A report on Yoga and Meditation

Statue of Shiva meditating in the lotus position
Man Meditating in a Garden Setting
A statue of Patanjali, author of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, meditating in the lotus position
The āsana in which Mahavira is said to have attained omniscience
Bas-relief in Borobudur of the Buddha becoming a wandering hermit instead of a warrior
Bodhidharma practicing zazen
Krishna narrating the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna
A statue of Patañjali practicing dhyana in the Padma-asana at Patanjali Yogpeeth.
Traditional Hindu depiction of Patanjali as an avatar of the divine serpent Shesha
"Gathering the Light", Taoist meditation from The Secret of the Golden Flower
Asanga, a fourth-century scholar and co-founder of the Yogachara ("Yoga practice") school of Mahayana Buddhism
Saint Pio of Pietrelcina stated: "Through the study of books one seeks God; by meditation one finds Him."
Sculpture of Gorakshanath, an 11th-century yogi of the Nath tradition and a proponent of hatha yoga
Whirling dervishes
Swami Vivekananda in London in 1896
Meditation. Alexej von Jawlensky, oil on cardboard, 1918
International Day of Yoga in New Delhi, 2016
Meditating in Madison Square Park, New York City
Gautama Buddha in seated meditation, Gal Vihara, Sri Lanka
Young children practicing meditation in a Peruvian school
Raja Ravi Varma's Adi Shankara with Disciples (1904)
Viparītakaraṇī, a posture used as an asana and a mudra

The term "yoga" in the Western world often denotes a modern form of Hatha yoga and a posture-based physical fitness, stress-relief and relaxation technique, consisting largely of the asanas; this differs from traditional yoga, which focuses on meditation and release from worldly attachments.

- Yoga

New Age meditations are often influenced by Eastern philosophy, mysticism, yoga, Hinduism and Buddhism, yet may contain some degree of Western influence.

- Meditation
Statue of Shiva meditating in the lotus position

13 related topics with Alpha

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Ancient kingdoms and cities of India during the time of the Buddha (circa 500 BCE) – modern-day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan

Buddhism

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Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on a series of original teachings attributed to Gautama Buddha.

Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on a series of original teachings attributed to Gautama Buddha.

Ancient kingdoms and cities of India during the time of the Buddha (circa 500 BCE) – modern-day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan
The gilded "Emaciated Buddha statue" in an Ubosoth in Bangkok representing the stage of his asceticism
Enlightenment of Buddha, Kushan dynasty, late 2nd to early 3rd century CE, Gandhara.
The Buddha teaching the Four Noble Truths. Sanskrit manuscript. Nalanda, Bihar, India.
Traditional Tibetan Buddhist Thangka depicting the Wheel of Life with its six realms
Ramabhar Stupa in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India is regionally believed to be Buddha's cremation site.
An aniconic depiction of the Buddha's spiritual liberation (moksha) or awakening (bodhi), at Sanchi. The Buddha is not depicted, only symbolized by the Bodhi tree and the empty seat.
Dharma Wheel and triratna symbols from Sanchi Stupa number 2.
Buddhist monks and nuns praying in the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple of Singapore
A depiction of Siddhartha Gautama in a previous life prostrating before the past Buddha Dipankara. After making a resolve to be a Buddha, and receiving a prediction of future Buddhahood, he becomes a "bodhisattva".
Bodhisattva Maitreya, Gandhara (3rd century), Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Sermon in the Deer Park depicted at Wat Chedi Liam, near Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand.
Buddhist monks collect alms in Si Phan Don, Laos. Giving is a key virtue in Buddhism.
An ordination ceremony at Wat Yannawa in Bangkok. The Vinaya codes regulate the various sangha acts, including ordination.
Living at the root of a tree (trukkhamulik'anga) is one of the dhutaṅgas, a series of optional ascetic practices for Buddhist monastics.
Kōdō Sawaki practicing Zazen ("sitting dhyana")
Seated Buddha, Gal Viharaya, Polonnawura, Sri Lanka.
Kamakura Daibutsu, Kōtoku-in, Kamakura, Japan.
Statue of Buddha in Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat, Phitsanulok, Thailand
An 18th century Mongolian miniature which depicts the generation of the Vairocana Mandala
A section of the Northern wall mural at the Lukhang Temple depicting tummo, the three channels (nadis) and phowa
Monks debating at Sera Monastery, Tibet
Tibetan Buddhist prostration practice at Jokhang, Tibet.
Vegetarian meal at Buddhist temple. East Asian Buddhism tends to promote vegetarianism.
A depiction of the supposed First Buddhist council at Rajgir. Communal recitation was one of the original ways of transmitting and preserving Early Buddhist texts.
Gandhara birchbark scroll fragments (c. 1st century) from British Library Collection
The Tripiṭaka Koreana in South Korea, an edition of the Chinese Buddhist canon carved and preserved in over 81,000 wood printing blocks
Buddhist monk Geshe Konchog Wangdu reads Mahayana sutras from an old woodblock copy of the Tibetan Kanjur.
Mahākāśyapa meets an Ājīvika ascetic, one of the common Śramaṇa groups in ancient India
Ajanta Caves, Cave 10, a first period type chaitya worship hall with stupa but no idols.
Sanchi Stupa No. 3, near Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh, India.
Map of the Buddhist missions during the reign of Ashoka according to the Edicts of Ashoka.
Extent of Buddhism and trade routes in the 1st century CE.
Buddhist expansion throughout Asia
A Buddhist triad depicting, left to right, a Kushan, the future buddha Maitreya, Gautama Buddha, the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, and a monk. Second–third century. Guimet Museum
Site of Nalanda University, a great center of Mahāyāna thought
Vajrayana adopted deities such as Bhairava, known as Yamantaka in Tibetan Buddhism.
Angkor Thom build by Khmer King Jayavarman VII (c. 1120–1218).
Distribution of major Buddhist traditions
Buddhists of various traditions, Yeunten Ling Tibetan Institute
Monastics and white clad laypersons celebrate Vesak, Vipassakna Dhaurak, Cambodia
Chinese Buddhist monks performing a formal ceremony in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China.
Tibetan Buddhists practicing Chöd with various ritual implements, such as the Damaru drum, hand-bell, and Kangling (thighbone trumpet).
Ruins of a temple at the Erdene Zuu Monastery complex in Mongolia.
Buryat Buddhist monk in Siberia
1893 World Parliament of Religions in Chicago
Interior of the Thai Buddhist wat in Nukari, Nurmijärvi, Finland
Percentage of Buddhists by country, according to the Pew Research Center, as of 2010
A painting by G. B. Hooijer (c. 1916–1919) reconstructing a scene of Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world.
Frontispiece of the Chinese Diamond Sūtra, the oldest known dated printed book in the world
The Dharmachakra, a sacred symbol which represents Buddhism and its traditions.
An image of a lantern used in the Vesak Festival, which celebrates the birth, enlightenment and Parinirvana of Gautama Buddha.

He famously sat in meditation under a Ficus religiosa tree — now called the Bodhi Tree — in the town of Bodh Gaya and attained "Awakening" (Bodhi).

Likewise, Buddhist practices were influential in the early development of Indian Yoga.

The Samādhi Buddha, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

Samadhi

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The Samādhi Buddha, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Bodhisattva seated in meditation. Afghanistan, 2nd century CE
A traditional Chinese Chán Buddhist master in Taiwan, sitting in meditation
Ramakrishna in samādhi at the house of Keshab Chandra Sen. He is seen supported by his nephew Hriday and surrounded by brahmo devotees.
The Samadhi of Ranjit Singh is located next to the iconic Badshahi Masjid in Lahore, Pakistan.

Samadhi (समाधि), in Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and yogic schools, is a state of meditative consciousness.

Buddha depicted in dhyāna, Amaravati, India

Dhyana in Buddhism

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Component of the training of the mind (bhavana), commonly translated as meditation, to withdraw the mind from the automatic responses to sense-impressions, and leading to a "state of perfect equanimity and awareness (upekkhā-sati-parisuddhi)."

Component of the training of the mind (bhavana), commonly translated as meditation, to withdraw the mind from the automatic responses to sense-impressions, and leading to a "state of perfect equanimity and awareness (upekkhā-sati-parisuddhi)."

Buddha depicted in dhyāna, Amaravati, India
Buddha in Dhyana, which in this context means: The meditative training stage on the path to Samadhi.
Bodhisattva seated in meditation. Afghanistan, 2nd century CE
Venerable Hsuan Hua meditating in the Lotus Position. Hong Kong, 1953.
Chinese character for "nothing" . It figures in the famous Zhaozhou's dog kōan.

Commonly translated as meditation, and often equated with "concentration," though meditation may refer to a wider scala of exercises for bhāvanā, development.

During sitting meditation, practitioners usually assume a position such as the lotus position, half-lotus, Burmese, or yoga postures, using the dhyāna mudrā.

A Brahmin meditating (1851)

Dhyana in Hinduism

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A Brahmin meditating (1851)
Malvina Hoffman, Bronze figure of Kashmiri in Meditation, 1930s, Field Museum of Natural History
Swami Vivekananda in meditating yogic posture.

Dhyana in Hinduism means contemplation and meditation.

Dhyana is taken up in Yoga practices, and is a means to samadhi and self-knowledge.

A Buddhist dhāraṇī (incantation), the Nilaṇṭhanāmahṛdaya dhāraṇī, in Siddham Script with Chinese transliteration.

Tantra

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Tantra (तन्त्र) are the esoteric traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism that developed in India from the middle of the 1st millennium CE onwards.

Tantra (तन्त्र) are the esoteric traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism that developed in India from the middle of the 1st millennium CE onwards.

A Buddhist dhāraṇī (incantation), the Nilaṇṭhanāmahṛdaya dhāraṇī, in Siddham Script with Chinese transliteration.
Kushan sculpture of a yakṣiṇī (2nd century), Mathura region.
A modern aghori with a skull-cup (Kapala). Their predecessors, the medieval Kapalikas ("Skull-men") were influential figures in the development of transgressive or "left hand" Shaiva tantra.
Dancing Bhairava in the Indian Museum, Kolkata
Dancing Vajravārāhī, a Buddhist tantric deity, Nepal, 11th-12th century.
Illustration of a yogi and their chakras.
Buddhist Mahasiddhas practicing the sexual yoga of karmamudrā ("action seal").
Twelve-Armed Chakrasamvara and His Consort Vajravarahi, ca. 12th century, India (Bengal) or Bangladesh
Yogini, East India, 11th-12th century CE. Matsuoka Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan
A stone Kālacakra Mandala at the Hiraṇyavarṇa Mahāvihāra, a Buddhist temple in Patan, Nepal built in the 12th century.
A depiction of the Goddess Bhairavi and Shiva in a charnel ground, from a 17th-century manuscript.
The Brihadishvara Temple, a Śaiva Siddhānta temple in Tamil Nadu
Nepalese depiction of the goddess Kali
Śrī, also known as Lalitā Tripurasundarī ("beautiful in three worlds"), Adi Parashakti (the highest supreme energy), Kāmeśvarī (goddess of desire) and other names.
A Pujari in front of a Ganesha statue, Brihadishwara Shiva Temple
A meditating Shiva is visited by Parvati
Sri Yantra diagram with the Ten Mahavidyas. The triangles represent Shiva and Shakti; the snake represents Spanda and Kundalini.
The Sri Yantra (shown here in the three-dimensional projection known as Sri Meru or Maha Meru, used primarily by Srividya Shakta sects).

Lorenzen's "broad definition" extends this by including a broad range of "magical beliefs and practices" such as Yoga and Shaktism.

Another common element found in tantric yoga is the use of visionary meditations in which tantrikas focus on a vision or image of the deity (or deities), and in some cases imagine themselves as being the deity and their own body as the body of the deity.

Venerable Hsuan Hua meditating in the lotus position, Hong Kong, 1953

Zen

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School of Mahayana Buddhism that originated in China during the Tang dynasty, known as the Chan School , and later developed into various sub-schools and branches.

School of Mahayana Buddhism that originated in China during the Tang dynasty, known as the Chan School , and later developed into various sub-schools and branches.

Venerable Hsuan Hua meditating in the lotus position, Hong Kong, 1953
The 'meditation hall' (Jp. zendō, Ch. chántáng) of Dai Bosatsu Zendo Kongo-Ji
Calligraphy of "Mu" by Torei Enji. It figures in the famous Zhaozhou's dog kōan
Victoria Zen Centre Jukai ceremony, January 2009
Two grandmasters of the Shaolin Temple of Chinese Chan, Shi DeRu and Shi DeYang
Bows and quivers at Engaku-ji temple, the temple also has a Dōjō for the practice of Kyūdō and the Zen priests practice this art here.
Hakuin Ekaku, Hotei in a Boat, Yale University Art Gallery
The kare-sansui (dry landscape) zen garden at Ryōan-ji
Chanting the Buddhist Scriptures, by Taiwanese painter Li Mei-shu
Gifu Daibutsu and altar at Shōhō-ji
A Dharma talk by Seon nun Daehaeng Kun Sunim, Hanmaum Seon Center, South Korea
Japanese Buddhist monk from the Sōtō Zen sect
Archaeologist Aurel Stein's 1907 view of Mogao Cave 16, with altar and sutra scrolls
Tablets of the Tripiṭaka Koreana, an early edition of the Chinese Buddhist canon, in Haeinsa Temple, South Korea
Huike Offering His Arm to Bodhidharma, Sesshū Tōyō (1496).
Bodhidharma, stone carving in Shaolin Temple.
Hongren
Mazu
Dahui introduced the method of kan huatou, or "inspecting the critical phrase", of a kōan story. This method was called the "Chan of kōan introspection" (Kanhua Chan).
Xuyun was one of the most influential Chán Buddhists of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Thích Nhất Hạnh leading a namo avalokiteshvaraya chanting session with monastics from his Order of Interbeing, Germany 2010
Jogyesa is the headquarters of the Jogye Order. The temple was first established in 1395, at the dawn of the Joseon Dynasty.
Sojiji Temple, of the Soto Zen school, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Japan

The term Zen is derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the Middle Chinese word 禪 (chán), an abbreviation of 禪那 (chánnà), which is a Chinese transliteration of the Sanskrit word ध्यान dhyāna ("meditation").

c. 148–180 CE), and Kumārajīva (334–413 CE), who both translated Dhyāna sutras, which were influential early meditation texts mostly based on the Yogacara (yoga praxis) teachings of the Kashmiri Sarvāstivāda circa 1st–4th centuries CE.

Inside a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery

Tibetan Buddhism

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Form of Buddhism practiced in Tibet and Bhutan, where it is the dominant religion.

Form of Buddhism practiced in Tibet and Bhutan, where it is the dominant religion.

Inside a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery
Map of the Tibetan Empire at its greatest extent between the 780s and the 790s CE
Samye was the first gompa (Buddhist monastery) built in Tibet (775-779).
The Indian master Atiśa
The Tibetan householder and translator Marpa (1012-1097)
The Potala Palace in Lhasa, chief residence and political center of the Dalai Lamas.
Yonghe Temple, a temple of the Gelug tradition in Beijing established in the Qing Dynasty.
Autochrome photo of Gandantegchinlen Monastery in 1913, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
The 14th Dalai Lama meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in 2016. Due to his widespread popularity, the Dalai Lama has become the modern international face of Tibetan Buddhism.
Kagyu-Dzong Buddhist center in Paris.
Samantabhadra, surrounded by numerous peaceful and fierce deities.
The eleven faced and thousand armed form of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.
A depiction of the tantric figures Hevajra and Nairātmyā, Tibet, 18th Century.
A statue of one of the most important Buddhist philosophers for Tibetan Buddhist thought, Nagarjuna, at Samye Ling (Scotland).
A leaf from a Prajñāpāramitā (Perfection of Wisdom) manuscript.
Buddhist monk Geshe Konchog Wangdu reads Mahayana sutras from an old woodblock copy of the Tibetan Kangyur. He is seated at a special sutra stool, wearing the traditional woolen Ladakhi hat and robe, allowed by Vinaya for extremely cold conditions.
A Tibetan Buddhist Monk meditating using chanting and drumming.
Buddhists performing prostrations in front of Jokhang Monastery.
Ritual musical instruments from Tibet; MIM Brussels.
The reading of the text - the 'lung' - during an empowerment for Chenrezig.
An elderly Tibetan woman with a prayer wheel inscribed with mantras
Visualizing mantric syllables is a common form of meditation in Tibetan Buddhism
Chöd sadhana, note the use of Damaru drum and hand-bell, as well as the Kangling (thighbone trumpet).
A section of the Northern wall mural at the Lukhang Temple depicting completion stage practice.
Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the 16th Karmapa, with Freda Bedi (the first Western nun in Tibetan Buddhism), at Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim.
A small gompa (religious building) in Ladakh
Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche, a tulku and a ngagpa (note the white and red robes).
Machig Labdrön, a famous female tantrika, teacher and founder of the Chöd lineage
Painting of Ayu Khandro at Merigar West. The seat of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu and The Dzogchen Community in Italy.

In this way, subjects like karma, rebirth, Buddhist cosmology and the practice of meditation are gradually explained in logical order.

In what is called higher yoga tantra the emphasis is on various spiritual practices, called yogas (naljor) and sadhanas (druptap) which allow the practitioner to realize the true nature of reality.

Haṭha yoga's components include Shatkarmas (purifications, here Nauli), Asanas (postures, here Mayurasana, Peacock Pose), Mudras (manipulations of vital energy, here Viparita Karani), Pranayama (breath control, here Anuloma Viloma).

Hatha yoga

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Haṭha yoga's components include Shatkarmas (purifications, here Nauli), Asanas (postures, here Mayurasana, Peacock Pose), Mudras (manipulations of vital energy, here Viparita Karani), Pranayama (breath control, here Anuloma Viloma).
Tibetan depiction of Tummo (candali, inner heat) practice showing the central channel, the sushumna
A folio of a medieval copy of the Amṛtasiddhi, written bilingually in Sanskrit and Tibetan
Early Bindu Model of Hatha Yoga, as described in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and other texts
Late Kundalini Model of Hatha Yoga, as described in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and other texts
18th century yoginis in Rajasthan
Yoga as exercise has spread in different branded forms such as Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, and Sivananda Yoga.
The shatkarmas were intended to purify the subtle body.
The Haṭha Yoga Pradipika recommends Siddhasana for breathing exercises.
Kukkutasana was described in the 13th century Vāsiṣṭha Saṁhitā.
The mudras were intended to manipulate vital energies.

Haṭha yoga is a branch of yoga which uses physical techniques to preserve and channel the vital force or energy.

The Haṭha Yoga Pradipika text dedicates almost a third of its verses to meditation.

New Age meditation group at the Snoqualmie Moondance festival, 1992

New Age

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Range of spiritual or religious practices and beliefs which rapidly grew in Western society during the early 1970s.

Range of spiritual or religious practices and beliefs which rapidly grew in Western society during the early 1970s.

New Age meditation group at the Snoqualmie Moondance festival, 1992
This barrel house was the first dwelling constructed at the Findhorn Ecovillage.
New Age shrine in Glastonbury, England
Astrological ideas hold a central place in the New Age
Reiki is one of the alternative therapies commonly found in the New Age movement.
Stonehenge is a site visited by New Age pilgrims, as seen in this midsummer rave.
Isis, a New Age shop named after the Ancient Egyptian goddess that was located in St Albans, southern England
The New World Alliance was one of several New Age political groups in the 1970s and 1980s.
New Age author Marianne Williamson campaigned for a seat in the U.S. Congress and for the Democratic Party nomination for president.
One of the first academics to study the New Age was Wouter Hanegraaff.

A very wide array of methods are utilised within the holistic health movement, with some of the most common including acupuncture, reiki, biofeedback, chiropractic, yoga, applied kinesiology, homeopathy, aromatherapy, iridology, massage and other forms of bodywork, meditation and visualisation, nutritional therapy, psychic healing, herbal medicine, healing using crystals, metals, music, chromotherapy, and reincarnation therapy.

(Om) signifies the essence of Brahman, the ultimate reality.

Brahman

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In Hinduism, Brahman (ब्रह्मन्) connotes the highest universal principle, the ultimate reality in the universe.

In Hinduism, Brahman (ब्रह्मन्) connotes the highest universal principle, the ultimate reality in the universe.

(Om) signifies the essence of Brahman, the ultimate reality.
A drop in the ocean: an analogy for Ātman merging into Brahman.
Swan (Hansa, हंस) is the symbol for Brahman-Atman in Hindu iconography.

That Brahman is Supreme Personality of Godhead, though on first stage of realization (by process called jnana) of Absolute Truth, He is realized as impersonal Brahman, then as personal Brahman having eternal Vaikuntha abode (also known as Brahmalokah sanatana), then as Paramatma (by process of yogameditation on Superself, Vishnu-God in heart)—Vishnu (Narayana, also in everyone's heart) who has many abodes known as Vishnulokas (Vaikunthalokas), and finally (Absolute Truth is realized by bhakti) as Bhagavan, Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is source of both Paramatma and Brahman (personal, impersonal, or both).