Meditation Articles Series

What Is Meditation?

A Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard, who is also a philosopher and scientist named, has done a lot of research into what makes people happy.  His book, “Happiness – A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill”, is worth reading.  All research shows that happiness is not just an emotion but also a skill that can be developed. 

When I write these blogs I sometimes write from my own experiences, but I also like to include information that I gather along the way.  It helps to broaden an understanding of meditation from different perspectives.  And so in saying that, here is a quote from Matthieu Ricard’s book on Happiness.  I hope it will touch something in you as it did in me.

“There are many other ways of meditating, but as varied as they are, they all share the common function of being part of the process of inner transformation.  Meditation differs from mere intellectual reflection in that it involves a constantly recurrent experience of the same introspective analysis, the same effort to change, or the same contemplation.  It is not about experiencing some sudden flash of understanding, but about coming to a new perception of reality and of the nature of mind, about nurturing new qualities until they become integral parts of our being.  Meditation is a skill that requires resolve, sincerity, and patience far more that it does intellectual panache. 

“Meditation is followed up with action, that is, by being applied in everyday life.  Of what use is a “great session” of meditation if it doesn’t translate into improvement of our whole being, which can then place itself at the service of others?  Once the seeds of patience, inner strength, serenity, love, and compassion have come to maturity, it is to others that we must offer their fruit.”

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