36. Buddhist Meditation

Theory and Practice

  1. Steven M. Emmanuel
  1. Charles Goodman

Published Online: 5 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118324004.ch36

A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy

A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy

How to Cite

Goodman, C. (2013) Buddhist Meditation, in A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy (ed S. M. Emmanuel), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118324004.ch36

Author Information

  1. Binghamton University, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 FEB 2013
  2. Published Print: 25 MAR 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470658772

Online ISBN: 9781118324004



  • breathing mindfulness meditation;
  • Buddhism;
  • lovingkindness;
  • Theravāda;
  • Tibetan Buddhism;
  • walking meditation


Most forms of Buddhist meditation do not require any particular doctrinal commitments, metaphysical assumptions, or leaps of faith in order to work as advertised. According to Buddhists meditation can be helpful to people in general, whether they currently find other aspects of Buddhist teaching plausible or not. This chapter explains how to do three major forms of meditation widely practiced in Buddhism, being shared in common by a number of lineages, including both Theravāda and Tibetan Buddhism. Drawing on the basic texts of the Pāli canon, sacred to the Theravāda tradition, the author also tries to offer some elements of an explanation of how meditation could work in the way Buddhists say it does. The three forms of meditation are known as breathing mindfulness meditation, walking meditation, and meditation on lovingkindness.