Meditation is a path within, leading followers to the innermost part of their being. As we embrace our own journey, here are three reflections on meditation as a full process of awakening, embracing, and developing the inner life – so that we may have a meaningful presence in the outer world.

“One who knows others becomes wise, but one who knows himself becomes enlightened.”

-Lao Tzu

We seek wisdom from many teachers in our life – but we truly learn from others when we understand our own nature first. The inner awakening that happens in meditation does not overshadow the wisdom we experience from others – rather it complements and enhances their meaning for our lives.

“Meditation is not about getting out of ourselves or achieving something better. It is about getting in touch with what you already are.”

-Pema Chodron

Meditation is more than rising above self-limitations and weaknesses. The journey is also about diving fully into what already exists inside of us, embracing everything, and discarding nothing. We meditate with eyes closed not to block out an imperfect existence – but to cherish and gently reshape the imperfections that make us who we we are.

“The inner life of any great thing will be incomprehensible to me until I develop and deepen an inner life of my own. “

-Park J. Palmer

Meditation helps us go beneath the surface appearances of the physical world to reconnect with what is invisible to the eye. It awakens us to the presence of something harmonious within us – in the same way that we view a painting or piece of literature as more than just paint and paper, we see instead the inner life of each person and thing, include ourselves.