meditation techniques of the buddhist and taoist masters pdf

Meditation techniques of the buddhist and taoist masters pdf

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The Fundamentals of Meditation Practice – a Zen guide

Meditation Techniques of the Buddhist and Taoist Masters

Masters of Meditation and Miracles: Lives of the Great Buddhist Masters of India and Tibet

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British Broadcasting Corporation Home. This article looks at Buddhist meditation, its purpose and the different approaches to meditation. Meditation is a mental and physical course of action that a person uses to separate themselves from their thoughts and feelings in order to become fully aware.

It plays a part in virtually all religions although some don't use the word 'meditation' to describe their particular meditative or contemplative practice. Meditation does not always have a religious element. It is a natural part of the human experience and is increasingly used as a therapy for promoting good health and boosting the immune system.

Anyone who has looked at a sunset or a beautiful painting and felt calm and inner joy, while their mind becomes clear and their perception sharpens, has had a taste of the realm of meditation. Successful meditation means simply being - not judging, not thinking, just being aware, at peace and living each moment as it unfolds. In Buddhism the person meditating is not trying to get into a hypnotic state or contact angels or any other supernatural entity.

Meditation involves the body and the mind. For Buddhists this is particularly important as they want to avoid what they call 'duality' and so their way of meditating must involve the body and the mind as a single entity. In the most general definition, meditation is a way of taking control of the mind so that it becomes peaceful and focused, and the meditator becomes more aware.

The purpose of meditation is to stop the mind rushing about in an aimless or even a purposeful stream of thoughts. People often say that the aim of meditation is to still the mind. There are a number of methods of meditating - methods which have been used for a long time and have been shown to work. People can meditate on their own or in groups. Meditating in a group - perhaps at a retreat called a sesshin or in a meditation room or zendo - has the benefit of reminding a person that they are both part of a larger Buddhist community, and part of the larger community of beings of every species.

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All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. These lines from the ancient Buddhist scripture the Dhammapada suggest that the mental states we experience are the key to everything in our lives. If we are consumed by craving or aversion, we will experience the world very differently from the way we will experience it if we are overflowing with generosity and kindness. Buddhist meditation is an invitation to turn one's awareness away from the world of activity that usually preoccupies us to the inner experience of thoughts, feelings and perceptions.

For Buddhists, the realm of meditation comprises mental states such as calm, concentration and one-pointedness which comprises the six forces: hearing, pondering, mindfulness, awareness, effort and intimacy. The practice of meditation is consciously employing particular techniques that encourage these states to arise. Some classical meditation methods use the meditator's own breathing. They may just sit and concentrate on their breathing It is important not to think: "I am breathing".

When a person does that they separate themselves from the breathing and start thinking of themselves as separate from what they are doing - the aim is just to be aware of breathing. This is more difficult than it sounds. Some meditators prefer to count breaths, trying to count up to ten without any distraction at all, and then starting again at one. If they get distracted they notice the distraction and go back to counting. But there are many methods of meditation - some involve chanting mantras, some involve concentrating on a particular thing such as a candle flame or a flower.

Nor does meditation have to involve keeping still; walking meditation is a popular Zen way of doing it, and repetitive movements using beads or prayer wheels are used in other faiths. In the West, for many of those who want to explore a spiritual path, meditation is the first thing they encounter. There are many formulations of the Buddhist path to spiritual awakening but the threefold path is generally seen as the most basic one.

The first training, and the indispensable basis for spiritual development, according to the Buddha, is ethics shila. Buddhism does not have laws or commandments but its five ethical precepts are guidelines for how to live in a way that avoids harming others or oneself. Meditation samadhi is the second training.

Acting ethically gives rise to a simpler life and a clear conscience, which are a sound basis for meditation practice. Meditation clarifies and concentrates the mind in preparation for the third training: developing wisdom prajna. The real aim of all Buddhist practice is to understand the true nature of our lives and experience. A useful way of understanding the diversity of meditation practices is to think of the different types of meditation. This isn't a traditional list - it comes from modern meditation teachers who draw on more than one Asian Buddhist tradition.

Neither are there hard and fast distinctions. A particular meditation practice usually includes elements of all four approaches but with the emphasis on one particular aspect. Connected with meditation, but not quite the same as it, is the practice of mindfulness. This, too, is an essential part of Buddhist practice and means becoming more fully aware of what one is experiencing in all aspects of one's life.

Mindfulness always plays a part in meditation, but meditation, in the sense of setting out to become more and more concentrated, is not necessarily a part of mindfulness. In principle, any object will do - a sound, a visual image such as a candle flame, or a physical sensation. In the tantric Buddhism of Tibet and elsewhere, meditators visualise complex images of Buddha forms and recite sacred sounds or mantras in fact these images and sounds have significance beyond simply being objects of concentration.

But the most common and basic object of concentrative meditation is to focus on the naturally calming physical process of the breath. In the 'mindfulness of breathing', one settles the mind through attending to the sensations of breathing. An example of a 'generative' practice is the 'development of loving kindness' meditation metta bhavana.

This helps the person meditating to develop an attitude of loving kindness using memory, imagination and awareness of bodily sensations. In the first stage you feel metta for yourself with the help of an image like golden light or phrases such as 'may I be well and happy, may I progress. In the second stage you think of a good friend and, using an image, a phrase, or simply the feeling of love, you develop metta towards them.

In the last stage, you feel metta for all four people at once - yourself, the friend, the neutral person and the enemy. Then you extend the feeling of love from your heart to everyone in the world, to all beings everywhere. Scripture on this practice says: 'As a mother would risk her life to protect her child, her only child, even so should one cultivate a limitless heart with regard to all beings.

With goodwill for the entire cosmos cultivate a limitless heart. Other generative practices in Buddhism include tonglen - the Tibetan practice of breathing in the suffering of others and breathing out a purifying white light.

This practice is aimed at cultivating compassion. In the mindfulness of breathing or the metta bhavana meditation practice, a balance needs to be struck between consciously guiding attention and being receptive to whatever experience is arising. This attitude of open receptive attention is the emphasis of the receptive type of meditation practice. Sometimes such practices are simply concerned with being mindful. In zazen or 'just sitting' practice from the Japanese Zen tradition, one sits calmly, aware of what is happening in one's experience without judging, fantasising or trying to change things.

A similar practice in Tibetan tradition is dzogchen. In both cases, the meditator sits with their eyes open. Usually people close their eyes to meditate.

Zazen and dzogchen practices gain depth from the underlying belief in the significance of being in the present moment. Reflective meditation involves repeatedly turning your attention to a theme 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.

The classical meditation position is 'the lotus position'. This involves sitting cross-legged with the left foot on top of the right thigh and the right foot on top of the left thigh. If you can't manage that it is still good to sit on the floor either kneeling or cross-legged with enough support to have both knees on the ground and the back erect without having to strain.

But it is possible to meditate in any stable posture that keeps the spine straight. Sitting quietly in a chair is perfectly acceptable. While it helps for the body to be alert, relaxed and stable, meditation is really about the mind and the inner experience.

Posture is a support to that but most Buddhist traditions do not regard it as an end in itself. It is useful to take time before and after you meditate to settle into and emerge from the practice.

It is always a good idea to have some space to let thoughts die down and tune into your feelings and bodily sensations. Just as many people practice hatha yoga which is Hindu in origin or T'ai Chi which is Taoist for their health benefits, so many people practice Buddhist meditation without being a Buddhist.

It is a valuable tool for developing self-knowledge, learning to concentrate and dealing with stress. In recent years there has been growing interest in using meditation and mindfulness in palliative care, particularly learning to cope with chronic pain and preventing relapse into depression.

In the UK, as in many other western countries, there are many Buddhist centres and independent teachers offering meditation classes and courses. But the general advice from Buddhists is that it helps to meditate with others and to have teachers who can help you with issues that arise along the way.

It also helps to go on retreat with other meditators, when you can focus on meditation more fully. Practitioners turn off the automatic pilot that most of us operate from throughout the day -- we don't really notice all the things that are going on around us or within our own minds. They try to experience each moment directly. They don't let thoughts, memories, fears or hopes get in the way.

Another way of looking at this is to say that a Zen practitioner tries to be completely aware in the activity of any particular moment -- to the extent that they are one with what they are doing. So, for example:. Zen practice is to realise that thoughts are a natural faculty of mind and should not be stopped, ignored, or rejected. Instead, thinking, especially discursive thinking, is to be acknowledged but then put to one side so that the mind is not carried away by worries, anxieties, and endless hopes and fears.

This is liberation from the defilements of the mind, the suffering of the mind, leaving the truth of this vast, unidentifiable moment plain to see. In Zen Buddhism the purpose of meditation is to stop the mind rushing about in an aimless or even a purposeful stream of thoughts. People often say that the aim of meditation is "to still the mind".

Zen Buddhism offers a number of methods of meditation to people - methods which have been used for a long time, and which have been shown to work.

The Fundamentals of Meditation Practice – a Zen guide

Chapter 4 of The Breath of Life. One who has gradually practiced, Developed and brought to perfection Mindfulness of the in-and-out breath As taught by the Enlightened One, Illuminates the entire world Like the moon when freed from clouds. Theragatha T here is much more Buddhist material on Breath Meditation than that of other traditions. So we have over two thousand years of very clear teaching on the subject.

Pre—philosophical speculations and diverse ascetic practices of first millennium BCE were systematized into a formal philosophy in early centuries CE by the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. These sutras present the essence of yoga in. Hatha Yoga is known for the asanas or postures. Won't You Join the Dance. Philosophies called for the liberties that the English people had won in their glorious revolution and. Two yoga disciplines gained prominence at this time: karma yoga path of action or ritual and jnana yoga path of knowledge or study of the scriptures. The Freemasons.

Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique — such as mindfulness , or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity — to train attention and awareness , and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state. Meditation is practiced in numerous religious traditions. The earliest records of meditation dhyana are found in the ancient Hindu texts known as the Vedas , and meditation plays a salient role in the contemplative repertoire of Hinduism and Buddhism. Meditation may significantly reduce stress , anxiety , depression , and pain , [8] and enhance peace, perception, [9] self-concept , and well-being. The English meditation is derived from Old French meditacioun , in turn from Latin meditatio from a verb meditari , meaning "to think, contemplate, devise, ponder".


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Meditation Techniques of the Buddhist and Taoist Masters

The Chan School was strongly influenced by Taoist philosophy , especially Neo-Daoist thought, and developed as a distinct school of Chinese Buddhism. In more recent times, the lowercase "zen" is used when discussing the philosophy and was officially added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in The practice of Buddhist meditation first entered China through the translations of An Shigao fl. According to John R.

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Masters of Meditation and Miracles: Lives of the Great Buddhist Masters of India and Tibet

Did you know that there are as many meditation techniques as there are sports? And the only way to find out the best types of meditation for you is to try them. As you may know, meditation has dozens of benefits , and everybody is doing it. You look for information online or on a bookstore, and see that there are a LOT of different styles of meditation. You wonder which way is best for you.

Meditation has been and remains a central practice in the Daoist Taoist tradition. It provides a general overview of the five major forms of Daoist meditation, namely, apophatic meditation, ingestion, visualization, inner observation, and internal alchemy. Ingestion fuqi and visualization cunxiang were first systematized in the early medieval period.

British Broadcasting Corporation Home. This article looks at Buddhist meditation, its purpose and the different approaches to meditation. Meditation is a mental and physical course of action that a person uses to separate themselves from their thoughts and feelings in order to become fully aware.

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Embryonic Breathing can again be divided into Yin and Yang. In addition, Black Belt produces and markets over 75 martial arts-oriented books and videos including many about the works of Bruce Lee, the best-known marital arts figure in the world. But briefly it goes like this: First, you find a center of your upper Dantien and a center of the lower Dantien. Yang, Jwing-Ming teaches the theory and practice of embryonic breathing. Since Chen and his fellow practitioners conceived of the Daoist self-cultivation tradition as a public resource, they also transformed it from an "esoteric" pursuit into a public practice, offering a modernizing society a means of managing the body and the mind and of forging a new cultural, spiritual, and religious identity.

Traditional Chinese medicine and Chinese martial arts have adapted certain Daoist meditative techniques. Some examples are Tao yin "guide and pull" breathing exercises, Neidan "internal alchemy" techniques, Neigong "internal skill" practices, Qigong breathing exercises, Zhan zhuang "standing like a post" techniques. The opposite direction of adoption has also taken place, when the martial art of Taijiquan , "great ultimate fist", become one of the practices of modern Daoist monks, while historically it was not among traditional techniques. The Chinese language has several keywords for Daoist meditation practices, some of which are difficult to translate accurately into English. Livia Kohn a distinguishes three basic types of Daoist meditation: "concentrative", "insight", and "visualization". In this sense, Kohn c renders ding as "intent contemplation" or "perfect absorption.

Please note: In order to keep Hive up to date and provide users with the best features, we are no longer able to fully support Internet Explorer. The site is still available to you, however some sections of the site may appear broken. We would encourage you to move to a more modern browser like Firefox, Edge or Chrome in order to experience the site fully. Download - Immediately Available. A guide to the mental disciplines and visualizations that Masters have used for ages in their quest for illumination.

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