I’ve written a fair bit about how we can’t depend too much on external situations to make us happy because “out there” is always changing, but a peace that’s created “in here” can be more stable. That’s true. It’s also a lie.
The fact is that the external form of meditation is creating a circumstance “out there” that allows the mind to more easily stabilize and there are lots of things that do this. Making music, excercise, writing, talking, praying, and the list goes on.
Practitioners and scientists are proving meditation to be a particularly good form for restoring energy and generating internal joy, compassion, empathy, along with many other benefits. And it does this seemingly without “external inputs,” but there actually is an input. The input is the form: stillness, mindfulness of breath, etc. So we have to be careful as meditators thinking we’re doing something that’s so different from what everyone else does. We are all seeking freedom and love and Truth in different forms and these forms depend on external circumstances (like culture) to even try. The form is important, but the intention and commitment and willingness to learn from the form is, I think, more important.
For a deeper exploration of these ideas, check out my new book, All Our Waves Are Water, out this July from Harper Wave.