Quite a while ago I took up the practice to meditate. And like many, I’ve done so in the expectation that a Zen-like calmness may be the objective.
The longer I practice the more I notice that it doesn’t work like that.
There is no button available to tell my mind to calm down.
The more we seek to reach it, the further it moves away. In this, calmness is very similar to success and happiness.
There is a paradox to all of them: they wouldn’t exist without their opposite.
We can’t run towards calmness, happiness, or success by running away from their opposite.
We have to confront them, to accept their presence.
The ability to access one of both embeds access to the other. They live together, sometimes in a flow from one to the other. The better we learn to ride that wave, the easier it becomes.
This doesn’t mean that the waves become smaller. It means that our experience of the waves is less chaotic.