What is Buddhist Meditation?
Meditation and Mindfulness
The Buddha clearly enunciated how to practice mindfulness. We must pay attention to body movements and the changing mental states. This should be done to understand the real nature of phenomena. In our daily life, we identify with mental and physical phenomena and give ourselves a false concept of self. But, the Buddha teaches us to see them in their true colors: they are physical movements and mental states that respond to external stimuli. They should be viewed objectively without attachment.
Our True Self
The concept of self generates egotism and selfishness. Any type of meditation cannot be successful if it does not eradicate egotism and selfishness. A man or woman is judged by their actions. Paying objective attention to the mind and body can help us overcome the notion of self. This meditation can cut off attachment and craving to material objects. Ultimately, we reach a stage when there is no self that can crave for any object.
The path is arduous and long. But, we need not retire from worldly life to practise Buddhist meditation. Even a temporary course can bear useful results which can help us practise beneficial habits in daily life.
Detachment and Concentration
Objectivity and detachment can aid clear thinking. They can help a person evaluate any situation without personal bias. Thus, we get discretion and courage to act suitably in any situation. Buddhist mediation can also increase concentration. We learn to focus the monkey mind on a fixed point. Our mind becomes one-pointed, which can be a great asset in any endeavor, spiritual or worldly.
Uncontrolled, our mind roams restlessly like a wild horse. But, when the mind is tamed through meditation, it can become very powerful. Therefore, it is said that it is better to master one’s mind, than to master the whole world.
Buddhist Meditation Helps Overcome Fear
Fear occurs when we associate our body and mind with self. Thus, any harm to either the mind or body is considered harmful to the self. But, a seasoned meditator realizes this illusion and does not fear misfortune or death. He remains equanimous in failure and success, unaffected by blame or praise.
A seasoned meditator purifies their mind through constant practice. Their mind becomes detached and pure, incapable of unwholesome thoughts. Bad actions only occur when our minds are not pure. Meditation purifies our mind and clears it of defilements. As a result, we start to take great delight in deeds that have their roots in wisdom, benevolence and generosity.