Think of your head as a city map bustling with highways, favored shortcuts, parks and pit stops, exhilarating viewpoints, favorite restaurants and attractions. When you sit down to meditate, you say, “Forget it all, I want to grow flowers.” So you have taken time out to sit down, decided to hush the living map in your head, and now you are just starting to find small pockets of soil, you are tilling the earth and planting seeds. You water them. You bask in the sunlight. You wait. Just breathe, smile, trust, it will grow.
In contrast, if I see myself primarily in terms of myself as a fellow human, I will then have more than seven billion people who I can feel deep connection with. And this is wonderful, isn’t it? What do you need to fear or worry about when you have seven billion other people who are with you?
“I had an absolute interest in everything I was learning and I was an eager student. But I’d say I was definitely at a stage of sheer dread over future boredom. Yes, I wanted peace of mind. I wanted to be happy. I wanted to learn from the masters. I wanted to be a master of my self. But did I want to let go of desire? Of excitement? Of passion? Of going after something with the entirety of my being? Of ecstasy? Also, to not care anymore. I knew my capacity to care too much had always caused me to be unnecessarily hurt and exposed. But did I want to risk all feeling I had already invested in the world around me? I worked hard for these feelings. And all of the above were qualities I had always considered myself to be positively built in with. They were assets. If not for how I care for my family and friends and my adventurous spirit and enthusiasm for life, what kind of mould should I turn into? I don’t want to be a total dud in the world.”