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One City

Why We Meditate: To Be Less of A Jerk

by Ethan Nichtern

On November 6 & 7, the Buddhist-inspired Interdependence Project (which creates this blog for your education and/or amusement) will be hosting our largest
fundraiser and event to date in the form of a 24- hour Meditation Marathon in the
window displays of ABC Carpet & Home, a wonderful and sustainable store in New York City.
We are aiming to raise funds for our non-profit organization to develop as a true
community center, develop a radio show, and develop our activism
projects (environmental and prison work) in the coming year. We also need additional support to continue providing great
classes, events and projects for the upcoming year, and expand the
scope of our transformative community.


About 90 people have signed up to participate. Three of us, myself
included, are meditating for 24 hours straight! So why do we practice
That’s a great question to ask yourself before you do it around the
clock on one of the busiest streets in the world. Every week for the
next six weeks leading up to
the event, we will share with you five answers to that questions from
marathon participants. If you like an answer, please consider making a donation in support of the meditator who wrote it (many thanks to the
150 sponsors so far!) Any amount is appreciated, and it helps our little nonprofit with a big
heart tremendously. The donation is deductible to the full extent of
the law.


Here are this week’s top five reasons we sit:

1. “I meditate to be less of a jerk.”
     -participant Heather Coleman

2. “i sit because i‘m INSANE if i don’t!”
    -participant Leslie Booker

3. “I
sit because ‘I exist as I am, that is enough, If no other in the world
be aware I sit
    content, And if each and all be aware I sit content. One
world is aware, and by the far the
    largest to me, and that is myself,
And whether I come to my own t…oday
or in ten
    thousand or ten million years, I can cheerfully take it now,
or with equal cheerfulness, I can
    wait.’~Walt Whitman

    -participant Raquel Cion


4. “I sit because this world is a mystery but my mind should not be.”
     -participant Nomi Kleinman

5. I sit because things are much better when I‘m “on my meditation”
    -participant Kat Hendrix

Please Do Donate on behalf of one of the above participants at this link.

And tell us, why do you meditate? Or why don’t you?

Sit Down, Rise Up!

Comments read comments(17)
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posted October 8, 2009 at 3:57 pm

i sit, therefore i am

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posted October 8, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Interesting headline,
But it has a tang of drinking your own Kool-Aid.
(“Not being a jerk)” A statement that is not only childish, but also a perception that leads to false spiritual pride and exclusion of others.
So the fact you sit on a pillow early AM leads you to be be less of a jerk than those who don’t?
The practice of self awareness takes many forms.
Stare into your eyes in the mirror for 60-seconds before you retire tonight
and honestly ask what did did today, and what were your true motivations.
Not selfless as you perceive, but true.
Maybe a touch of self pride and spiritual hubris?
And try the same upon waking in the AM,
before you’ve donned your ego amour and sense of self-permanence.

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posted October 8, 2009 at 9:51 pm

I just realized I prefer preachy Christians of the most virulent, authoritarian stripe to preachy “Buddhists.”
Eccch (said as I donned my shining ego armour)

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posted October 8, 2009 at 10:11 pm

best of luck with the 24 hour long sit! please write a post right after with your experiences.

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Ethan Nichtern

posted October 8, 2009 at 10:59 pm

Wow Julie44. That was misdirected. I believe the point was not a commentary on anyone other than the practitioner herself. She is claiming that she is less of a jerk by meditating than SHE (and only she) would be if she didn’t. It was a personal statement.
However, your reply did strike me personally as a little um…you know…the j word.

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posted October 9, 2009 at 12:27 am

Please don’t be obtuse or speak in code.
I don’t know what you mean as “the J word”.

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posted October 9, 2009 at 8:03 am

I sit because it leads to eqanimity and gratitude. Not more than someone else has, but more than I had before I began to sit (just to be clear).

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Your Name

posted October 9, 2009 at 11:17 am

1. “I meditate to be less of a jerk.”
-participant Heather Coleman
Go Heather! That is one of the reasons I became a Buddhist and member of SGI-USA over a decade ago. Keep up the good work all!

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posted October 9, 2009 at 11:19 am

Gayle is my name, btw.

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posted October 9, 2009 at 11:38 am

I sit for the quiet.

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Jen W.

posted October 9, 2009 at 11:57 am

I meditate because creating that ‘space’ helps me to self reflect, become more compassionate and subsequently make choices that will help me to be happier and more at peace.
Judging others is the mastermind of the ego, who loves to keep us from being present. Living in the past and what if-fing in the future prevents us from releasing the toxic energy that fuels our egoic desire to judge others in the first place. When we consciously release that toxic energy then we can be present.

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posted October 9, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Some people should sit to gain a sense of humor. As the saying goes… “Don’t take yourself seriously; no one gets out alive.”

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posted October 9, 2009 at 4:20 pm

I sit to find out what is sitting. I sit because “i” has no attachment to sitting , to attain the realization there is no-thing to attain…

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posted October 10, 2009 at 12:25 am

I sit because I laugh more, love more, and see more when I am present. It’s terribly selfish.

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Anan E. Maus

posted October 10, 2009 at 1:43 am

If you folks are going to teach meditation to prisoners, you might want to check out the work of the Human Kindness Foundation, Prison Ashram Project, they have been doing that work for over 30 years and are very very well known within the prison system.

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posted October 13, 2009 at 5:04 am

I sit because it’s what I do

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posted October 14, 2009 at 1:44 pm

I love Heather’s! On point.
Also, I love Nomi’s! Very insightful and self-empowering.

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