How Meditation Works (In My Life, Anyway)

How Meditation Works (In My Life, Anyway)
AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

Sometimes I imagine the end of my life, asking big questions: Did I use my time well? Was I kind? Was I tender with the limitations of others, of myself, of my life? All these questions seem to boil down to whether I paid attention—deeply enough, in the right way.

Look around. What is near you? Appreciate any visual objects. Next, listen into space. Any sounds you notice? Let sounds be purely sounds. Sense any silence around them.

Just now, I am alone in a room, fingers tapping out this sentence while echoes of a recent conversation thrum faintly in my upper chest. My intellectual mind reaches into the unknown, like an inchworm wavering atop a blade of grass, wondering what to say. My heart, as I am now comfortable calling it, wants to connect most usefully with you, dear reader. Perhaps a mix of theory, practice, and my own journey as a meditator?

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