Buddha on Bodhi leave, Mahabodhi Temple, 1998

Calm Meditation (Samatha) is used to generate a strong concentration and to calm the mind down from the raging thoughts. With the diligent practice of calm meditation one will be able to keep the mind resting on a chosen object. This mental state is called the one pointedness of mind. A pervasive sense of calmness and inner peace will be obtained at this one pointedness of mind.

Like other Indian styles of calm meditation, the Buddhist calm meditation begins with the lotus sitting position and the use of one's own inhaling and exhaling breaths, which are always available.

In sitting, the lotus position aims to keep the body erect and stable as long as possible. Here, the spinal cord needs to be kept straight, without bending toward or backward. Just as coins are stacking together in one column, without collapsing.

In breathing, though using the inhaling and exhaling, the Buddhist technique of monitoring the breath is different from other Indian methods. There will be no retention, shortening, or lengthening of breaths. Instead, one just notes the flow of breath. And bare attention, or mindfulness, is used in taking notes of the flow of breath. Any other disturbing thoughts and sensations will also be registered as they come. However, the practitioner will revert to noting the breaths after registering those disturbing thoughts and sensations.

In addition to sitting, the Buddhist calm meditation can also be practiced while standing up, walking, and lying down.

As the one pointedness of mind is achieved and strengthened, the practitioner will enter the stages of mental absorption called the Four Meditations. Inner peace, mental calmness, and blissful feeling increase when one is able to advance toward the higher levels of these Four Meditations. Also, one can have a better rebirth in human realms or celestial realms. However, the three poisons of greed, anger, and delusion, are still there. They are temporarily suppressed and will resurface when there are suitable conditions.

And the practice of Insight Meditation, the unique Buddhist meditation, will be needed to completely eradicate these poisons.