Namo Buddhaya! Homage to the Enlightened One!

(The Night of Enlightenment, Pastel, 1991, by Minh Quang)

Buddhist Meditative Cultivations at Palm Beach Mahabodhi

Buddhist meditative cultivations, generally known as Buddhist Meditation, are methods to obtain release from mental sufferings caused by greed, anger, and delusion, collectively known as the three poisons. When the three poisons are completely eradicated, then the sublime state of awakening or great enlightenment (Mahabodhi) is attained. With perfect enlightenment, one becomes a Buddha, the Enlightened One, who no longer has greed, anger, and delusion.

Thus, Buddhist Meditation is the practice to eradicate greed, anger, and delusion. Also, Buddhist Meditation is the method to attain great enlightenment or Mahabodhi. Of course, calmness, inner peace, happiness, and boundless wisdom are always accompanied Mahabodhi.

The cultivation of Compassion is very effective in eradicating greed and anger. While greed and anger emerge from selfish concerns, compassion manifests itself in form of loving kindness and boundless concerns for others. The cultivation of Wisdom is used to penetrate delusion, especially the delusion about oneself.

In the Mahayana path followed by the Palm Beach Mahabodhi, the cultivation of Compassion and Wisdom begins with bodhicitta, a dedication to obtain Buddhahood without neglecting to work for the benefit of sentient beings. This mindset is the foundation of the Bodhisattva vows which will guide participants on the Mahayana path of seeking to attain perfect enlightenment while benefiting sentient beings.

Then one can go on to embark on the Buddhist meditation practice suitable to one's own temperaments and capability. For temperament in general, everyone can determine one of the three poisons as their major mental issue. According to individual circumstance, one can make meditation practice a daily session or the sessions during the Uposatha, the Eight-Precept Retreat. Also, one is at liberty to meditate as time is permitted without committing to a rigid session. Then according to individual capability, one can embrace one of the following major types of meditation:

1. Calm Meditation

2. Insight meditation

3. Mindfulness Meditation

4. Zen (Dhyana) Mediation

5. Zen-Pure Land Meditation

6. Recitation


The reduction of the three poisons is a sign of a proper meditation practice. The meditation practice should be continued. On the other hand, one can always adopt a more suitable Buddhist meditation practice if the initial one has not been able to help reduce greed, anger, and delusion. When the three poisons are increased instead of being decreased, one should stop the meditation practice and switch to a more suitable one.