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Meditation

Meditation refers to the cul­tivation of the human mind, to the de­vel­op­ment of con­cen­tra­tion, mind­ful­ness, aware­ness and wis­dom. Buddhism of­fers calm­ness or con­cen­tra­tion med­i­ta­tion and vipas­sana or insight medita­tion. Another very usefull tool is loving kind­ness medi­tation.
Buddha-Sukhothai Buddha statue in Sukhothai, Thailand
Meditation is to be found in many re­lig­ious systems, pur­su­ing different goals. De­pend­ing on the many dif­fer­ent schools of Buddhism (like Tibetan, Zen, Thai, Sri Lankan and Chi­nese Bud­dhism) and their sub­divi­sions, let alone all the diverse forms of med­i­ta­tion in Hinduism and Yoga, we find dif­ferent ways to ap­proach medi­ta­tion and we will find diverse med­i­ta­tion tech­niques. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ with dif­ferent tech­niques, usually just different goals and ex­pe­ri­ences of those who medi­tate. Dif­ferent tech­niques suit different people.

So there is noth­ing really wrong with ac­knowl­edged various techniques, but we should stick to only one of them, not mixing them. One may try dif­ferent ways of practice, but one at a time and then choose one and stick to it. Do not trust in any­thing or any­body offering quick results. Med­i­ta­tion is the task of a lifetime, it took even the Buddha six years of con­tin­ual, at times ex­treme practice to become enlightened.

The follow­ing is viewed from a Bud­dhist standpoint, though many of the men­tioned def­ini­tions and results are com­mon for most of the dif­ferent ap­proach­es to life.

Meditation takes energy and com­mit­ment, deter­mination and dis­cipline. To get any results from the prac­tice of med­ita­tion it has to be done regularly and con­tinu­ally over years, oth­erwise re­sults will be meager and frustra­ting. For me it is the task of a life­time.

By prac­tising medi­ta­tion in the right way we should develop great tolerance to­wards other hu­man beings, it should make us humble in regard to them as well as in regard to all other forms of life, to the en­vi­ron­ment and to nature. We should keep in mind that all things are con­nect­ed with each other; we are a part of society and na­ture, not apart from them.

The Meditation techniques page of this website gives some basic introduction into three different kinds of me­di­ta­tion.