10 Meditation style in Buddhism
Buddhism is one of the largest religions in the world. Many people all around the world follow Buddhism. Mostly, the countries in Asia are those countries. The people who follow the path of nonviolence and peace are a lot in the world. These two are the greatest teachings of Buddhism. Meditation is used as a medium in Buddhism to channel calmness and internal peace which will also reflect in the external world. There are various meditation styles in Buddhism that have various purposes and characters.
Buddhism was created by Buddha. Also, it is not right to say it as he did not invent a religion. First, he himself attained the way to enlighten himself and wanted to teach the world his finding and the way to attain it. This way the people who followed the path shown by Buddha were called Buddhist and in time it became a religion that we know today as Buddhism.
Sakyamuni Buddha is believed to have been born in the ancient kingdom of Kapilvastu which present day is Nepal. Buddha was born there 2500 years ago as the prince of the kingdom. His father was king Suddhodhan and his mother queen Mayadevi. His name was Prince Siddhartha at the time. He wanted to find the truth of life, so he left everything and went to live the life of a monk. During his life as a monk due to meditation and various other processes, Buddha attained enlightenment.
It is believed that before Siddhartha Gautam also there were many past lives of Buddha. In each one Buddha incarnated at various places on earth, first found enlightenment himself, and then taught others to achieve it. Different eras, different places, but all born for the purpose of guiding humanity to peace and enlightenment.
Meditation is the process where one clams the body and the mind then focuses all their energy to attain higher spirituality and calm mentality. Many other religions or even non-religious people use mediation as the means to achieve inner peace. However, mediation plays a significant role in Buddhism as religion itself. Following Buddhism religion itself is setting the goal to find enlightenment and inner peace.
There are many techniques of meditation that people all over the world follow to calm their minds and achieve a better version of themselves. Here is the 10-meditation style in Buddhism:
1. Samatha Meditation
Samantha meditation is one of the most basic meditation styles in Buddhism. Samatha meditation focuses on the breath of the meditator. Here in the Samatha meditation style in Buddhism breath is the main key. The meditator focuses their concentration and energy on their breath. Even when we sit down for meditation, our body may be still, we may make our mind calm and still, the thing that can never be still is the breath. We need to keep breathing no matter how still the other parts of the body are. Here in this meditation style in Buddhism, we focus on breath and can count it.
2. Walking Meditation
Walking Meditation is another popular meditation style in Buddhism. However, it is very unusual to the people that do not know about it. When we imagine meditation, we think about something like sitting in one place with one posture closing the eye, like that. However, that is not the case in the walking meditation style in Buddhism. Also, it is not true that we walk without doing other activities also. There is a whole procedure for walking meditation style in Buddhism.
First, we select the place of meditation, like inside or outside. Then determine the length of our walking meditation session. Now the meditator must take some light steps focusing their energy and concentration on the movement and the body itself. This type of meditation breaks the typical barriers of stillness in meditation. Those people who cannot keep still in one place but want to immerse into meditation, this type of meditation is for them.
3. Vipassana meditation
Vipassana meditation is also known as the Insight meditation style in Buddhism. Vipassana meditation is one of the most advanced types of meditation in Buddhism. It is the technique of meditation that is practiced by the experts and the advanced meditators that have spent many times practicing and perfecting the techniques of meditation.
Vipassana meditation enables people to see the things they are. There is a reason this type of meditation is called insight meditation. When people practice this meditation, they can unravel the things that mask the true nature of things. Many things in the world are not what they seem they are masked by our feelings, like love, hate, guilt, obsession. They make things more severe, less severe, or sometimes even show the things that are not there and sometimes mask the things that are there. Vipassana meditation style in Buddhism helps to unravel it.
4. Mantra meditation
Mantra meditation is not only the meditation style in Buddhism but also in Hinduism also. However, in both religions, the practice process of mantra meditation is almost identical. In mantra meditation, we first get a mantra to chant. The mantra can be anything, religious, or even something that you invent yourself, the verse that helps you to calm and maintain focus. The verse must be short, easy to keep repeating, and has special significance to you.
Then, what we do in the mantra meditation style in Buddhism is to keep chanting the mantra in repetition. Mantra acts as a center to focus during the meditation process as well as to program our subconscious the effects of mantra. Mantra is believed to be the verse that has the magical ability in ancient times, also there are many beliefs that still believe it to possess such power not but in a more subtle way. Find a peaceful place, be in a comfortable position and chant your mantra, that is all there to it.
5. Deity meditation
Deity is the figure that is omnipotent and has the powers of the cosmic scale. There are many deities around the world that belong to different cultures and various religions. Deity meditation is one of the most popular forms of meditation in the entire world.
It is not just the popular meditation style in Buddhism but also in Hinduism also. What happens at first in Deity meditation is that one must first imagine a deity in their mind. Then one meditates to please and get the blessing from that specific deity. There are specific mantras and rituals that can please the deities. Unlike the mantra meditation, you cannot form a new mantra to please the deity. The mantra to please the deity exists from thousands of years ago and the Deity meditation style in Buddhism uses those mantras.
6. Purity meditation
The human body is the combination of various parts, emotions, with their unique properties and use. They all work in a balanced form to properly function the body. When one gets over another or one gets dominant over another body becomes unstable. Moreover, the people who had dedicated their life becoming monks need more control over the body. The purity meditation style in Buddhism is a meditation designed to achieve perfect control over sexual desire.
The people who have embraced monkhood and dedicated their life to pursue enlightenment and truth cannot give in to sexual desire. They must have complete control over them, for this purpose purity meditation style in Buddhism was created. Also, not just monks’ ordinary people who are not having control over their sexual curves also can practice this meditation to get their body in balance. The monk or ordinary person all needs to function with their body in balance.
7. Zen meditation
Zen meditation is one of the popular meditation styles in Buddhism. Zen meditation is also sometimes called zazen meditation. It is also one of the most advanced forms of meditation in existence. Zen meditation is the art of letting go without being involved. The teaching of Zen meditation is simple, it is the process of untangling and separating oneself from the chaos of the world.
Zen meditation is the need of many people, especially those who get tangled into affairs that has nothing to do with them and are separate. In the Zen meditation style in Buddhism, the practitioner sits in the lotus or half-lotus position, he can keep his closed or half-closed. Then let go of all the things, the judgmental feelings emotions, all its aspects the situation, ideas, words, thoughts all the things should be passed by without getting involved in them.
The position is simple, the logic behind the technique is simple that is letting go. However, most cannot do this as they cannot let go of things without being completely detached from them. It is the hardest thing but one who achieves it masters Zen meditation.
8. Loving Kindness Meditation
Human beings are filled with lots of emotions. Those emotions are also the things that make us different from other animals in the world. However, even though they are the elements that make us different from the other animals all of them are necessarily good. Yes, some of them are good, some neutral sometimes good, and sometimes bad while some are bad. Love and kindness are the two emotions that are some of the best emotions that humans have. The loving-kindness meditation style in Buddhism uses these two emotions.
In this meditation style in Buddhism, we try to awake kindness and love within us. We have this emotion that is limited to our near people. First, we begin with that begin by showing love and kindness to the one we love. Then get to the neutral part, where we show love and kindness to the ones who are neutral to us neither are friends or family. Then comes the hardest part to show love and kindness to those with which we have negative relations and negative feelings attached.
9. Samsara meditation
Samsara is another meditation style in Buddhism. We human beings are born as an infant in this world and begin our journey, if not for the disturbances of the unnatural death causes our bodies to mature to become adult and old then dies. This is the natural flow, if not disturbed by other forces that cause premature death. In course of life, human goes through many things that cause joy, sorrow, anger, and other feelings. They are the unrepeatable part of us. No matter who they are from ordinary people to celebrities’ kings and queens all go through it. Samsara meditation style in Buddhism focuses on the sorrows of human lives.
Some people handle the joy part of life in the perfect manner, however, when the sorrow part arrives their legs start to shake. Many of us feel that it’s natural to feel that also. Here samsara meditation comes in, it helps to embrace the sorrow part of life. It does not make it go away but gives us the strength and courage to accept it. It helps the practitioners find happiness in themselves instead of depending upon others and other materials.
10. Tonglen meditation
Tonglen means giving and receiving. It is also a widely used meditation style in Buddhism. While samsara meditation embraces the suffering onto oneself Tonglen meditation embraces the suffering onto others. Buddha who founded the teaching that is now today practiced in Buddhism said to be loving and giving to others.
In this world many suffer, some lost their loved ones some are going through extreme pain, some cannot afford to eat some have no place to live. The world has enough for all of us, but some have too much and some too little. This is happening because people are not able to understand the situation and feelings of others. Tonglen meditation looks at and embraces the giving nature of the people.
First, it enables to understand the suffering of others, then makes people able to mitigate their suffering. It is not easy to understand the suffering of others, only those who have suffered the same obstacles and situations are the ones who are able to understand it closely. Tonglen meditation helps to understand it, its practices open the mind and heart to the pain and suffering of others and tries to take the pain of those people away.
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