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Meditation Brings Wisdom, Lack Of Meditation Leaves Ignorance, Know Well What Leads You Forward And What Hold You Back, And Choose The Path That Leads To Wisdom. Excellent Wisdom Quote by Khalll Gibran ~ The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind. With the hectic pace and demands of modern life, many people feel stressed and over-worked. Meditation is a practice that makes it possible to cultivate and develop certain basic positive human qualities in the same way as other forms of training make it possible to play a musical instrument or acquire any other skill.
Among several Asian words that translate as “meditation” in English are bhavana from Sanskrit, which means “to cultivate,” and its Tibetan equivalent, gom, meaning “to become familiar with.” Meditation helps us to familiarize ourselves with a clear and accurate way of seeing things and to cultivate wholesome qualities that remain dormant within us unless we make an effort to draw them out. From a Buddhist point of view, the traditional texts say every being has the potential for enlightenment just as surely as every sesame seed contains oil. Sometimes practitioners of meditation are accused of being too focused on themselves, of wallowing in egocentric introspection and failing to be concerned with others. If we practise patiently in this way, gradually our distracting thoughts will subside and we will experience a sense of inner peace and relaxation.
Even though breathing meditation is only a preliminary stage of meditation, it can be quite powerful.
When the turbulence of distracting thoughts subsides and our mind becomes still, a deep happiness and contentment naturally arises from within. There are hundreds of different Buddhist meditation techniques, most of which are specific to a particular branch of Buddhism, or even a specific teacher. Tranquility or Concentration Meditation (Samatha Bhavana) – In this form of meditation, you begin by concentrating on one object of focus, attempting to slow, and eventually quiet, your mind. There are dozens (if not hundreds) of other forms of concentration meditation taught in various Buddhist schools. Insight meditation (Vipassana Bhavana) – Sometimescalled mindfulness meditation, these forms of meditation are not just about stilling the mind, but about observing it. Lovingkindness meditation (Metta Bhavana) – Also sometimes called compassion meditation, these forms of meditation are sometimes classified as Concentration forms, because they initially involve focusing on sending feelings of compassion or love towards other people and beings. Although most meditation forms can be categorized as one of these three, some techniques crossover, and many Buddhist schools teach more than one, or combine them.
Zazen Mediation – This is the Zen term for meditation, and zazen is central to Zen practice, because Zen emphasizes direct realization or satori.
Mantra Meditation – Mantras are sacred sounds and words repeated in a chant-like fashion.
Mandala or Yantra Meditation – Mandalas and yantras are both forms of religious art that employ sacred geometry to create representations of Buddhas and the states of realization they are associated with. Chakra Meditation – While chakra meditation is more commonly associated with Hindu-based kundalini yoga, some Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhist schools do have their own related chakra system, and utilize chakra meditation. Guru or Deity Meditation – Also most frequently found in Vajrayana Buddhist schools, guru or deity meditation involves initially visualizing a Buddha or teacher external to oneself, and then imagining oneself as that Buddha or teacher.
At the Buddha Center, our ordained monastics provide excellent guidance to those with serious intent in preparation to becoming a Buddhist. We can learn how to transform our mind from negative to positive, from disturbed to peaceful, from unhappy to happy. Despite this, to use another traditional comparison, we wander about in confusion like a beggar who is simultaneously rich and poor because he does not know he has a treasure buried under the floor of his hut.
But we cannot regard as selfish a process whose goal is to root out the obsession with self and to cultivate altruism.
Let me point out right away that meditation is not an attempt to create a blank mind by blocking out thoughtswhich is impossible anyway. We can see from this practice that it is possible to experience inner peace and contentment just by controlling the mind, without having to depend at all upon external conditions.
This feeling of contentment and well-being helps us to cope with the busyness and difficulties of daily life. The most common form of this meditation is focusing on your breath – the sensations associated with your breath moving in and out of your body. In the fifth-century Theravadin text the Visuddhimagga, over 40 different objects of focus are described, and the text suggests which types are best for each individual based on certain personality traits. Although instructions differ by school, the general idea is to note sensations, emotions and thoughts as they arise, but to let them pass through your mind without attaching to them.
This is usually done in a progressive fashion, starting with directing these thoughts towards yourself, then towards family and friends, and eventually to all beings. Some schools require that novices perform preliminary practices, and develop knowledge of fundamental Buddhist principles, prior to learning to meditate, while others do not. This form of meditation is common in Tibetan Buddhist schools, but other schools also incorporate it. By meditating on them through gentle gazing, a practitioner can merge with this awareness and directly experience these states him- or herself. The goal is to experience and merge with universal energies available through these chakras, transforming mind, body and spirit into a vessel of pure enlightenment. Like mandala meditation, the purpose of this is to experience the enlightened mind of this teacher or being directly for oneself, through the highest state of meditative dyhana. This helps us to develop and maintain a clear mind, and it allows the subtle energy winds to flow freely. If the eyes are wide open we are likely to develop mental excitement and if they are closed we are likely to develop mental sinking. Overcoming negative minds and cultivating constructive thoughts is the purpose of the transforming meditations found in the Buddhist tradition. Am I going to ignore the vague sense of discontent that I always feel deep down when, at the same time, I am longing for well-being and fulfillment?” We have become accustomed to thinking that our shortcomings are inevitable and that we have to put up with the setbacks they have brought us throughout our lives. The goal of the Buddhist path is to come into possession of this overlooked wealth of ours, which can imbue our lives with the most profound meaning. This would be like blaming an aspiring doctor for spending years studying medicine before beginning to practice. Nor is it engaging the mind in endless cogitation in an attempt to analyze the past or anticipate the future. When the sea is rough, sediment is churned up and the water becomes murky, but when the wind dies down the mud gradually settles and the water becomes clear. So much of the stress and tension we normally experience comes from our mind, and many of the problems we experience, including ill health, are caused or aggravated by this stress. Many Buddhist schools use some form of breath meditation as beginning meditation practice, before teaching other forms.

Tibetan Buddhist schools incorporate external objects of focus such as mandalas and mantras, some of which are described later in this article. This form of meditation is prevalent in Mahayana Buddhist traditions as part of Boddhisattva practice. Buddhism is usually taught in a teacher-student relationship, so most Buddhist teaching centers have classes specifically on meditation. In koan meditation, a practitioner contemplates a seemingly non-sensical statement or story given to them by their teacher, in order to experience a level of awareness beyond rational or linear knowledge.
To help us do this, if we are sitting on a cushion we make sure that the back of the cushion is slightly higher than the front, inclining our pelvis slightly forward. This is a profound spiritual practice you can enjoy throughout the day, not just while seated in meditation. We take the dysfunctional aspects of ourselves for granted, not realizing that it is possible to break out of the vicious cycle of exhausting behavior patterns.
Neither is it a simple process of relaxation in which inner conflicts are temporarily suspended in a vague, amorphous state of consciousness. In a similar way, when the otherwise incessant flow of our distracting thoughts is calmed through concentrating on the breath, our mind becomes unusually lucid and clear. Just by doing breathing meditation for ten or fifteen minutes each day, we will be able to reduce this stress.
In some schools, breath meditation is the only form of meditation taught, and different levels of practice, or dhyanas, are described, progressing from the beginning stages of forced concentration up to a state of pure immersion in equanimity, as the mind stills and relaxes into pure being or awareness. Although anyone can begin meditating on their own, especially with simple concentration forms such as breath meditation, as a student progresses a teachers guidance is often helpful in helping him or her sort through the various distraction that can arise. Shikantaza practice is similar to Insight meditation, with a practitioner attempting to observe and settle into a level of awareness untouched by surface activity and categorizations. It is not necessary at first to sit cross-legged, but it is a good idea to become accustomed to sitting in the posture of Buddha Vairochana.
The right hand symbolizes method and the left hand symbolizes wisdom – the two together symbolize the union of method and wisdom. We will experience a calm, spacious feeling in the mind, and many of our usual problems will fall away. Breath meditation is also often taught for stress management purposes, outside of a Buddhist context.
One unique mark of zazen in some schools of both branches of Zen is that the eyes are kept open during practice.
If we cannot hold this posture we should sit in one which is as close to this as possible while remaining comfortable. There is indeed an element of relaxation in meditation, but it is connected with the relief that comes from letting go of hopes and fears, of attachments and the whims of the ego that never stop feeding our inner conflicts. Difficult situations will become easier to deal with, we will naturally feel warm and well disposed towards other people, and our relationships with others will gradually improve.There are hundreds of different Buddhist meditation techniques, most of which are specific to a particular branch of Buddhism, or even a specific teacher.
A simple ten or fifteen minute breathing meditation as explained below can help you to overcome your stress and find some inner peace and balance. Otherwise you will miss most of your life.The past is already gone, the future is not yet here.
She died in childbirth and her son who was given the name of Siddhartha was brought up by his aunt and step-mother, Prajapati Gautami.
After the name of the Sakya tribe to which his father belonged he was also called Sakya-Sinha, or lion amongst the Sakyas, and later on, Sakya-Muni or sage amongst the Sakyas. For one year he studied Indian philosophy, but it gave him no solution.Then for the next five years he practised severe austerities hoping thereby to find the way to salvation.
His yogic practices may have included hatha yoga, yogasanas, kriya yoga and other processes to raise the kundalini.
The samana tradition is an ancient yogic tradition that also included Mahavir Jain, the founder of Jainism. Then one day as he sat immersed in deep meditation under the famous Bodhi tree of modern Bodh Gaya on the bank of the Niranjana, enlightenment came to him and he realised the truth.
Henceforth he came to be known as the Buddha or the Enlightened and decided to spend the rest of his life in preaching the truth as he saw it.
He died at the age of eighty at Kusinagara which has been identified by many archaeologists with Kasia in the Gorakhpur district. The date of his Parinirvana or decease, like the date of his birth, has not yet been decided with accuracy, though it is admitted by all that he was contemporary with kings Bimbisara and Ajatasatru of Magadha and died in the reign of the latter. Thirdly, he was the first founder of a religion who organised a brotherhood of monks and started evangelization in an organised manner by peaceful means alone carrying the message of equality, peace, mercy. Lastly, he put reason above everything and exhorted his followers to accept nothing as true unless it stood the test of reasoning.
These are the versions that are associated with the Dalai Lama, mandalas and other such types. But these misunderstandings (tantra yoga itself has nothing to do with sexuality) are only recent.
Buddhism the religion founded by Gautama Buddha in the latter half of the sixth century BC. It started with the basic principles of rebirth and karma which were then accepted by Indian philosophers as truths which required no proof.
The karma doctrine means that the merits and demerits of a being in his past existences determine his condition in the present life. The doctrine of rebirth implies that at death the body perishes, but the soul which is immortal, takes new births until it attains salvation. But according to the Buddhist view the connecting link between a fiJrmer existence and a later one is not to be fimnd in the soul, the existence and immortality of which are assumed by Hindu philosophers but denied by Buddhism.
Buddhism holds that the suffering inseparably connected with existence is mainly due to desire, to a craving thirst for satisfying the senses.
Therefore the extinction of desire will lead to the cessation of existence by rebirth and of consequent suffering. Desire can be extinguished if one followed the Noble Eightfold Path which consists of the following: ( l) right views or beliefs meaning simply a knowledge of the Four Noble Truths and of the doctrine of rebirth and karma implied in them.
Buddhism repudiates the authority of the Vedas, denies the spiritual efficacy of Vedic rites and sacrifices, denies the efficacy of prayers and practically ignores the existence of a Supreme Being or God. It holds that the acceptance of the Four Noble Truths and the pursuit of the Noble Eightfold Path which is open to all, irrespective of caste and sex, laymen as well as monks and nuns, will lead to the extinction of desire and this will lead to Nirvana which it is possible to attain even in this life and will free a person from the curse of re-birth. It holds that it is easier for a monk living a secluded life to attain Nirvana but it is also open to lay Buddhists to attain the same.

The Buddhist monks are not priests and they can pray neither for themselves nor for others who may wish to employ them.
They arc an intellectual aristocracy like the Brahmans and are to be maintained by pious Buddhists. Buddhism requires no church or temple, but it recognises congregational discourses where the teachings of Gautama Buddha are recited and explained. The founder of Buddhism, Gautama Buddha, himself is to be recognised as a supremely wise person who has known the truth, but not as God to whom prayers can be addressed.It was spread by Gautama Buddha during his lifetime in the Gangetic valley of Uttara Pradesha and of Bihar. About 250 years after the decease of Gautama Buddha Emperor Asoka embraced the religion, sent Buddhist missionaries throughout India as well as to many countries outside India and thus started Buddhism on its victorious career which gradually turned it into a world religion. The First Council met at Rajagriha (modern Rajgir) in Bihar soon after the death of Gautama Buddha.
It was attended by the Buddhist elders (Theras) and was presided over by one of Buddha’s prominent Brahman disciples, named Mahakassapa.
As Buddha had left none of his teachings in writing so at this Council three of his disciples, Kasyapa, the most learned, Upali, the oldest and Ananda, the most favoured of Buddha’s disciples, recited his teachings which were at first learnt orally and transmitted by teachers to disciples and were much later on put down in writing. A century later a Second Council of the Buddhist elders met at Vaisali to settle a dispute that had arisen by that time amongst the Buddhist monks on certain questions of discipline.
The Council decided in favour of rigid discipline and revised the Buddhist scriptures which were still unwritten.
A Third Council met, according to tradition, 236 years after the death of Buddha, under the patronage of King Asoka Maurya. It was presided over by monk Tissa Moggaliputta, the author of the Kathavattu, a sacred Buddhist text.
This Council is believed to have drawn up the Buddhist canon in the final form of the Tripitaka or the Three Baskets, and gave its decisions on all disputed points. If the Sarnath Pillar Edict of Asoka is correctly believed to have been issued after the session of this Third Council it can be rightly held that its decisions were not accepted by so many Buddhist monks and nuns that King Asoka found it necessary to threaten the schismatics with dire punishment. The Fourth and last Council of the Buddhist elders met during the reign of Kanishka, the Kushana king (c. It drew up authentic commentaries on the canon and these were engraved on copper-plates which were encased in a stone-coffer and kept for safety in the Kundalavana monastery. These have not yet been found.Buddhist scriptures-have all grown after the death of Gautama Buddha who left nothing in writing. The scriptures known as the Tripitaka are believed to have been first recited by Ananda, Upali and Kasyapa, three close disciples of Gautama Buddha, at the session of the First Council of the Buddhist elders which met at Rajagriha soon after Buddha’s death. For many centu-ries these were learnt orally, being transmitted by teachers to their disciples and it was not till 80 B.C. The Sutta contains stories and parables related by Buddha during his preaching tours; the Vitzaya lays down the laws and rules of discipline and the Abkidhamma contains the doctrines and metaphysical views of Buddhism. The Sutta is subdivided into five Nikayas of varying length, one of which contains the Dhammapada, Thera and Tkerigathas and the]atakas; the Vinaya has three sub-divisions, while the Abhidhamma has seven sub-divisions of which the celebrated Dhammasangini is the first. The scriptures of the Hinayana are written in Pali while those of the Mahayana in Sanskrit.Consequently the Hinayana is often known as the Pali school and the Mahayana as the Sanskrit school of Buddhism.
Again, the Hinayana prevails mainly in Sri Lanka and Burma and is consequently often called the Southern Buddhism while the Mahayana which mainly prevails in Nepal, China, Tibet, Mongolia, Korea and Japan is called the Northern Buddhism.
As all Buddhist canonical literature wherever it might have extended, arose in northern India and the two schools possess traces of mutual influence so the division of the Buddhist Church into Northern and Southern Schools is more or less unjustified. As the two schools represent only different aspects of the same religious system so the use of terms lower and higher is not also justifiable.
Indeed many prefer to call the Hinayana as Theravada, that is to say, the opinion of the Theras or older monks. Mahayanism was not a sudden development; it developed slowly and gradually in the course of some centuries. 120), though Nagarjuna who was a contemporary and protege of Kanishka exposed in his Karika the hollowness of the Hinayana thought.
It was, therefore, between the second and the fourth centuries of the Christian era that Mahayanism fully developed in India. It was also during this period that many non-Indians were converted to Buddhism.This circumstance has led to the theory that Mahayanism was developed in order to meet their requirements.
There are, however, reasons for holding that Mahayanism grew up in order to meet the religious and philosophical needs of the Indian Buddhists themselves though in later times it grew more popular outside India. According to the Hinayana Gautama is the Buddha, the sole Buddha, who now reposes in Nirvana, the absence of desire and striving, having left to mankind a simple rule by which the?
This creed knows no prayers, invocations or offerings and worships no images, for Buddha is not God, but a man who has attained perfection and thrown off the karma which dooms mankind to successive existences in the world of pain and sorrow. Each is to work for himself and attain Nirvana by overcoming all thirst or attachment by living a good life as indicated by the Noble Eightfold Path. According to the Mahayana, Gautama is merely one re-incarnation in a vast series of Buddhas stretching from an illimitable past into an equally infinite future. Not only in this world but in other worlds numerous as the sands of the Ganges, Buddhas have lived and preached at intervals separated by myriads of years from a time past human calculation.
Ultimately in China Amida or Amitabha Buddha, a personage unknown to early Buddhist scriptures, became the object of almost exclusive devotion and his pure paradise, called the Western Heaven, the goal to which the pious should aspire. The Mahayana holds that the ultimate aim of the life of a Buddhist is not the attainment of individual liberation.
A person who acquires enlightenment should not remain satisfied with his own Nirvana, but should work for the good of his fellowmen.
Thus Buddhas and Bodhisattvas came to be worshiped and their images were made and installed in temples where these were worshiped with various rituals and incantations. Every incident of Buddha’s life as well as of his previous births familiarised by the Jataka stories and by later biographical sketches like the Lalitavistara came to be depicted in Buddhist sculptures. Using Sanskrit in its rituals and scriptures and worshiping images of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas Mahayanism tended to shorten the breach that separated Buddhism from Hinduism within the wide folds of which it was ultimately assimilated. In spite of the differences that exist between the Hinayana and the Mahayana there are not two Buddhisms.

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