Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Because I love my family. 

I was 18 years old and heart broken.    I had left home to take some summer courses at Boston University, and returned to my old high school sweetheart who was  studying at the University of Illinois in Urbana.  She had a new boyfriend, and I was devastated.  I was jealous, and was in a great state of turmoil.  I was depressed, and felt that I would never meet another love to replace this, my first love.  I obsessed when I thought about her with her new boyfriend.  I felt hurt, angry, self loathing, and depressed.  One day, she said to me, “my boyfriend practices Buddhism.  Buddhism is supposed to help you with pain and turmoil.  You should try it.”  And so I did.  

37 years later, I still practice regularly.  Since that time, I was devastated financially in the Madoff scheme.  Meditation helped me through that in many ways.  When my mind was in turmoil, I was able to place my mind on what I was doing so that I didn’t keep visiting various depressed thoughts.  Furthermore, my meditation training taught me to face my fears and anxieties as well as my difficult emotions.  Doing this helped me to get through this rough patch with renewed appreciation for my life, my family and the world around me.  

Now, instead of worrying about the future all the time, I spend a lot more time enjoying my life moment to moment.  Some people ask me,  “does that mean you don’t do any planning”.  “Not at all” i say.  Instead, it means I plan without fooling myself about things I am afraid of or stories of my past.  Finally, because I meditate, I am able to quickly see through the stories that create a sense of blame.  Blame is very debilitating for me.  When I blame, I get angry.  When I get angry, I stop enjoying my life.  So that is why I meditate.  But mostly I meditate because when I see my beautiful 2 year old daughter, and my 6 year old son, I feel a big motivation to make sure that they can understand how to enjoy their lives.  When my big hardship occured, I would meditate so that I didn’t bring home any kind of depression.  It was like building my “mind muscles” when I would meditate.  The more I exercised those muscles, the more my “mind muscles” would learn the discipline to stop the self-deprication, anxiety or depression which would make my household depressed or sad or heavy.   So I meditated, because when I see my kids, my wife, I feel love, and don’t want to hurt them at all.  I want them to be cheerful. 
So when fianncial disaster struck, i lost my career, my business and got embroiled in legal complications.  I would meditate in the morning, and later in the day, I would take a mindful walk and often stop in a field or on a hill near my house to meditate.  It cheered me up and kept my life going.  
 Why did you start to meditate?


  1. I had a very similar experience to yours. At 23, the first girl who I would have said that I really fell head over heels in love with left me after about 6 months to return to her previous boyfriend. I was devastated. I spiralled into a hole of depression and resentment. It was her mother, who happened to be a Buddhist Nun, who suggested to me that I came along to one of her meditation classes that was the opening I needed. She gently encouraged me and that gentle push along the path was all I needed to wholeheartedly embrace a life of meditation

  2. Hello, I live in Montreal and have been searching for a meditation instructor. May I contact you in private somehow?

  3. Hi, I started a regular meditation practice a year ago. At the time I felt like I was in danger of sinking into a depression, I was losing focus on what matters to me. When I meditate I have moments where I feel like I'm on the path towards coming home to myself. So when I feel I'm being stretched in different directions, I know that I have a way to find a clearer perspective, and that is through meditation. Annie

  4. Dear Nada,
    Thanks for sharing your story. Have you had a great experience with meditation at this point? Did it help you?

    Dear M,
    Please email me at .

    Dear Annie,
    Thanks for your comment. How do you think meditation works to create a clearer perspective?

    Thanks everyone

  5. Hello, I started meditation to help work with fear. I know now that fear is workable and not permanent and although I still experience fear it doesn't seem like so much of a dead end! Like Neil, I also find meditation a great help in being present and available for my family and friends. Robert

  6. Thanks Robert. Do you think that meditation works with fear successfully? What do you mean by not a dead end? Does fear open up your experience-is that what you are saying?

  7. Thank you, Neal. I have sent a message to the above address.

    (My e-mails have a curious way of making their way to spam boxes. In this case, searching your spam box for "meditation" should bring up my message.)

  8. There are all sorts of situations that frighten me, but fear can be an obstacle in working with those situations. Indeed, the fear feels unsurmountable at times and that's what I mean by dead-end. So I steer away from certain situations because I fear the fear itself. With meditation, I have begun to understand how my mind generates fear unnecessarily towards unfamiliar and seemingly threatening situations. This understanding opens the way to fearlessness. So you might say that fear has opened up my experience in an indirect way in that I may never would have paid much attention to those experiences without it! Like flying. Although I'm no longer really afraid of flying I'm amazed how bored people often seem in an airplane. For me the experience still takes my breath away. In fact, I feel the same way about life itself, but I'm still afraid of that one! Working on it.

  9. Hi Neal, you asked how I think meditation works to create a clearer perspective.
    In my experience, when I concentrate on the breath I can be better prepared for the thoughts that bombard my mind. Almost like a goal keeper, I can more often see the thoughts coming. I can anticipate the mood or thought better than if I wasn't aware of the thought entering my mind.I am more likely to be able to hold it or let it go. Bringing my mind back to the breath gives me a feeling of balance.

  10. I had been wanting to meditate for many years and although I had taken some classes; I realized that I had not really had the right approach.
    Now, I have a regular meditation practice and it has given me a very clear and interesting picture of how my mind works.
    I can also say that I am far more equipped to deal with stress and fear which can be very paralyzing.
    My family and friends have now expressed an interest in meditation because they have noticed a difference in my day to day self.