What is meditation?
Meditation is a tool. Just like we would use a pen or keyboard to write or a barbell for weightlifting. Meditation is a practice, with it we can train our attentiveness. Training our attentiveness helps us to become more aware, more awake. Through growing attentiveness, we learn to perceive our inner movements (like thoughts, feelings, breath, heartbeat, etc.) We realize that there is something inside of ourselves that is a witness. In other words, in each one of us is an entity that is able to observe our inner movements.
Through meditation, we realize that all inner movements – such as feelings, thoughts, moods – are phenomena that come and go, that repeat. They are a bit like pop-ups in our inner computer. Most of them are thoughts that as soon as you let them, drag emotions with them. In our everyday life with all its activities, we often are not aware of this.
We only become conscious of our continuing, inner dialog taking place in the background during moments of deep relaxation. It is then that we fully realize how hard it is to find inner peace and silence.
Practicing meditation calms our minds. We learn to become aware of the perception of our thoughts and feelings from another perspective. From this new perspective, a distance from our perceptions emerges. Identifying with this content becomes more and more uninteresting for our minds, because we realize that the content does not have substance in itself. The contents of our perceptions simply come and go. Sometimes repeating – until there comes a time when they no longer appear.
With growing serenity, our judgements and prejudices dissolve – be it in the inner or outer world. We recognize the lack of substance in every type of phenomena. At this point, it no longer makes sense to hang on to old ‘dramas’, past passions and experiences. Meditation deprograms our thought patterns and doctrines; and leads to freedom. A space that was hidden before, now emerges.
It is the space of simple presence.