We often think that meditation is the act of shutting noise out of our mind in order to find peace. Not so.


I drew this for my partner and told him, “That’s your brain.”

It’s a compliment, actually, because one of the things about him that I marvel most is how steady his hands are even in times of extreme stress. As Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot said, “The hands, they mirror the little grey cells…”

Unsteady hands, unsteady mind.

In yoga philosophy, it is also said that an unsteady mind causes unsteadiness of the limbs (that is mentioned somewhere in the Yoga Sutras of Sri Patanjali).

I grinned at my partner.

“An impenetrable fortress,” I said, showing him this drawing.

Vacuum pump to remove all air molecules so that there is no sound. The box is suspended off the ground so that it is insulated from sound and vibration. And it is lined with thick steel walls so that there are no wifi, radio waves or anything.

“You can shut everything out. That’s why you are so steady even when chaos reigns all around you.”

No, he corrected me serenely. “I just don’t react, that’s all. Process and let go. Detachment, my dear, it comes with practice.”

Oh yes, I forgot 🙂  Meditation is simply the art of being, not wilfully forcing unwanted thoughts out or deny their existence. Observe your thoughts, painful though they might be, and let it go as it may without reacting to it or making judgements. That is the only way to make peace with your past, so that it does not affect your present.

This lovely saying from Shunryu Suzuki says it very nicely.