How many types of meditation are there in Theravada Buddhism? Could you also provide a list of them as well.

Thank you in advance.

2 Answers 2


At least forty:

  1. Earth device

    Water device

    Fire device

    Air or wind device

    Blue device

    Yellow device

    Red device

    White device

    Space device

    Consciousness device

    A corpse that is bloated

    A corpse that is livid (has patchy discoloration)

    A corpse that is festering (trickling with pus in broken places)

    A corpse that is cut up

    A corpse that is gnawed

    A corpse that is scattered

    A corpse that is hacked and scattered

    A corpse that is bleeding

    A corpse that is worm-infested

    A corpse that is a skeleton

    Contemplation of the Buddha

    Contemplation of the Dhamma

    Contemplation of the Sangha

    Contemplation of Virtue

    Contemplation of Charity

    Contemplation of the Devas

    Mindfulness of Death

    Mindfulness of the Physical Body

    Mindfulness with Breathing

    Contemplation of Calmness





    Sphere of Infinity of Space

    Sphere of Infinite Consciousness

    Sphere of No-thingness

    Sphere of Neither Perception nor Non-Perception

    Contemplation of the loathsomeness of food

    Analysis of the four physical elements


  • Thank you for your answer! But how are some of these types of meditation? For example, 'a corpse that is bleeding'.
    – Nanoputian
    Jan 31, 2017 at 4:43
  • 1
    suttacentral.net/en/dn22 may help! :) Jan 31, 2017 at 9:50
  • @IlyaGrushevskiy thank you so much! That definitely helped. I have been looking for this for so long. Thanks again.
    – Nanoputian
    Jan 31, 2017 at 22:49

The meditation subjects are called Kammaṭṭhāna. There are 40 of them.

Most of these are collected in the following books:

Also you might want to read Knowing and Seeing by Pa Auk Sayadaw which glosses over many of matter.

Looking at the size of these manual it is difficult to give introduction to all in one answer.

But in ascese all have the similar goal. That is to:

  • scrub the latent tendencies (anusaya), Kleshas or unwholesome roots
  • remove the corruptions of insight (vipallasa) and understand the three marks of existence

with ever way you understand better.

In studying meditation from any of the above sources it is wise to treat them as secondary source and compair with the Tripitaka which is the primary source.

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