There are a number of things that happen in the lives of humans, which are beyond one’s control. For example, no one can control the fortunes and misfortunes that normally occur in human life.
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Nevertheless, it is the responsibility of every individual to take charge of his/her own state of mind and control what it thinks about at any particular time. Buddhism asserts that taking control of one’s state of mind is the most important thing that people can do. In Buddhism, this aspect is called meditation.1
The practice of meditation in Buddhism enables the believers to take control of things, such as fear, anxiety, hatred, confusion, and sorrow, which can make them commit sin.2 By reviewing a number of books, I intend to prove in this paper that the practice of meditation is the main driving force behind Buddhism.
Meditation in Buddhism simply refers to practices that its believers use to make their minds think positively. The practice of meditation involves skills that develop and encourage concentration, positive thinking, and clarity regarding living and non-living things.3
When Buddhists engage in the practice of meditation, they get to understand the habits and behaviors of their minds. As a result, they are able to transform themselves into positive and understanding human beings.
Buddhists strongly believe that meditation offers a transformative effect that brings about a new a way of understanding life.4
Every believer is required to learn the concepts of meditation in order to strengthen their faith in the religion. The practice of meditation is normally taught through the Triratna Buddhist Community. The basic practices in meditation are taught according to the original teachings of the historical Buddha.5
The practices of meditation are considered effective if they are aimed at achieving calmness and emotional positivity among the believers of the religion. The practices are supposed to be taught by members of the Triratna Buddhist Order at Triratna Centers.
These members are highly skilled meditators and the students who learn how to meditate need to have an interest in Buddhism.6
Buddhist meditation is majorly divided into two categories: insight and tranquility meditations. The two categories of Buddhist meditations are combined and used at the same time.7
However, in some cases, the two meditations are used one after the other. In cases where the two are used separately, tranquility is used first, followed by the insight meditation. The two categories of meditation are normally used simultaneously to enable the believers to obtain maximum results.8
Insight meditation, which is also known as vippasana, uses a number of skills taught in Buddhism to enhance the believer’s faith. Insight mediation literally includes the skills taught in tranquility meditation and other areas of the religion.
Insight meditation helps Buddhist believers to practice absolute and important truths. It is said that Buddhist believers who practice insight meditation have the hopes of appreciating the truths of suffering and impermanence.9
The practice of insight meditation is majorly based on the concept of mindfulness. Mindfulness is an improved state of concentration in which the mind is given a chance to take control of the entire system of human beings. When a person is mindful of something, he carefully thinks and observes it.
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Buddhist believers, through insight meditation, not only focus on what happens to and around them, but also try to understand how these things come to happen the way they do.10
The believers of Buddhism can only see the fruits of the insight meditation if they identify and understand the important truths taught in the religion. The believers are supposed to practice what the Buddhist doctrines say in everything they do.
The main part of Buddhist doctrines and practices, which is also provided for in insight meditation, is liberation. This implies that a Buddhist believer who practices insight meditation exclusively practices all the doctrines of the religion.11
The second type of meditation, tranquility, is based on the concept of concentration. Tranquility meditation is used to immobilize the minds of the believers and guide them to concentrate on major things that affect their lives.
This type of meditation is intended to achieve its goals by using tools or virtues like loving-kindness and the recollection in Buddha’s sayings.12
Tranquility meditation assists Buddhist believers to achieve a number of goals in life.
Firstly, the believers are assisted to detach themselves from the external world to enable them to develop the need for happiness.
Secondly, the believers use this meditation to acquire a state of exclusive equanimity and self-fulfillment.
Lastly, tranquility meditation enables the believers to improve their concentration and reasoning with regard to what happens to them.13
In conclusion, this proposal intends to analyze the concept of meditation among Buddhist believers. The paper uses a number of books to illustrate the importance of meditation in Buddhism. The practice of meditation in Buddhism is primarily divided into two categories: insight and tranquility.
The two types of meditation are based on, among other things, liberation, which is the main doctrine of Buddhism. Consequently, the paper shows that mediation is the core of the practices that all Buddhists undertake in their lives.
- Gerner, Katy. Buddhism. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2008.This book contains the main concepts of Buddhism. It is going to help me illustrate Buddhism as one of the major religions in the world.
- Ingram, Daniel M. Mastering the Core Teaching of the Buddha: An Unusually Hardcore Dharma Book. London: Aeon Books, 2008.This book contains aspects of meditation in Buddhism. It will assist me to explain how meditation forms the core of the Buddhism religion.
- Kuan, Tse-fu. Mindfulness in Early Buddhism: New Approaches Through Psychology and Textual Analysis of Pali, Chinese and Sanskirt Sources. New York, NY: Routledeg, 2008.This book contains the kinds of meditations used in Buddhism. It is going to be helpful in defining insight meditation and how it is applicable to the religion.
- Morgan, Diane. Essential Buddhism: A Comprehensive Guide to Belief and Practice. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2010.This book talks about the main practices undertaken by Buddhist believers. It will help me to show why tranquility meditation is regarded as a core practice in Buddhism.
- Segall, Seth Robert. Encountering Buddhism: Western Psychology and Buddhist Teachings. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2003.This book talks about the beliefs of Buddhists. It is helpful in explaining the impact of insight meditation on Buddhist believers.
- Shaw, Sarah. Buddhist Meditation: An Anthology of Texts from the Pali Canon. New York, NY: Routledge, 2006.This book sheds light on the applications of meditation in Buddhism. It will help me to explain the effects of insight meditation on Buddhist believers.
- Silva, Padmasiri. An Introduction to Buddhist Psychology. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000.This book explains practices and beliefs found in Buddhism. It is important in explaining the impact of tranquility meditation on Buddhism.
- Teece, Geoff. Buddhism. Mankato, MN: Smart Apple Media, 2005.This book illustrates the main practices of Buddhism. It is beneficial in explaining Buddhism as a religion.
- Waynne, Alexander. The Origin of Buddhist Meditation. New Yok, NY: Routledge, 2007.This book explains the characteristics and origin of Buddhism as a religion. It will help me to explain the origin of the meditation practice in Buddhism.
- Wood, Cavan. Buddhism. Oxford, Heinemann Educational, 2002.This book explains Buddhism as a special type of religion. It will help me to explain meditation as a special concept in Buddhism.
1 Geoff Teece, Buddhism (Mankato, MN: Smart Apple Media, 2005), 8.
2 Geoff, 14.
3 Katty Gerner, Buddhism (Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2008), 6-8.
4 Katty, 10
5 Cavan Wood, Buddhism (Oxford, Heinemann Educational, 2002), 7.
6 Cavan, 9.
7 Sarah, Shaw, Buddhist Meditation: An Anthology of Texts from the Pali Canon (New York, NY: Routledge, 2006), 8-14.
8 Alexander Waynne, The Origin of Buddhist Meditation (New Yok, NY: Routledge, 2007), 96-100.
9 Seth Robert Segall, Encountering Buddhism: Western Psychology and Buddhist Teachings (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2003), 65-71.
10 Daniel M. Ingram, Mastering the Core Teaching of the Buddha: An Unusually Hardcore Dharma Book (London: Aeon Books, 2008), 57-60.
11Tse-fu Kuan, Mindfulness in Early Buddhism: New Approaches Through Psychology and Textual Analysis of Pali, Chinese and Sanskirt Sources (New York, NY: Routledeg, 2008), 59-63.
12Diane Morgan, Essential Buddhism: A Comprehensive Guide to Belief and Practice (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2010), 124-128).
13 Padmasiri Silva, An Introduction to Buddhist Psychology (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000), 129-133.