Don’t Seek Enlightenment

What’s your “why” for meditation?

“I am seeking enlightenment.”

This has been, I’m slightly embarrassed to admit, my “why” in the past. If I were enlightened, I thought, I would have no fear. I would be free of this obnoxious monkey mind, I would be at peace. And while all those things are true (I believe) of an enlightened mind, paradoxically, wanting enlightenment is a bad strategy for getting there.

And that’s because the desire for enlightenment is a grasping of its own. And grasping, as we know, keeps us from abiding in and accepting the present moment.

So why do I meditate?

“Because I am a healthy and caring human who invites quiet and stillness into her life on a daily basis.”

This “why” acknowledges that I am healthy already and not in some deficient place. It is simple. And it is true. And when I forget “why” I’m making myself sit on that cushion every morning, it’s an inspiration and a reminder.

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