In Buddhism, vitarka (Sanskrit (वितर्क); Pali: vitakka; Tibetan: རྟོག་པ།, Wylie: rtog pa, THL: tokpa), “applied thought,” “attention,” and vicāra (Sanskrit (विचार) and Pali; Tibetan: དཔྱོད་པ།, Wylie: dpyod pa, THL: chöpa), “discernment,” “sustained thinking,” are qualities or elements of the first dhyāna or jhāna

In the Pali canon, Vitakka-vicāra form one expression, referring to “the normal process of discursive thought,” which is quieted through absorption in the second jhāna

The Buddhist commentarial tradition, as represented by the contemporary Theravāda, interprets vitarka and vicāra as the initial and sustained application of attention to a meditational object, which culminates in the stilling of the mind