Buddhānussati, or recollection of the virtues of the Buddha, is a meditation deeply rooted in Theravada Buddhist tradition. It acts as a potent antidote to unwholesome states, offering a pathway to cultivate qualities that guide us towards liberation.
To practice Buddhānussati, find a quiet space, assume a comfortable meditation posture, and begin by calming the mind through mindful breathing. Once settled, bring the image of the Buddha to mind. Visualize his serene countenance, radiant with wisdom and compassion.
Now, systematically recollect the virtues of the Buddha. Reflect on his boundless compassion, unwavering wisdom, and perfect purity. Allow these qualities to permeate your consciousness. As you immerse yourself in the recollection of the Buddha’s virtues, notice any unwholesome states dissolving, making space for a mind inclined towards liberation.
In the Anguttara Nikaya, the Buddha himself extolled the benefits of reflecting on that which is connected with skill in the Vitakkasanthana Sutta:
When evil unskillful thoughts connected with desire, hate, and delusion arise in a bhikkhu through reflection on an adventitious object, he should, (in order to get rid of that), reflect on a different object which is connected with skill. Then the evil unskillful thoughts are eliminated; they disappear. By their elimination, the mind stands firm, settles down, becomes unified and concentrated, just within (his subject of meditation).
This sutta underscores the power of Buddhānussati in redirecting the mind away from unwholesome obsessions, guiding it toward a grounded state in the sublime virtues of the Buddha.
The significance of Buddhānussati lies not only in dispelling negativity but also in its role as a catalyst for the arising of wholesome states. As you align your mind with the virtuous attributes of the Buddha, you create fertile ground for the sprouting of wholesome thoughts and actions, propelling you forward on the path to liberation.
As we engage in the practice of Buddhānussati, may the recollection of the Buddha’s virtues be a potent elixir for the afflictions of the mind. May this practice guide us toward the liberation that lies at the heart of our spiritual aspirations.
Johnathan is an Insight Meditation teacher offering Dharma instruction rooted in the Theravada tradition of ethics, concentration and wisdom.
Greetings, fellow Mediators! I invite you to gather your strong determination for study and practice with me. Feel free to share your questions, and together, we’ll realize the liberating insights of the Dharma.