Establishing a meditative life can lead to a more settled and attentive mind, but to what end will you direct these capacities?

If you are more attentive,

to what will you direct your attention? If more settled, on what will you rest your mind?

The legendary sage Milarepa is said to have used his miraculous siddhis or “psychic powers” to bring devastation to an avaricious landlord who treated his parents poorly. I raise this issue because in their descriptions of the meditative path, the contemplative traditions of all cultures emphasize the importance of virtue, and for good reason. Ethical conduct is not guaranteed by contemplative practice. Meditation can be used for selfish as well as selfless ends, to win basketball games or turn a greater profit as well as to mitigate suffering. Sound ethical foundations for the meditative life is needed. If one does this adequately, then one’s practice serves not only oneself, but others as well. —