What Is Meditation

The little book What Is Meditation? by Rob Nairn is sweet, simple, and helpful. It's not terribly poetic in language or style, but it makes up for that with enthusiasm, compactness, and clarity. Its subtitle is "Buddhism for Everyone" and the first half briefly summarizes that topic. The second half's chapter "What Is Meditation?" begins:

Meditation is the process of learning to work skillfully with the mind in a way that will lead by successive stages to tranquility, insight, spontaneous purification, and total liberation from all negative states. This final state is accompanied by full and total realization of one's wholesome or "divine" potential. Along the way one sees through the egocentric trap and springs it. As the process of inner discovery progresses, so the state of one's inner life improves. Inner harmony, clarity, and stability come about; the confused, scattered mind is left behind; and one's life becomes happier, more joyous, open, giving, and loving. The culmination is enlightenment—a word a little like infinity or eternity: we have a rough idea what is meant, but cannot actually grasp the full meaning. But it is certainly a state of joy that passes all understanding.

Nairn's book concludes with a short chapter titled "Finally":

Meditation cuts through all the illusion, all the projection, all the confusion we have about others and mostly about ourselves. It is coming face-to-face with the mind and with what the mind is really about. Understanding leads to penetrating insight into the illusion we have created for ourselves. This leads to liberation from suffering and a coemergent manifestation of compassion and wisdom. But we do not see it as a goal. We let go of goals and we focus on the action of meditation.

(cf. For Themselves (2003-06-08), This Is It (2008-11-14), ...) - ^z - 2009-07-11