Tibetan Meditation

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Tibetan Meditation Mean?

Tibetan meditation is the form of meditation taught and practiced within Tibetan Buddhism. It can also be referred to as Tibetan Buddhist meditation. The purpose of Tibetan meditation is the same as the ultimate aim of Buddhism, which is for all sentient beings to achieve enlightenment. To practice Tibetan meditation is to individually follow a path that leads to this goal.

The Tibetan word for meditation is gom or ghom, which means “to become familiar with your mind.” As such, the practice is one that encourages greater insight and ultimately mastery over the mind.


Yogapedia Explains Tibetan Meditation

Tibetan meditation practices can be varied and complex. They, like Tibetan Buddhism itself, draw on influences from Tibet’s neighboring countries, which include elements of Tantra, Shaivism, Zen and Indian Buddhism. However, most Tibetan meditation practices can be categorized as either:

  • Chogom — meditation intended to calm or clear the mind; or
  • Chaygom — meditation to investigate and explore Buddhist tenets. These could include the Four Noble Truths, impermanence and the concept of selflessness.

For all types of Tibetan meditation, there is an emphasis on bodhicitta, which is a mindset of being motivated by altruistic desire for all sentient beings to achieve enlightenment. This is considered the highest motivation and, therefore, the most rewarding purpose of Tibetan meditation. The approach of bodhicitta is what the most famous Tibetan Buddhist, the Dalai Lama, refers to as “wise selfishness.”

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Tibetan Buddhist Meditation

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