This old English poet just reminded me why we should meditate
I meditate, but I’m not interested in enlightenment.
I mean, sure, I wouldn’t knock it back if the enlightenment fairy just came along and gave me a tickle with her magic wand. I guess I am curious.
But, I’m not making it a focus of my life. I have my own sense of what I’m called here to do. My days are full of joy and rich with meaning. I have my own particular faith. I’m not sure there’s much more to really want than that.
But still, I meditate.
For me, it’s a productivity practice more than anything. I find that I make better decisions, and I find my intentions come from a clearer place.
My strategy is better and my execution is better as well. (That distinction might not be clear, but it’s important. Maybe I’ll write about it another time.)
Anyway, we tend to think of meditation as an Eastern practice – as something exclusive to Buddhism.
But this really isn’t the case. Once you realise that ‘meditation’ and ‘contemplation’ are pretty much exactly the same thing, you realise that’s it been part of the Western tradition for centuries as well.
And that’s why, when I stumbled on this passage from the 1700s English poet William Blake, I felt like I knew exactly what he was talking about.
There is a Moment in each Day that Satan cannot find
Nor can his Watch Fiends find it,
but the Industrious find this Moment & it multiplies,
& when it once is found
It Renovates every Moment of the Day
if rightly placed
(I was actually looking for poetry about property renovations, would you believe. No, there isn’t much out there, actually.)
But having meditated for a while now, this ‘moment in each day that Satan cannot find’ felt familiar.
As soon as we wake, the world starts pulling us this way and that. As our desires power-up, so does our strategizing mind. As we become conscious of all the faults we want to hide, our strategizing mind starts running the programs that it thinks will hide them from others.
And as soon as we remember all the lies and deceits we have told ourselves and others, our strategizing mind starts looking for ways to keep those deceits hidden.
… especially from ourselves.
And if Satan is the force that keeps us from living our authentic truths, then most of us spend our days in Satan’s warty grip.
BUT there is a moment that Satan cannot find. And I think we can touch that space in meditation. It is the calm and centred place that comes before we are pulled this way and that.
And if we make that moment the cornerstone of our days – if it is ‘rightly placed’ – then the power of that centred truth touches everything we do – it ‘renovates every moment of the day’.
And if our days are built on this calm and centred truth – if we are clear in strategy and execution – then we become one of Blake’s “Industrious”. We become powerfully effective.
I believe this to be true. It’s why I meditate.
And the more I explore the ancient texts, the more convinced I am that I am not alone in this belief.
Meditation is a power practice.