We meditate to achieve self-realization, conscious union with God. We meditate as away of learning to surrender ourselves to God. But these are `advanced' notions of meditation. Many of us begin to meditate simply to get our lives together, to help us find solutions to our everyday problems. We need that sense of momentary peace and quiet so that the rest of our day can flow together more smoothly. Many of us began to meditate with little faith in God or anything else. Faith and trust in God come into our minds and hearts as we stay with the process. Finally, the realization of God's Presence comes to us and we know that life has really changed. Sometimes we see it only in small ways; a beautiful sunset or a child's tender smile will suddenly light up a new feeling of joy in our hearts. And then the real magic and wonder of this life dawns on us. We realize, as Alan Watts said, "This earth itself is in deep outer space." And we ourselves are an intimate part of this infinite cosmos. We belong here. We're connected—no longer strangers; we're finally at home.