Significance of Meditation in Buddhism

  • Meditation is a key practise in Buddhism, helping adherents to develop mindfulness, concentration, and insight.
  • Meditation in Buddhism is not just about quieting the mind, it is a process of self-discovery, aiming to understand the true nature of reality.

Types of Buddhist Meditation

  • There are different types of meditation practises in Buddhism such as Vipassana (Insight Meditation), Samatha (Calm Meditation), Metta (Loving-Kindness Meditation) and Zazen (Zen Meditation).
  • Vipassana involves focusing on the breath and sensations in the body to develop mindfulness and insight.
  • Samatha meditation is calming meditation that helps develop concentration by focusing the mind on a single object.
  • Metta meditation involves the cultivation of unconditional and inclusive love, first for oneself and then gradually for all beings.
  • Zazen, is a form of meditation practised in Zen Buddhism, it involves sitting in various lotus positions to still the mind and body to experience insight into the nature of existence.

The Process of Meditation

  • Before beginning to meditate, Buddhists recommend finding a quiet and comfortable place to sit, free from distractions.
  • During meditation, the practitioner relaxes their body and mind whilst focusing their attention variously on their breathing, on an object, or mantra. This might be a word or sound repeated to aid concentration and bring about a state of tranquil alertness.
  • Meditators are encouraged to acknowledge and let go of distractions without judgement or engagement.

Effect of Meditation on an Individual

  • Regular practise can result in the development of mindfulness and mental clarity, promoting happiness, peace, and equanimity.
  • Meditation has a positive impact on an individual’s lifestyle; it can reduce stress, anxiety and can improve focus, concentration, and general wellbeing.
  • Through meditation, Buddhists believe that they can catch a glimpse of Enlightenment, or even achieve Enlightenment if they practise diligently and effectively.