Meditation is... the cultivation of awareness
Meditation is essentially the practice of taking the focus of our attention away from ourselves, away from our own thoughts, away from the constructs of self that our thoughts make manifest, away from our illusions and attachments – even if only for a few moments. And by doing this, we learn to be more present, to ourselves, to reality and to one another.
And when we do this, which is to say, when we strip away the ego stuff, we find that we’re all pretty much the same behind the mask. When we peel back the layers of attachment that we call our ‘self’ we connect with the deepest reality of what we are, the reality that is what is. We realise that all that we think we are is at some level an illusion, a construct. When I ask the question, who am I, I could answer by saying I’m this and that, and have these qualifications and experiences and beliefs and so on. But even if all of that is true, it’s not the whole truth because I’m also a whole load of other things too. And so, on it goes. There is nothing we can say in answer to the question who am I that gives a full and complete answer. Who and what we are is a collection of various phenomena with which we identify as I, me or mine.
At one level, we are, of course, unique individuals – each with our own store of experiences that have formed us – but at the same time we also share a common human nature which transcends our individuality, that is just what it is in itself, and not any of the particular things we identify with as I, me, and mine.
In this video, I describe how meditation is the cultivation of awareness: what this means and why it matters.
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