“Nothing to do or undo,
nothing to force,
nothing to want,
and nothing missing” – Lama Gendun
When I started practicing Buddhism, I thought the point of meditation was to “quiet my mind” and make it shut up for a while, so I would sit on my pillow, stiff as a corpse, and I would try hard to remain still, and hush my thoughts.
It didn’t really work, I actually ended up angrier after those kinds of “meditations”.
Later on, my teacher explained to me that the point of meditation was not to freeze mental activity, but to observe it and let go, nothing else.
Sounds like a simple thing to do, right? At the time I thought it was no big deal, I just needed to quit being a control-freak which I thought would be pretty easy.
I was wrong, this instruction turned out to be a life project for me. I’m still working on it, 20 years later.
You can only gain serenity if first accept your inner chaos, your fears, your anger and the whole enchilada of cumbersome neurosis. There’s no controlling your mind if you don’t first come to peace with it. As it is, whether you like it or not, and it’s a hard thing to do.
I came to appreciate how that principle applies to most areas of human life: politics, relationships, jobs, and more particularly to oneself.
Whatever you want to change must be accepted first, as such. Long term changes won’t work otherwise.
Needless to say, this acceptance thing takes time, I don’t have any shortcut to share, in this article.
Only one more thing, maybe: is there still a point in changing the things you already accepted?