Meditation is a pivotal practice that completely transfigures the way in which one who identifies oneself as an 'individual'; as the 'doer', approaches life. Beyond that, it has the potency to blossom into thorough understanding.
Perception is all about paying attention. Moment by moment training of the awareness to watch one's thoughts makes one aware of one's own habitual tendencies and proclivities toward this or that. The way in which we instinctively choose to view the world, people and phenomena is mentally ascertained. In the first moment of cognition we solely perceive colors and shapes but almost automatically thereafter, in the second moment, we divide phenomena in order to navigate the world and say, 'Oh this is a person', and 'that is a coffee mug.' In the third instance, we impute our own concepts and labels onto these agglomerations of particles and decide how we feel about them; attraction, aversion, or indifference.
Simply taking the time to teach someone to focus their mind and watch their breath for even five minutes can have an enormous effect on their whole way of being and their habits...it may even change their life! Paying attention and opening to the awareness that everything we need is inside of us right here and now, realizing that we all hold the keys to our own growth, happiness, contentment and truth equals coming back into our power. We are able to trust in ourselves and love ourselves enough to be confident that we possess and are able to manifest our own exquisite enlightenment if we so choose.
Most of the time people on our planet are caught up in drive to do and the unsettling need to achieve and prove themselves in this life. Such behavior is definitely rooted in a deeper underlying feeling of worthlessness, of affirming that we're not good enough now, and we need to achieve several far-flung feats in order to feel okay about ourselves and the situation. If we can learn to be without needing to do, valuable effects arise. We can observe our desires as they spring forth and examine them critically for what they really are. This is better than being so caught up with these temporal fancies and allocating them weight and importance in our psyche, as this leads only to suffering for ourselves and others. There is suffering if the desires are not fulfilled and there is suffering when what we perceive as a desirable situation changes.
Meditation enables the adherent to watch his or her thoughts and feelings rushing over him or her like leaves in the wind; they are fleeting and impermanent. Certainly they arise, but they decline as well. It is only when we grasp to them and cling oh-so-fiercely that we suffer. We give over our mastery to desires and thoughts and let them control us instead of being in control. We should remember who the captain is! Instead of being slaves to our bodies, thoughts and feelings we can learn to control them! Our own happiness lies in our very hands. In every moment, every breath, we make decisions that impact our own lives and the lives of others. Ergo, it is pivotal to proceed with the tools of patience, discipline, fortitude and wisdom. When we have tamed our own minds it is much more feasible that we are able to give to others. How can we help if we are not in control of our own lives and let transitory feelings of anger, sadness, jealousy, despair, fear, guilt, shame and many other negative emotions wholly overcome us? We must tame our minds in the precise present!