Differences Between Buddhist And Hindu Meditation

Discussion in 'Eastern Religions and Philosophies' started by Silverbackman, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. Silverbackman

    Silverbackman Prince Of Truth

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    Buddhism and Hinduism may have similar ways in meditation but obviously there is one fundamental difference: Hindus meditate to get in touch with Brahman the ultimate, but I'm not sure what Buddhist meditate too:confused:, since it has no Gods or unifying force.

    Anyone want to explain?
     
  2. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Silverbackman,


    thank you for the post.

    indeed, the methods of meditation are common amongst the various Dharma traditions... as we Buddhist types would term them, Vipassana and Samatha.

    you are, of course, correct that the purpose of such meditation is different between the Sanatana Dharma and the Buddha Dharma.

    so... it sort of depends on where one is in their practice on what they are using the tool of meditation to do.

    for some beings, the meditations are used to realize the Wisdom of selflessness, in others, the meditations are used to increase ones Compassion and lessen the obscurations in the mind.

    if, for the sake of discussion, we must choose a "goal" for Buddhist meditation, then i would say that "goal" would be the attainment of Buddhahood.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  3. Silverbackman

    Silverbackman Prince Of Truth

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    Namaste Vajradhara:)

    What do Buddhist think about when the meditate as oppose to Hindus? And how is Buddhist meditation (such as the methods) different from Sanatana meditation?
     
  4. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Silverbackman,

    thank you for the post.
    well... this would sort of depend on where the being is with their practice and that sort of thing.

    in my own case, when i begin the meditation, i focus on the sensation of breathing until i am able to calm my mind which i then turn to analyze certain aspects of the teachings, such as the lack of an inherent self nature.

    well... that is pretty subjective sort of thing. generally speaking, the traditions share an understanding of the types of meditation that a being can engage in and the sorts of methods which they could employ to achieve their goal.

    in the Pali canon, Buddha Shakyamuni extols the virtues of breathing meditation, i.e. taking the breath as the focus until one is able to achieve an "unwavering concentration" at which point we can shift our focus to examine other aspects of the teachings.

    overall, i suspect that ones teacher has a great deal of influence in regards to the sorts of meditational techniques that a being may employ.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  5. Zazen

    Zazen New Member

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    practiceing hei gung(qi gong, nei gong "energy cultivation") you must keep the mind empty, the intent must be focused correctly. emptying the mind is most important to meditative state of mind in buddhism. it is easy for thoughts to flow through the mind, the best method is to not ignore them but accept them and flow with them untill they no longer manifest in your practice.

    after you have emptied your mind of all thoughts all that remains is awareness, when you can build on your understanding of awareness many things become clear. this is the mindset needed for shaolin gung fu practice, not only because of the entertwined philosophy of chan buddhism but the self introspection and awareness of the environment, the bodies physiological processes and the task at hand are a basic requirement for advancement in the said art.

    in the end, the buddhist focus on becoming void, understanding this state and how it relates to the manifestation of the reality we are presently liveing in.
     
  6. Agnideva

    Agnideva Mod Hinduism

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    Namaste Silver,

    As has been already said, there are many similarities in the meditation techniques across Dharma traditions. Advanced meditation methods are learned from and influenced by one’s Guru, but simpler techniques can be learned by oneself.

    In Sanatana Dharma, we employ two basic methods for calming the mind and concentration: japa and pranayama. The japa method involves slow repetitive chanting of a short mantra (vocally or mentally) using a rosary of 108 beads. The simplest of mantras is AUM. AUM is the seed mantra that forms the first part of most other mantras.

    Pranayama is slow rhythmic diaphragmatic breathing which is a very important technique, and is given a lot of emphasis in Hindu meditation. Focus on the in-breath and out-breath helps cessation of transient thoughts and gives the mind the concentration necessary for deeper meditation. The in-breath and out-breath itself is considered a mantra, more specifically an unchanted (ajapa) mantra. Hindu texts speak highly of this unchanted mantra that we are unknowing reciting 21600 times a day.

    There is an esoteric meaning in Hinduism about the unchanted mantra. When we breathe, the sound produced by inhalation is “sooooo”, and that by exhalation is “hammmm”. Alternatively, one can also say inhalation sounds like “hammmm” and exhalation “saaaaa.” When we join these two syllables, we get so-ham or ham-sa. The Sanskrit meaning of so-ham is “That I am” and of ham-sa is “Am I That”. So, it is taught that with every breath we take, we silently recite the ham-sa or so-ham mantra asking, then acknowledging that we indeed are That which we seek. The principle of ‘you are That which you seek’ is an important Upanishadic edict. In pranayama, therefore, one may mentally concentrate on the inspiration and expiration using the sounds so-ham or ham-sa as a guide :).

    OM Shanti,
    A.
     
  7. Vapour

    Vapour New Member

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    Ah, you pretty much nailed it there. Buddhism meditate to get to realise that Brahman the ultimate is not. In Buddahism, Dharma is characterised by impermanence, no soul (as opposed to atman) and suffering.
     
  8. samabudhi

    samabudhi New Member

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    Namo

    Hey Agnideva. In Buddhist Tantra mantra recitation and controlling the breath are used in advanced meditation practices to do with the subtle body (prana) so there is that in common.

    Chogyam Trungpa says with Buddhist meditation there is no object of meditation. Any support which we start off with is just for calming the mind, and then any object we may be aware of, after the mind is calmed, is just for developing insight.
    Of course, according to Buddhist ontology, nothing really exists inherently, so it's gets tricky trying to define what an object of meditation is. And then one might ask how ultimate gnosis can come from meditating on a fabrication. Would be great if we could just jump to meditation without an object, but this is very difficult for beginners.

    Zazen is like this. No object. They jump in straight away, and no trying, but keep trying without doing anything and no expectations. That is all.
    Personally I prefer peeling a banana before consuming it. My fickle mind likes to see progress.

    Hello!
     

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