Why does something present itself as a problem to us? Something becomes a problem for us not because it exists, but because that something, whatever it is, disrupts our inner harmony. Two people can walk through the exact same life circumstance. One person can walk through with a certain degree of poise and dignity, while the second person becomes completely frazzled and stressed out by it. As part of any class, I ask people why they come to the class. In university settings, almost always, there is one person on one side of the room who says, “Well, next week is finals and I’m completely freaking out. I thought this might help,” while on the other side of the room, “Well, next week is finals. I’ve got nothing else to do, so I figured I’d come by.”
Of course, part of this particular difference in attitude may be due to outer preparation, but I suspect you get the point. These two people are both approaching the same life experience, but one has a tremendous loss of poise, while the other one is perfectly calm. I think we all know of circumstances like this. We know someone who seems to have better coping skills and wonder how they deal with things so calmly, while we’re having a hard time. In other circumstances, perhaps these roles might reverse, that is, you can cope while the next person can’t.
Why? It bears repeating. Something becomes a problem for us simply because it disrupts our inner harmony. Otherwise, it’s not a problem—it’s just something to do. Therefore, it behoves us to develop the necessary inner assets to be able to cope with life. We are not doomed to be victims in life. No! The more you develop inner strength, the more inner assets you have. The more inner assets you have, the more coping capability you have, and things simply won’t bother you. In fact, this increased ability to cope, this calm in the storm is often the first tangible sign that your meditation is working. In time, when problems confront us, it will not be a matter of how we cope, but how we resolve!
Excerpt from A Twenty-First Century Seeker by Pradhan Balter / Blue Beyond Books / £12.99