What’s the point of meditation?

by Josh

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Meditation is about not-thinking, right?
Or is it about becoming still, or more peaceful?
Is it about becoming (or seeming) enlightened?

What the heck is meditation about?

A teacher once told me, “meditation is when I sit on my ass and shut up”.
As a fact-geek, I can say that regular meditation is reported to have a beneficial effect on self reported well-being (regular meditation of ~10min. makes you happier).
But I don’t think that that is the point either.

Have you ever tried to show something to a dog, by pointing at it?
Well, does the dog ever look in the direction you are pointing?
No, of course not. The dog will look blankly at your finger, tilt his head and give you that puzzled look that dogs do so well.
It’s the same with meditation.
Meditation is not an end in itself, it’s the pointing finger.
It can help you look in a certain direction: Inside.
As you listen to your breath, you listen to your thoughts.

Exactly as your breath, your thoughts will keep coming back automatically.
The important thing is to listen to them, without giving them meaning, or actively pursuing them.
Let them go and come back to here and now.
When you reach the end of your sitting, you will know more about yourself than before.
Or maybe you feel like you know less.
And maybe
that’s a good thing
too.

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