‘Another aspect of meditation is that it reveals further neurosis. Here, we are speaking of the neurosis that you’ve been trying to hide underneath your carpet, your pillows, your seat, underneath your desk. You don’t want to look into it, so you try to slip it underneath something somewhere. You try not to think about it at all.
We have to come face-to-face with these neuroses that we’ve been concealing from ourselves. We usually say, “Oops, that’s not very nice, but never mind. Something else will come up that feels much better. I’ll take advantage of that, rather than looking at this other thing, which is so unpleasant. Let’s just forget about it.” We’ve been doing that for a long time. In fact, we’ve become so professional at this approach that we really don’t question ourselves.
So meditation is uncovering those tricks that we’ve developed. In the beginning, a person who is practising meditation usually feels extremely clumsy and embarrassed. You may even question whether you’re doing something worthwhile. Meditation may seem unnecessary. You may feel that you’re wasting your time, money, and effort.
Meditation is about relating with two factors. It relates you with yourself, and it also relates you with your world. Through the practice of meditation, you are able to synchronize your world and yourself. Working with the two eventually produces a spark. It is like rubbing two sticks together or striking a flint against a stone to produce a spark. The spark of light you produce is called karuna, or compassion.
When you first come to meditation, you may not like yourself very much. You may feel that you even hate yourself, or hate your world. But you continue to practice and relate with your world and yourself simultaneously, both in meditation and in everyday life situations. Doing so properly, thoroughly, and completely, some kind of warmth begins to develop. You find that the phenomenal world is workable after all. It may not be lovable yet, but at least it’s workable, manageable. And you realize that maybe you too are workable and manageable.
So the practice of meditation is composed of these three elements: working with yourself, working with the phenomenal world, and working with the warmth that develops. You begin to take a liking to your frustration, pain, and boredom. Everything is part of your world.
The practice of meditation is the only way to develop this basic trust in yourself and your world. Beyond that, meditation is the key to developing openness and the potential of enlightenment…’ Chögyam Trungpa