Meditations, Chants, Practice

Ajahn Sao Kantasīlo, founder of the Thai Forest Tradition

Buddhists pursue meditation as part of the Path toward Liberation from defilements (kleśas) and clinging and craving (upādāna), also called Awakening, which results in the attainment of Nirvāṇa. And this Path usually includes a variety of meditation techniques. These techniques aim to develop Equanimity and Sati (mindfulness); Samādhi (concentration) Śamatha (tranquillity) and Vipassanā (insight). The meditation-techniques of Early Buddhism are described in the Pāḷi Canon

Mahāyāna Monk meditating

This overview is about meditation techniques, their significance and development in general in different Mahāyāna & Vajrayāna Buddhist schools. In the Theravāda tradition, meditation techniques are classified as Śamatha or Vipassana. Chinese and Japanese Buddhism preserved a wide range of meditation techniques, which go back to early Buddhism, most notably Sarvāstivāda. In Tibetan Buddhism, deity yoga includes visualisations, which precede the realization of Śūnyatā ("emptiness")