According to Buddhism, one should develop three qualities (Thrishiksha) in the mind. It will help you to improve your mind, quality of life and to relieve from suffering. Those are,
1. Ethical conduct (Sila).
2. Mental discipline (Samadhi)
3. Wisdom (Panna).
Previously, these three have been described under the Fourth Noble Truth (Marga). Ethical conduct (Sila) is built on the vast conception of universal love and compassion for all living beings. This depends on perfect speech, perfect act and perfect livelihood. We should improve good qualities of our speech, act and livelihood. We should abstain from bad qualities of our life.
Mental discipline (Samadhi) means improvement of mind and depends on perfect effort (ideas), perfect mindfulness and perfect concentration of mind.
Wisdom (Panna) means improvement of intellectual qualities such as perfect vision, understanding and perfect thought.
Development of these three qualities (Sila, Samadhi and Panna) can be achieved through meditation. Buddhist meditation aims at cleansing the mind of impurities and disturbances, such as lustful desires, hatred, ill-will, indolence, worries and restlessness, skeptical doubts, and cultivating such qualities as concentration, awareness, intelligence, will, energy, the analytical faculty, confidence, joy, tranquility, leading finally to the attainment of highest wisdom which sees the nature of things as they are, and realizes the Ultimate Truth, Nirvana.
The Lord Buddha discovered a form of meditations known as Vipassana or Vidarshana Bhawana. Essential thing of meditation is mindfulness or awareness (sati), attention or observation (anupassana).
One of the most well-known, popular and practical examples of 'meditation' connected with the body is called 'The Mindfulness or Awareness of in-and-out breathing'(anapanasati).
For this form of meditation, you may sit, stand, walk, or lie down, as you like. But, for cultivating mindfulness of in -and-out breathing, one should sit 'cross-legged, keeping the body erect and the mindfulness alert'. Those who find it difficult to sit cross-legged, may sit on a chair, 'keeping the body erect and mindfulness alert'. It is very necessary for this exercise that the meditator should sit erect, his hands placed comfortably on his lap. You may close your eyes, or you may gaze at the tip of your nose.
Now, you are going to concentrate on your breathing. Breathe in and out as usual, without any effort or strain. Now, bring your mind to concentrate on your breathing in and out ; let your mind watch and observe your breathing in and out ; let your mind be aware and vigilant of your breathing in and out. Your mind should be so fully concentrated on your breathing that you are aware of its movements and changes. Concentrate on your chest movements according to breathing (inflation and deflation) or airflow through orifices of your nose. Forget all other things. Do not raise your eyes and look at anything. Try to do this for five or ten minutes.
At the beginning you will find it extremely difficult to concentrate your mind on your breathing. Your mind does not stay. You begin to think of various things. You hear sounds outside. Your mind is disturbed and distracted. But if you continue to practice this exercise twice daily, morning and evening, for about five or ten minutes at a time, you will gradually begin to concentrate your mind on your breathing.
With practice, you will experience a moment when your mind is fully concentrated on your breathing, when you will not hear even sounds nearby, when no external world exists for you. This slight moment is such a tremendous experience for you, full of joy, happiness and tranquility, that you would like to continue it. If you go on practicing this regularly, you may repeat the experience again and again for longer and longer periods. That is the moment when you lose yourself completely in your mindfulness of breathing. As long as you are conscious of yourself you can never concentrate on anything.
This exercise of mindfulness of breathing, which is one of the simplest and easiest practices, will develop concentration leading up to very high mystic attainments (dhyana).
Meditation on breathing gives you immediate results. It is good for your physical health, for relaxation, sound sleep, and for efficiency in your daily work. It makes you calm and tranquil.
Another very important, practical, and useful form of 'meditation' (mental development) is to be aware and mindful of whatever you do, physically or verbally, during the daily routine of work in your life, private, public or professional. Concentrate on your every movement. You should be fully aware and mindful of the act you perform at the moment. You should live in the present moment, in the present action. You can concentrate on your present thoughts too.
Meditation will improve your physical and mental fitness. You will be efficient physically and mentally.
With meditation, you will understand the nature of Bodily Form (Rupa) and nature of all perceptions (Nama) which you consist of. Later, you will understand instability of ‘Rupa' and ‘Nama'. You will feel that instability, changeability of everything and suffering due to instability and changeability. You will feel that you consist of changeable, unstable Bodily Form (Rupa) and perceptions (Nama), there is no one named ‘person' or ‘I', all are collections of ‘Rupa' and ‘Nama' and you can't keep your body and mind stable.
With the understanding of instability of everything, suffering due to changeability, knowledge of absence of soul through meditation, one can develop ethical conduct (Sila), mental discipline (Samadhi), and wisdom (Panna) leading to complete cessation of suffering, sorrow (Nibbhana/Nirvana), the enlightened state.