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Gary Snyder: "In this world of onrushing events, the act of meditation—even just a 'one-breath' meditation: straightening the back, clearing the mind for a moment—is like a refreshing island in the stream . . . [meditation] is a simple and plain phenomenon. Deliberate stillness and silence. As anyone who has done this knows, the quieted mind has many paths, may of them tedious and ordinary—and then sometimes unexpected. But meditation is always instructive, and there is ample testimony that a practice of meditation pursued over months and years brings some degree of self-understanding, serenity, focus, and self-confidence to the person who stays with it."