Friday, February 4, 2011

Meditation in Buddhist traditions

Buddhist schools, there is also significant diversity. In the Theravada tradition alone, there are over fifty methods for developing mindfulness and forty for developing concentration, while in the Tibetan tradition there are thousands of visualization meditations. Most classical and contemporary Buddhist meditation guides are school specific. Only a few teachers attempt to synthesize, crystallize and categorize practices from multiple Buddhist traditions.
In early tradition

The earliest tradition of Buddhist practice is preserved in the nikāya/āgamas, and is adhered to by the Theravāda lineage. It was also the focus of the other now-extinct early Buddhist schools, and has been incorporated to greater and lesser degrees into the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and many East Asian Mahāyāna traditions.
[edit] Types of meditation
Meditation on the
Buddhist Path

In terms of early traditions as found in the vast Pali canon and the Āgamas, meditation can be contextualized as part of the Noble Eightfold Path, explicitly in regard to:

    * Right Mindfulness (samma sati) – exemplified by the Buddha's Four Foundations of Mindfulness (see Satipatthana Sutta).
    * Right Concentration (samma samadhi) – culminating in jhanic absorptions through the meditative development of samatha.

And implicitly in regard to :

    * Right View (samma ditthi) – embodying wisdom traditionally attained through the meditative development of vipassana founded on samatha.

Classic texts in the Pali literature enumerating meditative subjects include the Satipatthana Sutta  and the Visuddhimagga's Part II, "Concentration" (Samadhi).

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