Buddhist meditation indicates use of different meditative techniques which are related to philosophy and religion of Buddhism. The core techniques of mediation have got conserved in traditional Buddhist notes and have got broadened and multiplied through transmissions from teachers to students. Buddhists follow mediation as portion of their path towards Nirvana and enlightenment. In Buddhism, Dhyana/jhana and bhavana are words which mean mediation.
The techniques for mediation have got famous in wider world and with various non-Buddhists that have taken them for different reasons. There are certain similar techniques for meditation like breath meditation and anussati (different recollections) which are taught in Buddhist schools which indicates the diversity among types of meditation. In the tradition of Theravada, there are more than 50 methods to develop mindfulness and 40 to develop concentration, but in Tibetan tradition there are 1000s of visualization meditations. Much contemporary and classical Buddhist mediation will be specific for particular school.
Buddha is considered to have found 2 important mental qualities which develop from wholesome practice of meditation,
- Tranquillity or serenity, (samtha in Pali) which helps in composing, concentrating and unifying the mind. “serenity” or “tranquillity” (Pali: samatha) which steadies, composes, unifies and concentrates the mind;
- Provides insight which allows a person to explore, discern and see different formations which is called vipassana in Pali. (conditioned phenomena depending on 5 aggregates)
Through the contemplative development of serenity, a person is able to inhibit blotting out hindrances and using suppression of hindrances, with help of meditative development of insight a person will gain wisdom.