Vajrayana Meditation Enhances Brain Performance

Meditation is Not A One Size Fits All Practice

Of course we all know that different meditation techniques would have different results, but since so many scientific studies have focused on MBSR techniques, Vajrayana meditation techniques have been understudied. Still, Vajrayana meditation is slowly becoming the focus of the dialogue between science and asian meditation methods.

Look at this interesting article  which found that Vajrayana meditation increased performance of cognitive tasks! The study of Vajrayana meditation opens a door for a conversation about the diversity of meditation methods that come from Tibetan Buddhism. There are so many different practices and they can vary quite widely.

Vajrayana practices engage body, speech and mind, so they usually involve more activity than silent sitting.Vajrayana techniques may involve a a variety of practices, from rituals, to liturgies and prayers, to visualization, sonic practices such as mantras or changing syllables. Vajrayana practices are oriented around utilizing sense experiences, so there are the aesthetic dimensions of the practice such as lighting incense and candles and working with images. They can include psychological elements, emotions and internal yogic practices. There are also somatic elements of practice like breathing techniques and mudras.

Ultimately the most important thing is the goal of the practice which is to enhance a sense of awareness and presence, but it can be useful to have a variety of avenues to find that. Every person is different, our blocks to awareness are different, having meditation techniques that work with our own particular proclivities can make meditation much more accessible.

Pema Khandro is a Tibetan Buddhist scholar, humanitarian, and teacher in the rare lineage of Tibet’s Buddhist Yogis. Raised in the west, ordained in the Nyingma lineage, enthroned as a tulku and trained as an academic, Pema Khandro presents both a traditional perspective and a modern voice. Read more at:
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  1. Thanks for this precious text. I love the way you emphasize that, in terms of the Vajrayna meditation approach, everything matters (images, lamps, incenses, mantras etc.) My first approach towards the Buddhadharma was Zen meditation – and I definitely love it! – but I think the Vajrayana approach rings my bell much more. I smile and grin when I sit in front of my saddhanas + dorje + drilbu + the pics of my teachers.


  2. Thank you – I like that Vajrayana meditations ‘engage body, speech and mind’ so that by the time I get to silent sitting my mind has calmed down a bit.

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