The Heart-Essence of Buddhist Meditation

Lama Surya Das explores the common roots of various Buddhist meditative practices.

Lama Surya Das. Artwork by Mia Muratori.

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Clinging to one’s school and condemning others
Is the certain way to waste one’s learning.
Since all dharma teachings are good,
Those who cling to sectarianism
Degrade Buddhism and sever
Themselves from liberation.

—Milarepa, The One Hundred Thousand Songs

During my initial private meeting with the Venerable Kalu Rinpoche, my first root guru, I asked him about the main points of meditation. He asked what kind of meditation I was doing, and I told him mindfulness of breathing. “What will you concentrate on when you stop breathing?” he asked.

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