IMG_5039 - Version 2It has been a while since I have written. Sometimes, the best way to overcome a form of writer’s block is to share the words of others.

Meditation and Pranayama have become a daily part of my life. Each day, my reasons for practicing and my perspective on the experience change. Here is a poem by Wes Niskar, apparently inspired by Allen Ginsberg,  that was once shared with me by one of my teachers/ mentors.

Thank you for reading.

Why I Meditate

I meditate because I suffer

I suffer, therefore, I am

I am, therefore, I meditate

I meditate because there are so many other things to do

I meditate because, when I was young, it was all the rage

I meditate because of Siddhartha Gautama, Bodhiharma, Marco Polo, the British Raj, Carl Young, Alan Watts, Allen Ginsberg, Alfred E. Newman, et al

I meditate because evolution gave me a big brain, but it didn’t come with an instruction manual

I meditate because I have all the information I need

I meditate because I want to touch deep time, where the history of humanity can be seen as just an evolutionary adjustment period

I meditate because life is too short, and sitting slows it down

I meditate because life is too long, and I need an occasional break

I meditate because I want to experience the world as Rumi does, or Walt Whitman or Mary Oliver

I meditate because now I know that enlightenment doesn’t exist

So I can relax

I meditate because of the Dalai Lama’s laugh

I meditate because there are too many advertisements in my head

And I’m erasing all but the very best of them

I meditate because I have discovered that my mind is a great toy and fun to play with

I meditate because I want to remember that I am perfectly human

Sometimes I meditate because my heart is breaking

Sometimes I meditate so that my heart will break

I meditate because a Vedanta master once told me that in Hindi my name “niskar” means non-doer

I meditate because I am growing old and want to become comfortable with emptiness

I meditate because Robert Thurman calls it an evolutionary sport

And I want to be on the home team

I meditate because I am composed of a hundred trillion cells, and from time to time

I need to reassure them that we’re all in this together

I meditate because it’s such a relief to spend time ignoring myself

I meditate because my country spends more money on weapons than all the other nations in the world combined

If I had more courage, I would probably immolate myself

I meditate because I want to discover the fifth Brahma Vihara, the divine Abode of Ah

And then I’ll go down in history as a great spiritual abbot

I meditate because I am building myself a bigger and better perspective

And occasionally I need to add a new window.

Wes Nisker

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