We all have preconceptions, we all have points of view. Not only do we have ideas, but we have opinions and countless judgments, especially about other people. We may hope to free ourselves from such a tangle, but usually what we find is that we just exchange one set of preconceptions for another. Is meditation enough?

The practice of mindfulness-awareness meditation does not take place in a vacuum. It happens within a certain context and point of view. In the Buddhist tradition, meditation is often presented in the context of view, meditation, and action. Each of these three is essential, as a system of checks and balances.

View

If we do not understand the view, the practice of meditation can be more of a trap than means of freeing ourselves from deception. Without an understanding of nontheism and the motivation to benefit others, meditation practice can degenerate into self-absorption and escapism. Rather than loosening our ego-clinging, it could further perpetuate our ignorance and grasping.

Meditation practice is a way of loosening our solidity.

Rather than connecting us to our world, it could draw us away from it. Meditation practice could even be a tool of aggression, a way of clearing the mind before going out to commit our next murder. Meditation in and of itself is no magical cure-all. Proper understanding and proper motivation are important. The view informs the practice.

Likewise, meditation balances view. Meditation practice is a way of loosening our solidity. Without practice, even the most inspired view can become rigid ideology. The practice of meditation brings out the futility and limitations of holding any rigid view.

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