Monday, August 09, 2004


In my religious tradition, meditation is encouraged, but I often get the sense that, like Inigio Montoya says in The Princess Bride: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

When I read of meditation in my religious tradition, it typically means to ponder, reflect, consider, usually in conjunction with prayer.

But I was introduced to meditation through yoga and Buddhists, and when I meditate, I tend to follow vipassana traditions, watching my mind.

There may be a link between the two traditions, but it's a more subtle one than I originally expected. Yoga and meditation feel, to me at least, like prayer -- a prayer in motion, in stillness. I've read materials on contemplative prayer by Fr. Thomas Keating. He seems to get closer to the idea of what I experience, but his, too, seems more culturally directional than the simple mind-watching I engage in.

What are the fruits of such a practice? I'm not really in a position to say yet. I have noticed that I tend to notice more than I used to. I wish that meant I were more compassionate and dispassionate, but I don't really know how to measure such things.

Still, I think I will continue.