Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Why Do You Meditate?

--by Andrew Cohen (Jan 14, 2008)

You meditate to remind yourself that you're not a prisoner. If there is power in your meditation, if your experience of the ground of being is deep and profound, you will discover and rediscover, over and over and over again, that you are not a prisoner. You are not held captive by your own mind; nor are you imprisoned by your own emotions. It sounds simple, but it's so easy to forget. If all you are aware of is the endless rollercoaster ride of thoughts and feelings, of course you will believe you are trapped.

The ground of being is a deeper, infinitely more subtle dimension of your own consciousness that simply cannot be perceived by the gross faculties of the conditioned mind and ego. You can't see it; you can't taste it; you can't touch it. So even if you have directly experienced the unconditioned freedom of that empty ground, when you return to the world of conditioned mind and ego, you're likely to doubt it. The mind simply cannot cognize this ground, and the ego cannot know it. That is why it's very important to meditate as much as you can. If you meditate regularly with a strong intention, you will keep rediscovering that you're not a prisoner. You cannot recognize that enough. Until your conviction in your own freedom is unwavering and you're able to prove it through unbroken consistency in the way that you live, you need to keep having that experience. Each and every time you realize that you're not a prisoner, it gives you a deeper confidence in the limitless inherent freedom of that empty ground that is your own deepest Self. It builds a conscious conviction in no-limitation, and, as I teach it, this is the most significant purpose of meditation.

-- Andrew Cohen

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5 Previous Reflections:

On Nov 13, 2013 BobSchiffer wrote:

 I consider the invitation to participate in a meditation circle an important event for me in as much as I have recently been granted more time on earth and owe my thanks to others more than ever and now I don't want to miss feeling the depth of those benefits.

On Jan 17, 2008 Jerry wrote:
This is great. I am blessed reading and knowing more on meditation. It is great!

On Jan 15, 2008 linda wrote:


On Jan 14, 2008 Tambu wrote:
Wow! Thank you for this inspiring passage. Such truth!

On Jan 14, 2008 A Reflection from the Thought-of-the-Week Photograph wrote:
A reflection on the photo, from our photographer-volunteer extra-ordinaire:

This is a shot of mountains taken from an airplane. The sunlight is falling from the side, and the last bit of rays are falling on top of the mountains. For me, it represents the light of awareness on the mountain of the autopilot state -- frozen, conditioned mind.