"The definition of meditation is a mind that is single-pointedly focused on a virtuous object and whose function is to make the mind peaceful and calm. " Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Daily Lamrim - Meditation in Action!
When our mind is peaceful we are free from worries and mental discomfort, and we experience true happiness. If we train our mind to become peaceful we will be happy all the time, even in the most adverse conditions. But if our mind is not peaceful, even if we have the most pleasant external conditions we will not be happy. Therefore it is important to train our mind through meditation.
The purpose of meditation is to cultivate those states of mind that are conducive to peace and well-being, and to eradicate those that are not. If we examine our life we will discover that most of our time and energy is devoted to mundane activities, such as seeking material and emotional security, enjoying sensory pleasures, or establishing a good reputation. Although these things can make us happy for a short time, they are not able to provide the deep lasting contentment that we long for. Sooner or later our happiness turns into dissatisfaction, and we find ourselves engaged in the pursuit of more worldly pleasures.
Directly or indirectly, worldly pleasures cause us mental and physical suffering by stimulating attachment, jealousy, and frustration. Moreover, seeking to fulfill our own desires often bring us into conflict with others. If true fulfillment cannot be found in worldly pleasures, then where can it be found? Happiness is a state of mind, therefore the real source of happiness lies in the mind, not in external circumstances. If our mind is pure and peaceful we will be happy, regardless of our external conditions, but if it is impure and unpeaceful, we will never find happiness, no matter how much we try to change our external conditions. The method to make our mind pure and peaceful is to train in meditation.
The Lamrim meditations below can be found with additional explanation in the book "How To Understand the Mind" by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. This book offers us deep insight into our mind, and shows how an understanding of its nature and functions can be used practically in everyday experience to improve our lives.