Why do we meditate? Why do YOU meditate?

In a new piece, Huffington Post contributor Bruce Davis, PhD, writes:

“Recently I was reading a popular Buddhist magazine. Inside was an article by a famous Buddhist nun listing five reasons to meditate, including clear seeing, attention, steadfastness, courage and “no big deal” (meaning to be able to let go). After reflecting on the article, I realized that I did not agree with any of her reasons. In fact I felt clear seeing, attention, steadfastness, courage and no big deal were more reasons to go to boot camp and join the Marines than reasons to sit every day and explore meditation.”

For Davis, the reason for meditating, is the sense of “wow,” the joy it might cause us to feel. The question is, is that “wow” so different than the way we feel when we can see that we’re developing our “clear seeing, attention, steadfastness, courage and ‘no big deal'”? (Davis also notes that he meditates to “know God.” Does that resonate with you?) Check out his article, here, and weigh it against what the famous Buddhist nun in question says in that article in popular Buddhist magazine. (That would be none other than Pema Chödrön, and the Shambhala Sun, respectively.) You’ll find that Pema article in the Shambhala Sun on stands now — and you can sample Pema’s helpful questions for beginning your meditation sessions, from the same issue, right here. (Links open in new windows.)

What about you? Why do you meditate? We’d love to hear from you.


  1. Amy says

    I agree with both meditation is a very personal practice however I also practice to “know God”. It has been said you have to know yourself before you know God.

  2. deanp says

    Clear seeing, and attention seem more logical than an uncertain "wow" factor. Meditation doesn't always produce joy or some huge revelation related to "Godhead". Sometimes it's plain boring. It would be hard to negate the fact that generally, across traditions, meditators are going to have clearer seeing, calmer reactions and hopefully some insight into their own nature. This also highlights the old semantics issue of the word "meditation".