Why Meditate?

by Ken Malloy

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr joked around on stage last Saturday night. They demonstrated the exuberance of two old friends remembering a journey taken long ago. The night could have been ripe with the significance of a Beatles reunion but they transcended all of that.

I’ve asked myself many times, What would have brought the Beatles back together? Perhaps some big benefit concert.

Last Saturday at Radio City Music Hall was a benefit, for something that was part of the journey which the Beatles took together: The David Lynch Foundation whose mission is to establish meditation as a part of daily practice in schools.

If you’re a die-hard fan then you remember: the Beatles first discovered meditation in India, at the ashram of Yogi Maharishi Mahesh. And, meditation had a profound influence on their music.

“Every child should have one class period a day to dive within himself” is how the mission statement of the David Lynch Foundation reads, “The opportunity to meditate, quiet the mind and truly listen is an invaluable one.”

When I was in the eighth grade, regular punishment for misbehaving was staying after school and sitting quietly with our hands folded at our desk. I made it a regular practice of misbehaving because I thoroughly enjoyed the “punishment”!

Even at the age of thirteen, I understood and appreciated the opportunity to quiet my mind, relax my body, and just… listen.

Meditation is a very powerful tool for dealing with being overwhelmed.  And, that’s the way it gets sometimes when you’re in chronic pain! Like all skills, it takes practice. Like any practice it is best done regularly. And, as it gets easier, the experience deepens and the results expand.

So what DO the Beatles have to say about mediation? Check out the words to one of my favorite songs:

Tomorrow Never Knows

Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream,
It is not dying, it is not dying.

Lay down all thoughts, surrender to the void,
It is shining, it is shining.

Yet you may see the meaning of within,
It is being, it is being.

Love is all and love is everyone,
It is knowing, it is knowing.

And ignorance and hate mourn the dead,
It is believing, it is believing.

But listen to the colour of your dreams,
It is not leaving, it is not leaving.

So play the game “existence” to the end,
Of the beginning, of the beginning.