FreeSangha - Buddhist Forum

A Mosaic of Traditions - One Virtual Sangha => Meditation and Self-Reflection Practices => Topic started by: novice on February 02, 2012, 01:29:37 pm

Title: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: novice on February 02, 2012, 01:29:37 pm
Hi

I realize that there are many different Buddhist meditation techniques, but is it possible to say which ones are the most popular? For example Zazen, Vipassana etc.

Thanks
Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: nowornever on February 02, 2012, 03:48:42 pm
I don't know which one is the most popular. I do 500 bows a day which gives me plenty of energy. In the future I would like to practise zazen more, but not yet because of my lingering karma...
Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: ground on February 02, 2012, 07:08:06 pm
Why care about popularitiy? Ignorance is most popular.
Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: Hanzze on February 02, 2012, 07:39:09 pm
Actually practicing is generally not really popular. It's so horrible. *smile*
Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: Lobster on February 03, 2012, 02:10:38 am
Quote
possible to say which ones are the most popular

Seated meditation is the most practiced, with stylistic differences.
Eyes open or closed, kneeling, lotus, half lotus or tailor pose.
For the Westerners and infirm, chair sitting is also common
(usually at the back in group settings)

In similar practices available at some Dharma centres . . .
In yoga the most popular posture for meditation is the corpse.
In Tai Chi, a relaxed standing.

All are based on the engagement and slowing of the mind chatter
and are based on physical stillness . . .  :om:

Hope that is helpful. Learn any one, apply to others.
Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: novice on February 03, 2012, 06:18:58 am
OK. Thank you for the answers.
Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: Spiny Norman on February 03, 2012, 07:42:40 am
I realize that there are many different Buddhist meditation techniques, but is it possible to say which ones are the most popular? For example Zazen, Vipassana etc.

Have you tried some of these, and if so how did find them?

Spiny
Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: amilaik on February 17, 2012, 06:47:41 am
 I know this is weird but the best way to meditate is to follow Anaapaanasathi, which is conciousness about your breathing..

 For me all I need is my tablet phone and I can meditate anywhere. My recommendation is to download this cool shrine room app I found in android market. (https://market.android.com/details/?id=com.buddhist.shrine) its sad that they have not put this app for iOS, but for android users this is simply awesome. And worth the $0.99 to the max...

I'm sure you can find more about anaapaanasathi meditation techniques on google or wikipedia.


may you be blessed by metta.


Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: Monkey Mind on February 17, 2012, 02:58:43 pm
I've enjoyed reading this series of articles (still in progress). They are written by a former Zen monk who became a Theravadin monk, but who prefers zazen over vipassana.

http://bhikkhucintita.wordpress.com/home/topics-in-the-dharma/buddhas-meditation-and-its-variants/ (http://bhikkhucintita.wordpress.com/home/topics-in-the-dharma/buddhas-meditation-and-its-variants/)
Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on March 20, 2012, 08:31:19 am
Hi, good friends.

First, I would like to thank everyone for sharing their experiences.  It is nice to know that I am not alone in my travails with regard to meditation and mindfulness practice.

Almost a year has passed in this regard.  What I observed was a gradual deterioration in my sitting frequency and duration to the point that all observation of Samatha-Vippisana methods taught to me in what was a highly recommended seminar was abandoned.  Went months and months reverting to breath focus meditation.  I practiced the loving-kindness intentions of Samatha-Vippisana, but it truly felt insincere and forced, leaving me with self-recriminations of being a hypocrite, and emotion I hadn't felt in such depths since practicing as a Roman Catholic.

Recently I shared a discovery regarding a newly discovered, (new for me),  method:  "Remaining in a Dwelling of Emptiness", a quotation of Ananda to Buddha, which I discovered doing study and research regarding emptiness.  So-far, so good.

I am sharing this experience in the hopes that it will help someone, whose practiced had become miserable like mine and is looking for a break-through, which I seem to have found, at least for the time being.

MN 121 PTS: M iii 104
Cula-suññata Sutta: The Lesser Discourse on Emptiness
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 1997–2012

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.121.than.html (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.121.than.html)

Method:  I read and follow Buddha's instructions to Ananda, dwelling in the suggested mind state for as long as my bottom can stand it.  Right now, fifteen minutes per mind state seems to work pretty well.  I have a "quarter hour-gonging" Grandfather Clock in my wife's office, which I received as a performance award when I was still a working stiff, which seems to split up the meditation/mindfulness session quite well.  I have been doing this for the last few days and am actually making true progress for the first time in a year.  I have never before experience The Jhana's, and still haven't to the best of my knowledge.  But now there is hope of not only this experience, but, in the sutta, Buddha promises that Release is on the horizon as well.

May we all "Remain in this dwelling of emptiness."   :anjali:
Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: Yeshe on March 20, 2012, 11:03:29 am
I've never found an all round 'best' position, but had good and bad experiences in many.  This is true in other aspects of life. ;)

Here are 3 techniques I use. I wouldn't label them 'Buddhist' but they seem to work for me.

Breathing meditation is always beneficial for me, so that is my FIRST.   I include in that vase breathing etc. and those visualisations of different types which are 'mounted on the breath'.

I have tried not-breathing meditation and it sucks. LOL :)

Seriously - much as teachers may like you to do what they do, one size does not fit all.  Firstly you have previous karma which will affect you. Then you must be clear about the purpose - becoming calmer, contemplating, concentration etc etc..  You should also have a way of measuring what you are doing against the desired outcome - this is where Guru and Sangha are really helpful, as you can receive and give guidance.

As a crude example of how to measure success -  if you spend a few years attending classes to become a more calm and compassionate person and  yet still want to punch out some guy's lights because they drove badly on your way home, then have a row with your wife and kick the dog...it's not a great success story.   It's sadly also not that uncommon because the negative experiences we have sometimes outpace our ability to develop virtuous and compassionate minds to deal with them.

Although we learn about training the mind to develop equanimity etc. we sometimes have to face the fact that we can't do it just by attending classes, so my SECOND technique is isolation. People find different ways to isolate themselves from external irritations.  Is it too hot, too cold, stomach rumbling, hearing a siren, too light, too dark, smelling something bad, etc. ?  Well, my top location is the desert, my second is a beach with plenty of 'white noise' from the waves (easier to find here in the UK).  If I am at home I simply follow the advice of my first teacher and hear her voice telling me: 'the world can live without you for an hour' and turn off the 'things to do' switch.

My THIRD technique is to not be there. This is simple yet very profound for me. There is a body just sitting and it is experiencing sensations which pass through, like ghosts through a wall. It is not 'my' body, not 'my' sensations to 'own'. I am not there - there is 'mushin', only 'mushin' without conscious thought or action.  It drived from a few decades of Japanese martial arts. Most of the time it works.

Well, that's three - and I haven't even touched on contemplation or placement meditation, let alone Mahamudra. :)

The starkness of the ascetic and the visionary complexity of the Vajrayana share a common quality - they are both excellent places to lose yourSELF.

Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: GoGet on March 22, 2012, 03:30:41 pm
Hi, good friends.

First, I would like to thank everyone for sharing their experiences.  It is nice to know that I am not alone in my travails with regard to meditation and mindfulness practice.

Almost a year has passed in this regard.  What I observed was a gradual deterioration in my sitting frequency and duration to the point that all observation of Samatha-Vippisana methods taught to me in what was a highly recommended seminar was abandoned.  <snip>

Nothin to worry about.

Practice has it's "seasons".  You'll practice like your hair was on fire for a while and then you won't practice for days, weeks or months.  So, I don't think there's anything particulary wrong with your practice.  Actually, what you're going through is something I think everyone experiences.
Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: ground on March 22, 2012, 10:15:12 pm
What's the use of meditation if there is no liberation?
If there is liberation meditating is good and not meditating is good.
If there is bondage meditation is technique and obsession.
Be aware of every moment liberation occurs and everything is fine.
 :om:
Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: Hanzze on March 22, 2012, 11:27:17 pm
We can talk at us in that way till we believe it. *smile* "there is no cause and no effect, there is no cause and no effect" and sometimes in between, there is a "Ohhh, fine, ohhh fine" but don't worry that is not lasting.
Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: ground on March 22, 2012, 11:33:03 pm
We can talk at us in that way till we believe it. *smile*
Who wants to believe anything?

 :om:
Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: francis on March 22, 2012, 11:38:46 pm
I have found Ajahn Brahm’s The Basic Method of Meditation (http://www.dharmaweb.org/index.php/The_Basic_Method_of_Meditation_by_Ajahn_Brahmavamso) extremely useful.






with metta :)
Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: Infinity989 on July 24, 2013, 08:06:12 am
a few links on meditation techniques:



Buddhist Meditation #1:

http://www.freemeditations.com/buddhist_meditation.html (http://www.freemeditations.com/buddhist_meditation.html)

+++

Buddhist Meditation #2:

http://www.freemeditations.com/buddhist_breath_meditation.html (http://www.freemeditations.com/buddhist_breath_meditation.html)


+++


Zen Mountain Monastery Meditation Instructions

http://www.mro.org/zmm/teachings/meditation.php (http://www.mro.org/zmm/teachings/meditation.php)


+++++
Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: JC33 on September 06, 2014, 10:39:04 pm
I don't know which one is the most popular. I do 500 bows a day which gives me plenty of energy. In the future I would like to practise zazen more, but not yet because of my lingering karma...

AHAHA AHA
HA

AHA
Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: JC33 on September 06, 2014, 10:51:59 pm
We can talk at us in that way till we believe it. *smile*
Who wants to believe anything?



I once had a conversation with the Gods, which your defiled existence is not worthy to hear, but know this:

The Buddah's way was preproprocecessed between all the existence being natures of the program,

and in every end, it exhibited the form upon world-beings:

Nothingness is true.

Thus, we shut the Buddah's original program down, for it knew the true God of all origin: Nothingness.

In its place we gave you the exact same thing, though you can not understand this how Nothingness can be Everythingness:

Everythingness.

Lord Buddah said:

"To believe is to believe in everything."

Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: Dharmakara on September 07, 2014, 08:58:32 pm
Lord Buddah said:

"To believe is to believe in everything."


The Enquirer:

         Fixed in their pet beliefs,
         these divers wranglers bawl --
         "Hold this, and truth is yours";
         "Reject it, and you're lost."

         Thus they content, and dub
         opponents "dolts" and "fools."
         Which of the lot is right,
         when all as experts pose?


The Lord [Buddha]:

         Well, if dissent denotes
         a "fool" and stupid "dolt,"
         then all are fools and dolts,
         --since each has his own view.

         Or, if each rival creed
         proves lore and brains and wit,
         no "dolts" exist, --since all
         alike are on a par.

         I count not that as true
         which those affirm, who call
         each other "fools." --They call
         each other so, because
         each deems his own view "Truth" . . . .

         There's one sole "Truth" (not two).
         to know which bars men's strife.
         But such a motley crowd
         of "truths" have they evolved,
         that anchorites, perforce,
         speak not in full accord. . . .

         Apart from consciousness,
         no diverse truths exist.
         --Mere sophistry declares
         this "true," and that view "false."

         The senses' evidence,
         and works, inspire such scorn
         for others, and such smug
         conviction he is right,
         that all his rivals rank
         as "sorry, brainless fools" . . .

         Whom should the sturdiest
         venture to call a "fool"
         when this invites the like
         retort upon himself? . . . .

         --Leave then dogmatic views
         and their attendant strife . . . .



from a translation of a selection of the Sutta-Nipata
 in E A Burtt, ed., The Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha
(1955)
Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: cosmic_dog_magic on April 20, 2015, 04:48:36 am
Mindful Focusing is pretty interesting, it's something I've naturally arrived to from other somatic meditation practices and inquiry into Kleshas.  It's combination of Eugene Gendlin's contemplative practice of focusing, and mindfulness awareness practice that David Rome (studied under Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche) illustrates in the book Your Body Knows the Answer (http://mindfulfocusing.com/).  I feel fortunate to have this practice elaborated on and grateful to David Rome for providing this material.

It's a right brained oriented way of attending to the sensations in the body, felt senses as they are called, that lie between the conscious and unconscious mind.  It's often this area of sensations that we act from, this area includes all sorts of feelings, such as fear, jealousy, anger, pride, etc.  When we look focus inwards, on the body, within the clear space of present awareness, and listen to these sensations and vibrations, contractions, and retractions, textures, colors, temperatures, movements - we learn that the body is actually quite intelligent, and that we can learn about all the subtle tricks in which we shut down or work against the process that wants to unfold in us, in the situations that we encounter.  How we perpetuate certain harmful behaviors out of aggression or resentment, often times memories of similar situations come up, we see that we carry these traumas into the present, and we learn ways of letting go and making room so to speak.  Like the phrase "clearing your conscience" is very apropo.  When we do this over time we begin to open and learn to soften, sitting practice and being present becomes easier.

Anyways highly suggest the book, I'm still cracking away at the exercises, I know it will be of value to some of you.
metta

edit: gotta get rid of the thetans. lol
watching "going clear" sounds eerily similar.
Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: Boris on May 14, 2015, 05:35:56 am
There is an interesting question, I think is appropriate on this tread:
The best meditation technic is the one that the practitioner practices. If you don't stick to it, no technic will work. So you have to give it time.
But at some point the practitioner has to decide if techinc is working for him or not. After all the Buddha himself tried several gurus before he became one himself.
So my question is: How one knows that "for me" this technic is failed and I need to look for something else? Can we share here our "failures" and the experiences that told us "enough is enough" let's move on?
 :om:
Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: Zen_Bookaholic on August 30, 2015, 12:51:26 pm
For me, breathing techniques coupled with a more analytical approach has worked well. I typically sit for about fifteen minutes to half an hour in the morning and simply focus on breathing. Nothing fancy. When my mind is calm, I shift my attention to whatever difficult emotions or thoughts seem to be pressing. I try to engage the thoughts/emotions openly, to let them say their piece. I notice that I gain a lot of insight in this method, because I start to see more how my neurotic tendencies play themselves out. Lately the practice has evolved into the aforementioned breathing meditation, and then I spend another ten minutes or so journaling. I approach the journaling the same way as the analytical meditation I mentioned before, but somehow the act of writing things out is more effective than merely turning them over in my mind. Whether it's an "official" meditation method or not, it works for me.

As for meditation techniques that don't work for me, I didn't find visualization all that useful. I could never hold an image of the Buddha, or a candle flame, or anything else for long enough to get any sort of calming effect. I mostly found myself frustrated. Breathing meditation had a more immediate effect for me.
Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: Infinity989 on September 27, 2015, 08:48:59 am

Zazen Instructions - from Zen Mountain Monastery

https://zmm.mro.org/teachings/meditation-instructions/
Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: Lobster on January 23, 2016, 02:50:32 am
As for meditation techniques that don't work for me, I didn't find visualization all that useful. I could never hold an image of the Buddha, or a candle flame, or anything else for long enough to get any sort of calming effect. I mostly found myself frustrated. Breathing meditation had a more immediate effect for me.


Now that mindfulness and yoga as a spiritual path (as oppossed to body culture), moving meditation such as tai chi and mantras for every occasion etc. etc. are available ...

Yippee!  :om:

Meditation is now available as a secular, therapeutic self treatment for many of us. It is like exercise a discipline.

Personally I prefer the simplest techniques at the moment but needs and circumstances change ... adjustment on the path is ongoing ...
http://www.alternet.org/personal-health/how-mindfulness-movement-went-mainstream-and-backlash-came-it (http://www.alternet.org/personal-health/how-mindfulness-movement-went-mainstream-and-backlash-came-it)
Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: ECS on July 24, 2016, 09:55:29 pm
In my current mind , as one created emotion to learn meditation and later into learning various type of meditation will lead into creation of more mind ... as his desire , his love , his greed , his ego , his fear etc will increase as such he will travel longer journey into realizing his nature of existence ... in short , the more he seek and learn to meditate , he will travel longer journey into realizing he is emotion... he is desire not the outcome of the knowledge that he gain .......... so suffering is the nature of this path
Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: stillpointdancer on July 25, 2016, 03:01:15 am
So my question is: How one knows that "for me" this technic is failed and I need to look for something else? Can we share here our "failures" and the experiences that told us "enough is enough" let's move on?
 :om:
Good question. I lucked out in that in my youth I experimented with relaxation and 'improvement' tapes (shows how old I am!). I got to know my body as it relaxed, and I listened to improvement messages while feeling as though I was floating on air. Years later when I started experimenting with meditation, it meant that I could explore how to combine relaxation and meditation techniques to best effect.

So I was flexible in my approach to meditation from the start. I developed a couple of basic meditations, such as mindfulness of breathing, and started to see each meditation as a journey. If the journey got rather rocky, I would return to five minutes of, say, mindfulness of breathing, then return to the original meditation.

I read around a lot, so when I got too bored, or felt that my meditation was getting stale, I would try something else. I'm talking about a timescale of years here, rather than weeks or months. There was so much to try that it seemed a waste of time not to experience something that might help me move on.

When I did eventually join a Buddhist group, it meant that I had the confidence to keep developing my own meditation, whilst still working within the main teachings of the group. I got the best of both worlds. For me, vipassana meditation became my main technique, returning to simple mindfulness of breathing and metta meditations as and when I needed them.

Although these have been the mainstay of my practice for the last twenty years, things still arise that I go on to explore, so I think that's my advice. Develop a couple of basic meditations to return to when things get too boring, or stale, or scary, but don't be afraid to move on, and to explore and have fun with different meditations, until you find one that suits your current stage of development.
Title: Re: Buddhist meditation techniques
Post by: Spiny Norman on July 25, 2016, 09:29:15 am
Although these have been the mainstay of my practice for the last twenty years, things still arise that I go on to explore, so I think that's my advice. Develop a couple of basic meditations to return to when things get too boring, or stale, or scary, but don't be afraid to move on, and to explore and have fun with different meditations, until you find one that suits your current stage of development.

That's good advice, developing a personal "core practice" that provides some continuity and stability.   
SimplePortal 2.3.3 © 2008-2010, SimplePortal