All About Meditation
 
What is Meditation?
  So what is meditation?
  Meditation consists of Samatha and Vipassana meditation,
  which must both be based upon moral conduct of body and speech.

  In other words, meditation is the development and perfection of the Noble Eightfold Path
  (ariya atthangika magga).

  The Noble Eightfold Path is :
  Right view, Right thought, Right speech, Right action, Right livelihood, Right effort, Right     
  mindfulness and Right concentration.

  Right view The Buddha called Vipassana Right view (vipassana samma ditthi)
  and path right view (magga samma ditthi).
  Right view and Right thought are together called the training of Wisdom (pañña).

  Right speech, Right action, and Right livelihood are together called the training of Morality (sila).

  Right effort, Right mindfulness, and Right concentration are together called the training of  
  Concentration (samadhi), which is Samatha meditation (samatha bhavana).

Why Meditate?
  We should ask ourselves, ‘Why did The Buddha teach meditation?’ or,
  ‘What is the purpose of meditation?’

  The purpose of Buddhist meditation is to attain Nibbana.

  Nibbāna is the cessation of mentality (nama) and materiality (rupa).

  To reach Nibbana, therefore, we must completely destroy both wholesome mental formations,   
  rooted in non-greed, non-anger, and non-delusion,
  and unwholesome mental formations, rooted in greed, anger, and delusion,
  all of which produce new birth, ageing, sickness and death.
  If we destroy them totally with the path knowledge (ariyamagga),
  then we will have realized Nibbana.

  In other words, Nibbāna is release and freedom from the suffering of the
  round of rebirths (samsara), and is the cessation of rebirth, ageing, sickness, and death.

  We are all subject to the suffering of re-birth, ageing, sickness, and death,
  and so to free ourselves from the many forms of suffering we need to meditate.
  Since we wish to be free from all suffering,
  we must learn how to meditate in order to attain Nibbana.
 
Benefits of Samatha
  In the ‘Samadhi Sutta’ of the ‘Khandhavagga’ in the Samyutta Nikaya,
  The Buddha said:
                                (Bhikkhus, you should develop concentration.
                                 A bhikkhu who is concentrated, bhikkhus, knows dhammas as they really are.
                                 And what [are the dhammas] he knows as they really are?
                                The arising of materiality and the passing-away thereof; the arising of feelings,
                                of percep-tion, and of formations, and the passing away of feelings,
                                of perception and formations; the arising of consciousness
                                and the passing away thereof.)

  Therefore, a bhikkhu who is concentrated knows the five aggregates and their causes,
  and their arising and passing away.
  He sees clearly that because of the arising of their causes the five aggregates arise,
  and because of the complete cessation of their causes,
  the five aggregates also completely cease.

  Samatha meditation if well developed will produce strong concentration.
  It is the light of this concentration that lets you see ultimate mentality-materiality for Vipassana.
  With that deep, strong and powerful concentration,
  you can see clearly the impermanent, suffering, and
  non-self nature of mentality-materiality and their causes.
  This clarity is a great benefit coming from Samatha.

  Samatha also gives you a resting-place.  
  There is much to discern in Vipassana and tiredness may occur.
  In that case, you can stay in one of the jhanas for a long time.
  That rests and refreshes your mind, and then you can go back to Vipassana.
  Whenever tiredness occurs, you can again enter jhana to rest.

  It is good to remember these benefits of Samatha, when you practice Vipassana later on.
40 Samatha Meditation Subjects
    Ten Kasinas:
    Ten kinds of Foulness:
    [1]  Earth kasina,
    [2]  Water kasina,
    [3]  Fire kasina,
    [4]  Air kasina,
    [5]  Blue kasina,
    [6]  Yellow kasina,
    [7]  Red kasina,
    [8]  White kasina,
    [9]  Light kasina, and
    [10]  Limited-space kasina.
    [1]  The bloated,
    [2]  The livid,
    [3]  The festering,
    [4]  The cut-up,
    [5]  The gnawed,
    [6]  The scattered,
    [7]  The hacked, and scattered,
    [8]  The bleeding,
    [9]  The worm-infested, and a
    [10]  Skeleton.
    Ten kinds of Recollection:
    Four Divine Abidings:
    [1]    Recollection of the Buddha
             ( the Enlightened One),
    [2]    Recollection of the Dhamma (the Law),
    [3]    Recollection of the Sangha
             (the Community),
    [4]    Recollection of Virtue,
    [5]    Recollection of Generosity,
    [6]    Recollection of Deities,
    [7]    Recollection (or Mindfulness) of Death,
    [8]    Mindfulness occupied with the body,
    [9]    Mindfulness of Breathing, and
    [10]    Recollection of Peace.
    [1]    Loving Kindness,
    [2]    Compassion,
    [3]    Gladness, and
    [4]    Equanimity.
    Four Immaterial States:
    [1]    The base consisting of boundless space,
    [2]    The base consisting of
             boundlessconsciousness,
    [3]    The base consisting of nothingness, and
    [4]    The base consisting of
             neither perception nor non-perception.
    The One Perception : the Perception of Repulsiveness in Nutriment.
    The One Defining : the defining of the Four Elements.
Vipassana (Purification through Vipassana)

  Purification of View:
              [1] The Knowledge of Analysing Mentality & Materiality,

  Purification by Overcoming Doubt:
              [2] The Knowledge of discerning cause & condition,

  Purification by Knowledge & Vision of What is & What is Not Path:
              [3] The Knowledge of comprehension,
              [4] The Knowledge of arising and passing away,

  Purification by Knowledge & Vision of Way:
              [5] The Knowledge of dissolution,
              [6] The Knowledge of terror,
              [7] The Knowledge of danger,
              [8] The Knowledge of disenchantment,
              [9] The Knowledge of desire of deliverance,
              [10] The Knowledge of reflection,
              [11] The Knowledge of equanimity,
              [12] The Knowledge of conformity,

  [13] The Knowledge of change of lineage,

  Purification by Supramundane Knowledge & Vision:
             [14] The path knowledge,
             [15] The fruition knowledge,

  [16] The knowledge of reviewing