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what types of meditation are there in Buddhism?

what types of meditation are there in Buddhism?

It is important because it enables Buddhists to give up cravings and thus attain nibbana. Vipassana meditation - This is known as insight meditation. But the most common and basic object of insight meditation is to focus on the naturally calming physical process of breathing. An example of a "generative" practice is meditation for the "development of loving-kindness" (metta bhavana).

This helps the meditator to develop an attitude of loving-kindness using memory, imagination and awareness of bodily sensations. Other generative practices in Buddhism include tonglen, the Tibetan practice of breathing in the suffering of others and exhaling a purifying white light. This practice aims to cultivate compassion. In mindfulness of breathing or metta bhavana meditation practice, it is necessary to find a balance between mindful orientation of attention and receptivity to whatever experience arises.

This attitude of open receptive attention is the emphasis of the receptive type of meditation practice. Reflective meditation involves repeatedly directing attention to a subject, but being open to whatever arises from the experience. Reflective practices in Buddhism include meditations on impermanence and interconnectedness, as well as faith-enhancing practices such as meditation on the qualities of the Buddha. Modern Buddhist scholarship has attempted to reconstruct the meditation practices of early pre-sectarian Buddhism, primarily through philological methods and textual criticism using early canonical texts.

Early Buddhism, as it existed before the development of the various schools, is called pre-sectarian Buddhism. Its meditation techniques are described in the Pali Canon and the Chinese Agamas. The earliest material in the Theravāda tradition on meditation is found in the Pali Nikayas, and in texts such as the Patisambhidamagga which provide commentaries on meditation suttas such as the Anapanasati sutta. When we embark on the practice of meditation, it can seem confusing to encounter the fact that there are many different techniques; last Wednesday (29 March), we explored this with the help of a short list entitled "The four types of meditation".

I first learned this many years ago from Ruciraketu at the Cambridge Buddhist Centre. As has been said, there are many different types of meditation practice. Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism have unique techniques, and this is one of them. Zazen belongs to the Zen tradition, and is a practice that depends on study (as all meditation should be).

In zazen meditation, you focus on the breath and let thoughts come and go. This type of meditation is especially useful for beginners because the teacher is experienced and trusted, and their guidance can be key in helping those who are new to the practice to get the most out of the experience. Therefore, the authors hypothesised that improved performance on visual tests immediately after meditation practice would indicate that phasic alertness occurred during meditation and that such improvement would be observed after Vajrayana practices. We will proceed to a review of scientific studies demonstrating a relaxation response during Theravada and Mahayana types of meditation, followed by a review of studies demonstrating tonic alertness during these practices.

While this meditation helps to develop compassion for others, its main aim is to highlight that external worldly goals (such as money, fame and nice possessions) do not bring eternal happiness. Participants who performed the meditation were compared with those in a "somatic relaxation intervention (SR) that was conducted for an identical length of time and number of sessions, in which they performed muscle relaxation techniques and breathing and imagery exercises, as well as with a wait-list control group. The types of Theravada meditation investigated were Vipassana meditation and Kasina meditation, which is a type of visualisation of Shamatha meditation in which the meditator focuses attention on the "Kasina objects described in the Pali Tipitaka, which are usually coloured discs". Meditating in a group - perhaps in a retreat called a sesshin or in a meditation hall or zendo - has the advantage of reminding the person that he or she is part of a wider Buddhist community and the wider community of beings of all species.

Cognitive and neuroscientific research in recent years has shed new light on the influences that meditative traditions have on meditation practice. We first practice the generation of metta (wishing happiness to others) by meditating on the objects for which it is easiest to awaken loving-kindness. It is usually best to select a specific part of the statue to meditate on, rather than trying to concentrate on the whole object. But the truly transformative meditations are those in which you visualise yourself as the deity, with its form, reciting its mantras and meditating on the spiritual qualities it possesses (immeasurable compassion and wisdom).

They recruited 18 experienced meditators (with an average of 10.1 years of experience) and compared the physiological measurements obtained during meditation with those obtained by the same subjects during a control condition, which was similar to the meditation condition, but in which random thought was allowed and no effortful concentration was required. This is another form of meditation that many people come to know quite early on in their meditation path.