Why do we meditate? We meditate to show our mind the place from which it comes. We do this as often as we can. We do this every day, for weeks and months and years. We meditate until our mind relaxes and spontaneously releases its contents. When this happens, we become what we are, and no longer suffer from the pretense of whatever the mind might think we are. Whatever the mind thinks we are will always be false. The mind can never know who we are. The mind can never know the place from which it comes. It can only be shown, through meditation, that the place from which it comes is silence, and silence is not knowable by the mind.
The mind is the instrument of silence, of the source. But the mind, unable to know its own source, creates thoughts, feelings, images, concepts, and beliefs, and then projects all of that on to the screen of silence. That projection is what we think we are, what life is. The mind takes these images as being fundamentally real, and lives there. We live in these images because we identify with them; we become, through repetition, these images. Objects can be known by the mind. Silence, its source, is never an object of knowing, and can never be known by the mind. Silence is the knower of the mind.
The mind can only be turned toward its source until it spontaneously releases all of the images and projections of its own activity. In this moment, we become who we are, and the mind becomes what it is and functions at the appropriate time and in the appropriate way. Its projections of self are consumed in the silence, releasing its anxiety. We become what we are, infinitely present and aware, spontaneous and creative. We meditate to be what we are.
Meditation is dis-identifying with all of the thoughts and images created and projected by the mind. Meditation is the act of seeing that the images of the mind are just that, and that behind the mind is silence. Silence is awareness, and awareness knows the mind and sees its activity while remaining separate from it. This does not mean that we create an image in the mind of a watcher of other images. This does not mean that we lose ourselves in thoughts about the nature of the mind. Silence, awareness, is fundamentally different than mental activity. We can never know this, however, because silence is never an object of knowing. We can only become the silence, what we are, when the mind spontaneously releases its contents.
How does this happen? This happens as the inner awareness examines and sees directly the nature of thought and the impermanence of all mental activity. This is inquiry. Inquiry is a persistent examination of the nature of the mind. It is a means of seeing directly what ideas and images are, how they come into being, and where they go when they are not maintained through repetition and identification. Inquiry challenges the mind, inflamed and eager as it is to know, to formulate, to analyze. Inquiry finally traps the mind, does not allow the mind to escape into more ideas. When the mind is trapped, it spontaneously comes to rest quietly within silence.
Then we become what we are.