Buddhist meditation consists of two aspects, first one calms and focuses the mind by concentrating on the breath or an object. Then one turns this concentration towards becoming aware of mind’s enlightened qualities.
These moments of insight go beyond concepts and stiff ideas. The ultimate aim of Buddhist meditation is to become aware of the nature of mind. When one can hold this awareness permanently, resting naturally in mind’s true nature, this is called enlightenment.
Meditating on the Buddha or on an authentic teacher’s enlightened qualities gives us a clear example, and coupled with our own motivation, is a fast way to attain this goal.
You can try out a short guided meditation here with Lama Ole Nydahl:
Tibetan Buddhist Meditation
The principles of calming the mind (Tibetan: shinay, Sanskrit: shamatha) and generating deep insight (Tib: lhaktong, Skt: vipashyana) apply to all kinds of Buddhist meditation.
A specialty of Tibetan Buddhism is exciting meditations on forms of energy and light, and in particular meditating on one’s enlightened teacher. Known as Guru Yoga, these meditations work with identification. One focuses on the enlightened qualities of the teacher – their fearlessness, joy and compassion – and gradually realises that these qualities are inherent in oneself. The teacher is a living example of enlightenment, showing us that it is not something far away or abstract, but completely possible for everyone to reach.
Diamond Way Meditations
There are many Diamond Way meditations available which can lead to liberation and enlightenment in one lifetime. These are traditional meditation practices of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. They were transmitted to Lama Ole Nydahl by various masters of the lineage, and translated to Western languages to give direct access and understanding to Buddhist students in the West.
Focused on fully developing the human potential, these meditations bring about lasting results for those who not only want to learn about their minds, but have a direct experience of its underlying nature.
Meditation is mind’s gift to itself.
– Lama Ole Nydahl
Learn to Meditate
One of the most effective is the meditation on the 16th Karmapa which is practised in all of our buddhist centers around the world and is available for anyone to learn. Each centre will have at least one night a week where beginners can get explanations in order to practice properly. The rhythm and sequence of the meditation is best learnt in a group and meditating with others is a good support for our motivation and continued practice.
If this style of meditation is something you wish to pursue, there are a number of other practices that also work alongside the main 16th Karmapa meditation. Done in sequence, they help to clear the body, speech and mind of negative impressions and add enriching experiences that are necessary on the path to enlightenment.
In New Zealand we have local centres where you can access these meditations. Also if you have any questions there will be someone there to give you more information in a direct and practical way.