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he finally understood the power of meditation

When he told Lisa about the night of the execution, Jarvis said he finally understood the power of meditation. There wasn’t much in his life he could control, but he recalled Melody once saying, “Jarvis, you can control your mind.” He hadn’t fully understood what that meant, but now he did. He could control his mind. He understood what Rinpoche had given him: a lifeline. He held on, and it got him through the ache and fear caused by Harris’s death. But even meditation itself produced wildly varying results. Sometimes he arose from the lotus position feeling a kind of serenity he’d never known. Other times he emerged feeling fragile and tender. Still other times he became lost in dark caves and emerged feeling depleted, feverish, and scared.

perfect meditation cushions

Once Jarvis said, “People always talk about their perfect meditation cushions, and sometimes I think it would be nice to have one, but maybe people without a cushion are luckier.” She asked him to explain. “I’ve never had a cushion in my life,” he said. “I’ve been on the cold, hard floor. It’s not comfortable, but it’s like the lady in the story, the one who knocked on a thousand doors. One hundred fifty years of pain in San Quentin has been absorbed into these floors. You talk about experiencing the suffering of all people. This is where it is, and I feel it all.”