Its easy to sit along a beautiful lake and enjoy the silence. So still, so calm. Every fish, every call of a bird, every movement is a chorus of life. Perfect, just as it is.
Easy still is it to sit alongside a gently flowing river. Continuous, flowing, inspiring, yet peaceful. The flow of life passing by.
Further upstream we encounter rougher waters. Cascading falls, rushing gorges, roaring waters. Its rough through here, even dangerous. You definitely need to watch your step.
Further still you move up into the mountains. A melting snow pack. Drip, by drip, by drip.
We want our practice to be like a beautiful lake. We want to sit with complete presence and stillness, to experience that profound peace and enjoyment.
Our experience is different however.
When we sit to meditate we experience the rushing current of the mind, the cascade of thoughts and the tumultuous waters of negative emotions. Then we think, "I can't make it through here, it's to scary" and give up.
To get to the beautiful lake, you need to pass through the rougher waters. You need mindfulness and vigilance to make it through, but eventually you make it down to the gently flowing river of meditation. Continue further and you end up in the deep, crystal clear waters of vast lakes and oceans.
All of this starts drip by drip. Again and again we start down the path, each moment a new opportunity. The tumult means we are on our way.