Transformation of the mind is the purpose of meditation. All of us have a mind and so have the opportunity to work on it. Negative mental traits don’t change on their own. Meditation makes the mind calm and peaceful.
If the mind is peaceful, we’re freed from worries and mental agitations. If we engage in meditation practice, the mind gradually becomes more and more peaceful. This leads to happiness. If the mind isn’t peaceful, it will be difficult to be happy, even under the best circumstances.
Usually it’s difficult to control the mind. The mind is like a lightweight object, blown here and there in the wind by external conditions. If things go well, the mind is happy, but if they don’t, it immediately becomes unhappy.
We have an awareness that’s available to us. Awareness allows us to perceive every kind of phenomena. This quality of awareness is often described as luminous because it illuminates both the external and internal worlds.
Mood fluctuations arise because we’re too involved with external situations. By training in meditation, we access an inner space of clarity that enables us to have a say in how the mind behaves, regardless of external factors.
The neutral and luminous aspect of our mind and consciousness provide the environment needed to witness mental occurrences without being at their mercy. This also gives us the space we need to transform any mental event that afflicts us.
Meditation helps in understanding the mind. We can learn how to transform the mind from negative to positive, stressed to resilient, disturbed to peaceful, from unhappy to happy. Meditation is a spiritual practice we can enjoy throughout the day, not just while in meditation.
The mind creates our experience of the world. If we train in meditation systematically, eventually we’ll be able to eradicate from the mind the delusions that are the causes of all our problems and suffering.
When the mind is peaceful we’re free from worries and agitation, and we experience happiness. If we train the mind to become peaceful we can always be happy, even in adverse conditions.
If the mind isn’t peaceful, then even if we have pleasant external conditions we won’t be happy.
Meditation is the method by which we can cultivate and develop basic positive qualities. Meditation frees the mind, making it lucid and balanced. It trains the mind to refine and sharpen attention, have emotional balance, inner peace and wisdom.
The untrained mind keeps producing unskilled qualities like greed, attachment and fear. Some of the skilled qualities that we can awaken from dormancy through meditation are:
- Inner strength
- Healing power
There are 1440 minutes in one day. Giving 20 minutes to meditation doesn’t seem outrageous if we consider that it has the potential to give us a new experience of life. This new experience of the days in our life is a combination of an optimal way of being and genuine happiness.
Skillful attitudes of mind are the key to facing potentially explosive situations and the ongoing highs and lows of life and practice. In fact, recognizing these attitudes and cultivating their antidotes is the foundation for all spiritual growth. By cultivating skillful attitudes of mind, we will respond to more and more of life with awareness and wisdom. With steady awareness of the way things are, the perseverance to stay with that awareness, and the willingness to learn from it, we maximize our sense of well-being.
— Steve Armstrong
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