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World Psychology: Psychology by Country · Psychology of Displaced Persons

In Buddhism, samādhi (Pali; Skt.) is mental concentration.

In the Pali literature, samadhi is found in the following contexts:

Developing samadhiEdit

In Buddhism, samadhi is traditionally developed by contemplating one of 40 different objects, such as mindfulness of breathing (anapanasati) and loving kindness (metta).

Upon development of samadhi, one's mind becomes purified of defilements, calm, tranquil, and luminous. Once the meditator achieves a strong and powerful concentration, his mind is ready to penetrate and see into the ultimate nature of reality, eventually obtaining release from all suffering.

Template:SamadhiBhavana In AN IV.41,[2] the Buddha identifies four types of concentration development, each with a different goal:

  1. a pleasant abiding in this current life - achieved through concentrative development of the four jhanas
  2. knowledge and the divine eye - achieved by concentration on light
  3. mindfulness and clear comprehension - achieved through concentrative mindfulness of the rise and fall of feelings, perceptions and thoughts.[3]
  4. the destruction of the taints - achieved through concentrative mindfulness of the rise and fall of the Five Aggregates.[4]

The Buddhist suttas mention that samadhi practitioners may develop supernormal powers (abhijna, cf. siddhis), and list several that the Buddha developed, but warn that these should not be allowed to distract the practitioner from the larger goal of complete freedom from suffering.

Right concentration Edit

Template:JhanaFactors In the Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path, the Buddha explains that "Right Concentration" (Pali: sammā-samādhi; Skt.: samyak-samādhi) involves attainment of the successively higher meditative states known as the four jhanas.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. Buddhaghosa & Ñāṇamoli (1999), p. 437.
  2. Nyanaponika & Bodhi, 1999, pp. 88-89.
  3. These appear to refer to three of the five aggregates.
  4. This is similar to the instructions for mindfulness of the aggregates in the Satipatthana Sutta.
  5. Brasington, 1997; and, Thanissaro, 1997.


  • Brasington, Leigh (1997). Sharpening Manjushri's Sword: The Jhanas in Theravadan Buddhist Meditation. Retrieved 2007-10-04 from "Leigh Brasington's Web Site" at

External LinksEdit

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