Meditation I was sitting cross-legged one morning
in our sunny new meditation room
wondering if it would be okay
to invite our out-of-town guest
to Frank’s dinner party next weekend
when it occurred to me that I wasn’t really meditating at all.
In fact, I had never meditated in our sunny new meditation room.
I had just sat cross-legged now and then for 15 or 20 minutes
worrying about one thing or another,
how the world will endor what to get Alice for her birthday.
It would make more sense to rename the meditation room
our new exercise room
and to replace all the candles,
incense holders, and the little statues
with two ten-pound hand weights
and a towel in case I broke a sweat.
Then I pictured the new room
with nothing in it but a folded white towel,
and a pair of numbered hand weights –an image of such simplicity
that the sustaining of it
as I sat cross-legged under a tall window,
my palms open weightlessly on my bare knees,
made me wonder if I wasn’t actually,
meditating for a moment then and therein our former meditation room,
where the sun seemed to be brightening as it suffused with light the grain
in the planks of that room’s gleaming floor.
– Billy Collins –
The Rain in Portugal