Attention is fundamental to our experience of being in the world.
What we pay attention to and how we pay attention determines how we experience our day. If we are wandering and distracted, our days pass by like the frames of a movie, seeming to have little consequence. If we are present and aware, we can tune into details and events that we would normally be blind to.
Ontology is the study of being or how things exist in the world. The ontology of the self is really a study of the mind and attention. When the mind is fixated on particular aspects of our self it limits our experience and perception of the world. When the mind is more open and aware, our experience is different.
What is present for us, right now, can be experienced in myriad ways, and each of those depends on our mind and attention.
When we understand the significance of the mind and attention for determining and shaping our experience, we can understand the impact and significance of meditation. Meditation is the practice of familiarizing ourselves with the present, learning to work with our habits, compulsions, and aversion to being right here, right now.
Meditation is the tool by which we start to understand the mind and attention, as well as how we gain agility and mastery in working with the mind. Gaining agility and mastery over our own mind and mental states means we also gain the power and responsibility to work with the present. Not control the present, but to understand how our mind and attention can shift our experience, as well the experience of those around us.