Untitled by
(7 Stories)

Prompted By Meditation

Loading Share Buttons...

/ Stories

Kevin and Khati covered all my salient thoughts about meditation.  I meditated formally at the Shambala Tibetan Buddhist Sangha in Lexington, KY, and with yoga instructors over the years.

I once visited the Furnace Mountain Zen Center in Clay City, KY.  The Center is gorgeous and located on a thousand acres of stunning foothills at the edge of the Daniel Boone National Forest.  But my meditation experience did not go well.

THEY WANTED ME TO EAT KIMCHI AT 5 AM!!  “I said, in these shoes?  I don’t think so.”  (An allusion to Kirsty MacColl’s song.  Well worth meditating.)


Harpo Marx is my patriarch, and in his lineage formality is weird, disturbing.

I enjoy informal meditation. The kinds described by Khati and Kevin.  When I managed a book store in the mid-80’s through 90’s, I often drove to a local park for my lunch and dinner breaks and practiced the breathing meditation Khati described.  Through the back window of an old house I rented during the same time, there was a lovely view of a bird feeder near a honeysuckle bush.  I’d meditate and watch sparrows and cardinals come and go like my thoughts.  Bird brained.

During NFL season I keep the chip bag location “fixed firmly in consciousness” to reach it without missing a play.

That’s satisfactory (as Nero Wolfe would say) for me, as far as meditation is concerned. From my experiences with sanghas, centers, and serving “enlightened” diners when I was a waiter in a hippie sprout house restaurant, I feel a focused society would be much like the Star Trek Landru episode.

I prefer freewheeling Crazy Cloud Zen masters and poets, like Li Po, who drowned drunk trying to kiss the moon, or Ikkyu, who preferred playing ball with village kids instead of sitting on a zafu.

One of Ikkyu’s poems is a favorite mantra:

Nature’s Way

The wise heathens have no knowledge,

They just keep their mind continually set on the way.

There are no big-shot Buddhas in nature,

And ten thousand sutras are distilled in a single song.

Wild Ways: Zen Poems of Ikkyu, trans. John Stevens

Profile photo of Zeque Zeque

Characterizations: right on!, well written


  1. Thanx Zeque for sharing your meditation experiences. I can’t say I’ve successfully meditated altho I’ve tried with the help of an instructor and alone.

    But it’s been at women’s retreats where I’ve found peace and healing, not in meditative silence but in communicating with a sisterhood.

    • Zeque says:

      Dana, I think you’re right. Community is better than meditation. I don’t get “detachment.” And as far as “getting it right” is concerned, according to whom (or is it who)?

Leave a Reply