Home Discussion Forum Buddhism - when a Buddhist meditates, what does he/she meditate on?

Buddhism – when a Buddhist meditates, what does he/she meditate on?

Like, how one suffers or happiness. Not sure, please help. Have questions, for I am learning how to practice Buddhist meditation.
Also, do you know of any good books and websites to learn Buddhist meditation from? Thank You.


  1. I like their ideas on mandalas, or images upon which one meditates. They even make some themselves at temples, out of sand, and when they are through meditating they destroy it, symbolizing the impermanence of life 🙂

  2. the three pillars of zen teach to count breaths. inhale one, exhale two etc.
    then you go to inhale exhale one, etc.
    keep your back straight and look at a wall or fixate on one thing. if you are interrupted by a noise then it is ok to concentrate on the noise until that passes.
    at one point I believed I could reach through the wall.

  3. “Training the Mind” by Thich Nhat Hahn is a good book about meditation, but there are so many. Different kinds of Buddhists meditate in slightly different ways. The main goal for all is to quiet the mind and be still, in the moment. It is a way to become that which you are, and see as things really are instead of the illusion or maya. Zen Buddhists do this by meditating on a koan, a question that has no answer, like “what is the sound of one hand clapping?” By meditating on a koan, they break their usual pattern of thought, to sort of think outside of the box or just to get out of the habit of prejudgment. Some meditate on absolutely nothing, those are the very experienced at meditation. Some have a favorite mantra. “Om” is simply the sound of the Universe, the divine vibration of all life. “OM MANI PADME HUM” is a chant used by Tibetan Buddhists and Chinese Buddhists, and has deep meaning: http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhistworld/tibet-txt.htm
    I use “Ham Sa” (sp?) which simply means “I am That”, a reminder of my true nature, and it helps to clear my mind and center me.

  4. Maha Satipatthana Sutta-The greater discourse on Mindfulness,will answer all your questions on meditation.

  5. Buddhist meditation is practiced to develop mindfulness, concentration, tranquility and insight.
    So, for Buddhists, Samatha meditation (tranquility/concentration meditation) is commonly practiced as a prelude to and in conjunction with vipassanā meditation (insight meditation) which focus on Buddhist dharma.
    For the purpose of developing concentration and “consciousness,” there are 40 meditation objects that one can apprehend, with the advice of a “good friend” (kalyana mitta) who is knowledgeable in the different meditation subjects, on which object better suits one’s own temperament. Some of meditation objects are: breath (Anapanasati), body, death, unconditional loving kindness, compassion. In different school, like Zen, Buddhist meditation practices Shikantaza, Zazen, Koan or in Vajrayana, Buddhist meditation practices Mandala, Tonglen, Tantra.
    One website from which you can study vipassana meditation is:

  6. Buddhists meditate on anicca (impermanence), dukkha (unsatisfactoriness), and anatta (non-self), using the breath as an anchor. Henepola Gunaratana-in his book ‘Mindfulness in Plain English’ covers what meditation is, what it isn’t, attitude, the practice, what to do with your body, what to do with your mind, structuring your meditation, set-up exercises, dealing with problems, dealing with distractions, sati or mindfulness, mindfulness vs. concentration and mindfulness in everyday life”.
    Metta to all.


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