Face the Suffering by Sitting with It

African American businessman meditating on desk

“In the active state, [the obstacles to samadhi] can be destroyed by meditation.”  -Sutra 2.11, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

We are all searching for the “magic key” that will unlock us from the grip of our suffering.  But interestingly, that magic key lies in non-doing — or more precisely, in meditation.  By sitting with our pain, and by accepting it for what it is rather than telling ourselves it is something else, we slowly dissolve it over time.  It seems counter to what we’ve been taught — that in order to bring about change, we need to DO, DO, DO.  And in many cases, we still do need to act.  But meditation allows us to develop a clearer perspective on our suffering.  We will likely not feel free of the suffering immediately, or maybe ever.  But perhaps the sheer weight of it will feel lighter over time, or the lens through which we view our challenges will be clearer and more free from false beliefs about our situation.  Then, with this heightened awareness, we will be able to act from a place of greater wisdom, clarity, and above all, love.