Please visit to our "vihara activities" page to see the dates for meditation retreats.
What Is Meditation?
At its most basic, meditation is the practice of placing your mind in one place and keeping it there. Most schools of thought on meditation, though they may differ in approach and goals, start with this premise.
In the same way that physical exercise strengthens the body, meditation improves the condition of the mind. But in the same way that exercise isn’t just done once, meditation really is a *practice* -- taking it up on a regular basis nurtures your own insight to the inner workings of your mind, which leads to much better control over how you approach day to day experiences.
The Minnesota Buddhist Vihara is a Theravadin temple, and offers the oldest of Buddhist meditation practices. This fall into two categories: mindfulness and tranquility. Also known as Vipassana and Samadhi meditation, these two approaches form the seventh and eighth components of the Eightfold Noble Path of Buddhism – Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration. Neither is superior over the other; each complements and enhances the other and both should be developed. For greater detail about this relationship, please see the article, “One Tool Among Many."
Why Do People Meditate?
There are many benefits to starting a meditation practice, including an increased sense of calm, better control over one’s emotional state, and improved mindfulness in dealing with all aspects of one’s life. Everyone is different, of course, and experiences vary from person to person.
As one progresses in meditation over time, the constant rush of thoughts begins to quiet, begins to subside, and greater concentration is developed. This enhances one’s insight into how things really are, from seeing and thereby getting a better handle on our thoughts, to the very nature of reality itself. You experience more control over your own actions, feelings, and thoughts, and are able to make better choices, moment by moment with a mind of equanimity.
How Do I Meditate?
There are many different ways to meditate, including sitting and walking methods. Some techniques employ meditation objects and visualizations, while others simply rely on putting the mind on the process of breathing. It is common to start with a sitting practice of only a few minutes, and gradually increase the time as your experience grows.
It is recommended to find an experienced teacher to guide you in meditation, to help support you in the process of the development of your mind. MN Buddhist Vihara has monastics available to provide that guidance.
If you would like to find out more about meditation, please take a look at the web articles below!
- Buddhist Meditation – Wikipedia
- The Noble Eightfold Path -- Bhikkhu Bodhi
- One Tool Among Many -- Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Our meditation retreat center is located in Rosemount, Minnesota. Please enjoy with some of the photos of nature and activites of it.
The Minnesota Buddhist Vihara is a 501 C (3) charity registered with the State of Minnesota since 2004. All donations for its activities - charitable, religious, educational and scientific - are tax deductible.