Buddhist Meditation

Buddhists have their own version of a transcendent experience, which is achieved by meditation or zazen. Buddhists acknowledge that meditation is incredibly difficult, requiring feats of concentration that many people are not used to or unwilling to cultivate.

Samadhi is not dissimilar from the quest for nirvana in Buddhism. The prerequisites for nirvana can be expressed as three principles: abstention from harmful actions (shila, “moral conduct), a disciplined mind (samadhi, “mental concentration”) and a proper understanding of the self and the world (prajna, “wisdom”). In Buddhism these principles are connected to the law of karma, or moral retribution, that impacts the process of death and rebirth. According to Buddhists, the incentive for abstaining from harmful actions is that such actions will lead to punishment in a future life and thereby make it difficult to escape the cycle of death and rebirth. The function of mental concentration is to remove desires and hatreds that lead to harmful actions. And “wisdom” results in an erroneous understanding of self that feeds the whole process of desire, hatred, and harmful action.

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