The school of Zen Buddhism that Dogen found taught that meditation is in itself enlightenment. He realized that the very practice of meditation brought peace and mindfulness to the mind of the practitioner. He saw the power that meditation brought into his life and to the lives of those he taught.
When I read some of his teachings I was astonished. I realized that everything I was seeking was already in my meditation. In my meditation practice, I am peaceful, mindful, and patient, as well as many other qualities that I sometimes forget. As I read this I realized that achieving enlightenment only means making your everyday life a form of meditation.
Each time we meditate we drop something, thus we are striking the bell. Each time we meditate we open the door to become the peace that is meditation. Dogen tells us that all we need to do is sit in meditation to understand the profound wisdom we can find hidden within our everyday life. Practicing meditation is nothing more then training for the everyday world.
What does this mean? Anyone can sit in meditation. Anyone can open the door to a world of peace that has been hidden inside of them all along. What you believe in does not matter, meditation has no agenda other then bringing peace and stability to our lives. One could meditate on the teachings of Jesus by asking themselves during meditation if they really were trying to show love and compassion to their neighbor. One could meditate on the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, or The Tao Te Ching.
It does not matter what you meditate on. The focus of meditation is letting go of the self and realizing our own flaws in a mindful way, so that we can attempt to fix them the next time we are given the opportunity to do so. If we pay attention to how we are living our lives, and our actions, if we focus every moment on how we can better ourselves the world will naturally begin to follow.
Just take time to sit and open yourself. All you need do is sit and breathe and patiently watch our own thoughts. If you do so, you open the doors to peace entering your heart.