Date Published: 5 June 2006
What is the purpose of meditation ?
There are many definitions of what meditation is and many reasons why people do it. Essentially though meditation is a spiritual practice, its purpose being to explore the very nature of what we are.
There is a stereotypical view that the aim is to still the mind and then transcend this plane of existence. However the very act of trying to do anything is to identify with the ego. In this case the ego is the seeker. Instead the aim is to go inwards until a state of consciousness is reached which is experienced as being pure awareness. In this state of consciousness there is no separation between subject and object. In other words the apparent duality between the inner and outer realities disappears. We experience being as one with everything.
It is possible to be in this state the whole time and it is tremendously liberating. Ultimately, it becomes for us a very 'normal' state of perception that we are in the whole time - life becomes meditation so to speak. It is often called 'unity consciousness' or 'Samadhi'. It is what some call enlightenment.
However this state is not the end of the story, it is only the beginning. To me, this state is NOT full enlightenment. There then comes a new experience of duality. The experience of 'unity consciousness' is expressed through you in the illusionary universe of relativity. When we can remain in the state of unity consciousness and yet be fully engaged within the demands of the relative world and yet non-identified with it, then to me, we have reached the state of full enlightenment.
Having let go of desires formed within the ego, we surrender to the natural pull of the soul which takes us each on a unique journey of deeper realisations of who we are, expressed through the mirror of the relative universe. In other words we each experience a destined way of life of the 'true self'.
"Where is the true self?
I look deep within,
it is not the body,
it is not the mind,
deeper and deeper,
until I find it is not even the part
doing the looking,
then finally the true self reveals itself
in the deepest part of myself
and expands out of me to fill the universe
then in each moment I learn to become it,
that which is both looking and being looked upon
that which is both hearing and being heard
that which is both feeling and being felt
the search is over, the true self that I looked for
was there all the time."