Meditation can help you achieve many things, some of which you might not even consider, but have their roots in Buddhist traditions. However, meditation, to this day, isn’t exactly religious. But there’s this concept of Nirvana that’s often used interchangeably with enlightenment, but does it have any relation to meditation? And what is it?
Nirvana is described as ceasing the existence of suffering and pain, as well as giving up desire. It’s achieving a deep sense of peace and has been described as the primary goal of Buddhism. Nirvana allows you to let go of inner afflictions that are believed to be the source of our pain.
In that sense, it shares a strong relation to meditation, in the sense that both are liberating, and meditation can lead to a state of Nirvana. Nirvana has been described as the equivalent of heaven for Buddhists, but it’s one that comes from within, rather than a physical place.
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Nirvana and Wisdom
Another description that’s been given to Nirvana is wisdom, which comes from letting go of our perceptions. This wisdom focuses on the idea that the life of being and not being, life and death are flawed.
This, of course, is narrated from the perspective of what Nirvana means. However, meditation is more about reaching a higher state of awareness and peace rather than achieving a state of Nirvana on its own, where one starts to have a three-sixty idea of what reality is.
However, you don’t have to achieve Nirvana to reap the benefits of meditation, even though both share the same benefit of achieving inner peace and no longer being affected by suffering.
In reality, Nirvana is already inside us, but requires a paradigm shift and sometimes, a radical acceptance of reality. Reaching deep levels of meditation opens up your mind to bigger things, as well as ideas or even forming your own set of belief systems.
Good actions, such as helping others, in conjunction with meditation is another thing that brings an individual closer to Nirvana, but by meditation’s nature, while meditation can’t turn you into a good person, most don’t tend to use meditation for bad deeds.
Should You Pursue Nirvana?
Nirvana is seen as this high place you can achieve through deep meditation, but that doesn’t mean it’s ideal for everyone.
Meditation keeps things really simple, without diving into extremely deep changes that would come as a shock for someone that’s not prepared.
The primary goal you have with meditation can to a certain degree indicates in which direction the meditation takes you. However, so do your beliefs about reality and your outlook on things.
Once you reshape this through Nirvana, you make a radical paradigm shift. The cost of this paradigm shift can mean giving up desire, and many aspects of the ego that aid with achievement.
On the other hand, meditation is a form of ego-death, which some would say make you less ambitious but I would say it can be the opposite, since meditation clears your mind and removes the clutter, often making you able to better focus on things. But the same can be said when you achieve enlightenment.
Enlightened people don’t have a special gift that you don’t have, they simply have a deep sense of tranquility that would seem foreign to the average person, as well as a monk-like ability to lock their focus on one thing.
That said, if you are interested in a Buddhist philosophical perspective, pursuing Nirvana could be for you, considering you’d be renouncing suffering and reaching a level of peace that was unknown to the mind.
The Mind Resists Peace
At least, at the very start. We have what’s called a monkey brain. Meditation tames the mind and gives it a break, but because the mind is so used to constantly working, it doesn’t realize it needs a break.
And as much as the mind pushes back against this, either by producing certain sensations, the mind no longer shows resistance to attaining peace once meditation is practiced over the long haul.
From a Nirvanic, there’s the notion that all our suffering comes from our inner afflictions and misunderstandings of reality. While Nirvana is certainly one way of seeing life, this isn’t to dissuade its pursuit or promote it.
Meditation is broad, and based on observation from personal experiences, the more you’re able to get a hold of your mind rather than it getting a hold of you, the more you are winning at meditating.
Can Too Much Peace Be Bad For The Mind?
I mentioned that not everyone is prepared for Nirvana or enlightenment, and that’s because while too much peace, in theory, sounds amazing, it can also mean sacrificing some of the things the average individual enjoys today.
A meditation geared toward Nirvana redefines our reality, and it’s one of the avenues you can expand your consciousness. The idea of having too much peace isn’t realistic for most, if we define peace as happiness, there are always gonna be flaws to happiness nonetheless.
But rather than fighting it and wanting everything to line up perfectly, what I like about Nirvana is how it makes suffering completely foreign, which opens up for speculation on how it must feel to achieve such deep, advanced stages.
Nirvana Implies having a certain view on things, in this case, the four noble truths, which are grounded on finding the source of the suffering, seeing it for what it is, and trying to change it.
Nirvana can be complex, partially because of its philosophical ideals, and I would say, for the average meditator, Nirvana isn’t on their mind, and it doesn’t have to be.
With meditation, it can be as simple as focusing on your breath and observing your thoughts without passing them any judgment, as well as combining meditation with good habits, gradually letting these be a replacement for bad existing habits. One of the things Nirvana and meditation have in common is detachment.
Once you detach from something that was previously causing you suffering, you cease the existence of the root cause to a great extent.
That is, unless one strictly were to adhere to Nirvanic principles where we make a radical paradigm shift. I say simplifying enlightenment as a way to put this in layman’s terms because as you find yourself able to influence the mind, you’re able to reflect those changes on a subliminal level.
Meditation doesn’t tend to work alone, in the sense that it’s not a one size fits all magical pill that fixes all your problems, at least for most.
The absence of meditation means putting the mind’s pleasure before your own needs, whereas meditation means putting what you want to do first before what you just feel like doing temporarily. That feeling is a trap that only leads you to short-term pleasure.
Going back to Nirvana, on the other hand, there’s also the notion that the more you find yourself unaffected by inner affections or beliefs, the more you are a step closer to Nirvana.
Nowadays, however, meditation can be done by anyone and everyone, no matter what you believe in, what purpose you have, or what actions you do.
So in that sense, meditation isn’t strict like what some would see as Nirvana. You’re likely to naturally change your outlook while meditating over time. Change, happiness, and peace come from within, that’s something meditation makes emphasis on.