27 Mar
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What Meditation is Not

from Mindfulness in Plain English, by Bhante Gunaratana:

“Misconception #1: Meditation is Just a Relaxation Technique

Relaxation is a key component of meditation, but vipassana-style (mindfulness) meditation aims at a much loftier goal…All mediation procedures stress concentration of the mind, bringing the mind to rest on one item or one area of thought. Do it strongly and thoroughly enough, and you achieve a deep and blissful relaxation….

“Vipassana seeks another goal: awareness. Concentration and relaxation are considered necessary concomitants to awareness. They are required precursors, handy tools, and beneficial byproducts. But they are not the goal. The goal is insight. Vipassana mediation is a profound religious practice aimed at nothing less than the purification and transformation of your everyday life.


One can quibble with the use of “religious” in that last sentence (see yesterday’s post), but there’s no disputing the profound nature of this practice.

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