Buddhism and Meditation
This religion is a mixture of many beliefs, practices and teaching of Lord Buddha. Lord Buddha’s birth name was Siddhartha Gautama who lived in the ancient times at BodhGaya to spread his message of peace and love. He also spread his views and thoughts on how to face difficulties and attain extreme nirvana and be reborn happy. Buddhism has now spread not only in India but also in Sri Lanka, Tibet, Southeast Asia, China and many other parts of the world. There are over a billion followers of
Buddhism in the world. Also, there are two branches of this religion that is the Theravada (“The School of Elders”) and the Mahayana (“The Great Vehicle”). The Institutions of Buddhist learning are very different from one another as their modes of teaching, importance of certain practices and knowledge is not the same. The three most important branches of this tree are The Buddha, The Dharma (teachings) and The Sangha (community).
Basic concepts of The Dharma are:
• Karma in Buddhism- karma means action and in Buddhism it is something that determines the characteristics of Moksha and rebirth. These actions are impersonal too. Poor karmas cannot be forgiven and every time a wrong deed is done the onsequences have to be faced.
• Rebirth in Buddhism
• The Samsara cycle.
Meditation is a procedure to change the minds thinking, train it and develop it. The Pali word for it is “bhavana”. Meditation does not involve outside intrusion. It is used to reach that state of mind where concentration is at its best without any disturbances and wanderings. There are hundreds of types of meditation done by billions of people throughout the globe. Its meaning keeps changing depending upon where it’s used. Meditation can be done while sitting, standing, cross legged, on a chair, kneeling position and “Vajra asan” pose.
• Uncrossed legs position- this type of meditation is less formal in nature. Attempting meditation is yoga postures tend to distract the pupil as postures change, shifting of weight, change in breathing, body movement, fidgeting cause disturbances in the practice. Resistance to these distractions deepens the meditation power.
• Cross legged position- this position is yet more favorable as the body is in complete balance with the ground and disturbances are not caused. Sitting in uncomfortable positions for meditation for a long time can harm the knees and the calves. Seating should be comfortable. Pillows or cushions can be use to add comfort and increase the time of meditation. Correct postures also increase the flow of positive vibes in the body and vice versa.
• Hand positions- These are called “mudras” of meditation. Correct mudras enhance meditation power and give a lot of peace to the mind. Various poses increase the inflow of positive energy and create a different kind of sensation never felt before.
• The idea of the gaze- various institutions of buddhism teach meditation with different eye instructions. Some keep eyes fully open, some only half open, some only one-tenth open and others tightly shut. Some even keep their gaze on their nose which is referred to as the third eye to concentrate hard.
• Chanting- reciting word repeatedly also increase concentration power. The rhythms behind these chants add a soothing effect to the brain and remove disturbances to spread the aura of calmness around. It frees the mind of all poor connections making it pure.