I took my first 10-day meditation course 2.5 years ago and I thought I had discovered the tool that would empower me to help people find peace and happiness in their lives. I’ve come to realize that finding peace and happiness is a very personal journey full of complex choices. While I’ve found this technique to be a potent addition to my life, I’ve learned that many stars needed to align for this practice to enter and stay in my life. It’s uncommon for all of these things to align in someones life, and I need to accept that.
For me, I had entered a difficult time in my life. My Dad had passed away from cancer, my Mom was recovering from a stroke and the loss of her husband, and my brother and I were trying to adjust to our new world where we were taking care of our parents instead of them taking care of us. I had quit my job to return home to care for my parents and I was unemployed at the time. I was searching for answers. I had the time and desire to try Vipassana.
Of course, that was only the first step. While completing a 10-day course is hard, continuing your practice in the real world is even harder. While I faced lots of discomfort in my daily sittings, meditation was the only tool I found that helped me work through my family challenges. While most people would probably quit when faced with all of the challenges of sitting 2 hours a day, I was determined to face these difficulties head on so I could be healthier on the other side. So yes, being stubborn has helped my practice, but within the tradition we like to call that having “strong determination”. I’m not sure if there’s a difference.
The bottom line is, it took a lot of time, energy, and luck to get established in this tradition, and the probability of is pretty low that someone I meet will immediately embrace this practice. It’s a slow personal journey that requires a lot to fall into place. If this practice is helping me, that needs to be enough. I hoped that I would find some new local best friends who were as committed to this practice as I am, but the odds of that haven’t been in my favor. I need to accept that becoming a better and healthier person as an individual is reward enough. Time to go meditate.