February 2023 Dhamma Journal – A Comprehensive Survey of Buddhist Meditation

Dear Mahāpajāpati Dhamma Friends,

How are you? Hope you are all doing well. We would like to inform you that from now on, every month we will share with you a topic regarding our thesis. Hopefully, it will help to strengthen your knowledge of meditation.

May you be well, happy, and peaceful.

Chapter 1 – A Comprehensive Survey of Buddhist Meditation

The main focus of this chapter is to provide a comprehensive survey of Buddhist meditation in Theravāda tradition with reference to the canonical and the post-canonical texts, particularly to the Suttanta and the Abhidhamma Piṭaka.

Prior to this, a general and non-specific view of meditation along with its major benefits is going to be discussed in brief. In doing so, this work will offer an elucidation of the term ‘meditation’ to a certain extent and the efficacy of practicing meditation in the
health sector, both physical and mental alike. In addition, it has attempted to examine why meditation is popular among medical scientists. Furthermore, with regard to the domain of Buddhist meditation, this chapter has devoted ample space to the clarification of the technical terms used, their origin and development, and noteworthy differences between two types of Buddhist meditation:

Tranquillity (samatha) and Insight (vipassanā).

Moreover, it has tried to analyze slight variations between the meditation subjects (kammaṭṭhāna) and the meditation object (kammaṭṭhānārammaṇa) as they often appear easily confusable for beginners. Additionally, this chapter has discussed the meditation subjects along with six temperament types with reference to the Path of Purification (Visuddhimagga). Also, a lucid and detailed exposition of the four Foundations of Mindfulness (satipaṭṭhānā) on which the Enlightened One put a great emphasis as a basic framework for developing insight meditation has been scrutinized in this chapter.

In the next Dhamma Journal, this chapter with continue with “Popularity of Meditation within the Domain of Medical Science”