Staying With It

Some people who come to my workshops think that all their problems will be cured, like magic, in one session. Unfortunately, it hardly works that way. These days, we’re conditioned to want a ‘‘quick fix’’ and instant results. If we meditate with wholehearted openness, it can make a difference even in a weekend. But we have to keep going.

Not long ago, a great Buddhist spiritual teacher gave a talk to a Western audience, advising them to meditate a little bit every day. ‘‘It may not make a difference in the short run,’’ he said, ‘‘but in weeks, months, years, or maybe decades, then you will feel something different.’’ People started laughing; they had wanted to hear him say that all the benefits would be achieved immediately. But it can take time, and that discourages a lot of us. If we resolve to practice this week for ten hours and we’re not totally changed people as a result, we’re ready to give up. We think it’s not working.

For years, much of our energy has gone into worrying about problems and about what we want. This is like negative meditation. So we’ve been training ourselves in the wrong direction. Reversing this takes more than a few hours or days. 

We need to be patient and consistent. We eat food every day. We don’t question doing that. But when it comes to meditation, we somehow think, ‘‘I did it once; I don’t want to do it again.’’

The key is to make meditation a part of our lives, like weaving a thread into the fabric of a tapestry. Bringing an attitude of enjoyment to our meditation helps tremendously. It also helps for us to bring the peaceful feelings of meditation into our daily activities. That is how we can begin tasting the fruits of our efforts.

When the healing of mind becomes a habit, our minds become like a great river. Although the river may not always appear to be moving, if we look closely enough, we will see how the water is slowly, slowly making its way to the sea.

From Boundless Healing

Boundless Healing
Boundless Healing