Meditation functions to transform our consciousness.
Virtually all human beings have what Zen masters call an “I, my, me” mind — that is, we center our entire life around self-interest and self-concern.
When we correctly practice meditation, this self-centered mind begins to change. We begin to orient our life toward acting in ways that are beneficial for everyone around us. This is a natural outcome of meditation — it’s not something we can “make” happen.
More concretely, meditation practice uncovers our inner resources of compassion and wisdom. As these two qualities emerge, we naturally act in beneficial ways. Our actions reduce suffering for those around us, and for ourselves. All this comes effortlessly from meditation.
The Japanese word “zen” simply means meditation. “Karma” refers to the ongoing action of cause and effect in our lives. And “nirvana” refers to the enlightened state I described earlier. When our mind is truly spacious, clear, and compassionate — that is nirvana.
All human beings have occasional glimpses into this nirvana-mind. But without sincere meditation, virtually no one can sustain nirvana-mind moment to moment in daily life. Good question! Hope this helps.
Zen meditation (zazen) has no purpose or goal. Zazen is a pure expression of being.
‘Zen’ is a Japanese word derived from the Chinese word ‘ch’an’, which was derived from the Sanskrit word ‘dhyana’, which is a name for a form of meditaion.
‘Karma’ and ‘nirvana’ are also Sanskrit words that are associated with Buddhism, and describe different types of illusions which are dispelled by practicing zazen.
Neither karma nor nivarna have anything really essential to do with meditation (zazen), although they are sometimes used as teaching tools by zen teachers and in Buddhism.
Done correctly, the meditative state is that of being the observer of the reactions which happen in one’s body, which includes one’s thinking, feeling, and sensing capabilities. Before starting meditation, the beginning person is identified with the reactions in one’s body and is not able to observe them. This results in responding to happenings out of one’s conditioned past, and without reflection of one’s thinking and feelings. It’s like one is responding in a robotic way, or running on auto-pilot not knowing why one is reacting the way one is. There is little capability to see clearly and choose wisely and not react out of emotional energy.
When you learn to enter the meditative state, then you become the observer of the reactions inside, allowing you the capability to question them, before just auto-pilot responding blindly to them. Practising meditation is the beginning of the real YOU starting to take control of your life, by gaining self-knowledge of your inner workings you start to become the active driver of your life. With continued daily practise, you continue to make gains in awareness and consciousness each time you do it. YOU will become more alert, more reflective, more creative, the real you starts to grow, you start to heal from diseases, your senses become more sensitve, you start getting insights, etc. You become more calm, less stressful, more balanced, serene, the more you do it.
In a meditative state you are being your true self. Not learning to meditate, is like walking around being blind to your true potential and all your life is spent walking around blindly in circles, being unknowingly chained to your conditioned past. It’s as if you are living in a dream world, just like when you dream at night.
Is it enough reasons to want to do it?