“As far as inner transformation is concerned, there is nothing you can do about it. You cannot transform yourself, and you cannot transform your partner or anybody else. All you can do is create a space for transformation to happen, for grace and love to enter.”
This quote from Eckhart Tolle parallels thoughts I have had recently about meditation. I have practiced meditation (zazen: za-seated, zen-meditation) since July 1971. I have spent uncountable hours seated on my cushion. I have trained with groups, and I have trained with masters. I consider zazen to be my vocation–my life’s work, mission, purpose, function. I have thought that if I put as many moments, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, (half-century), into practicing piano as I have into practicing zazen, I might be another Arthur Rubinstein (although I have practiced piano for the past decade and I am no Rubinstein). Instead, I sit still mastering nothing.
One modern meditation teacher points out that we meditate not to get to some special place or to become a special person. We meditate to create that space of which Tolle speaks. Enter love and grace.
Through my experience, I have become a true believer. I believe that if every single human being on Earth meditated (let alone practiced Zen), we would live in a very different world, one built perhaps on wisdom and compassion. But that is my deluded attempt to transform. Personally, I continue to make space. (My life is, indeed, filled with grace and love.)