Jack Kerouac

(12 March 1922 - 21 October 1969 / Lowell, Massachusetts)

How To Meditate - Poem by Jack Kerouac

-lights out-
fall, hands a-clasped, into instantaneous
ecstasy like a shot of heroin or morphine,
the gland inside of my brain discharging
the good glad fluid (Holy Fluid) as
i hap-down and hold all my body parts
down to a deadstop trance-Healing
all my sicknesses-erasing all-not
even the shred of a 'I-hope-you' or a
Loony Balloon left in it, but the mind
blank, serene, thoughtless. When a thought
comes a-springing from afar with its held-
forth figure of image, you spoof it out,
you spuff it off, you fake it, and
it fades, and thought never comes-and
with joy you realize for the first time
'thinking's just like not thinking-
So I don't have to think

Comments about How To Meditate by Jack Kerouac

  • Rod Mendieta (5/15/2017 4:47:00 PM)

    Probably chosen for the sole reason that it was written by Jack Kerouac. Besides 'inauthentic' and 'second rate', as it's been described below, I'd add 'pretentious', as in 'the geezer doesn't know what he's talking about but wants to sound like he's an expert'. (Report) Reply

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  • (5/15/2017 2:45:00 PM)

    Think I'd sooner be On the Road with Jack. But it's pretty good anyway. (Report) Reply

  • Francis Lynch (5/15/2017 1:50:00 PM)

    second rate poem from a first rate writer. (Report) Reply

  • Muzahidul Reza (5/15/2017 12:01:00 PM)

    Meditate the Meditation, wonderful write (Report) Reply

  • Anil Kumar Panda (5/15/2017 10:41:00 AM)

    'thinking's is just like not thinking-' is really a beautiful line in this nice poem. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Tom Allport (5/15/2017 6:41:00 AM)

    a relaxing poem of trying to achieve mind of a higher state? ..........well penned (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (5/15/2017 5:54:00 AM)

    The gland inside...... thanks for posting..... (Report) Reply

  • Lantz Pierre (5/15/2017 2:52:00 AM)

    Jack's spontaneous jazz compositions can very exciting from a literary perspective. When he was picking apart his own life experiences and rearranging them in writing for the enjoyment of others he was extremely adept at piecing together compelling narratives of adventure and misadventure. He spoke to growing disillusionment among the youth of his day. And he had the distinction of befriending some fabulous people that made the spinning of modern fables easier than it might otherwise have been. One of those friends went on to become the head of a Buddhist monastery in the west. Another traveled to Japan to study Buddhism first hand in the East. A third established a school of poetics with the context of a Buddhist university. So Jack definitely was exposed to Buddhism and the practice of sitting meditation. But honestly, he was never a devoted follower or practitioner, and I think it shows in this poem. The writing is good but the underlying understanding is lacking in my opinion. In that sense the poem is inauthentic, if still compelling because of the deftness of the author's abilities. (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (5/15/2017 12:44:00 AM)

    The blissful state of meditation explained quite nicely. Thank you, Jack.
    the mind.... blank, serene, thoughtless.
    and.... with joy you realize for the first time
    'thinking's just like not thinking
    (Report) Reply

  • Robert Murray Smith (5/15/2017 12:18:00 AM)

    A poem infused by drugs is a drugged poem that sits stoned. (Report) Reply

    Lantz Pierre Lantz Pierre (5/15/2017 2:39:00 AM)

    Whatever that's supposed to mean. I say that because it's not a poem infused by drugs. He uses the powerful, immediate effect of using intravenous opiates as a simile. Read carefully, the word like is there. It's his way of describing a meditative state of mind that even people who haven't tried heroin or morphine are likely to have a better abstract conception of than they might of a meditative state. At least in the west. In the 1950's, when this was likely written.

  • Edward Kofi Louis (5/15/2017 12:14:00 AM)

    With joy you realize! ! Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • (11/29/2014 6:38:00 PM)

    I wonder if Jack ever truly meditated. He describes it well. However I don't believe that he was devout in his meditation. Maybe if he did manage to fall into the practice completely he would have had strength to stray from the bottle. Or maybe he would've ignored the part about moderation. This is making me think pointlessly. He's dead and gone and I will appreciate his work. (Report) Reply

    Lantz Pierre Lantz Pierre (5/15/2017 2:33:00 AM)

    I mostly agree. Jack was much more the devout Catholic who had some friends who became and were quite serious in their devotion to Buddhism and sitting meditation (notably Philip Whalen, Gary Snyder and Allen Ginsberg) . So yes, it makes me question the sincerity of this poem.

  • Jetty J Newnham (11/18/2012 7:53:00 AM)

    A good guide to meditation, without doubt (Report) Reply

  • (9/1/2010 11:47:00 PM)

    wow this is amazing, it really speaks to a person. i love it (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, March 29, 2010

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