We associate the feeling of peace with meditation. However, contrary to popular understanding, this feeling is not the point of meditation.
Let me first be clear — those who have inner conflict and meditate will pass through some sense of peace. However, they might also find the sense they experienced simply does not last – it eventually turns back into a sense of conflict. This is inevitable.
Of course, the resurfaced conflict doesn’t last either – the conflict that came back turns to sense of peace again.
This cycle can repeat like a broken record. Forever.
At some point, when reflected over time, we might conclude meditation simply isn’t offering us more feeling of peace in our lives. This could very well be a moment of intense honesty, disappointment, or surrender. However, emerging from that surrender comes a moment of clarity. We might, for a flash, experience both peace and conflict simultaneously. At that moment, and for that moment, we might realize peace and conflict are actually two faces of the same card. And at that moment, and for that moment, we might realize this discovery was the purpose of meditation all along.
Sept 6th, 2011: Update: Based on comments, I clarified my terminology above to clarify I’m referring to ‘feelings of peace’, such as being relaxed, chilled, or at-ease. I am not referring to indescribable ‘transcendent peace’. Conventional meditation teachings often fail to distinguish these, causing practitioners to mindlessly interchange the former for the latter, as if they are synonymous — they aren’t. More on double meanings in a future post.