I know there are many types of meditation, but can someone help clarify the following questions on meditation:

- What types of meditation is essential for the practice & why?
- How do those types of meditation work (like what am I suppose to be doing)?
- Why do we do meditation (why is it such an essential thing)?

If you also have any extra information to add, it would be well appreciated!

(And if possible, please cite sources in the Pali Tipitaka for your answer)

Metta to all!

4 Answers 4

  • What types of meditation is essential for the practice & why?

The Buddhist path to liberation is divided into 3 trainings:

Noble 8 Fold Path

Source: Maha Cattarīsaka Sutta

Moreover, there 40 types of meditation (Kammaṭṭhāna) which is aimed at fullfilling the 3 trainings:

  • How do those types of meditation work (like what am I suppose to be doing)?

Sila - recollection of morality (Śīla)

The recollection of virtue reminds oneself of the moral contents one has to follow. Say one gets the motivation to do something unwholesome. The frequent recollection reminds oneself of what one has to follow.

Samadhi - Samatha

This uses and object and one develops one-pointed concentration on it.

Panna - Vipassanā

One examines the realities of phenomena and develops insight into it.

  • Why do we do meditation (why is it such an essential thing)?

To realise the 3 training meditation is the tool.


You will want to memorize and think about the Dhamma a lot to develop insight, motivation and conviction. Then one would split thinking into two and constantly try to entertain themes which are good, being sensitive to the mind, adjusting to accommodate the various hindrances and contemplating a lot.

Id advice you to do your own learning and get mastery of the 4 nikayas first but you should also use commentary where it makes sense and have a general idea of origin & points of controversy.

here are various perception developments; https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kZxstsAvjhj9Svc47RUKRIyKQMuHMD4adIvr_7pp2uI/edit

here on factors of enlightenment; https://docs.google.com/document/d/18b57EkdwyqsmER1dS5MPqpeWSjj82A7qvqYlXrhkCPQ/edit

here on anapanasati meditation; https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hRy-g6o8yKsDQnR6_sbBbY5ZVpDbQ5-_LURXqwxS7YU/edit?usp=sharing

here on dhamma terminology; https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NHDYCBjXLKwCxEUqbqvk7ui9fPfUx6oKxibjXcEH2CM/edit?usp=sharing

here on hindrances; https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qVz1XtntivxPRsxycsrH0_sgILcMbcghdpxoKuxlLYo/edit?usp=sharing

It is best to find some teachers and experiment a lot.

  • 1
    The third link is the same as the second (i.e. it's not about anapanasati).
    – ChrisW
    Commented Aug 11, 2019 at 19:51
  • 1
    thanks, i fixed it.
    – user8527
    Commented Aug 12, 2019 at 9:06

I would only reccomend meditation that uses pure nature, no imagination, no foreign objects. Yoga asanas, anapana, Sattipithana, or just mindfullness.

An orientation toward virtuous and compassionate behavior is an important foundation. Not because some beings say we must obey, nothing to do with it. It is because we start to understand, through contemplation and observation that particular energies from certain behaviors and Kamma(actions) cause agitation in ourselves and environment around us. You can make your own moral code adding and subtracting if you are honest with yourself.
Awareness of the breath body, sitting still, feel the whole body as you breathe in, as you breathe out. Eat mindfully without distractions. Sit and feel the texture movement, ¿flavour? The arm shoveling. Get the Sattipithana, but get the version written. By Buddha. I reccomend keeping the contemplation to a minimum and meditate more. Like two wings of a plane, theory and practice. Better to not get too much of one without the other. Or there will be ...trouble?


The 4 most popular and indispensable meditations in Early Buddhist meditation: All 4 of these should be in your tool kit. http://lucid24.org/sted/16aps/4meditations/index.html

And a complete set of references for breath meditation: http://lucid24.org/sted/16aps/index.html

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