Meditations on Meditation

What’s the purpose of meditation? Meditation can provide experience in observing and silencing thoughts, and it can bring about the experience of calm detachment.

When we allow anxious or angry or adverse thoughts to flow through our minds, we’re poisoned by them, they linger and pollute our perspective. But how can we stop the incessant stream of negative thoughts? Through practice — and that’s where meditation comes in. When we meditate, we practice observing and ignoring our thoughts, we practice observing and ignoring the input from our senses, and we do this again and again. So now, when detrimental thoughts enter our minds, we can sense their presence and shut them down. And the better we are at meditation, the quicker and easier this sequence occurs.

And as experience with meditation develops, it’s often possible to reach a different mental state during a session — one of calm detachment from the body. It’s forgetting the body exists, disconnecting from the world, and feeling a sense of purity. And this odd sensation can lead to feelings of connecting to something grander and more permanent — this helps us to see our daily life from a different perspective, making it easier to deal with.

A simple guide to meditation: give attention only to the breath, in, out — when the mind wanders, return attention to the breath.

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