Buddhist Practices

This page list various Spiritual Practices as taught in the Buddhist lineages. Most of these are from the Theravadan lineage since that is the lineage that I am most familiar with - but a few practices from other lineages are also included. This list is far from complete - but it does highlight some of the more commonly taught practices.

Morality Practices
Concentration Practices
Insight Practices


Sila (Morality) Practices


Samadhi (Concentration) Practices

There are 3 depths of concentration: Momentary, Access and Full Concentration.


Paa (Wisdom or Insight) Practices

There are 2 types of Insight Practices: Meditations and Contemplations. Meditations do not involve "thinking"; Contemplations do involve non-distracted thinking. Both methods are mentioned in the Suttas (Discourses of the Buddha). The following tables give both types according to their sources:

Given in or derived from the Mahasatipatthana Sutta
Meditations Contemplations
Anapanasati (Mindfulness of Breathing)
  may be used for both Concentration & Insight
The Zipper
Mindfulness of ones Posture The 9 Charnel Ground Contemplations
Mindfulness of ones Physical Activities The 4 Elements
Mindfulness of the Parts of the Body The 5 Hindrances
Sweeping (aka Body Scan) The 5 Khandhas (Aggrerates)
Mindfulness of Vedana
 (ones first categorization of a sense impression)
The 6 Senses and their Objects
Mindfulness of ones Mind State The 7 Factors of Enlightenment
Mindfulness of Arising & Ceasing The 4 Noble Truths

Other Suttas
Meditations Contemplations
Anapanasati (Mindfulness of Breathing)
  may be used for both Concentration & Insight
Contemplation of Anicca (Impermanance)
Bahiya Practice:
  "In the seen, let there be only the seen,...."
Contemplation of Dukkha (Unsatisfactoriness)
  Contemplation of Anatta (Corelessness)
  The 5 Daily Recollections
  The Loving-Kindness Contemplations

Progress of Insight
Meditations Contemplations
Mindfulness of Arising & Ceasing Mind & Body are Two, and Mind is in Charge
  Contemplation of Cause and Effect
  Contemplation of Karma
  Contemplation of Dependent Origination

Other Sources
Meditations Contemplations
Noting [Mahasi Sayadaw] Preciousness of this human birth [Mahayana]  
Dzogchen [Tibetan]  
Mahamudra [Tibetan]  
Shikantaza (Just Sitting) [Zen]  
Insight Dialog [Gregory Kramer]  
Choiceless Awarness [Krishnamurti]  


Impediments to the Practice of Insight Meditation by Matthew Flickstein
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Leigh Brasington / / Revised 18 May 14