- A thought is basically a reaction to something that happened to the body.
- A mind "meditates" on what happens in its environment. A mind that is completely
detached from the world does not "meditate": it dies.
- I guess it all depends on your definition of the ultimate reality.
The ancient Indian philosophers thought that the ultimate reality was emptiness,
and that the multiplicity of the world is an illusion, and that's why there
is no rational explanation for it.
The Western philosophers thought that the ultimate reality "is" the
multiplicity of things, and that there is a rational explanation for it.
- If you believe that the ultimate reality is emptiness and you want to
experience it, then you should meditate in isolation.
- If you believe that the ultimate reality is "fullness" and you want to
experience it, then you need to immerse yourself as much as possible in the world.
- Of course, it could also be that both viewpoints are right, just at different moments of the history of the universe: maybe the universe was "empty" at the
beginning and then it started evolving towards "fullness", and we live in a
transition from emptiness to fullnesss (we keep finding "dark" matter even where
there should be nothing). If you meditate in isolation, your mind
is attuned to the past. If you meditate in the world, your mind is attuned
to the future.