2 Types of Meditation
- Thanks to one of our new members, Swami R,
for his interesting insights and encouragement
to share this article from the Concepts of
Meditation section of our web site
Two Types of Meditation: Stabilizing and Analytical
Tibetan Buddhism speaks of two different types
of meditation. One is Stabilizing and could be
characterized by a type of "mindless" repetition
of a word or phrase (mantra/japa) or by simply
doing an action over and over like yantra (the
continual gazing at an object, ie: a picture or
statue of a deity, the symbol for OM, a flame, etc.).
The other type of meditation is Analytical. In
this form, the practitioner doesn't simply repeat
a word over and over or look at a picture repeatedly.
The meditator would try to understand everything
they know or everything that can be known about the
object of their attention.
As an example of the difference between a stabilizing
and an analytical meditation, let's use the word peace.
You could repeat peace, peace, peace, ad infinitum and
eventually go deeper and deeper into a state of quietude
that could be described as Peace. This is very nice but
perhaps might not be fulfilling relative to an increase
in understanding about peace. This is where analytical
meditation might bring a benefit.
The meditator who is trained in analytical methodology
might also start by repeating the word peace, but once
firmly concentrated on it would then proceed to analyzing
everything they knew about peace. They might think about
the things that bring them peace like swimming, or eating,
or maybe holding a baby. They may also think about the
things that make them lose their peace like their boss, or
unfulfilled desires, or driving in heavy traffic.
In theory, eventually, if they kept at it, they would
connect everything in the universe, because everything is
in some way connected with peace (Einstein's' theory of
relativity - all things are relative to everything else).
But what actually happens is that the object of your
meditation starts to present itself to you and you can
sit back in your minds-eye and simply witness your Higher
Mind reveal every aspect of peace to you.
Your inner Witness, who is your Real Self, is always
receiving, knowing, and at one with everything and once
we remove the false concept that we are different (a body,
a mind, an emotion, even a separate soul) from it, we will
know and be at one with everything. Our consciousness awakens
to its real natural of infinite, eternal Peace, Love,
Knowledge, and Bliss, and we live happily ever after. This
is the state known as Contemplation.
So, to summarize, you start by Concentrating, then Meditate
by the analytical method, and then this segues into
Contemplation. It is then when all the ???'s turn into !!!.
The Tibetans Buddhists consider analytical meditation
techniques to be superior to the stabilizing. For you, now,
it may be possible that this may bring about the result you