More people than ever are turning towards Buddhist meditation to find peace and solitude.
Today’s world, with all its excitements, adventures and discoveries; moves at a very fast pace. This can be thrilling and fun-filled for the main part, but it is also exhausting for the soul. It is for this reason precisely that many people are searching for comfort and solitude amidst their sometimes chaotic everyday lives.
So, what is Buddhism? In simple terms, Buddhism is a spiritual movement designed to help a person find and experience the true nature of life. At the heart of this is movement is Buddhist meditation, which is the method and means of making this possible.
Buddhism itself is centered on the Four Noble Truths.
- The Truth of Dukkha is that all conditional phenomena and experiences are not ultimately satisfying.
- The Truth of the Origin of Dukkha is that craving for and clinging to what is pleasurable, and aversion to what is not pleasurable results in becoming, rebirth, dissatisfaction, and redeath;
- The Truth of the Cessation of Dukkha is that putting an end to this craving and clinging also means that rebirth, dissatisfaction, and redeath can no longer arise;
- The Truth of the Path Of Liberation from Dukkha is that by following the Noble Eightfold Path, i.e. behaving decently, cultivating discipline, and practicing mindfulness and meditation; an end can be put to craving, to clinging, to becoming, to rebirth, to dissatisfaction, and to redeath.
The core of Buddhist Meditation is the practice of the noble eightfold path. All eight elements of the Path begin with the word “right,”. This symbolizes; completion, togetherness, and coherence, idealism & perfection. In Buddhist symbolism, the Noble Eightfold Path is often depicted by the dharma wheel. This is eight spokes that represent the eight elements of the path.
The Noble Eightfold Path:
- Right View
- Right Intention
- Right Speech
- Right Action
- Right Livelihood
- Right Effort
- Right Mindfulness
- Right Concentration.
Buddhist Meditation is practiced with two principles. The first is Samatha, which means tranquility. The second is Vipassana, which means mindfulness.
- Samatha meditation is centered around breathing, which is designed to develop concentration, detachment, equanimity and happiness. There are 40 samatha meditation’s, each of which are designed to teach the mind to focus on a single object. This focus allows a person to produce various states of tranquility.
- Vipassana meditation however, develops ones self-understanding. Being mindful of thoughts, feelings and actions allows a person to gain insight into the true nature of reality.
Why do people practice Buddhist meditation?
Why do people meditate? Well that answer will be unique to each individual. However, the prevailing reason seems to be the search for inner peace; particularly peace of the soul. Attaining peace for many is becoming more and more elusive. In the search for more money and possessions, many people live a life of materialism. They are always looking into the future and seldom concentrate on the present. They rarely, if ever, look within them to monitor the state of their inner self.
Once someone decides to examine within, they come to find the various pieces of themselves in disarray. This is when buddhist meditation is often explored. Others meditate to contemplate life and their surrounding environments. They examine the realities of their lives and discover meaning of the world in which they belong.
Buddhist meditation is associated with enlightenment. Buddhists recognize the high instances of suffering in the world. The ultimate purpose of Buddhism meditation is to free humanity from pain and suffering. To do this effectively, one must know what causes pain and suffering. A common reason is down to desires and expectations from the world, from people in one’s life, and from life itself. Expectation usually breeds despair, and this is what man must conquer. He must stop expecting from the world.
To meditate is to be enlightened, to see things in the light of reality. Life is an ever-changing reality. To live life fully and enjoy the freedom of living, one must control their cravings and desires. Only when this is achieved will a person be able to know that life is not as complicated as commonly believed.
Buddhist Meditation is a great tool to help you find inner peace, and to preserve it, no matter how frustrating the outside world can be. Given the right motivation and the right purpose, this activity is one that will keep you focused on the truth, living in the now, and living a healthy and satisfied life.
If you’re ready to give Buddhist Meditation a go, learn about Vipassana Meditation techniques.