Ultimate purpose of Buddhism is to attain Enlightenment to solve problems of life. Buddha said “Life is suffering.” almost two thousand six hundred years ago. Nowadays there are so many sects of Buddhism including traditional and recent ones in Japan, among them Soto shu is one of very well know to practice meditation as they say “只管打坐” (Shikantaza) means just sit. It will give you some benefit for you through it someway somehow comparing without doing it. But without having some purposes, although I think there are many purposes for meditations, for instance for health, success, problem solving so on, we should focus on the original meaning of meditation that Buddha taught to his disciples in the age when he had enlightened as we meditate. That is to cast away your sufferings with wisdoms through meditation like the eightfold path then emancipating from this world to the other world by keeping a peaceful mind called nirvana. In order to do this, we have to be an arhat with appropriate disciplines.
In our two year course to aim to become an arhat, one of students had progressed her spirituality very much. As I wrote in past blogs, she could see her guardian spirits who are some portions of her incarnation residing in the heaven watching and supporting her life. She could see their lower bodies in the beginning of the second year. Furthermore, as a sign of on the way to be an arhat, she could talk to her guardian spirit who told her mission of the life clearly. At end of this course, the most obvious sign to become an arhat was she was holding hostility to a woman, but she was corrected not to have such an enmity to her by her guardian spirit. She got tears in her eyes but also she could see the face of her guardian spirit, it was a monk with beard.
Through the practicing meditation, you can cleanse your mind and heart, your pure mind and heart allow you to communicate with your true self who is your guardian spirit and actually a part of you dwelling in the spirit world, he or she gives you wisdom to solve the problems also the true purpose of your life.