7 Techniques Of Buddhist Meditation For Beginners [With Scripts]

There are lots of different types of Buddhist meditation techniques for beginners to learn.

In this tutorial on Buddhist meditation, I will guide you through all the most importance practices, and their scripts and benefits.

As a meditation teacher, I have helped many people to learn Buddhist meditation techniques, and today I will show you how to meditate like Buddha. These techniques are also the Tibetan meditation techniques, Tibet being the home of Buddhism, where it is the dominant religion.

Essentially, Buddhist meditation is about learning to understand how the mind works.

One of my favorite things said by Buddha on meditation, is: ““Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance.” What this means is that when we practice Buddhist meditation, we learn about the processes of the mind. It is about understanding how we ourselves work. Because once we understand ourselves, it is much easier to live happy, healthy lives.


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What Is Buddhist Meditation?


There are many different meditations in Buddhism. And indeed, many of the most powerful meditations in the world come from Buddhism [READ: Best Meditation iTechniques].

You might wonder just what is meditation in Buddhism.

In Buddhism, meditation is about gaining insight into the processes of the mind so that we are more consious of the way the mind works. Once we are more conscious of how the mind works, we are more in control, less emotionally reactive, and we have more self-mastery.

Below I will share with you all the best Buddhist meditation techniques. But first, here is my Buddhist meditation video.

Buddhist Meditation For Beginners VIDEO

8 Buddhist Meditations Beginners Need To Know

Best Buddhist Meditation Techniques For Beginners (with scripts)

In this list of Buddhist meditations you will find everything from breathing techniques to mantras and mudras. I suggest trying all these methods to find the best ones for you.

1: Mindful Breathing (simple Buddhist meditation for beginners)

If you want to learn how to meditate like a Buddhist, start with mindful breathing. It is one of the most basic Buddhist meditation practices and it is used to give you mental control.

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 focus.

One of the most important lessons in Buddhist meditation is to stay in control of your conscious awareness. In otherwords, be mindful of what you are focusing on. When we meditate on the breath, for instance, we focus on the breath.

One problem beginners encounter is that they get distracted.

The single most important thing when learning how to meditate, for beginners, is to be able to stay in control of your conscious awareness without getting distracted or losing focus.

This is why the best type of Buddhist meditation for beginners is mindful breathing.

The purpose of breathing meditations (in Buddhism at least) is to create what Buddha called “equanimity” which is basically a mental calmness, the type of calmness that let’s you stay relaxed but focused.

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 [1], 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.”

One of my favorite quotes about Buddhist meditation comes from Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, who said, “Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”

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.

2. Anapanasati 

One of the best Buddhist meditation practices for beginners is “Anapanasati”. This is a technical form of mindful breathing. When we practice this technique we focus the mind on the breath, and then we notice when the mind wanders.

This is arguably the best way to meditate for beginners. It helps us to relax and cultivate equanimity (calmness of mind) and it trains us about how the mind comes and goes.

Read my guide to Anapansati Meditation. 

3: Buddhist mindfulness meditation technique for beginners

Losing your mind is not funny unless Jim Carrey is doing it. That”s why Buddhists use mindfulness: to help the maintain conscious awareness of the processes of the mind. [READ: Gettting Started With Mindfulness]

Buddhist Mindfulness technique is one of the most important practices for beginners to learn. 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.

Essentially, Buddhist mindfulness is about being conscoiusly aware of the present moment in a non-judgmental fashion. In the book “Mindfulness For Dummies”, Shamash Alidina says, “In mindfulness, acceptance always comes first, change comes after.”

It is about accepting the present moment. It is about living in the now.

4: Zen 

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 Zen meditation techniques 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? That’s why walking meditation is such a good choice. And for an alternative Buddhist meditation that involves movement, you could also try meditative dance.

6: Vipassana

In Buddhism, meditation is about cultivating insight into the workings of the mind. Buddha said about meditation that it is about becoming consciously aware of what is happening in the mind. And one of the best ways to achieve that is with Vipassana technique.

When learning how to meditate, Buddhism focuses on developing understanding of the processes of the mind. One way to do this is with Vipassana, which is essentially the practice of labelling what goes through the mind. For instance, if we hear something we label it “sound”, or if we feel something we label it “sensation”. This labelling helps us to understand the nature of existence and to be less reactive to things like thoughts and feelings.

7: Loving Kindness

One of the best Buddha meditation techniques is Loving Kindness, which in Buddhism is “Metta”. This practice is all about cultivating love and compassion for sentient beings. Essentially, when we practice this Buddhist meditation we mentally extend love and kindness to others, and we imagine receiving those things back from them. This develops compassion, which is one of the most important traits in Buddhism.

This is one of my favorite Buddhist practices for beginners because it quickly develops happiness.

Daily Buddhist Meditation Practice 

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 simple daily Buddhist meditation plan.

Here is the plan that I recommend.

How To Use This Plan.

Buddhists meditate as a way to achieve enlightenment [READ: How To Become Enlightened]

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 daily Buddhist meditation practice and recommend that you practice one technique at a time, starting with the first one before moving on.

One Week Of Daily Buddhist Meditation  

Let’s look at how to practice Buddhist meditation daily. Simply follow this easy plan to get in the habit.

WEEK 1: 

The most important thing when it comes to learning Buddhist meditation as a beginner, is commitment. Commit to the practice. Do it daily.

In week 1 you want to do only the simplest techniques, which is a breathing meditation. This is the most easy Buddhist meditation exercise and the best place to start with your routine.

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 mindful breathing each day.

WEEK 2: 

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.

 

WEEK 3:

 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.

WEEK 4:

 In this final week I recommend adding Anapanasati, Samatha, and Vipassana to your current meditation training schedule.

Once you have learned Anapanasati, Vipassana, loving kindness and Samatha, add them to your plan. Try doing twenty minutes of each a week.

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.

And That Is How To Meditate Like A Buddhist

With the plan above, 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.

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 just in case you’re wondering how popular Buddhist meditation techniques are, take a look at this list of famous Buddhist celebrities!

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Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a yoga teacher, meditation teacher and writer. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential through mindfulness, yoga and meditation.

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