"These days there are increasing numbers of meditation apps available for busy people who are dealing with a wide range of problems from anxiety to poor sleep. These mindfulness-based, problem-focused meditations are helpful on a practical level, but they aren’t the kind of meditation that I will be describing. If you are interested in discovering your true nature, a different approach to meditation is needed."
John J. Prendergast. “The Deep Heart – Our Portal to Presence.” Sounds True, 2019
Those who register for an 8-week Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction course are generally there to improve some aspect of their life and realize that "meditation" is part of the deal. Much more variable however, is how they imagine, or have up till now experienced, meditation, and what specifically they hope to accomplish through meditation practice.
Certainly relief from stress, anxiety, depression, anger, reactivity etc is an important initial step for many of us. But here's a surprise: there's no off-switch for these tendencies. As we heal & mature, their impact on our life becomes progressively less problematic, but doesn't completely disappear.
So we start this journey with the wish to perhaps eliminate one specific problem eg stress, and for many, some stress reduction makes life "livable" again, and that's good enough, at least for a while. However, a gnawing sense of "lack" remains, only its intensity fluctuates.
Some of us are called to search deeper for a profoundly satisfying quality of life, an "intimacy with all things." We sense that through our meditation journey "a more intimate, honest, loving, and open-minded participation in the human experience can flower.” Adyashanti