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Buddhist-Style Meditation Techniques PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Is Buddhist meditation a religion in itself or merely a mind exercise like nearly all others? While Buddhist meditation is not a religion, it is inspired by the objectives of the Buddhism religion. In the end, the human mind is the heart of the Buddhist teaching.

The Dhamma, or the teaching of the Buddha, is most likely the most misunderstood among all other religions. The Buddha is also being compared to God and people have considered the Buddhist meditation as a hypnotic method to escape from the real world.

There are eight noble truths within Buddhism. The first noble truth is the dukkha, a Pali word that means the unpleasant experiences such as worry, pain, sorrow, fear, etc. The second noble truth reveals that dukkha are the consequence of desire and craving. The third noble truth claims that dukkha can be resolved, while the fourth noble truth tells us the suggests by which the third noble truth can be achieved.

Buddhism, through the fourth noble truth is then strongly linked to Buddhist meditation. It was transformed into a method or discipline of releasing people from the bondage of harmful feelings and enhancing the nature of human life. This part of the Dhamma is known as the Noble Eightfold Path, which includes lessons that can influence the personal and social aspect of one's life.

It may be understood therefore that the cause of everyone's suffering is psychological. Logic would tell us that the cure would also be psychological.  Thus, Buddhism designed mind exercises called the Buddhist meditation, intended to cure these psychological problems. However, the Buddhist meditation is often mistaken for other practices that that claim to have possessed powers after engaging in meditation, which is completely in contrast to the Eightfold Path.

Some people see meditation, Buddhist meditation included, as a higher state of the pious life, that meditation is a step toward sainthood or becoming a divine person. Meditation is not an act of converting a sinner and encouraging someone to have a deeper commitment to a religion. But it is just a useful instrument to free oneself from the clutter that fills the mind in order to have a more serene life.

The goals of Buddhist meditation do not differ much from the other techniques of meditation. Specifically though, Buddhist meditation tries to get rid of the dukkha and attain Nibbana. According to many Buddhist meditation practitioners, Nibbana is too complicated to put into words. But they describe it as the pinnacle of moral and psychological maturation. 

Because Buddhist meditation, like any other technique, is a personal experience which brings about self-fulfillment, it must be practiced according to one's conviction and faith that enlightenment and happiness are attainable.
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