the mind to focus on a single object to produce various states of tranquility.
Vipassana meditation on the other hand develops self understanding by being able to comprehend the things that are going inside one’s head. By practicing this regularly, you will soon develop wisdom which makes you free from all suffering.
But do you have to be a follower of Buddhism in order to practice this kind of meditation? The answer is no even if this technique is based on the doctrines of this religion and revolves around concentration and mind control.
For those who would like to get into Buddhist meditation, the first thing you have to do is find a quiet place where you can do this without being disturbed. Next, get a nice soft pillow or cushion to sit on if the floor is not that comfortable for you.
Now, let your hands rest on your lap with the palms facing upward. It’s hard to stay in this position for 5 minutes or more so don’t be afraid to make a few slight adjustments. The important thing is that you are comfortable the way you are.
Then it is time to close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Anybody can do this but there are 4 proper ways of doing it. You can inhale and exhale long, inhale and exhale short, inhale short and exhale long or inhale long and exhale short.
It will take some time before you get the hang of things. Don’t forget to relax all your muscles so your mind and body is able to act as one.
Buddhist meditation is just one of the many techniques around that can help relieve you from stress, make you think better to have a better outlook in life and do all sorts of things that will improve your overall physical health.
If you appreciate what Buddhist Meditation can do, you can already invest in cushions, prayer beads, incense and a few other accessories. It is optional so don’t think that just because they are not around that your experience is not a fruitful one.