If you think meditation is something you only do on a cushion or a chair, you’ve got it wrong.
If you believe that the purpose of internal practice is to calm your mind and alleviate your stress, you’ve missed a bigger picture.
If you view your relationship with your higher self as something to be turned on and off, you haven’t understood at all. Fall back three thousand miles!
If, however, you understand that every moment of your life is an opportunity to grow, to see clearly, and to discover your true nature, you may be onto something.
It is wonderful to see the modern, Western world become interested in meditation, mindfulness, and spiritual practice. In my humble opinion, this interest is essential to the survival of the modern world; the mainstream arrival of the mystical couldn’t have happened a moment sooner.
However, it isn’t enough.
The current craze over mindfulness is much better than, say, mindless late capitalism, and the boom is only beginning. 8% of American adults meditate to some extent! This, undeniably, is a good thing.
Still, it barely scratches the surface of what the Path has to offer.
If you gathered up a group of meditators in America and asked them why they meditate, the majority would give answers about relieving stress, being more productive, or even trying to be happy. All of these are wonderful aims. They are also not the point.
What is the point, then?
To wake up.
What does it mean to wake up?
It means a great many things, which are written about in a great many books. It means becoming enlightened, working for the benefit of all living things, experiencing equanimity in every moment, completely transcending your outdated evolutionary hardwiring, possibly gaining superpowers, on and on and on.
Much more immediately, though, it simply means that you, yourself, are the cause of all your joy and sorrow. You hold samsara and nirvana within yourself, simultaneously. You, in this very moment, are the ground, path, and fruit.
Waking up means realizing that all your answers are right here, right now. It means that life, and you, are already and always perfect, but you forgot.
Waking up means coming home.