Lots more people are hearing about meditation. Its come into the mainstream. Many who haven't tried it, if they think of it's possible benefits, think about reducing the stress of a busy life, or reducing anxiety about the future.  Others think, about it in ways that politely dismiss it - it's okay but not for me, i don't need it. As one person, an artist, no less, said to me - "oh, you mean crystal gazing?" "My painting is really a meditation." A big rationale for not trying it out is that, as several people have said "I just can't sit still that long."

But, some do cross the bridge, try it out.  I have and it is hard to sit still, but useful to look at what i do when i'm trying.  The poem below i wrote to try and replicate the experience of those first few months. 

Meditation Virgin

Medication’s solid

chunks of it to swallow

follow through my mouth down into my belly

its tendrils radiate

warm my sense of grace or gratitude or plain relief

a short cut to a glad-that’s-over.


Meditation’s not so tangible

a subtle alien

invited into the incessant streaming

plugged into my heartbeats.

No pill to pop.

No tendrils radiate.


Just sit and float inside my skin

close my eyes, be still.

Feel my breathing in and out my nose

while I watch it, count to ten

and then again and then again

for heaven’s sake…


I’m urged keep at it and deeper you will go

without knowing what that deeper is

Just keep at it.

Try to not get lost in thought

come back gently when you do.

So I do, because I do


until a first time when I sense a subtle shift

a soft implosion

my heartbeat slows

my body sinks

I try to hold that feeling.

It floats away like smoke

sidelined by an update of regrets or fears.


Faith is hard.

I’m used to payoffs.

So many times I sit inside my skin

and none shows up

until there came that noiseless moment

I was walking with the moon

passing overhead without a comment

and I just let it in

kept walking, following the moon 

and the body turned into that noiseless moment

the moon and I and nowhere else

and there was peace

while I kept walking.