Buddhism offers a smorgasbord of different meditation techniques we can practice to achieve everything we could possibly wish for: from developing peace, eliminating our anger, cultivating compassion, to meditations that will bring us to ultimate, ever-lasting happiness and wisdom (also known as achieving Enlightenment in Buddhism).
Below I’ve listed the most common meditation techniques that can be found across a variety of different Buddhist schools and traditions. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but hopefully it can be used as a framework to help you understand how these different meditations can be used, and may assist you in choosing which ones you might like to try and explore further. (more…)
Walking meditation is a great practice for those of us who experience pain or discomfort when doing sitting meditation. At full day retreats, it is common to interchange sitting and walking meditation so that one hour sitting meditation is followed by half an hour walking meditation. Walking meditation can increase our concentration and mindfulness especially when our mind is extremely distracted or agitated. In this video I give some simple instructions on my favorite walking meditation technique and I explain the benefits of practicing walking meditation in general. (more…)
This is an ancient technique that works wonders in our modern world. Not only does it help us to relax, but it brings clarity to our busy mind. The two breathing exercises shown in this video are what are commonly taught when people come to learn meditation as a tool for increasing mindfulness. Mindfulness is a hot topic at the moment and is being taught everywhere from schools to businesses, it’s no longer a practice exclusive to monasteries and temples. People are deriving the great benefits of mindfulness, specifically by practicing mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness meditation, more commonly known in Buddhism as Shamatha or Calm Abiding Meditation, is a technique practiced across all schools of Buddhism, though it is more favored in the Theravada Buddhist tradition. Regardless of your religion or beliefs, this simple meditation technique focuses entirely on one’s breath and can therefore be practiced by everyone. (more…)
In this video I will lead you through an easy fifteen-minute guided meditation on your breath. This meditation is ideal for beginners (and even experienced practitioners) who have trouble concentrating on their breath. When it comes to meditation, our biggest distraction is our thoughts. This breathing meditation, called Qualified Rounds of Breath, is designed to use our tendency of having thoughts to our advantage. Here, we concentrate on our breath but deliberately generate thoughts to aid our meditation. This meditation also helps us to breathe in something positive and breathe out something we really need to let go of.
This should not be seen as a replacement of the more traditional Theravada Buddhist meditation technique of simply concentrating on the breath, but merely as an alternative for when our minds are especially active or when we are in need of something a little more inspiring.
This meditation can also be used as an effective form of therapy for dealing with day-to-day problems. When something happens during our day which gives rise to feelings of anger, resentment, stress or worry, it can be difficult to put the brakes on these emotions and we can find ourselves overwhelmed and unable to enjoy the rest of the day. This practice gives us a mechanism to change our mental patterns and encourage wholesome thoughts and eliminate the emotions that are troubling us. (more…)
This is a great breathing meditation for beginners. Usually, meditating on the breath is not interesting enough to hold our attention, but this meditation makes it much easier. When we’re trying to establish one pointed concentration we need to have something to keep our busy – and often distracted – mind captivated. This calm abiding meditation technique, called Qualified Rounds of Breath, allows us a bit of creativity so we can make the breath more interesting.
When we meditate on our breath, our biggest obstacle is thinking about other thoughts. Since our thoughts are often so fascinating, especially compared to the plain and humble breath, thoughts always triumph in this battle for our attention. But this technique will help us to hold our attention on the breath much longer, as it uses our very tendency of having thoughts to its advantage. This is also an extremely therapeutic meditation technique as it allows us to breathe in something new and breathe out something we really need to let go of. (more…)
In this video I will lead you through a guided meditation on the practice of Calm Abiding meditation. In this practice we use our body as our object of meditation. We shouldn’t be in a rush to meditate on our breath. Instead, meditating on our bodies can help us gain more stability before we move onto meditating on our breath.
This meditation requires previous knowledge on how to correctly position our bodies for this meditation. You can watch my video on Correct Meditation Posture & Motivation here, and watch the video on the detailed instructions for this meditation here.