Meditation is about how we deeply perceive the world around us.
Consider a friend who is with you at a party. On the surface, she seems vivacious, cheerful. But we can become sensitively attuned to the movement of her mind. Subtle anxiety in a social situation; pleasure at the attention she might receive; evaluation of her peers and other friends; worry because of her work situation and her brother’s health. Somehow, in the perception of the person, even without intimately knowing her life history, the meditative mind must be aware of the potential currents in her.
Now suppose we can understand the emotional currents of all those we encounter in daily living in a similar fashion. Suppose we can become exquisitely sensitive to the bodies and minds of others. In this awareness, we see that their existence is not different from ours, as our daily life is merely a reflection of theirs.
We can extend this depth of awareness to the non-human world as well, to fully understand that human meanings and purposes are not the measure of the universe.
Awareness of this kind is not about analyzing others. It is about a swift insight into the lack of a boundary between selves.
Meditation is awareness of real life, not of imaginary fantasy worlds of bliss and ecstasy.