To Be a True Friend

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By all means meditate,
but don’t do it in order to feel good.
If you sit down thinking
you’re going to experience pure bliss,
you will be sorely disappointed
and maybe you’ll never try again.
But sit to be with what is,
to close your eyes to the outer world
so that you might look inside–
and you might get
an eensy weensy glimpse
of the joy the mystics have sung
through all the ages of human
existence.
You have a mind,
and it likes to think.
Sitting gives you a little more perspective,
a way to be friends with all that thinking.
But friendship takes time.
You have to get to know one another first,
and overlook each other’s foibles.
Cultivate genuine warmth
toward yourself.
As you learn how to be friendly
to yourself
and soothe your mind
with some genuine compassion,
and as you learn to open your heart
just a little more–
now you are ready
to be a true friend to others.

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