Meditation, Mindfulness and the relativity of thought in Buddhism
Meditation is a western word, but it has come to mean a lot in a Buddhist context. Below you will find first my own and then other people's reflections on the topic. Ultimately though - whichever meditation style you choose, DOING IT is the only way to go. Words can only go so far.
Katinka Hesselink's blogposts about Meditation from a Tibetan Buddhist perspective
- The 3 basics of the path: ethics, concentration and wisdom
- What they don’t tell you about meditation
- Meditation works – the happiness on button
- Between drowsiness and distraction: meditation and certainty
- Is there something wrong with boredom, during meditation?
- The unsaid basics of meditation and life
- Ritual as part of a spiritual practice
- Gratitude meditation – thanking our teachers
- Beginners motivation in Mahayana Buddhism
- No more reincarnation… intermediate scope motivation in Mahayana Buddhism
- Becoming awake for others: Bodhicitta or the Bodhisattva Motivation
- Levels of meditation: relaxation, concentration, contemplation, awareness…
What is mindfulness?
In our busy lives it's very easy to get wrapped up in everything but what works for us. Running from job to job, from chore to chore, dealing with clients, your boss, kids, partner etc... it can leave you stressed.
The only way to avoid getting worked up about that, is to take it slow every once in a while. One way of doing that daily, is by practicing mindfulness.
Mindfulness (as a psychological technique) is a form of meditation in which one is constantly brought back to what's here, right now. It can mean taking three breaths, or three minutes to just breath. It can mean focussing on the tensions in your body for a while. It can mean looking at your feelings and letting them just be - no need to do anything about them. It can mean watching your mind and just letting those thoughts be. More about secular mindfulness meditation here.
In mindfulness Buddhism and Psychology meet. Mindfulness is a somewhat liberal translation of the Pali 'sati' and the Sanskrit 'smrti'. Those words mean something like 'remembrance'. Remembering to breath, remembering to pay attention, remembering to stay in the moment. There are four aspects of mindfulness in the Theravada Vipassana tradition: mindfulness of body (and breath), of emotion, of thoughts and of everything. Traditionally, when it comes to thoughts and 'everything', meditation on Buddhist doctrine is included.
- Mindfulness inspiration
- Buddhist mindfulness meditation quotes
- Mindfulness Defined, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
- Mindfulness calendars, datebooks, panners and agenda books
- Best Mindfulness Books
- Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes on meditation
- 10 simple mindfulness exercises
- Mindfulness of Breathing - Anapanasati Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya 118)
- Thich Nhat Hanh on Stress and Work
Buddhists about Mindfulness and Meditation
- Taming the mind, Pema Chodron
- Breathing meditation (from the Anapanasati Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya 118))
- The eight jhanas or stages of meditation in Theravada Buddhism
- Meditating on compassion useful? on being too practical and realistic, Tenzin Gyatso the 14th Dalai Lama
- Meditation quotes
Meditation and Enlightenment
- It is easier to get enlightened than to stay enlightened, Lama Surya Das
- On spiritual enlightenment, Hinduism and Buddhism compared
- Thich Nhat Hanh on the benefits of silence
- The Mind and the Nature of Mind, Sogyal Rinpoche
- Prayer of blessing to all sentient beings, Sogyal Rinpoche
- Invocation to Tara, Nagarjuna
- The natural liberation through naked vision, identifying intelligence, by Padma Sambava. A very inspiring text that goes to the depth of the illusiveness of our thinking.
- Asanga's Teaching of Great Compassion, a meditation and visualization exercise.
- Parts of Tsong Kapa's Medium Length Transcendent Insight are recommended on the subject of meditation:
- The Nature of Buddhist Meditation, by Lama Doboom Tulku
- Nirvana etc. - from a discussion group
- More on Nirvana - theosophical and zen-approaches, from a discussion group
- Zen quotes