A summary of Buddhist meditations

Since the subject of meditation is less clear than I anticipated I decided to sum up a description of a Buddhist to save you 1 1/2 hours of listening.

The core of the Buddha’s way to liberation consists in the practice of meditation

It was by meditation that the Buddha reached enlightenment himself and it is only by meditation that those who follow his teaching can generate in their own mind the wisdom needed to reach enlightenment.

In the header of each new chapter I will add the times within this video

0:42 there are two main types of meditation taught by the Buddha

  • one is called the development of serenity
    • aimed specifically at developing Samadhi; that is a deep concentrated state of mind in which the mind is unified freed from discursive thought which provides calmness;
      but the real value is
    • wisdom due to a focussed mind in concentration which can cut of ignorance
      This meditation did exist in India long before Buddha existed
  • and Buddha’s develoment is called the development of insight
    6:08 Both meditations purify the mind in different ways

6:26 There are 3 layers of defilement (mental pollutions):

  1. The subtlest layer of defilement is the layer of latent tendencies which lie dormant at the base of the mind.
    • but with experiences or when we evaluate things and relate them to ourselves,
      this condition can be aroused to an active form called
  2. The stage of manifestation, and when it reaches a level in which it can’t be controlled, it spills out into
  3. The stage of transgression, which is a form of some unwholesome action or deed of body or speech.

10:11 Three Steps to counteract the defilements

  1. Moral discipline counteracts transgression
  2. Concentration counteracts the manifestation
  3. Wisdom and insight counteracts latent tendencies.

12:44 The difference between serenityand insight-meditation

  • Serenity meditation purifies the defilement in their active form; removes them from the level of manifestation by supressing them.
    (The conscious and mindful process of deliberate suppression should not be confused with repression – an unconscious mechanism which pushes thoughts and emotions out of awareness usually with fear and aversion – yet they still continue to operate below the surface in subliminal form.)
  • Insight meditation purifies the mind by removing latent tendencies by cutting them of at the level of the root by means of wisdom.

14:25 Different effects of the two meditations on the defilements

  • Serenity meditation removes coarser defilements, such as greed, hatred and deluded states;
  • Insight meditation is directed to the subtlest defilments, such as ignorance.

15:11 Two different approaches of insight meditation
to the systematic development of meditation

  1. The vehicle of serenity:
    Deep concentration (Samadhi) on a single object to stabilise the mind on that object and theresith clear an active form of defilment.
    • that concentration then is used to turn the mind to develop insight
  2. Vipassana-yana: The vehicle or method of dry insight:
    • We start directly with mindfulness and thereby also develop a concentration, but a more fluid and mobile one.

19:05 Preliminaries to Buddhist meditations

  1. Practice begins with the act of “going for refuge“: Entrusting oneself to the guiding ideals of the Buddhas path. There are three guiding ideals
    1. The Buddha {as an analogy: the one who describes a medicine}
      • The difference between a Buddha and an Arhant is that Buddha did discover the teachings himself whilst Arhants are monks dedicated to his teachings, named
    2. the Dhamma {analogy: the medicine}
      • the truth of liberation,
      • the path of liberation, and
      • the teachings which give instructions about that path
    3. The Sangha {analogy: the attendent who gets well}
      • can be the physical community of monks or nuns,
      • or the community of Aryans – nobel disciples of the Buddha who have followed the path and reached one of the stages of enlightenment.
  2. 23:00 Taking the precepts: pledging to observe morally pure conduct
    • (see transgression and moral discipline above) in order not to regress on the path of the purification of the mind.
    • to abstain from destroyig life, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, taking intoxicants.

26:37 Development of Samadhi (concentration)
by means of the practice of serenity-meditation

Concentration is the wholesome unification of the mind by focussing the mind on a single object -meditation subjects – or fields of work.

There are 40 Meditation subjects, such as

  • circular disks which represent the primary elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air; or primary colors;
  • parts of the body;
  • e refuge objects: Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha;
  • meditation on the in- and out-breathing;
  • the divine abodes of loving kindness and compassion; etc.

The meditator does choose one of those and then focusses on this single object excluding sensory impressions, discursive thoughts, or other countless mental distractions,
noticing other thoughts, but bringing the mind back again and again to his basic meditation object.

29:43 Impediments which can come up are the five hinderences:

  1. Sensual desire
  2. ill will
  3. dullness and drowsiness: mental inertia, rigidity, stiffness of mind, lethary, indolence
  4. restlesness and worry.
  5. doubt (persistent uncertainty – inability to make up ones mind and commit oneself)

Those are like an impurity of water which prevents us from seeing our own reflection in following ways:

  1. sensual desire is like many different seeming beautiful colors – but they prevent in-sight
  2. ill will, anger and hate is like boiling water
  3. sloth and torpor (a stagnant state of mind) are like water which is overgrown with moss
  4. restlessness and worry are like the surface of water being churned up by strong wind.
  5. doubt is like unclear muddy water.

35:10 Methods to eliminate those hinderances:

What will make hinderances stronger is to

  • follow and latch on to it, or
  • becoming upset by it and pushing it away.


  • Simply make a note of the hinderance when it arises
  • then let it go without becoming disturbed by it
  • and bringing the mind back to the object of meditation
  • but if the hinderance still continues to crop up, focussing on the hinderance itself with mindfulness helps.

Then, when the hinderance subsides the meditator can return to the primary object.
But if the hinderance still subsides, there are special methods to deal with each hinderance:

  1. sensual desire can be dealt with by meditating on the impermanence of the senses.
    (also to meditate on the impure or unattractive nature of the body)
  2. ill will, anger and hate can be counteracted by developing loving kindness.
  3. dullness and drowsiness can be counteracted by walking meditation, washing the face, going out into cold air or develp a perception of a bright light
  4. to get rid of restlessness and worry one can practice mindfullness breathing and meditating on the sublime, peaceful and serene figure of the Buddha
  5. doubt can be counteracted by interrrogation, studies and a strong resolution to commit to the practice – to stick with the method and suspend the doubts.

39:54 Five mental aspects which are strengthened by serenity meditation:

  1. initial application of the mind to the object,
    gross, like a striking of a bell, a bird striking its wings.
  2. sustained application (keeping the mind anchored on the object),
    subtle, like a reverberation of a bell, and a bird continuing in flight
  3. rapture (pleasurable state of mind of interest in the object up to extasy)
  4. happiness (the pleasant feeling – like bliss)
  5. pointedness (concentration without distraction).

They counteract the 5 hinderences

  1. initial application overcomes dullness and drowsiness
  2. sustained application overcomes doubt
  3. rapture overcomes ill will
  4. happiness overcomes restlessness and worry
  5. pointedness overcomes sensual desire

Once all those hinderences are eleminated one enters into a state of excess concentration. The mind now is in the neighborhood of concentration and approaching deep Samadhi.
Here still baby steps have to be taken where one falls back and forth multiple times.
Once one accomplishes deep concentration he can stay in it for as long as he wants.

46:17 The levels of absorption (Jhana)

  1. The first factor has all above mentioned five factors
    one has to train those factors and master them first.
    Then he experiences that initial and sustained applications do disturb him, so
  2. In the second Jhana initial and sustained applications are eliminated.
    At one stage the meditator realises that the gross factor rapture also disturbs, so
  3. In the third Jhana rapture is also eliminated
  4. And in the fourth, happiness and pleasent feeling is replaced by equanimity.
    The mind becomes completely silent and still.
50:05 From there four more immaterial or formless attainments of Samadhi can be achieved:
  • The attainment of ths sphere of infinite space,
  • of infinite consciousness,
  • of nothingness, and of
  • neither perception, nor non-perception.
    This is the very pinnacle in the unification of consciousness:
    At this point the mind becomes so still and concentrated that it is impossible to say whether perception is present or not.

51:09 In all those forms, defilements are completely supressed, yet still latent tendencies and still lying dormant due to the darkness of ignorance which covers over the true nature of phenomena.
Therefore to get rid of latent tendencies, one has to eliminate their support of ignorance through Hannya (wisdom).

After having completed all steps of serenity meditation ones mind is ready for Vipassana (insight meditation [edit: Vipassana refers to the original term, not the specific meditation of the same name])

53:16 Regardless which branch of meditation he chooses first;
to develop insight the yogi has to cultivate the four foundations of mindfullness:
The mindfull contemplation of

  1. the body [edit: this is the Vipassana, known to most as the popular meditation technique]
  2. feelings,
  3. states of mind, and
  4. Dhammas

This will make the experience accessible to him in a detailed way.
The aim of developing wisdom is to understand the nature of experience as it unfolds successively.
Wisdom is the knowledge which penetrates the true nature of Dhammas and phenomena,
and dispells the darkness of ignorance which covers up the true nature of things.
It has to be related to own experiences:

55:11 At the first level the meditator has to see his experience as a compounded process made up of many components.
The root form of ignorance is the false identification of oneself as a subsitent ego-entity due to the tendency to grasping things as ‘solid holes’ or to see them as ‘monolithic unities’ rather than seeing the complex and interwoven nature of things.
Hence the experience has to be broken down into its components:

5 physical aggregates functioning in unison4 mental aggregates
* the material form – the body with its sense-organs and -objects.
* the feelings (perceptions)
* experience
Together they build a unified flow of both streams of events, which are just conditionally arisen.

58:10 The next stage is where Vipassana begins by seeing the 3 underlying characteristics of those streams:

  • Anicca: impermanence,
    • (of bodily states, feelings, perceptions, mental formations and consciousness)
  • Dukkha: unsatisfactoriness (of all above mentioned 5 aggragates) , and
  • Anatta: selflessness (of them all)

The contemplator then watches everything to arise and fall away;
then focusses exclusively on the breaking up of those states.
To then realise that no security can be found in conditioned existance.
And this insecurity will give insight into the unsatisfactury nature of the world,>
and his mind will begin to turn away from all worldly things.

Then a strong desire for emancipation will arise, leading to a deepening of the power of insight,

The mind penetrates until it reaches a stage of profound equanimity without fear, disgust or sorrows. That is the highest level of Vipassana-insight.

Then a sudden radical change will take place and the meditator will realise that the the stage of the supremundane tasks and fruits with a mature consciousness is about to arrive.

There are four supermundane successive tasks which arrive with a time interval between them:
Each one realisese Nibana (Nirvana) for a single moment and eradicates certain defilements right down to the level of tendency.

  1. The first path is the path of stream entry
    • (the mind turns away from all formations of existance and attains the path of stream entry)
    • for a moment it enters Nibana, leaves all conditioned states, and directly percieves and realises the deathless state.
    • and simultaneously 3 defilements get cut down right down to the level of latent tendencies: The defilements which are bound to samsara, such as
  2. The view of a truely existing self
  3. doubt, perplexity
  4. clinging to rules and rituals

Above moments can be compared to a man breaking his chains,
and is immediately followed by another type of consciousness, called ‘fruition‘:

The fruit of stream-entry

after which the yogi will become a stream-enterer, an Aryan, a noble person, a whole new person of being, who entered the stream of the Dhamma.

He is not yet fully liberated, but bound to reach enlightenment, liberation or Nibana at a maximum of seven lives in the human or heavenly world,
but can not be reborn in the realms of misery, in the hells, among the animals, as an afflicted spirit, or as a Titan.

His spiritual progress will continue from life to life.

1:07:16 Now the Yogi wants to progress to reach the next stage of liberation: he again undertakes the cultivation of insight he passes through the different levels of insights when he reaches the highest point and his faculties mature, he attains

The second path called the path of ‘the once returner’

This path does not actually eradicate any Fetters completely,
but it will weakened two fetters: the fetter of sense desire and the fetter of ill-will.
Then the yogi experiences the corresponding fruition and comes back to normal consciousness as a once returner – at a maximum of one more time to the human world.

1:08:13 Wishing to go further he again develops insight and reaches the highest level of insight and attains

The third path the path of the ‘non returner’
– the Anagāmi.

This path eradicates the previously weakened two fetters of sensual desire and ill-will.
The yogi will never again return to the human world or to any heavenly world.
If he doesn’t reach full deliverance in this life we will take rebirth in a special heavenly plane called the pure abode and there he will reach final deliverance.

1:09:04 But now the yogi wants to reach the final goal in this life.
Until he begins to develop insight, he goes up the ladder of insight realization and at the peak he reaches

the fourth path: The path of Arhatship

With this he eradicates the five remaining fetters. That is

  • the desire for existence in the realms of fine material forms
    • and in the immaterial form (the sixth and seventh fetters)
  • he eradicates conceit which here means not the cost concedes aside but these subtle concedes of an existing I.
  • then he cuts off restlessness – the fundamental agitation present in every mind that is not fully enlightened
  • and at last he eradicate ignorance the most basic fetter.

Following the path he experiences the fruit of our Arhatship
and then he emerges as an Arhat, an accomplished one,
someone who’s completed his training, and lives in the experience of Nibbana.

As an Arhant he’s no more tied to the realm of becoming,
but he abides and peace through the rest of his days,
and with his passing away he attains the final goal the Nibbana-element without residue remaining.

And that is the consummation the end of the past now

At 1:10:38 you may listen to 13 min of practical instructions
which this article is not concerned with.

23 Replies to “A summary of Buddhist meditations”

    1. Hahaha, you calling me “expert” friend, just as I am having the biggest meditation-crisis ever struggling tremendously with my daily practice, and feel like I know nothing whatsoever.
      Seriously – this is the worst ever – when walking the Camino de Santiago I could go on through the worst snow-storms or steepest climbs for hours, as long there were yellow arrows on the way.
      But when they were misssing and I walked for half an hour without having seen any, it was very difficult to keep walking for the next hour, because I doubted the way.
      (Yes it’s mentioned in the text but without external confirmation sometimes continuation requires tremendous persistence – but really bad is if one starts to question whether ones persistence is obsession or even madness.)


      1. Since you are the expert friend, and German, being skeptical is not a bad thing. In fact, it is a good thing. Otherwise, everything becomes a routine, therefore mindless and meaningless.
        Good that you mentioned walking. See now why I don’t do seated meditation? 😎


        1. I realised that both kinds of meditation have different energies.
          A friend told me yesterday that he found walking so much more meditative than cycling.
          In the same way, when walking I found a huge difference to sitting again.

          Walking is the best to work out issues and think. Bill Gates for example walks a lot whilst figuring out things.
          I also like to walk when being on the phone – always get straight up, even if I was lying in bed.
          I also work out problems when walking.

          On the Camino I worked out a tremendous amount of issues because there was the time to obsesively go over them again and again until I had worked them out.
          But when I took a break (especially in nature when being alone), I realised that the walking was really noisy compared to sitting still and saw how much of the peace I missed.

          I think it is also possible to get into a meditative state through chanting (like in nearly all religions), so it’s different strokes for different folks, and I guess it depends on the colors you need to complete your picture how many different meditation techniques you need.


          1. I agree with you, for once 🤣
            The brain is such an extraordinary organ. It works in mysterious ways.
            Walking is problem solving that’s true. To me swimming is peaceful for the mind.


            1. I think you now could agree because I extended my position to a more inclusive one.
              I guess that’s some of the fruits of having crises which put ones own path into perspective ^^.
              Swimming is lovely also – I only don’t like swimming pools, but in quiet nature it is great (if there are no alligators 😀 )

              If it were for me and I would live nearby a lake I would go out rowing every morning – it is my contemplative sport of choice.


                1. Oh yeah,
                  I just wanted to go over to your blog and look at the comment in order to discus something with her,
                  but then I was puzzled why you did like it if you did consider it to be mad.

                  I still don’t understand the blogging mentality properly – many like without meaning it, and when I asked people to like as a sign of their participation, none did.

                  I litereally did delete ALL my subscribers which didn’t like that questionaire post
                  or which did subscribe afterwards (alltogether 7 left only – hahaha).

                  Maybe you can explain to me what I am missing in the blogoshpere-game.


                  1. I didn’t consider it mad, on the contrary I found it very insightful. But one woman, one of my followers did it like it at all. I told her I reblogged it for people who are interested in Buddhist meditations. That’s all.

                    I think your blog, your niche, targets few people out there. It is a specific blog. If you write about meditation in general or about yoga or else but again, in general, maybe you would have more followers. I don’t know if you are interested in this anyway.

                    Do you want more followers or do you want your readers to be interested in Kriya etc.?


                    1. Well, that was an unlucky coincidental double meaning of the sentence:
                      “one mad comment who had bad experience with ‘all this'”. (whatever ‘all this’ is supposed to mean).
                      I took it as a crazy comment – you probably referred to her having been mad,
                      and I wonder what you found interesting in her saying that there is a dark side to eastern teachings vs ‘the saviour’ Jesus.

                      To answer your question about followers:
                      I obviously don’t want 2k followers as “Jesus-saves” blogs have
                      Like you said when I did tell you about successful people in our age-group: “What makes you think I want their job?”
                      My reasons are mentioned in this article series:
                      (it continues on part 3,4 and then OMG 1&2, so those are 5 articles alltogether)

                      My desire to focus on people who participate is the reason why I put up a paywall, reset all followers, and switched of notifications of likes and follows, so that in the future I am not inclined to cater to the taste of the ones I know.
                      I tried to bring a spiritual anchor of serenity to the world in Covid-turmoil,
                      but that backfired bad on me badly; and instead of inspiring others,
                      their turmoil sucked me into a whirl of doubt and nihilism.

                      Now you can observe a point in spirituality when it gets lonely.
                      In fact at the moment I sense that I will continue to write articles (not related to my kriya)
                      until I completed the course I am writing, and then let it stand as a reference for people who are interested.
                      Thereafter I feel that I have earned my karmic right to slowly withdraw from blogging and practice on my own without feeling guilty of leaving anyone behind.


                    2. The woman who wrote the comment mentioned a dark side of eastern religions and that she had a bad experience practicing it and prefers Jesus as her saviour. Anyway, people are free in their beliefs, I don’t judge.

                      I consider your blog as a school of meditation. So, your followers must be very serious because it is not an easy blog like mine for example. Now, the question is: are people ready to switch completely to the completely different type of spirituality that you are offering?

                      I am saying this not to criticize you at all but only out of observing people I know. I realized that in times of turmoil, people tend to stick to their routines because it brings them security. Worse, they go to easy actions such as overeating junk food because it is comfort food. Only happy few will try to take advantages of the situation to start new or to go more spiritual. You know all this takes courage.

                      Anyway, I find your blog special and interesting. I learned a lot reading you fire horse ❤

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. After reading your comment, I instantly had so many thoughts that I did wait a day to reply, but still there are so many aspects that I just pick out one point by asking you: Can I use excerpts of this comment to add into my collection of testimonials I am just building up? (In lack of your full surname I can quote you as “Miss O.”., but I have to warn you that this may make people associate you with the Story of O (1975) – IMDb 😉



                    4. Well, I thought, because your blogname is maylynno .

                      Ok, you make it into the list of female philosophers with D: Izydora Dąmbska (1904–1983) Peggy DesAutels Penelope Deutscher ) Diotima of Mantinea (appears in Plato’s Symposium ) Helene von Druskowitz (1856–1918) Raya Dunayevskaya (1910–1987) Divya Dwivedi ; and finally: Maylynn Φ Didactic (1978-8791{due to transhumanism})


                      Liked by 1 person

                    5. Thanks, that is nice of you to let me know. That makes me wonder how many subscribers you have. If I had just over 100 subscribers and got 5 likes you must have hundreds 🙂

                      I also thought about your reaction to that religious woman. Having seen how people first pass on information with an inner distance somehow that shows me that you are just in the process of starting to grow into that subject.

                      (on another note: you mentioned my name plus @sodarshanchakrakriya.com coincidentally this is actually my mailadress so I wouldn’t mind if you delete that comment of yours so that robots don’t start to spam me)



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