In the path of affirmation (religion) we improve our lives. But after many lifetimes of religious practices, what's next? The path of negation (Tantra) is a path where we go back through all the experiences we avoided in our religious lifetimes and in the process we negate the self. We come to see and experience that God is in everything.
Buddhism involves bringing your mind into clearer and clearer states. We completely purify the mind and then we go beyond all states of mind. When there is no self and therefore no one to perceive states of mind, there is only enlightenment.
The message of the Bhagavad Gita is to fight, to act, to play our part in life. If we work well then we discipline our mind and body and the strength that results stays with us and leaves the body with us. The Bhagavad Gita also urges us to seek enlightenment to go beyond the wheel of birth, death and rebirth.
What the teacher does is enable the being to compact their life, strengthen it, get all the junk out of it and to learn to be happy, free and strong. Then gradually the teacher guides the student to step into other dimensional realities to stand and gaze with awe and wonder at the universe.
Walden by Henry David Thoreau is an advertisement for the mind state of "keeping your room clean" or having an uncluttered life and mind. As Buddhists we seek to experience more life and less self.
In advanced meditation we are trying to undo the most perfect perceptual states because we realize they are still limited. In advanced practice, we come back to all those things we set aside in earlier religious/spiritual practices - careers, relationships, etc. - to experience/see/know that God exist in all things.
A professional in meditation is someone who is able, no matter what the state of their mind or life, to sit down, meditate, stop thought and enter the quiescent state. But realize that no matter how high you go, no matter how deeply you perceive, you are only touching the bare surface of infinity.
All meditation involves focus until we enter into the quality-less, thoughtless essence. Detailed instructions for points of focus in meditation and for learning to re-focus the mind are discussed. As Rama says, "the practice of meditation is emptying the mind. When the mind is empty, completely empty, it's perfect meditation. It's really that simple."
Meditation is the science of stopping thought. When there is no thought, there is only pure mind - which is ecstasy. Meditation is perfect, qualityless, clear light perceiving itself as such.
Computer programming is a field in which you use analytic techniques very similar to techniques that Buddhists have used for thousands of years to refine the mind. It is a wonderful career for people who are drawn to meditation.
In Buddhism we seek that which is ineffable - that which cannot be seen with the eyes or felt with the hands. We seek to find the still center in the middle of all the turning worlds, simply because we like that, we know that's where we belong.
Tantric Buddhism teaches us how to use the things that we must do in life to empower us rather than drain us. Tantra is a collection of things that work by doing them. It is a pathway of adventure and transformation that leads to Enlightenment.