I remember that I started to get interested in practicing mindfulness when I felt much more relaxed after meditation. Probably for many lay people, practicing meditation is for reducing stress and enhancing self-awareness.
I have a friend who is a nun once told me her purpose of meditation and it has a deeper meaning than mine. She said she practiced mindfulness to prepare for her death.
The nun explained that the mental state in a person’s last moment is crucial in determining if a person’s mind will go up to the heaven or go down to hell. If a person does not believe in any cause and effect and has done a lot of bad deeds, he will be more likely to be regretful, fearful and guilty at the end. This kind of mind may bring consciousness to hell. If a person believes in karma and has done a lot of good deeds, he will be at peace and more likely to let go at the end and his consciousness will stay in heaven.
Sometimes a person may have done a lot of good things, but his consciousness may remain in hell if his mind attaches to anger, guilt, fear, or anything thing else. So mindfulness trains the mind to stay at present and be aware of what it is attaching to so that we can release our consciousness from attachments gradually. If the mind and the body are released from all attachments, the person will be enlightened, which means he is free from the cycle of birth and death, even from heaven and hell.
I came from a Christian background so listening to a Buddhist’s perspective about life after death is quite interesting for me. Although enlightenment remains a vague concept to me, I feel that mindfulness practice helps releasing my mind from overthinking and stress.
Do you have any interesting experiences in mindfulness practice? What is your purpose of meditation?