someone once asked me where does all my meditation, my walking a spiritual path, get me. why do i do it? why do i bother?
i had the think about that. what is the use of meditation? why approach life from the perspective of a spiritual path? what good has it done me?
my first response to this inquiry was to notice that the questions are based in the concept of acquisition, of usefulness, of reward (and possibly punishment), of a goal. we are so steeped in a culture of material gain and ownership that a life of spirit can seem almost silly.
and yet, so many are seeking. so many are engaged in meditation and other spiritual technologies and practices. (there is an app i use to ring bells for my meditation practice that tells me that there are thousands meditating at the same time that i am, all over the world.) there must be a reason.
as i continued to contemplate the original question i realised that the spiritual path doesn't get me anywhere except where i am...right now, right here.
there is no other place to be. the past has passed and the future has yet to arrive. there is only now...with its joys and discomforts, with its disappointments and its successes, with its suffering and its healing, with its griefs and gladness, with its insights and unconsciousness.
upon further contemplation of these questions i realised that, from the perspective of elderhood, the now allows me to taste, feel, and see things as if this might the last time. this leads me to experiencing these sensations as if for the first time. there is an immediacy, and intensity to them that i failed to appreciate as a younger. as an older they hold me in their embrace with a delicate strength. this strength is one 'benefit' of meditation.
the awareness of the now is one 'benefit' of meditation.
the awareness of beauty is one 'benefit' of meditation.
the awareness of simplicity is one 'benefit' of meditation.
as is the deep knowing that is love.