Many people get into meditation to better deal and cope with stress, to fully relax and to improve their way of living. Another result you could get out of meditation is the development of a peaceful mindset as you become more loving toward others.
Meditation centred on loving kindness can help eliminate a self-centred attitude. Over time, you get to develop selflessness and altruistic love. How does this happen with such a simple exercise like meditation?
Away from the Concept of Self
In this present generation of selfies, people tend to suffer. The suffering is due to the inability to satisfy one’s ego and an inability to receive expected affirmation from others. This attitude is directed toward the self. When you get into a meditative state, you develop a concept that moves away from the self.
The concept of the self is related to the many sufferings that people experience. It is the attachment to material things, emotions and thoughts that lead people to suffer. It can go from a small thing to greater concepts to which the self tend to gravitate. For instance, if the self is attached to a material possession or a person, when that material or person is lost, the suffering ensues. It is the ownership, calling something “mine” that is the culprit of the suffering.
In order to eliminate the attachment that leads to suffering, the first step is to abandon the concept of self.
In meditation, your mind becomes peaceful, more loving and selfless. This happens over time as your mind is freed from disturbing thoughts and emotions. In meditation, you learn to silence your mind for a while. It is a restful yet focused state, which helps your mind to be distant from the thoughts that cause suffering.
Part of the exercise is to become detached from the ego and its wants and cravings. This is in line with Buddhist teaching centred on selflessness. The path to selflessness and loving altruism involves having to debunk the existence of self. It is not done by suppression, but through realisation.
Meditating with focus on selflessness means to defeat the enemy, which is fear and suffering. When the self is detached from attachment, the mind begins its journey toward freedom and victory, over fear and suffering. Further along, the mind develops more altruistic thoughts. Having realised that attachments to material things and disturbing emotions lead to suffering and fear, the mind finds the real concept of love.