What is the Purpose of Meditation?
by Friends of Godwin
A question that we can reflect is, why do we meditate? What is the purpose of meditation? I’d like to say, the idea of mediation is to free ourselves of the suffering that we create ourselves. The Buddha often said, I teach one thing – suffering and the way out of suffering. So meditation can be seen as the medicine for the sickness that we suffer from.
One very important aspect of meditation is learning to be aware, learning to be mindful, learning to be conscious. Otherwise, we are becoming more and more like machines. Machines can function very well but machine doesn’t know how it is functioning, why it is functioning. So, awareness is the complete opposite of that; just knowing, just being conscious, just being awake of what is happening.
I will mention some advantages, some benefits of the practice of awareness; for example now, what is happening right now. You can be physically present here but mentally you can be elsewhere. So where are you? Again, with the help of such tools, come back here, to be present, to be conscious of what is happening here right now. This is one very important aspect of meditation, learning to experience the present moment and also learning to work with , to be aware of the past and the future.
Another important aspect of awareness is learning to use awareness to explore, to investigate what is happening in our mind and body from moment to moment. In this way, any experience we have, any situation we have to face in life, we can make an effort to learn, to discover, find out, make our own discoveries; which is very, very important.
And if you can learn to do this, any situation can be a situation where we can meditate. It can be a pleasant experience, it can be an unpleasant experience; even learning, finding out about the unpleasant experiences we have.