There are lots of different techniques of Buddhist meditation for beginners to learn.
When you are just starting to get into mindfulness you might wonder what techniques you should begin with. Which ones are easy? Which are safe for beginners? How do you get started?
As a meditation teacher I have helped many people to learn Buddhist meditation techniques, and today I will show you how you too can get started with the methods Buddha taught.
Many of the top 31 meditation techniques stem from Buddhism. These techniques are some of the most powerful and the most beneficial ways to meditate. That’s why so many people practice them, including these famous celebrities.
Before you get started, however, let me give you a heads-up: There are some health risks and problems that can come from meditating.
That’s why smart people begin meditation properly.
To help you out, I’ve put together a plan for learning Buddhist meditation for beginners.
This will teach you how to meditate properly in a safe way. I’ll show you how to meditate like Buddha intended us all to do (which is not rushing in).
And best of all, you’ll learn how you can use those different types of Buddhist meditation for every day happiness, health, and inner peace.
The Best Buddhist Meditation Techniques For Beginners
Be sure to read my absolute introductory guide to meditation for beginners because it will prepare you for these Buddhist techniques.
1: The basics of Buddhist meditation for beginners
Before you learn Buddhist meditation techniques, it’s best to familiarise yourself with the basics of meditation.
In the link above I discuss how to meditate properly.
If you are a beginner, Buddhist meditations should be done slowly and properly.
If you really want to know how to meditate like Buddha, you’re going to have to do your ground work.
There are certain fundamentals that go into a good Buddhist meditation plan.
So, make sure you read that link above before continuing.
2: The best place to start is mindful breathing
- Get started now: Read my guide to basic breathing methods.
Losing control. Wiping out. Crashing and burning. Falling off. Whatever you want to call it. It can happen in meditation. It’s when you lose control of your mind.
I don’t mean that in the sense that we lose control and go insane; simply that we can lose control of our focus.
One of the most important parts of meditation is staying in control of our focus.
When you meditate, you will come across distractions both internal and external. The key is to stay in control.
This is why the best type of Buddhist meditation technique for beginners is mindful breathing.
With breathing meditations, beginners can stay in control.and keep the mind focused.
In meditation, breathing often acts like an anchor. When we feel our focus slipping away, we draw attention back to the breath. That keeps our consciousness anchored so our minds stay in place, so to speak.
When we breathe, we are conscious of the entire body. In the Anapanasati Sutta , Buddha said, “He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in sensitive to the entire body. ‘ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.”
When you know how to return the mind to the breath, you give yourself as an easy way to bring back your focus. That’s why the best Buddhist meditation for beginners is mindful breathing.
Take a look at the link above. Learn breathing meditations. And then continue with the rest of this guide.
3: Buddhist mindfulness meditation technique for beginners
Losing your mind is not funny unless Jim Carrey is doing it. So, use mindfulness to keep your mind.
Mindfulness is one of the core types of Buddhist meditation technique. For beginners, it helps the mind to stay in the moment. And it will boost your focus and concentration. Plus, it’s an excellent way of removing stress and relaxing.
When you are mindful you gain more control of your mind. That translates to having more control of your actions, making you much more effective.
Zen is a Japanese school of Mahayana Buddhism that is closely related to Taoism. There are many excellent Zen Buddhist meditations for beginners, ranging from traditional seated meditation to Zen walking.
For beginners, Buddhist meditation in the Zen style will help you to learn to be inwardly still and focused, which is essential when you’re new to meditation.
If you would like to try this now, take a look at my Zazen tutorial.
5: Zen Walking
You love walking, right? I know I do. But, grasshopper, do you know what is better than just plain old walking? Zen Walking.
This is one of the most relaxing types of Buddhist meditation techniques for beginners to try.
With Zen Walking you focus your mind on the process of walking.
Now, you might be thinking, “Why would I want to do that”. But actually, there are a lot of very good reasons why you should be mindful of walking.
Zen walking makes you more conscious of the body and of movement. It also heightens your awareness of your actions, which leads to increased self-control. Plus, it is a good gentle form of exercise, particularly for the elderly and for people who have minor mobility problems.
Also, consider the amount of time you spend walking. Probably a lot, right? Now imagine if you were mindful every time you walked. That would be a major boost to your overall levels of mindfulness, right?
So how do you do it?
Take a look at my guide to Zen Walking.
Done all that?
Let’s put it together.
A Plan For You
Now that we are familiar with the different types of Buddhist meditations for beginners, it’s time to put that knowledge into practice by adopting a training plan.
Here is the plan that we recommend.
How To Use This Plan
Buddhists meditate as a way to achieve enlightenment.
But before you set your sights on such lofty aspirations, stop.
It’s smart to go slowly and to learn meditation the right way.
For the beginner, Buddhist meditation must be done gradually and consistently.
Try to do at least one of the exercises each day.
At the end I will prescribe a traditional Buddhist meditation plan and recommend that you practice one technique at a time, starting with the first one before moving on.
Try This Simple Schedule
The most important thing when it comes to learning Buddhist meditation as a beginner, is commitment. Commit to the practice.
In week 1 you want to do only the simplest techniques, which is a breathing meditation.
Take twenty minutes each day to sit and focus your mind on your breathing. This will quiet your mind and enhance your focus.
Choose a time each day where you can focus on your breath for twenty minutes. Do not focus on results during this time, simply aim to do twenty minutes of breathing meditation each day.
In week 2 you will want to continue your breathing practice, continuing your commitment to those twenty minutes a day. And at the same time, progress into slightly more advanced techniques like Zen Walking.
However, this demands that we put aside another 20 minutes to practice.
Many people simply don’t have the time. For this reason I recommend practicing Zen walking while on your way somewhere.
If you are going to work, for instance, choose a safe path to walk and leave a little earlier than usual. This will give you the time to practice zen walking while you are on your way to work (which saves time compared to having a dedicated schedule for this type).
You may practice Zen walking whenever you are on a safe path, so the next time you are walking somewhere, go a safe route and meditate while you walk.
In week 3 we want to begin to use meditation in our everyday living.
For this we use mindfulness.
It is possible to practice mindfulness meditation while doing anything.
Say, for instance, that you are doing the dishes. You can meditate on the process of cleaning, thus practicing while you work.
You can equally practice while exercising, while showering and while doing other simple tasks. By practicing mindfulness meditation while you work you are learning to adopt a meditative style of living, rather than simply practicing at specific times.
In this final week I recommend adding Anapanasati, Samatha, and Vipassana to your current meditation training schedule.
What we end up with in week 4 is a complete training plan that looks like this:
1. Practice 20 minutes of breathing per day
2. Mindfulness: While doing any simple tasks, do them mindfully
3. Walking: While en route somewhere, take the safe path and practice Zen Walking
4. Include a second 20 minute period per day when you will practice Vipassana.
5. And there you are, the complete Buddhist meditation plan for beginners. Follow this path and you will realise the meaning of Om Mani Padme Hum.
With this plan, you can use all the best types of beginners Buddhist meditation techniques effectively. But naturally, you can feel free to add to this plan if you like.
- You might like to try adding the Smiling Buddha technique
- and another great way to meditate is with a Tibetan Singing Bowl.
Who knows, eventually you might become such an advanced meditator that you return as an enlightened Buddhist, having lived to 200 in Tukdam state with a Rainbow body and achieved Buddhist oneness.
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Know of another good Buddhist meditation for beginners?
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