Monday, June 16, 2008

Why I Meditate

For many years I've meditated twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Often I'm asked why I do it, and recently I thought of a new reason. Meditation is an excellent preparation for death.

Death forces people to abandon most aspects of their life: the body, possessions, relationships with other people. Even if there's a soul that survives, much of the mind probably disappears as well. All this will be taken by compulsion at some time, and life's final challenge is to relinquish that life willingly.

The discipline I follow is mantra meditation: sitting still with a straight back and repeating a mantra in the mind. I have to let go of other distracting thoughts and desires, a process that becomes easier with practice. Regular renunciation of my external life should allow me to leave the world happily when death comes.

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