What are the differences between meditation and yoga?

Yoga originated in India more than 5000 years ago. There are many different types of yoga, with a focus on different aspects and varying levels of difficulty. 

When the Buddha was a crown prince, at the age of 12 He attained the first stage of meditation, a very high level in meditation. He learned from 2 masters and attained higher levels in meditation but his ego still existed.

He left his masters to go for the Truth. After six years practicing asceticism on his own without success, He chose the path of meditation. After 49 days and nights sitting motionless under the Bodhi tree, He attained Buddhahood, achieving the three supreme wisdoms, the six psychic powers, knowing all things in the universe. 

(Practicing asceticism means engaging in the most challenging yoga movements that neither anyone before nor after Buddha could accomplish).

During the time of the Buddha, Buddhism was so highly regarded that the Indian religion was weakened. Therefore, later on, they borrowed the Buddha’s teachings to perfect their own religion and created yoga as a way of practice. 

What are the differences between meditation and yoga?
What are the differences between meditation and yoga?

Yoga borrowed many ideas from Buddhism, which they developed into a systematic approach that includes principles of ethics, philosophy, physical training, and meditation.

For example, Happy Yoga is a type of yoga that emphasizes love and compassion, similar to the teachings of Buddhism. Karma yoga is practiced by those who focus on doing good deeds and performing acts of kindness, similar to the idea of creating merit in Buddhism. Hatha yoga is a form of physical training that includes postures such as the headstand, handstand, and lotus pose, with the goal of achieving enlightenment. The highest form of yoga is Rasa yoga, which involves sitting in meditation, and this is considered the ultimate goal.

They combined all of these ideas to create a new religion called “Indian religion”. Buddhist meditation primarily involves training the mind to attain a state of focused attention and mental clarity. The goal of meditation is to cultivate mindfulness, attain a mind of “no-self,” and ultimately, to reach enlightenment.

Yoga promotes the integration of the mind, body, and spirit, establishing a lifelong positive habit. In the modern era, individuals engage in yoga primarily for its advantages in enhancing physical well-being. Stretching, flexibility, and strength are fundamental to yoga exercises.

 Over time, practitioners may develop attachments to the body, such as its beauty or health. However, in contrast, Buddhist meditation teaches us the goal of non-self and non-attachment, as attachment is considered the root of all suffering.

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