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Meditation is a fundamental component of Buddhism. It is the core of Buddhist practice.

There are several traditions of Buddhism, each with several meditation techniques, but the ultimate goal of Buddhist meditation and teachings is to guide the practitioner to equanimity and inner peace in all aspects of their lives. Other benefits may include stress reduction, management of pain, and relaxation, but on a more fundamental level Buddhist teachings are intended to change the way in which a person seeks happiness, and where he looks for it.

There are three main goals to the many types of mediation practiced in Buddhism: insight, concentration, and insight and concentration combined. Concentration and insight are important in all of these meditation paths.

Insight meditation is sometimes taught as something separate from concentration meditation. In this view, insight is associated with mindfulness. Insight meditation is known as vipassana in Pali. In the practice of insight meditation, the current awareness of what is happening (mindfulness) is applied without a concerted effort to cultivate concentration, although it is expected that a degree of concentration will develop naturally as the practitioner maintains his attention on the experiences that come and go during the session. By paying attention to what is happening each moment, the practitioner's perception becomes clear and insight is achieved.

The practitioner of concentration meditation is concerned with attaining undistracted awareness, usually for the purpose of encouraging calmness and steadiness of mind, although a degree of insight is expected to develop naturally.

Where insight and concentration are brought together, both are given equal emphasis by the practitioner in order to develop deeper levels of each.

In Buddhism, meditation is used in pursuit of liberation, awakening, and Nirvana, a Buddhist term that refers to the ultimate state of living, in which there is no suffering, desire, or sense of self, in which the practitioner is released from the effects of karma and the cycle of death and reincarnation. Nirvana is the final goal in Buddhism.

Some meditation techniques are used throughout the various Buddhist traditions, but there is a great deal of diversity. Most of the classical and contemporary Buddhist meditation techniques are specific to a particular school or tradition, including those that are taught by individual teachers.

Forms of Buddhist meditation used by the Theravada school include Anapanasati, Satipatthana, Metta, Kammatthana, Samatha, Vipassana, Mahasati, and Dhammakaya.

Forms of meditation techniques used in Tibetan and Vajrayana Buddhism include Ngondro, Tonglen, Phowa, Chod, Mahamudra, Dzogchen, Tantra, and the Four Immeasurables.

Mahayana and Zen Buddhism teach Shikantaza, Zazen, Koan, and Suizen.

Depending on the tradition, movement, sect, or geographical location, other names may be used for many of these, and additional meditation techniques may be used by the various sects and sub-sects of Mahayana, Theravada, and Vajrayana Buddhism.

Whatever the name or origin, any topics relating to Buddhist meditation or Buddhist meditation techniques are appropriate for this category.



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