No Shortcuts to Peace

One of the biggest reasons we quit our attempts to establish a daily meditation habit is because we think we “don’t have time” for it. We’re busy, our lives are moving full steam ahead, and our “to do lists” are overfilled. We think we can’t possibly “add one more thing” to our busy day.

Of course we would much rather take the shortcut. If there’s some profound method which offers a quick way, we’d rather follow that than undertake the arduous journey and difficult practices. But there are no shortcuts to peace.

Here’s the deal. If we travel by foot, we’ll know the way perfectly but if we travel by airplane or car even, we are hardly there at all.

In the same way, for us to truly awaken, to see our gradual pattern of awakening, we have to go through it experientially.

Discipline becomes a necessity if we are to attain the fruition of our practice. Again, there are no shortcuts to peace and awakening.

Whether it’s the practice of meditation or something else in everyday life, we have a tendency to be impatient. In an age when we can Google™ everything from how to write a book to how to rake leaves, somehow we think our journey to awakening is one click away.

Sometimes when we try something new, we just taste it and if it doesn’t produce instantaneous results, we abandon it. We don’t allow the time to truly digest it properly and experience the aftereffects of it. Of course each of us has to taste it for  ourselves and find out if it is genuine or helpful, but before discarding it, we need to go a little bit further, so that at least you can get the first hand experience of the preliminary state.

We need to let go of this idea that there’s something to achieve in our meditation practice. When we approach our practice with a sense of “wantingness,” that becomes the obstacle to our discovery of the moment of nowness. Wanting something is based either on the future or on trying to continue something that existed in the past, so nowness is completely lost.

In meditation, one is not on the way to somewhere. Reality isn’t a separate entity so it’s not a question of “becoming one with reality,” or about achieving oneness. We’re already part of that reality so

What’s left is to take away our doubt.

So the point is not to reject, but to make sure of that very moment, whatever the situation might be and to accept it, respect it.

If you can be as open as that, then you will learn something without fail. It’s been tested, proved and practiced by all of the great adepts of the past for thousands of years.