20 Quotes about Meditation in the Lotus Sutra
Meditation is one of the practices in both the Eightfold Path and the Six Paramitas. In Buddhism, the practice of meditation is to cultivate and discipline the minds so as to develop wisdom to perceive true nature of life.
In Western Buddhism, seated, silent meditation is the most popular. For East Asian Buddhism, however, dynamic meditation in the form of chanting is more predominant. The most ideal way of Buddhist practice is to practice both the silent and vocal types of meditation concurrently.
Meditation by itself is non-religious and secular in nature. It is only when combined with the Buddhist mantra that makes it a Buddhist practice.
The types of meditations can be broadly categorized into 2 groups: insight meditation (vipassana, non-judgmental awareness) and concentration meditation ( samadhi, focus on a single object).
In the Lotus Sutra, the word “meditation” is consistently mentioned throughout the entire sutra. However, no definite method of meditation is expounded. The most likely form of meditation mentioned is silent, seated meditation as commonly portrayed by the Buddha.
Here are 20 quotes about meditation in the Lotus Sutra:
“If there are living beings
who have encountered many former Buddhas,
upon hearing the Law, they practice
generosity, morality, forbearance,
diligence, meditation, or wisdom,
thus cultivating an abundance of blessings and insight;
these people have already
attained Buddhahood. (Lotus Sutra 2: 5.38)
“All living beings who are liberated from the Threefold World will obtain the joy of Buddhas such as the joy of meditation, the joy of emancipation, and other similar delightful toys. Because of their ability to generate pure and wonderful joy of the first-rate, they are of one single form and one single type that is extolled by sages. (Lotus Sutra 3: 4.27)
“Those who understand the impeccable Law
are able to attain nirvana,
Six Divine Powers,
and Three Understandings,
living in solitude in the forested mountains,
always practicing meditation
to achieve the state of pratyekabuddhas—
they belong to the category of mediocre medicinal herb.
(Lotus Sutra 5: 2.27)
“Those who seek the place of the Bhagavat,
confident that they can become Buddhas,
willing to practice meditation diligently—
they belong to the category of superior medicinal herb. (Lotus Sutra 5: 2.28)
“Again, if there are those who practice meditation
and attain divine powers,
having heard the Law of Emptiness,
they experience exuberant joy in their hearts
and emit innumerable rays of lights
so as to save numerous living beings,
they are the Large Tree
that will grow and develop in their own ways. (Lotus Sutra 5: 2.38)
‘We arrive from
five hundred trillion lands.
Putting aside our joy of deep meditation,
we come all the way to worship the Buddha. (Lotus Sutra 7: 3.8)
“O monks! If Tathagata knows of his impending parinirvana and knows that the people in the assembly are pure, firm in faith and understanding, have perceived the Law of Emptiness, and are able to enter deep meditation, then he will gather the assembly of bodhisattvas and shravakas to expound the Lotus Sutra for them. In this Universe, there are no two Vehicles to attain parinirvana; for true extinction can only be achieved via the one and only Buddha-Vehicle. (Lotus Sutra 7: 4.17)
“These living beings will have great divine powers. For instance, their bodies will glow resplendently and they will be able to fly at will. Firm in aspiration and determination, they will also be diligent and wise. Golden hue and Thirty-Two Features will adorn their bodies. All living beings in this land will only consume two kinds of food: first, Joy of the Law and second, Delight of Meditation. (Lotus Sutra 8: 1.11)
At that instant, all the attendees in the assembly caught sight of the whole body of Abundant Treasures Tathagata engaged in meditation on a lion throne inside the Treasure Pagoda. The next moment, they heard him say: “Excellent, excellent! O Shakyamuni Buddha! I am here to listen to your teaching of the Lotus Sutra!” (Lotus Sutra 11: 2.22)
Manjushri replied: “Yes, the Dragon King Sagara’s daughter who has just turned eight years old. Wise and intelligent, she readily understands the karma of all living beings. Having obtained the dharani, she is able to embrace and uphold the profound Secret Treasury as revealed by the Buddhas. She is also able to enter deep meditation and achieve full understanding of various doctrines. In an instant, she is awakened to the aspiration of enlightenment and attains the stage of non-regression. She has acquired an unhindered eloquence and a compassionate mind that treats all living beings as her children. Her merits are accomplished. Her thoughts and discourses are as subtly wonderful as they are magnanimous. Compassionate and benevolent in disposition, gentle and elegant in determination, she has attained enlightenment.” (Lotus Sutra 12: 3.10)
“Arising from meditation,
they should expound the Lotus Sutra
eloquently and persuasively
for the kings and rulers,
princes, ministers, and ordinary citizens,
Brahmans and the rest.
Their minds should be
valiantly at peace. (Lotus Sutra 14: 2.20)
“Again, they will find themselves
in the midst of mountains and forests,
practicing the benevolent Law
and receiving actual proof of the Truth of Reality.
Deep in meditation,
they will meet Buddhas in the ten directions. (Lotus Sutra 14: 7.22)
“What the Buddha has expounded is exactly like this. It has not been long since the Buddha attained the Way. Nevertheless, the great multitude of bodhisattvas have been diligently advancing the Buddha-Way for immeasurable thousands of millions of billions of kalpas. They are capable of entering into immeasurable hundreds of thousands of millions of billions of samadhi meditation, hence obtaining great divine powers. (Lotus Sutra 15: 3.6)
“Competent in handling questions,
they are fearless.
Patient and resolute,
they are righteous, majestic, and virtuous.
They have been praised by the Buddhas in the ten directions
for their excellent skills in differentiated explanation.
Instead of taking delight among the humans,
they enjoy engaging in meditation. (Lotus Sutra 15: 3.15)
in secluded places for countless kalpas,
be it sitting or walking,
with the exception of sleeping,
they always control and meditate their minds. (Lotus Sutra 17: 2.11)
“Upholding the blessings of a focused mind,
they seek only to attain the unsurpassed Way, thinking:
‘I will attain the perfect wisdom
through the mastery of meditation.’ (Lotus Sutra 17: 2.13)
“They will always be respectful of pagodas and temples,
maintain humble attitude toward monks,
keep a distance from people of excessive arrogance,
and practice meditation to develop wisdom. (Lotus Sutra 17: 3.21)
“Those who embrace the Lotus Sutra
are able to know by scenting,
the location of a multitude of monks
who are earnestly practicing the Law
by reading or reciting the Lotus Sutra
while sitting or walking around,
or by practicing seated meditation with focus
under trees in the forests. (Lotus Sutra 19: 3.31)
“The two sons were endowed with great divine powers, blessings, virtues, and wisdom as a result of practicing the bodhisattva way for a long time. They had thoroughly understood and completely mastered thirty-seven types of beneficial methods to the Way—namely the paramita of generosity, paramita of morality, paramita of perseverance, paramita of diligence, paramita of meditation, paramita of wisdom, and paramita of expedient methods as well as benevolence, compassion, joy, and non-attachment. (Lotus Sutra 27: 1.3)
“Eventually, I will not use the inferior vehicles
to save and liberate all living beings.
The Buddha abides in the Great Vehicle,
through which he attains the Law.
Adorned by the strength of meditation and wisdom,
he brings deliverance for all. (Lotus Sutra 2: 5.18)