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Why Meditate?

I can’t quite believe that I’ve been sitting looking at a blank screen for the past 15 minutes waiting to answer the question I get asked a lot:

“Why do you meditate?”

I can’t believe it is because there’s so much stuff in my head just waiting to be written that I assumed I’d have no problem getting it all down. But it seems that there’s actually too much floating around in this head of mine so I’d better get my act together and give you folks something interesting to read… otherwise, what’s the point, right?

Maybe I should try to give you a glimpse of what’s actually going on in said head…

Global Pandemic, Lockdown, Government announcements, Murders on the News, Face-Masks, Family, Wife Sick, Frail Parents, Frail Minds, Shopping, Painting and Decorating, Walking, New Job, Cooking, Buying Online, Christmas coming, Gave up Smoking, Giving up the Drink, Losing weight, Gaining weight, 5Km limit, Hand-washing, Social Distancing, Promising to write, Not writing, Promising to Sing, Not singing, Reading, Doing a course on Meditation and Buddhism, Doing my head in, Meditating, Thinking, Trying not to think, Trying to Sleep properly, trying to eat properly, organising cleaning up the street with the neighbours (while social distancing), clearing the garage out, clearing the garden, meditating by Zoom with friends, talking to sons, talking to wife, worrying about them all, worrying about life, worrying about death, wondering how big the universe is, sweeping leaves, wondering what is the weight of all the leaves shedded by all the trees in the world (considering that one 48ft Maple tree has about 144,000 leaves weighing one tonne), thinking about the future, thinking about the past, telling everyone that we only have the present and that thinking about the past causes depression and thinking about the future causes anxiety, watching football to switch off, not switching off, Samhain coming up ( have to celebrate alone and/or online), Halloween ads on tv, Christmas ads on tv, not giving a hoot about any of it but vowing to make Christmas as normal as possible, thinking about the people who’ve already died whose funeral I couldn’t attend...

realising I’m doing an awful lot of bloody thinking – far too much in 5 minutes –

and stopping,

counting breaths,

(which I’ve learnt on the meditation course) …

One… Two… Three… Four... Five...

Breathing slowly,

thinking only about the breath.

For 30 - 40 minutes.

That’s why I meditate.

Pat Farrell, October 2020