“Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.” Anne Lamott
How different it feels to just sit down (or stand) and be still, just allowing the light of attention to shine. When we meditate, we practice a double movement: there is a movement of return to the body, to our present moment experience—and there is a movement of allowing everything to be just as it is. Remembering that we are here, alive in this moment, steadies and quiets us down. We don’t have to chase experience. We can allow it to come to us.
The Buddha explained “wise intention” on this path as threefold: renunciation or letting go—the opposite of wanting things to go our way; good will–or a little bit of openness that things might turn out better than we fear, that there may be a hidden forces of kindness and compassion in the world; and harmlessness, a willingness (at moments) to put down our sword and shield, to be soft and vulnerable.
How can we have such an intention in such a world? By observing our attitudes and motivations with compassion. By noticing our defensiveness and clinging. By coming home to the body and the present moment and noticing what is here with kindness. Just be still. Just shine.