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