As you would have heard from our video, the last few days have been another case of ‘life not going to plan’. I got a fine in the mail for crossing over the intersection a little too late (woops!!!), we got a flat tyre, and I realised that my passport expires soon and we are going overseas in a week and a half! With a whole heap of study, work, and packing to do before we leave – these were the last things we needed right now. Yet, sometimes that’s just what life throws at us. We like to see it as a test in our ability to adapt to our circumstances 🙂 And we’ve had loads of practice from our years of regular meditation.
Here’s the secret….
INSIDE THE MEDITATION
Obviously when we meditate, our preference is that our mind is calm. The thing is, ‘striving’ for a calm mind and resisting a busy one is the last thing that’ll actually settle it. What we do is we engage in the effortless process of meditation: we gently rest our awareness on an anchor, we allow our mind to naturally roam away, then at some point we spontaneously realise that our mind has roamed away, and at that point we very gently return it back to the anchor. The secret to having a calm mind during meditation is to COMPLETELY accept when we don’t have a calm mind during meditation. In fact, we accept WHATEVER is happening; We accept the incessant thoughts, we accept any unpleasant emotions, and we accept any uncomfortable sensations. This means being 100% okay with wherever our mind is at. Remembering that whatever is happening is right and that the meditation is working regardless. It is in this absolute acceptance that our mind starts to settle down. It’s counter-intuitive, but it works.
OUTSIDE THE MEDITATION
Obviously in life, our preference is that we are happy. The thing is, ‘striving’ to be happy and resisting feeling upset is the last thing that’ll improve our mood. Like during meditation, the secret to being happy is to COMPLETELY accept when we are not. This means being 100% okay with how we are feeling at any given moment. It’s not to say that we are accepting that this is our fate long term, it’s just saying that we accept that this is how it is right now. It is in this absolute acceptance that our mood begins to improve. It’s counter-intuitive, but it works.
So the bottom line is, we still need to pay a fine, we still need a new tyre, and I still need a new passport. It’s upsetting, but I’m okay with it being upsetting. And in being okay with it being upsetting, the upset begins to lessen 🙂