For those who scour the internet or books looking for instruction on how to meditate, you are sure to find your fill of information. From where to sit and how to sit, to what to focus on and why a person should meditate in the first place. However, one question that sometimes gets overlooked is what’s the goal for your meditation practice?
Long time meditation instructor Sally Kempton addresses the issue in this latest Patheos post. According to Kempton, having a clear goal when meditating helps to focus your attention. With focused attention, the possibility of getting stuck is lessened as you free yourself from thought patterns and interesting images that would otherwise prevent you from going deeper.
The ultimate goal of meditation is to experience the full emergence of your own pure Consciousness, the inner state of luminosity, love, and wisdom that the Indian tradition calls the inner Self or the Heart. (A Buddhist might call it Buddha nature; a Christian might call it Spirit.) In fact, we want to do more than experience that state. We want to realize that we are that at our core—not just a body or a personality, but pure Consciousness, pure Awareness. By this definition, a successful meditation is one in which we enter the Self, even if just for a moment. For this to happen, we need to approach each session of meditation with a conscious understanding that the Self is our goal and with the intention to experience it. Our intention gives directionality to our consciousness. It’s like aiming an arrow. But—and here’s the gorgeous paradox—even as we aim our attention toward the Self, we need to remember that weare the Self.
Read more from Kempton on how to sets goals when meditating here.