‘Q: Would you care to sum up the purpose of meditation?
A: Well, meditation is dealing with purpose itself. It is not that meditation is for something, but it is dealing with the aim. Generally we have a purpose for whatever we do: something is going to happen in the future, therefore what I am doing now is important – everything is related to that. But the whole idea of meditation is to develop an entirely different way of dealing with things, where you have no purpose at all. In fact meditation is dealing with the question of whether there is such a thing as purpose. And when one learns a different way of dealing with the situation, one no longer has to have a purpose. One is not on the way to somewhere. Or rather one is on the way and one is also at the destination at the same time. That is really what meditation is for.
Q: Would you say, then, that it would be a merging with reality?
A: Yes, because reality is there all the time. Reality is not a separate entity, so it is a question of becoming one with reality, or of being in reality – not achieving oneness, but becoming identified with it. One is already a part of reality, so all that remains is to take away the doubt. Then one discovers one has been there the whole time.’ (Meditation in Action)
I have been asked this question, or a variant of it, a number of times, and I suspect every Buddhist teacher has. I certainly have come nowhere near to the complete kindness I read in Trungpa’s answer.