CALM WITHIN THE STORM

The following question came up on Quora, and I thought it might be worth repeating my answer here,

because I’m finding it’s something that needs almost continuous emphasis. Reason being, the popular, and very misleading misconception that meditation is all about having a nice, comfy experience.
The question was:
Is it necessary to have a quiet space when you want to meditate?

And my answer was:
No … meditation is not about finding a comfy, silent place to curl up in and go to sleep. Plenty of time for that when you’re dead. Meditation is about learning to engage with our life experience in a more efficient way than we’ve become used to.
As such, meditation is a skill, which, when we sit down to practice (or walk if you’re practicing walking meditation) we consciously practice two things:

  1. We practice unconditional acceptance of whatever is happening as it happens.
  2. We practice letting go of whatever is happening – that is, we practice removing our attention from it, such that, though we remain aware of whatever is happening, we’re not longer engaging with it, or reacting to it.

To help us, we have the meditation methods which, if they are of any worth and serving their purpose, directly assist this process of acceptance and letting go.

Over time, with practice, mind and boy become used to this new skill, and acceptance and letting go become more instinctive, and faster.

The result is, calm within the storm of life.