Q: What is the point of meditation?
A: A fabulous, complicated question!
I just entered “types of meditation” into Google and got 92,300,000 results. I see articles with headlines saying, “7 types of meditation” “23 types of meditation” “6 types of meditation” “17 types of meditation”. Amazon sells more than 80,000 different books on meditation. There are dozens of meditation apps; the one I use is Insight Timer and it has more than 15,000 meditations that you can listen to and is growing daily.
Should it suffice to say, there’s quite a few ways that you can engage with meditation? Each of those ways has a point … a goal … a purpose.
Meditation can be as seemingly simple as following your breath. Counting each inhale … or counting each exhale … or counting the breath as you inhale and exhale. There’s silent meditation or chanting, there is stillness meditation – walking meditation – and dancing meditation.
Do you see where I’m going with this? There is no one way to meditate and there’s no one point to meditating.
That said, there are so many good reasons to meditate that benefit the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of yourself.
I’ll be posting on this blog about different types of meditation practices and the specific purpose for that style. Meanwhile, I encourage you to just try it. Go to the library and pick up a book that appeals to you. Go online and listen to a meditation teacher on You Tube. Go to a local meditation group and experience their meditation style and community.
Pema Chodron is one of my personal favorite meditation teachers. I have most of her books and many of her recordings. She offers truth, wisdom, and humor in her teachings. Once an elementary school teacher in California and New Mexico, she is the first American woman to receive her ordination as a Buddhist nun in the Tibetan tradition.
Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better; it’s about befriending show we are. Pema Chodron
Here is her answer to “Why We Meditate.” Her perspective is from the Tibetan Buddhist perspective. This is not necessarily the answer you would receive from practitioners in other discplines.