an ancient spiritual technology that was discovered long before the establishment of the world’s major religious institutions.
All religions, at some point in their development, have utilized meditation methods in accordance with the goals of each path.
Buddhism is no different.
There are hundreds
of different methods of meditation. Meditation brings stability of mind, and psychological studies have shown that practitioners
can gain practical benefits, such as reduced stress, improved relationships, and a change in mental outlook and moral reasoning.
All methods in
Buddhism can be put into two main categories - wisdom and compassion. Two well-known meditations to develop compassion are
metta-bhavana, from the Theravada tradition, meaning “the development of loving-kindness,” and tonglen from Tibetan
Buddhism, meaning “taking [suffering] and sending [love].” The methods for developing wisdom are shamatha, meaning
“calm abiding,” which works on concentrating the mind, and vipassana, meaning “insight,” which is
a more involved type of reflection.
If anyone is interested
in pursuing meditation, it is recommended that you consult a teacher with real experience. Here are some links to credible
Zazen as taught
by the Zen Mountain Monastery: www.mro.org/zmm/teachings/meditation.php
Shamatha as taught by Sakyong Mipham
Satipatthana as taught by Nyaunggan-Aye Sayadaw: www.nibbana.com/nga02.htm
Vipassana-Bhavana as taught by Ayya Kheminda: www.enabling.org/ia/vipassana/Archive/K/Khema/guidelinesForVipassana.html
as taught by Pannyavaro: www.buddhanet.net/metta_in.htm
Tonglen as taught by Pema Chodron:
meditation instructions from other traditions, browse the links page and see Yoga or other sections.