A few years ago, I was at a small conference of scientists all of whom practiced meditation on a daily basis. Toward the end of the four-day meeting, during which each of them had described at some length how he meditated, I began to press them on the question of why they meditated. Various answers were given by different members of the group and we all knew that they were unsatisfactory, that they did not really answer the questions. Finally one man said, "It's like coming home." There was silence after this, and one by one all nodded their heads in agreement. There was clearly no need to prolong the inquiry further.
This answer to the question "Why meditate?" runs all through the literature written by those who practice this discipline. We meditate to find, to recover, to come back to something of ourselves we once dimly and unknowingly had and have lost without knowing what it was or where or when we lost it.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Quite some years ago, I came across a little book by Lawrence LeShan entitled How to Meditate. It is truly a gem and has deservedly become a classic. Here is a brief excerpt: