Previously, guest author, Richard wrote popular articles about Om Mantra Chanting, The Awakening of Kundalini and Energy Centers, Yoga Pranayama for Beginners and So Hum Mantra Meditation. Today he teaches us 3 wonderful Buddhist Meditation Techniques. Each of these techniques is time tested and will suit different aspirants depending on their personality and preferences. Read on below and find one that is right for you.
Richard is a meditation teacher and author, and you will find more information on the courses he offers on his website How to Meditate n Heal.
How to Meditate — Three Different Buddhist Meditation Techniques
By Richard Crown
Discover how to meditate using the path that best suits your personality. You can successfully practice meditation many different ways. Choose the method below that best suits you, or combine the practices.
Buddhist Meditation Technique One: Empty Mind
Vipassana, or Anapanasati, is the classical Theraveda Buddhist meditation technique. Buddha reached Enlightenment under the Bodhi tree in North India using this empty mind meditation practice.
The method is very simple. There are only three basic components. The actual practice is very difficult.
- Sit in a meditation posture. Full lotus is best if you can do it without discomfort. Other postures that work well are the half lotus and Burmese postures. If you’re uncomfortable on the floor, sitting comfortably erect on a chair with both feet flat on the ground will work better for you.
- Use diaphragmatic (abdominal) breathing. Observe the feel of your breath coming in through your nose and going out through your mouth. Breathe deeply, gently and regularly. This will soon become an effortless habit.
- Observe your thoughts without following them. Simply watch each thought arise in your mind and then disappear.
After some time, your thoughts will slow. You’ll notice a small gap between thoughts. Rest your mind in these gaps of ‘no thought’ as long as possible, making them longer and longer, until no more thoughts arise. Your mind becomes empty and calm.
Buddhists liken the untrained mind to a drunken monkey leaping about. There’s absolutely no way to predict or control a drunken monkey’s next wild antic. The same is true of your mind. Wild, crazy thoughts leap about in an ever shifting landscape of stories that continually stir up your emotions.
Many years of dedicated, daily Vipassana practice can be necessary to tame your ‘monkey mind’. But the wise understand that the path is the goal.
Buddhist Meditation Technique Two: Loving Kindness
Buddhist have developed other methods that are also used by Gurus and Yogis.
Mahayana Buddhism advocates actively practicing loving kindness to work first for your own liberation, then for the liberation of all beings. A popular mehtta (loving kindness) meditation is:
- Visualize Buddha directly in front of you. At his sides and behind him are all the many other Buddhas, Bodhisatvas and Daikinis.
- See and feel their immense love pouring into your heart.
- Visualize the people you love most directly behind you, then your friends behind them and then the rest of humanity behind them.
- Send the love pouring into the front of your heart out of your back into all those behind you. This beautiful stream of love flowing through you cleanses and purifies you very quickly.
Notice that this method involves actively using your mind to visualize, observe and control subtle energy. This is quite easy to learn with a good teacher. He will give you the initiations to bring this type of mediation to life for you, saving you years of practice.
Buddhist Meditation Technique Three: Guru Puja
Vajrayana Buddhism, or the Diamond Path, is practiced by Tibetan Buddhists. Gurus and Yogis often use the same kinds of practices. These are very powerful methods. Sometimes realization occurs instantly if the student is ready.
- The teacher, or Guru, uses his psychic abilities to place his own ability to meditate in deep states into his student’s minds. Students instantly become able to meditate in very profound states.
- The student then diligently does the practice the Guru prescribes to anchor the state in himself.
There is another very important aspect of Guru Puja. The student actually worships the Divine aspect of his Guru’s nature, which has been completely purified and dissolved into the Divine by the Guru’s own devoted practice.
A strong personal connection between teacher and student is necessary to make this type of practice work best.
- Meditate on your Guru, the Guru’s picture or an object that your Guru has impregnated with energy.
- See/feel the Guru’s Divine essence entering your heart and mind. Expand the Divine luminescence out through your entire being until you become Divine, just like your teacher.
The Divine essence is a lovely luminescent energy that is the inherent, basic nature of all humans. Becoming enlightened is the process of stripping away everything in your mind that’s obscuring your luminescence. Your Divinity then shines forth to all.
A good teacher can guide you through the process of discovering your inner luminescence in a few weeks or months. It’s then up to you to continue your practice, going ever deeper into Divinity.
Please, choose your meditation technique and start meditating today. Liberation isn’t far away!
You can find helpful meditation resources on Richard Crown’s site How to Meditate n Heal where he teaches all of the techniques above and more via Skype and Teleconference. Books, videos and the blog are all free for you. Meditation webinars, forum and personal courses are also available. Have a look now!