Meditation is neither shutting things out nor off. It is seeing things clearly, and deliberately positioning yourself differently in relationship to them.
In order to build continuity and momentum in the meditation practice, you will need to keep reminding yourself to come back to the breath over and over again, no matter what the mind is up to from one moment to the next.
Note that this journey is uniquely yours, no one else’s. So the path has to be your own. You cannot imitate somebody else’s journey and still be true to yourself. Are you prepared to honor your uniqueness in this way?
That sentence is: “Nothing is to be clung to as I, me, or mine.
Personal motivations to live are known to sometimes influence survival.
He who dies before he dies does not die when he dies.
Everything is related to everything else and, in a way, simultaneously contains everything else and is contained by everything else. What is more, everything is in flux.
Be a light unto yourself.
It helps to have a focus for your attention, an anchor line to tether you to the present moment and to guide you back when the mind wanders. The breath serves this purpose exceedingly well. It can be a true ally. Bringing awareness to our breathing, we remind ourselves that we are here now, so we might as well be fully awake for whatever is already happening.
The awareness is not part of the darkness or the pain; it holds the pain, and knows it, so it has to be more fundamental, and closer to what is healthy and strong and golden within you.