by Ajahn Sucitto 2011 English

Why meditate?

If you’re reading this guide, maybe you’re curious as to why people meditate. Why do they sit still and upright in silence for long periods of time?What are they thinking about? Is it some kind of religion; if so, what do they believe in? Well, it may be that some meditators are deliberately thinking along certain lines; and some may have profound faith in a God or a Truth. But then again, it is possible to meditate without these. To put it simply, what it all boils down to is finding peace of mind – within the mind itself. That the mind is the proper place for that search becomes evident when one acknowledges that, despite many technological, medical and social developments, humanity is profoundly stressed and troubled.

So, what are the roots of violence, selfishness and mistrust? Why, when we have so much in one sense, do we experience alienation and depression? And how do joy and compassion arise? These are some of the vital questions for which meditation may help you to discover personal answers.

What follows are guidelines on meditation that are in accordance with the teachings of the Buddha from some 2,500 years ago. The timeless quality of these teachings is such that they encourage us to look into states of discontent and stress in order to understand and remove the causes. The accomplishment of this is called ‘Enlightenment’ or ‘Awakening.’ However with even preliminary steps along the path to Awakening, a meditator can clear out a lot of stuff in the mind that causes anxiety, depression, stress, and limits his or her happiness and personal understanding.

So the answer to ‘Why meditate?’ is as obvious as ‘Why be happy?’ It’s based on a natural interest in one’s welfare. Most of us at some time or another look to get an overview of our lives, or of our mental/ emotional states, in order to find either a direction forward or a stable place […]

Excerpt From: Ajahn Sucitto. “Meditation – A Way of Awakening.”