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How to meditate

 

How to meditate is an introductory course designed by the FPMT (also known as Buddhist Meditation 101) to present basic Buddhist meditation techniques for complete beginners. It is also suitable for people who are already familiar with meditation in other traditions but would like to know more about how meditation is practiced in Tibetan Buddhism.

The course teaches meditations that can be used by anyone to create more peace and happiness in their daily life. It includes an explanation of:

  • what meditation actually is and what it is for
  • meditation postures
  • various kinds of meditation paraphernalia
  • setting up a place for meditation
  • the kinds of skills, such as concentration and mindfulness, developed in meditation

It provides an overview of meditation in general as well as specific meditation techniques including:

  • breathing meditations, such as counting the breath and nine-round breathing
  • mindfulness meditations, such as bare attention, mind like the sky, and mind like the ocean
  • visualization meditations, such as body of light and purification with light
  • analytical meditations, such as meditation on equanimity and transforming negative experiences into positive ones

Students are also introduced to the Buddhist understanding of mind as a nonphysical entity that is a stream of constantly changing moments of consciousness. Because it is possible to change the mind through meditation, harmful mental habits can be eliminated and positive ones developed and strengthened. Students learn the various obstacles that can prevent the mind from remaining focused and methods for counteracting these obstacles. They also learn how to structure a meditation session and how to establish a long-term meditation practice.