68. Venerable Pannavati: Hearing the Cries of the World & Responding with Compassion

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"Meditation is so important—particularly training and concentration. How to steady and fix the mind until conceptual thoughts fall away. We live so much in our conceptualizing nature that we can't imagine life without that. But when you start doing this practice, you find out that you can conceptualize, and you cannot. So, learning how to drop into that stillness, as the Buddha calls it, until you come to the absolute stilling of all thought. We think well then, there's nothing. Yes, there is something beyond that, you could never see it before because you were caught in the cycle of conceptualizing. But the other side that the Buddha calls meditation—a pleasant, abiding here and now, touching kind of contentment and peace that the world didn't give you. So, the world can't take it away. But what he called practice was something entirely different. We just need to do more practice, and the practice is not to sit on the pillow. Sitting on a pillow is sitting on a pillow. But to practice is how we handle ourselves in every moment of our waking day—when one is accosting you, taking what is yours and what is criticizing you."

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