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It is obvious there is a misconception circulating within the community of people seeking spiritual advancement that sitting with an empty mind is the goal of meditation. Okay, sometimes it is a reasonable goal to reach for and achieve daily for a few minutes, because the ability to quiet the mind is a valuable skill. To be able to achieve a quiet mind when in a quiet room requires some practice, but that is a short-term goal, and the main goal of that meditation is to learn how to attain a quiet mind when all about you is in turmoil, and even when you are in pain. If a person can’t learn to quiet their mind when in a safe and quiet place, how can they be expected to maintain a quiet mind in their ordinary public world, where there are innumerable dangers, challenges and threats?

When difficult times come along, especially threatening ones, it is natural for people to retreat into a fight, flight or freeze frame of mind, but what is often needed even more is a calm mind in a state that is capable of analyzing the situation and responding appropriately. To be able to choose to go to a quiet state of mind can be learned, and one of the ways of doing that is with sitting meditation, but to confront these more difficult situations also needs some practice at responding to external situations with sober equanimity so you can learn to think clearly when the situation is terribly stressful.

Clearly the goal of all species of living things is to live exuberantly, long and with successful fecundity. For humans to choose to sit idly with none of these fundamental life purposes in play would appear foolish to the hundred million species, if they could observe and think. The purpose of meditation is to enhance your life experience, not just sit and be. A rock can just sit and be, and it can do it much better than you. As a human being you have free will and you can choose goals for yourself, and for your world, and you can work to achieve these goals.

Meditation isn’t for sitting, it’s preparation for doing.

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