There are plenty of problems that we all face in life that are entirely out of our control. And Buddhism teaches that we can have control over our state of mind, and meditation is the tool to develop and exercise that control. We can create more positive internal states, so we can choose how respond to external stresses, sorrow, and suffering. Buddhism teaches that this is the only real antidote to all of the fear, anxiety, confusion, and even hatred that are simply part of being human.
When you meditate regularly, you transform your mind. Buddhist meditation practices encourage concentration, clarity, and positive emotions, both toward yourself and others. They offer you a chance to “look under the hood” of your mental habits, and once you understand your own thought processes better, you can tame them, and you can cultivate something more creative and constructive. A regular and patient meditation practice leads to a profound sense of peace, and this sense will energize and help you have a better understanding of yourself, others, and life itself.
There are many types of meditation that have been developed in the 2500 years since the Buddha lived and taught. Triratna emphasizes two ancient meditation techniques first taught by the historical Buddha, the Mindfulness of Breathing, and the Cultivation of Loving-Kindness, also known as the Metta Bhavana. Both of these meditations are simple to learn, but take a lot of practice and patience to cultivate. Together, they teach you to be more creative rather than reactive, more patient rather than annoyed, more peaceful rather than anxious, and, above all, more compassionate toward yourself and others. These positive qualities are the foundations of Buddhist ethics and practice, and this is why meditation is so central to Buddhism.