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Meditation is a deliberate training of attention that awakens us beyond the conditioned mind and habitual thinking, and reveals the nature of reality. There are many forms of meditation—a variety of skillful means to quiet the mind and open the heart. There are countless contemplative practices, devotional practices, concentration subjects, mantras, visualizations, energy trainings, and inner listening practices to foster awakening, understanding, and love.
Insight meditation is at the heart of the teachings of awakening. Its purpose is to strengthen our capacity to experience “things as they are” directly, without the filter of discursive thinking, evaluation or habitual reactivity. It consists of bringing a natural and clear attention to whatever occurs in the present moment. Some traditional definitions of mindfulness include “wakefulness of mind,” “lucidity of mind,” “alertness,” and “undistracted attention.”
As we learn to be alertly and calmly present with our meditation, a deeper intimacy with ourselves and with the world will arise. As we cultivate our ability to remain mindful without interfering, judging, avoiding, or clinging to our direct experience, wellsprings of insight and wisdom have a chance to surface. We see the ever-changing, impersonal, ungraspable nature of all things and our wisdom grows. At some point, we joyfully realize that our unobstructed awareness of this very moment is our freedom. Delightfully, mindfulness becomes both the means and the end of insight.