It’s been said that the mind is like a pond. When the concentration is on one object, it is as if one throws a single stone into the water and you observe beautiful rings expanding out from one point on a smooth surface. When there are a multitude of thoughts, it is like many stones hitting the surface of the lake, and ripples are going all over, running into each other, making any sort of clear reflection off the surface of the water impossible. Similarly, when the mind is full of thoughts it is impossible for any deep awareness to manifest, or any deeper reflection about oneself to take place. And this is the way the mind exists most of the time. In that condition, all we can do is attend to one thought before another breaks through, whether we like it or not. Thus, we are continuously forced to deal with the constant agitation of the mind, as if it is pulled by our senses, desires, goals, dreams, attachments, aversions, or attempts to serve the demands of others. In such a situation, where is there any peace?
So the basis of meditation is to reach a state of being free from this agitation, to calm the mind, like allowing the surface of the pond to become smooth after stopping the throwing of any stones into it. Then once the surface becomes smooth, we can begin to see the reflection on the surface of our Self, our true nature of sat-chit-ananda, eternity, full knowledge and bliss. However, the real goal of meditation is to not only see the reflection, but to go deep enough wherein we make direct contact with our real, spiritual identity. Steady contact with the Self is not only meditation but becomes samadhi, an uninterrupted absorption in our real constitutional position of being a spiritual being, jivatma. Then we actually begin to enter into that higher and eternal awareness of who and what we are and where we are going in this life.