Imagine finding inner peace and true bliss, just like a Buddhist, with only a couple of minutes of meditation.This article provides you with the knowledge that you need to know how to meditate like a Buddhist.
Buddha explained various forms of meditation, each intended to conquer a specific problem or to help someone evolve into a certain psychological state.
The three most common and beneficial forms of meditation are Contemplative meditation, Mindfulness of Breathing, and Loving-Kindness meditation.
One of the widely known contemplations is known as “The Four Thoughts that Transform the Mind”. The motive of these four thoughts is to give you a good reason to sit down and meditate like a Buddhist. Those thoughts, in short, are as follows:
- I can decide to dedicate my energy to spreading wisdom, compassion and the power to help others. Many people in other circumstances, as well as other forms of life such as animals, do not have this potential. I recognize the valuableness of this opportunity and swear not to waste it.
- But who knows how long this valuable life will last? Everything changes. My whole being rests on an out-breath being followed by an in-breath. There is no time to waste!
- Everything that exists has a reason, and every action has its consequences. This expresses the truth of interdependence – and signifies that our actions have more of an impact than we might imagine.
- At some point or another, we will be detached from all of the material things we are enticed to. So much work and yet, so little lasting benefit! Isn’t it more logical to devote our energy on being of benefit by developing the precious abilities of wisdom, compassion, and spiritual skills? May my meditation practice help me reach this goal!
Mindfulness of Breathing:
Mindfulness is a common way to meditate like a Buddhist that centers on developing calmness, clarity, and self-control. With the right assistance and dedication, the improvement of these qualities can eventually lead to deep inner peace. When merged with awareness practices, it can lead to deep insights and spiritual awakening. There are four Ps to Mindfulness of Breathing: Place, Posture, Practice and Problems.
The first step to meditate like a Buddhist is to find an appropriate place, possibly a room that is not too noisy or somewhere you are not likely to be disturbed.
Second, sit in a comfortable posture. Find a pose that does not hurt your back or knees. Your back must be straight and try to find a happy medium between too stiff and too relaxed.
There are five true Buddhist meditation postures, namely:
The Burmese Position:
Here, you basically sit on a mat, with a cushion if needed, bend your legs with the right foot on the outside, and pull your feet gently towards your pelvis.
Ideally, the tops of your feet must be touching the mat.
The Lotus Position:
There are basically three types of lotus postures:
The quarter lotus position: While sitting on a cushion, pillow or mat, you “cross” your legs by placing your right foot on your left calf. Make sure your knees are lower than your hips.
The half lotus position: Here again, the left foot is close to the pelvis but the right foot is closer to the trunk than with the quarter lotus and rests on the left thigh.
The full lotus position: You start with your right foot on your left thigh and then bring your left foot to your right thigh. This position can be challenging until you get the hang of it or depending on how flexible you are.
The Seiza Position:
This posture includes kneeling on a mat.
The use of a pillow, cushion or meditation bench under the buttocks helps support the spine and takes the pressure off of the knees.
Sitting on a Chair:
This posture is comfortable since it does not add any tension on the knees or legs.
It is best to sit up straight as this promotes alignment.
Place the feet flat on the floor about a foot apart. Here again, it is better if the hips are a bit higher than the thighs and knees.
A thin cushion under the buttocks and/or a pillow between the chair and your back can help.
The Corpse Pose:
Also called Sarvasana, this soothing meditation posture is usually practiced at the end of a yoga session.
You lie flat on your back facing upwards, stretch your hands loosely on the ground, close your eyes and focus on your breathing.
This pose can be useful for those who have back issues.
To meditate like a Buddhist, the practice itself is important. As you sit silently with your eyes closed, you focus your attention on the in and out movement of the breath.
This can be done by either counting the breaths or focusing on the rise and fall of the abdomen.
You do not have to control your breath, use abdominal breathing or have long, deep in-breaths and out-breaths.
Just breathe normally and pay attention to your breathing process, one breath at a time.
Keep your mind focused but be gentle, you should have an attitude of discovering and making friends with yourself.
When this is done, certain problems and difficulties will arise.
You might encounter annoying itches on the body or discomfort in the knees.
If this happens, try to keep the body relaxed without moving and keep focusing on the breath.
You will possibly also have many interfering thoughts coming into your mind and distracting your attention from the breath.
The only way you can deal with this problem is to patiently keep returning your attention to the breath. If you keep doing this, sooner or later the thoughts will weaken, your concentration will become durable and you will have moments of deep mental calm and inner peace.
Simply, let the thought arise, acknowledge it briefly, and then let it go.
Once you are acquainted with Mindfulness of Breathing and are practicing it frequently, you can start practicing Loving-Kindness Meditation.
It should be done two or three times each week after you have completed Mindfulness of Breathing so as to successfully meditate like a
We begin by guiding wishes of well-being and loving-kindness towards ourselves.
You can use affirmations such as:
“May I be well and happy.”
“May I be peaceful and calm.”
“May I be protected from dangers.”
“May my mind be free from hatred.”
“May my heart be filled with love.”
Then we open it out and direct loving-kindness to a person or pet that we love.
Then it is directed towards someone we feel neutral about (someone we neither like nor dislike), followed by somebody we have problems with or even an enemy.
Ultimately, our love moves equally towards all beings everywhere, irrespective of how we feel about them.
This form of meditation is about feeling the love and diffusing it out until the barriers that usually categorize us as “me, friend, enemy, etc.” fade away and what is left is kindness, purity, compassion and simplicity.
There are some mantras that are used such as:
“May my love for myself and other flow freely”
“May I and all living beings be safe, happy and peaceful”
“May all beings find happiness and the cause of happiness. May they be free from suffering and the cause of suffering.”
How long should you meditate?
In order to be able to meditate like a Buddhist, it is better to practice meditation for about 15 minutes every day for a week and then prolong the time by 5 minutes each week until you are meditating for 45 minutes.
After a few weeks of regular daily meditation, you will start to note that your concentration gets better, there are fewer interfering thoughts, and you have more moments of real peace and stillness.
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