Right method of meditation

Meditation is the concentration of the mind. The method of meditation practice consists of two combined elements: doctrines and techniques.

What are the doctrines?

The doctrines involve understanding the truth about human beings and the world. They comprise the perceptions that we must repeatedly remind ourselves of to sink into our minds.

For example: “this body is impermanent” is a doctrine that must be repeatedly reminded because as soon as we let go, we attach to the body.

Recognizing that our emotions are transient and only cause suffering. Every time wandering thoughts arise, we immediately recognize them as manifestations of past wrongdoing. When wandering thoughts settle down and the mind enters moments of peace, we realize that deep within our minds, there is still ignorance, attachment, selfishness, and contamination of wrongdoing and sins. We must understand these things because they are still within us; thus, when we understand them, they are called doctrines.

When we repeatedly remind ourselves of these doctrines, it is called applying doctrines in meditation practice. It means simply repeating these doctrines, and yet our minds can still be at peace, and many people have realized enlightenment through these practices.


Technically, there are many techniques ranging from basic to advanced levels.

There are many techniques ranging from basic to advanced levels
There are many techniques ranging from basic to advanced levels

Basic level: We start with focusing on the body, something very specific that we can perceive.

Although meditation is mental cultivation, we should not naively deal with the mind directly. Sit in a lotus-shaped position, be aware of the whole body, and relax it. In this, we combine the doctrine of impermanence. These are indispensable beginnings. Observing the impermanent nature of the body is the doctrine, and sitting in a proper posture, and being fully aware of the body are techniques.

Start with the body.  Keep it stable and relaxed and while our body is stable and soft, we know that our body is breathing. Knowing the body is breathing is when we begin to touch the mind because breath is the link between body and mind. We rely on the body to perceive the breath and use the breath to start controlling our minds, rather than attempting to control our minds directly. Directly controlling the mind will only lead to tension and could result in illnesses like insanity or stress.

Breath is an expression of our mind. Although breathing is physical, its rhythm is an expression of the mind. Achieving slow, little, and soft breathing indicates a tranquil mind. However, achieving this immediately is difficult because if the mind is restless, the breath will also be restless, and it will never become slow, gentle, and soft. When the mind is restless, the breath follows suit, becoming erratic and complex, long and strong. The most important thing is that we know well when our breath is in or out, but we should not interfere in or control it.

Please refer to:

Advanced level – knowing that the breath is created by three factors:

– Intentional breathing: This is when we consciously control our breath. If someone meditates and consciously controls their breath, they are nurturing their own mind, meaning wandering thoughts will continue to flow (intentional breathing is often called “abide in the breath” – this person lacks concentration, and thoughts arise freely, which is incorrect in technique).

– Unintentional breathing, even when sitting still, we still notice our breath is long, strong, and abundant. This is due to subtle disturbances within our minds, which drive our breath to be strong and abundant, even when we consciously do not intend it. It requires great sensitivity and clarity to notice these subtle disturbances, to perceive strong and abundant breath without intentional effort. This aspect is difficult to overcome, as intelligence alone cannot solve it. It requires practitioners to spend more time, and only merits can overcome this obstacle. Creating merits by offering absolute reverence to the Buddha, loving all beings, and keeping the minds modest (never boasting or criticizing others) will help overcome this obstacle.

– Natural breathing: This breath occurs without our conscious intention or subtle disturbances affecting it. It exists for the sake of our bodies; our bodies need to breathe to live. Only this natural breath results in slow, little, and soft breathing.

This breath is small, soft, and almost imperceptible. If we find this breath, our mind is at peace. It is like a raft guiding us through the turbulent river of birth and death, like a paddle guiding us through the night toward dawn. This slow, little, and soft breath is the technique.

Natural breathing
Natural breathing

Another technique is that from the moment we become aware of the entire body until our mind goes deeper, we solely concentrate on the bottom of the abdomen. This technique involves directing the mind toward the abdomen and maintaining slow, little, and soft.

The benefit of focusing the mind on the abdomen and maintaining slow, little, and soft breathing is that it prevents us from being preoccupied by strange phenomena or a series of extraordinary states, such as bright light joy, and happiness, which often arise when the mind is concentrated. All these are the trap and can easily make us arrogant. However, those who can focus on the abdomen and regulate their breath calmly and gently can transcend these states without being affected.

Therefore, the meditation method consists of two elements: doctrines and techniques. Doctrines involve theoretical principles such as the impermanence of the body, the impermanence of life, and the inherent ignorance and faults of the mind. Thoughts are expressions of faults, and even when the mind is calm, deep within, there is still ignorance, attachment, selfishness, and contamination of faults. It is essential to understand this clearly and continually remind ourselves of these principles until they become deeply ingrained. This understanding leads us to realize that we are inherently ignorant and faulty, known as the contemplation of faults on faults. This path leads to The Four Foundations of Mindfulness.