“There are two levels of practice.
The first is the foundation, a development of precepts, virtue, or morality in order to bring happiness, comfort, and harmony among people.
The second, more intensive and unconcerned with comfort, is the practice of Buddha Dharma directed solely toward awakening, toward the liberation of the heart. This liberation is the source of wisdom and compassion and the true reason for the Buddha’s teaching.”
Kornfield J, Breiter P. “A Still Forest Pool. The Insight Meditation of Achaan Chah.” Quest Books, 1985.
Even dedicated, long-term meditators start practicing in order to self-regulate ie for stress management.
With continued practice, a gradual shift occurs in one's intention for practicing - from self-regulation, to self-exploration, and finally self-liberation.
Shapiro DH. "A Preliminary Study of Long-term Meditators: Goals, Effects, Religious Orientation, Cognitions. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology 1992; 24(1): 23-39.
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