We breathe calmly. The word purpose agitates. Propos, to 'put forth' says the etymology. We are familiar with a hierarchy of purposes. At the end of a curious child's inquisitive series of "why?" every adult will resort to "just because". The purpose of growing up is to contribute to society. The purpose of society is ...
Meditation on Hope
We sit and pretend we are terminally ill. We breathe calmly. What is hope? What do we make of the bonmot that 'hope dies last' if we are lost in a desert without the prospect of water? And isn't the human condition hopeless 'in the end', if we presuppose a rough understanding of hope as ...
Meditation on Time
Let's take some five second breaths to begin. Maybe even a ten second breath. We will breathe a finite number of breaths in our lifetime and it is less than one billion. Being aware of this fact is supposed to make us value every single one. We understand the present moment as the nexus of ...
Meditation on Happiness
We begin with music. It is our intention to influence our own happiness. Breathe calmly. Imagine you have full control over your hormonal levels and neurotransmitters, especially oxytocin and dopamine. Would you keep them at a constant, optimal level so you can experience the most happiness that is physiologically possible. A standard response to that ...
Meditation on the sacred
May we think about the sacred without informing ourselves as thoroughly as possible about our species' rich religious traditions? Isn't our meditation predestined to be a desecration, a profanity, no matter what we might arrive at? Philosophical contemplation of the sacred seems to be implicitly critical of the religious authority that decrees what is sacred ...
Meditation on nature
Close your eyes and breathe in. How do we meditate about nature? Let us think of some cliché scenes of nature: magnificent Alpine peaks, unspoilt blue lakes, endless tundra, rain forest. The concept of nature seems to be defined as those objects left alone by men. The fewer humans have set foot somewhere, the more ...
Meditation on truth
How do we meditate on the idea of truth? Philosophers have written about it for many centuries. We will not revisit the theories of Aristotle, Aquinas, Hegel, Kant, Frege, Derrida. We don't need to remember anything if we think for ourselves. Take a long breath. Truth is a property of statements, not of things. We ...
Meditation on love
Can we imagine a love that is without lack, hence without desire? We sit for a brief meditation on love. Erotic love, parental love, the love for truth, beauty and the good. Imagination that our love is indeed without lack, that the constellation lover - beloved has a value as it is and does not ...
Meditation on Beauty
Begin with breathing, as usual. Today we think about beauty. Let us be aware of all the preconceptions and just look at them in our mind. Symmetrical patterns. Some sort of similarity with things we expect to give us pleasure. An evolutionary side effect like a peacock feathers that for the female peacock are not ...
Meditation on friendship
Close your eyes. Breathe calmly. You sit here alone, master of your own thoughts. Imagine I am talking to you. I want to know what friendship means. Quickly, construct a differentiation. Which opposite op 'friend' have you found? Mere acquaintance? Or: enemy? But what can we say about a thing of which we cannot determine the ...
Meditation
Written for some poetry award last December, this clunker is what you get when you think too much while writing poetry on black coffee: now, here i do what i am supposed to do, i sit down and place a pillow underneath my behind, while thoughts billow in my mind in front of me there ...
A sample meditation
I found this prepared on my computer today. Could you help me explain what it means?

meditation

You see the elements of your memory tumbling down in front of you, in a great column of swirling hot air. You can recognize people, scenes, ideas that have been important to you.See them all fall down. ...
March 17. Meditating?
Early morning I hike up the mountain. It takes me about ninety minutes from the backside of the temple complex to the peak of the sacred mountain. I walk up fast, carrying only one bottle of water I pick up at a stall adjacent to the temple. I offer this water to a local, but ...