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Guided Meditations

A virtuous object is one that causes us to develop a peaceful mind when we analyze it or concentrate on it.

Meditation is a method for acquainting our mind with virtue. It is a mind that analyzes or concentrates on a virtuous object. A virtuous object is one that causes us to develop a peaceful mind when we analyze it or concentrate on it. If we contemplate an object and it causes us to develop an unpeaceful mind such as anger or attachment, this indicates that that object is non-virtuous. There are also many objects that are neither virtuous nor non-virtuous, but neutral.

Sometimes meditations can be guided by a meditation teacher, and sometimes we can meditate on our own, by contemplating and meditating on teachings we have heard or read.

Engaging in Meditation

There are two types of meditation: analytical meditation and placement meditation. Analytical meditation involves contemplating the meaning of a Dharma instruction that we have heard or read. By contemplating such instructions deeply, eventually we reach a definite conclusion, or cause a specific virtuous state of mind to arise. This is the object of placement meditation. We then concentrate single-pointedly on this conclusion or virtuous state of mind for as long as possible to become deeply acquainted with it. This single-pointed concentration is placement meditation. Often, analytical meditation is called simply “contemplation” and placement meditation simply “meditation”. Placement meditation depends upon analytical meditation, and analytical meditation depends upon listening to or reading Dharma instructions.

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Eight Steps to Happiness

As a commentary to one of Buddhism’s best-loved and most enduring teachings, Eight Verses of Training the Mind by the great Tibetan Bodhisattva Langri Tangpa, this book explains how to transform every moment of our life into a step on the path to inner peace, and in particular how to transform all of life’s difficulties into truly liberating experiences.

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All quotations from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso's books copyright The New Kadampa Tradition - International Buddhist Union, all rights reserved worldwide. For more information on Geshe Kelsang's books visit Tharpa Publications.