Meditation is self-discovery. Pure meditation is not something we do, it is what we are: not an action, but a state of being.
The active part of the process, the part we are responsible for, is concentration. In concentration, we focus and clear the mind. Meditation is entering and enjoying that infinite sky beyond the mind’s ceiling.
The sun is always shining, though we are sometimes unaware of it. When it is raining or in the night, we might think the sun has gone. In reality it is there, though covered with clouds or on the other side of the world. Similarly, our spiritual heart is always shining with peace, love and light, though sometimes we lose sight of it when our mind’s sky is overcast with the clouds of sadness, distraction and perplexity.
To see the sun on a rainy day, we have to clear the sky: to feel our hearts, we have only to clear the mind of its thought-clouds. This is the role of concentration. Meditation follows.
Meditation is like sunbathing. In sunbathing, we have a role to play: we have to prepare ourselves, find a comfortable place in the sun, spread our towel on the ground, remove our shirt and lie down. The real work of sunbathing is performed by the sun.
Similarly, in meditation we have to prepare ourselves: create the time, find a quiet place where we won’t be disturbed, sit in position and practise our chosen technique. As in sunbathing, the real work of meditation is done by our inner sun, our heart and soul, which spontaneously flood our consciousness with their pre-existent peace, love and light. We are along for the ride. Our role is to be receptive, to enjoy, be grateful and do our best to retain these divine gifts.