I don't think anyone knows why they meditate. As a matter of fact I'm not even sure that we do meditate. All that we know is that we don't know.
That's all that we can be absolutely certain of. Meditation is not a doing. It just is.
We think of meditation as something that we have to do, something that we have to accomplish - to do, to accomplish, to be. This is emblazoned on our consciousness by our lives. That's why I think essentially people have difficulty with meditation. They try and do it. You can't. It's not something that can be done, nor is it something that can be undone. You can't even say that meditation is or is not.
If there were no world, no time, no space, no condition, if none of us existed, that would be meditation. Pure and simple. To say that we have to meditate implies that we have to accomplish or do something, that by following a planned series of actions we will reach a destination point. We like to think that all we have to do is know how to implement that knowledge and voila! We've done it.
That's not meditation. Meditation has nothing to do with building a building, taking a journey, not even setting ourselves on fire. Meditation always has been, is now and always will be. Meditation is dreamless sleep.
If there were no world, no time, no space, no condition, if none of us existed, that would be meditation. Pure and simple.
I think it would be a good idea, as you're setting your sails for the land of meditation, to consider wisely, o nobly born, before you venture forth into the bardo of experience, what it is that you're trying to do. Not so much why, because I think the why eludes us all. We may come up with reasons as to why we meditate, why we live, why we die. But ultimately those reasons will not effect what occurs. Those are just panaceas, things that perhaps make us feel better, inspire us. They're neither good nor bad, it depends on their usage.
Think of meditation as a summer night. The crickets are chirping, life is going on, with or without us, within or without us. Life is going on, on the stage of life in front of our eyes and senses. In the house next door that we may not be aware of, life is going on - in countries other than our own, in worlds other than ours, distant galaxies. Life exists in the sub-atomic regions, in the quasars. Life is all there is. That's meditation.
Beyond this plane, this plateau we stand on that we call life, there are infinite planes and plateaus. Beyond the physical, there's a subtle-physical, astral worlds extending forever. All of this is inter-twined in the web of nirvana, the unspeakable, that which exists without existing, sustains creation without holding it, transmutes creation without involvement or attachment - the mystery, the riddle.
How is it possible that we are all eternal and yet so ignorant, so forgetful of truth, while we are the truth itself? They call that maya - forgetting truth, or perhaps seeing a lesser truth instead of a greater truth.
We sit here on the shore of existence watching the boats go back and forth. Sometimes there's a vast ocean liner out on the horizon. It approaches us, perhaps it comes right to where we are. We watch the people get off. They embrace each other. People meet them. Whole lives pass before our eyes, emotional whirlwinds, the people who work on the boat. Then the boat leaves, the people go away. The ocean is the same.
Where do these images come from and to where do they return? All answers are only found in the supraconscious, and the supraconscious doesn't really house answers. It takes us to a point where we don't ask questions anymore because that part of us which would ask or which would inquire goes away, is quietly absorbed in eternity.