Saturday, March 26, 2005

Meditative Types Included In Each Major Tradition

Update: This post seems to be getting attention, so i wanted to let everyone who looks at it know that the types of meditation i took from Journey of Awakening by Ram Dass. listing it by religion, that was my idea, i think i covered most things. I can see alot of ways to improve this list and people have been making suggestions, please keep doing so, and once i get something concrete in mind i'll publish an updated version of it. Thanks!

*In no way do i intend this list to be comprehensive if anyone feels that i should add something for the sake of completeness or feels that i have misrepresented any information please let me know

Buddhist

  • mindfulness
  • mantra
  • visualization
  • formless awareness
  • movement
Note: Buddhism was influenced from the very beginning by deep meditative traditions so it has very complex systems of labeling states of consciousness in schools such as Yogacara and very simple austere practices such as vipassana in the Theravada school. It also encompasses many more variant forms of meditation such as tantra within Tibetan Buddhism

Yoga

  • mindfulness
  • movement
  • devotional
  • visualization
  • mantra
  • contemplation
  • concentration
  • formless
Note: Yoga seems to be the oldest richest form of mediation. In reference to Yoga i'm reluctant to lump it into such a category it encompasses so many ideas and concepts about union with the Divine.

Taoist

  • movement
  • mindfulness
  • visualization
  • devotional
Note: This tradition emphasized heavily movement based discipline and also visualization and manipulation of energy currents within the psychic body.

Christian

  • devotional
  • contemplation
  • mindfulness
  • mantra
Note: Although Christianity in it's modern form does not encompass meditation in general; throughout history Christian followers have had very rich mystical/meditative traditions.

Sufism

  • movement
  • mantra
  • devotional
  • visualization
Note: Sufism is commonly known for it's whirling dervishes, which is a mediative practice to induce ecstatic union with the Divine. Of course the practice is much richer and deeper than this one association. The bulwark of Sufi practice is the dhikr (Zhikr) which is chanting the divine names in "remembrance" of God's true self (You) There is no God but god

Kabbalah

  • visualization
  • contemplation
Note: This practice involves visualization of various divine ideals such as the throne of god and the tree of life

2 comments:

Alberto J. Revolware said...

Bindu,

very interesting and promising. Some sugestions to advance in that line:

- Would be great to have definitions for that types (mindfulness, concentration...), and what make them different from each other.

- Consider to label them in Wilber integral levels and quadrants.

- And one that I guess is missing (at least): meditation in action (karma), at least for yoga, and Christian.

Thanks for sharing your job. Cheers from Spain.

Revolware

ebuddha said...

Hey, good listing - starting adding this to a wiki, so everyone has access to it! http://integralcommons.org/wiki/index.php?id=transcendent+practices would be a good place to start.

I like your take on function.

"Buddhist spiritual practice" would be a function, and all the skills you mention would be part of the functional role of Buddhist spiritual function.

Actually, this helps me. I've been turning around in my head how to "classify" functions that are "softer" in nature, rather than say "programmer/analyst". This approach has real promise!