25 Jul
Posted in: Poems
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Why Do YOU Meditate?

Silver Buddha Jing'an Temple Shanghai; China

At yesterday’s Sunday Sangha, David read a couple of poems including this one by Wes Nisker, which definitely bears repeating:

Why I Meditate
(After Allen Ginsberg)
by Wes Nisker

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, Bodhidharma, Marco Polo, the British Raj, Carl Jung, 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 I like to play with it.
I meditate because I want to remember that I’m 
perfectly human.
Sometimes I meditate because my heart is breaking.
Sometimes I meditate so that my heart will break.
I meditate because a Vedantic master once told me that in Hindi my name “nisker” means non-doer.
I meditate because I’m 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’m 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’d probably immolate myself.
I meditate because I want to discover the fifth Brahma Vihara, the divine abode of Awe and then I’ll go down in history as a great spiritual abbot.
I meditate because I’m building myself a bigger and better perspective and occasionally I need to add a new window.

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