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  • Experiential Q&A
  • Q1. What is meditation?

    Meditation is an effective means for cultivating a calm and focused mind. Buddhists believe it is an important part of mental development which is necessary to gain wisdom and enlightenment. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are often portrayed in meditative states. There are various types of meditation, most of which essentially emphasize concentration on an object or concept, as well as correct gesture and awareness of breathing. The meditative school of Buddhism is Ch’an (or ‘Zen’ in Japan) and is based on intuitive insight and spontaneous enlightenment.

  • Q2. Why do Buddhists meditate?

    Meditation is a cultivation of awareness and mindfulness that develop deep mindful concentration, leading to the recovery of our Buddha nature and our perfect innate wisdom. It is an activity of mental consciousness. Our delusions stem from our misunderstanding of reality and habitual clinging to the ways we see things. Through meditation, we can recognize our mistakes and adjust our mind to think and react more realistically and honestly. This transformation of mind happens gradually and delivers us from instinctive and habitual fallacies to becoming familiar with the rightful truth.

  • Q3. Is it true that meditation is widely used today by psychiatrists and psychologists?

    Yes, it is. Meditation is now accepted as having a highly therapeutic effect upon the mind and is used by many professional mental health workers to help induce relaxation, overcome phobias and bring about self-awareness. The Buddha’s insights into the human mind are helping people as much today as they did in ancient times.

  • Q4. Is it necessary for Buddhists to be vegetarians?

    To be a vegetarian is to cultivate our compassionate mind, a respect for all lives and to observe the precept of refraining from killing. This practice originated in Chinese Buddhism. While traditional Buddhist scriptures do not mandate vegetarianism, Chinese monastics must take a vow not to eat meat. Lay followers, however, are not required to do so. If not daily vegetarians, many Buddhists observe vegetarian diet during retreats or special days of a month.

  • Q5. What was the primary purpose of becoming a Buddhist? What attracted you initially, and what makes you stay?

    To me, Buddhism is a perfect and profound teaching about the genuine truth of life and the universe and is able to account for all phenomena that many other religions may not be able to explain in a satisfactory way. Buddhism does not demand you to have blind faith on an ‘almighty entity’ and put yourself under the mercy of him, but Buddha as a teacher teaches us how to help ourselves and to be the master of ourselves to create a better future. It has a perfect code of morality and ways of practice that we can follow to really benefit ourselves not only in this life time but even in the infinite future.