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Transpersonal Psychology: Integral · Esoteric · Meditation

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Buddhism and psychology
Buddhist psychology
Buddhist philosophy
Buddhism and psychoanalysis
Buddhism and psychotherapy

Four Noble Truths
Noble Eightfold Path
The Five Precepts
Nirvāna · Three Jewels

Key Concepts
Three marks of existence
Skandha · Cosmology · Dharma
Samsara · Rebirth · Shunyata
Pratitya-samutpada · Karma

Practices and Attainment
Buddhahood · Bodhisattva
Four Stages of Enlightenment
Paramis · Meditation

Buddhism by Region

Schools of Buddhism
Theravāda · Mahāyāna
Vajrayāna · Early schools

Pali Suttas · Mahayana Sutras
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Comparative Studies
Culture · List of Topics

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Buddhist meditation, meditation used in the practice of Buddhism, "includes any method of meditation that has Enlightenment as its ultimate aim"1. The closest word for meditation in the classical languages of Buddhism is bhavana or "mental development"2.

The main methods

The main methods of Buddhist meditation are divided into samatha (tranquility meditations) and vipassana (insight meditations).

The samatha meditations includes anapana (mindfulness of breathing, or mindfulness of the in-breath and out-breath) and the four brahma-viras (lit. "sublime abodes") of which mettā bhāvanā (development of loving kindness) is the most often practiced one. The vipassana meditations includes contemplation on impermanence, the six element practice, and contemplation on conditionality. Samatha meditations usually precede and prepare for vipassana meditations.

Each of the five basic methods (in bold) is an "antidote" to one of the five mental "poisons".

Meditation type Method Counteracts Develops
(tranquility meditations)
anapana (mindfulnes of breathing) distraction concentration
metta bhavana hatred and sentimental attachment loving kindness
karuna bhavana cruelty, sentimental pity and horrified anxiety compassion
mudita bhavana resentment, envy and vicarious enjoyment sympathetic joy
upekkha bhavana fixed indifference and apathetic neutrality equanimity
(insight meditations)
contemplation on impermanence craving inner peace, freedom
six element practice conceit clarity regarding nature of self
contemplation on conditionality ignorance wisdom, compassion

See also


Further reading

  • Matthew Flickstein and Bhante Henepola Gunaratana. (1998) Journey to the Center: A Meditation Workbook. Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0861711416.


  • Note 1: Kamalashila (1996), Meditation: The Buddhist Art of Tranquility and Insight, Birmingham: Windhorse Publications, ISBN 1899579052.
  • Note 2: Epstein, Mark (1995), Thoughts Without a Thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective, BasicBooks, ISBN 0465039316.

External links

pt:Meditação budista fr:méditation bouddhique

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