Buddhist Meditation T o start a meditation, we first calm and focus the mind. To do this we usually con- centrate on the breath or on an object. We then use this focussed attention to develop insight. The ultimate aim of Buddhist medita- tion is insight into the nature of mind – en- lightenment. Meditating on the Buddha, or on the Buddha- like qualities of one’s liberated or enlightened Buddhist teacher, accomplishes both of these. The outer form attracts and holds our atten- tion. And with the insight that our own nature is enlightened like the Buddha’s, we can make fast progress. Benefits of Meditation Become Happier The main benefit is that when our mind is peaceful happiness naturally develops in our hearts. However, there are many other benefits to be experienced along the way. Studies have shown meditation to reduce stress, normalize blood pressure and help people to feel more relaxed. Calmness Our mind will feel lucid and spacious and we will feel refreshed. When the sea is rough, sediment is churned up and the water becomes murky, but when the wind dies down the mud gradually settles and the water becomes clear. Reduces stress The Buddha taught many different types of meditation, each designed to overcome a particular problem or to develop a particu- lar psychological state. But the two most common and useful types of meditation are Mindfulness of Breathing (anapana sati) and Loving Kindness Meditation (met- ta bhavana). So much of the stress and tension we nor- mally experience comes from our mind, and many of the problems we experience, including ill health, are caused or aggra- vated by this stress. Just by doing breath- ing meditation for ten or fifteen minutes each day, we will be able to reduce this stress.