The purpose of meditation is to reach a greater understanding and a heightened level of spiritual awareness.

The purpose is not to transcend the body, but to embody the transcendent.   Dalai Lama

In Sufism, the mystical tradition of Islam, with every stage in deepening meditation you remove a veil.  The meditator yearns to connect with the divine.  The first veil to fall is the physical, and allows one to see the Self a little more clearly.  The mental veil falls and one sees even more clearly.  Finally the ego falls, the veil of self-will, and reveals the beauty and love that one has been longing for.  When you have seen G-d (or whatever you chose to call it) in your own heart, in the depths of meditation, you see it everywhere.  When self-will is extinguished and the mind becomes still, you see the whole universe as the manifestation of G-d’s love.

Praying is talking to the Universe – Meditation is listening to it.

As you breathe in, cherish yourself.  As you breathe out, cherish all beings.    Dalai Lama

You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy;  then you should sit for an hour.   old Zen saying