Meditation Methods

There are a number of different styles of meditation.  The following three are common in our area, and all originated in the Buddhist  traditions.  Here is a very simple comparison:

Insight (or Vipassana)

This is the style we practice in our community.  It can be characterized by the focus on developing awareness of the mind and body.  The most common technique utilized is a focus on the breath, while being mindful of (but not reacting to) activities in the mind or body.
For more information:
Insight Meditation Society
Insight Meditation Center

 

Shambhala

The techniques for this style are similar to Insight meditation, but the goals are a bit different.  Insight’s primary goal is enlightenment, while Shambhala strives primarily for the creation of a good society.
For more information:
www.shambhala.org

Zen

Since all these styles derive from the same Buddhist roots, it’s no surprise that Zen meditation is also similar to the above 2 methods.  Zen differs in that it tends to be more of a collection of different techniques, including chanting, repeating a mantra (phrase), koans (short “word puzzles” intended to spark reflection), meditation using a completely empty mind (no focus object), etc.
For more information:
www.kwanumzen.org

 

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