To answer this question:”What is the aim of meditation?” would depend on why you started, what inspired you? We all take up the practice of meditation for our own personal reasons and I think the reasons are as varied as people are varied.
An inner place
I started way back in 1972 because I was looking for a deeper meaning to my life, even at the young age of 22. After I discovered meditation, I felt as though I had found this deeper meaning. My twice daily hour long practice opened up an, as yet, undiscovered personal inner world. An inner place that I grew to love and cherish. It was a place I could escape to when the pressures of motherhood or work were just too much.
But actually, escape from the world, was not the main motivation for such a big commitment. At that time the motivation was hugely influenced by my “teacher”, or at least the person that I perceived as my teacher at the time. But that’s another story for another blog… Then eventually over the years my daily two-hour practice became something I stopped doing for a variety of reasons.
A different reason
And now I have come full circle, as many of us do, in our last three decades of life. I have at last come back to my daily practice. But I have an entirely different reason from the reason I had when I began all those decades ago. Well perhaps not an entirely different reason, but it feels different to me.
The simple explanation is that when I began I was motivated to find an inner peace as a way of living a more meaningful, peaceful life. But now the reason for my daily practice is so that I can experience a peaceful death, when the time comes, as it must.
If, when the time does come, some time in the future, and I have the opportunity to be consciously dying, my hope is that I will leave this life peacefully and without fear. This is my own personal aim for my daily practice of meditation. And at the same time it feels as satisfying as it always did.
But of course each of us will have our own deeply personal reasons for practicing the wonderful, ancient art of meditation and it doesn’t matter what those reasons are as meditation is freely available to anyone who wishes to learn it. There are countless books and films and endless Youtube videos to help beginners and seasoned practitioners alike.