cushion_hagenSure. Why not? We can find meaning in anything. But no matter what meaning we look for or find, it’s delusion—and the surest way to implant feelings of meaninglessness deep within our minds. As long as we insist that meditation must be meaningful, we fail to understand it. We meditate with the idea that we’re going to get something from it—that it will lower our blood pressure, calm us down, or enhance our concentration. And, sure. Why not? We can find meaning in anything. But no matter what meaning we look for or find, it’s delusion—and the surest way to implant feelings of meaninglessness deep within our minds.

As long as we insist that meditation must be meaningful, we fail to understand it. We meditate with the idea that we’re going to get something from it—that it will lower our blood pressure, calm us down, or enhance our concentration. And, we believe, if we meditate long enough, and in just the right way, it might even bring us to enlightenment.

All of this is delusion.

As my teacher (and many teachers before him) used to say, zazen is useless. By the same token, it’s also meaningless.

I sit in meditation every day. I’ve been doing this for over thirty years. I have no reason to do it, and I feel no need to justify or explain to anyone why I do it, because I know that whatever I would say would be false.

Liberate this article!

This article is available to subscribers only. Subscribe now for immediate access to the magazine plus video teachings, films, e-books, and more.

Subscribe Now

Already a subscriber? Log in.