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Non-Buddhist Meditation

Have you ever tried types of meditation which are derived from traditions other than Buddhism for example Hinduism,Taoism,Christianity,Judaism etc ? How different or similar are they?


  • Being a bit of a meditation slut, I have tried all those and others :3

    For example in Islam the point of focus may be the heart and similar to metta bhavna in some ways. Mindfulness is called 'remembrance' and mantra based evocations are known as zhikr.

    My 'Hindu' efforts were based around yoga practices and rather infantile concentrations on chakras.

    The main difference is to do with union with deity. Buddhism and Taoism does not require this BUT it is the basis of some Buddhist tantric practices ... so all sorts catered for ...

  • rohitrohit Maharrashtra Veteran
    edited November 2015

    I used to perform yogasana and it was so near to vipaasana as far as i have observed. After exersize one has to do shavasana shav means dead body which leads to very sound sleep. Benefits of yogasana is that you learn to sit in padmasana which is very useful to sit for vipassana mediatation.
    The people who start vipassana at late age most probably face problems if they are very new to such sittings and obess people face severe problems even to start sit for short time.
    But through practice of yogasan i found that it is so good for body physically and which strengthen the mind.
    In vipassana i find it directly start working on mind. If you seat in padmasana then it will benefit your body and mind both at same time.
    I always disliked chanting.

  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    My mother was a personal student of Paramahansa Yogananda back in the 1930's, and we children ended up taking on the teachings too. So I am familiar with some of the yogic forms of meditation.

    Similar but not similar. There are 4 distinct types of meditation in Buddhism, depending on the branch of Buddhism you are practicing.

    I would say the major difference is that the people I know who have practiced yoga for decades (some of them for as long as 6 decades) never outgrew the hold that sorrow and anger had on them.
    On the other hand, those in my dharma group (I've been in for 15 yrs) and my sister's group in another city (20 yrs) .... you start too see significant behavior changes in 10-15 years.

    I would say the major difference is that Buddhist meditation appears to produce lasting major change. While yogic meditation does not appear to.
    I will say that the dharma groups I am referring to are lead by local senior Buddhist Asian monks who live and teach in the city these groups are in. So I suspect that having the guidance of someone who knows what they are doing helps a lot.

  • @FoibleFull said:
    .... you start too see significant behavior changes in 10-15 years.

    Holy Mackerel! [tradititional]

    I was hoping for change in the next 15 minutes :(

    Very interesting what you say about yoga practice. Personally I found yoga and tantric sadhana work as long as you do them. They are in effect partially a patching or temporary overlay, which is perhaps what you allude to ...

    The same can be said of precept following.
    However partial temporary calming often generates a space for deeper practices.

    Chanting that @rohit dislikes is used in various traditions I have tried:

    Japa yoga in Hinduism. I like chanting to Ganesh. Invocation in Western Occult rituals/meditation are not my thing but I have for example done a lot of meditation on the major arcana.

    Dharma works. Buddha started as an as ascetic yogi. I feel an interest in other traditions is healthy but whatever the path, nobody is going to do the work for us. O.o

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