Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Strength in Pain - Kait's Mixtape

You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn't heard Mumford & Sons. The song 'I Will Wait' seemed to grace every radio station, permeate BBC programmes and generally fill airwaves for several months. 

I definitely enjoyed the song, finding it put an incredible bounce in my step. But when I listen to music, more often than not, it's the lyrics that catch and hold me. In the case of Mumford & Sons I have found myself drawn to many of their songs. 'I Will Wait' was a gateway but the lyrics from so many others songs from the same album have resonated strongly with me. 

'The Cave' - Mumford & Sons
Picking which song to draw lyrics from first proved difficult, but in the end it was this particular line which meant the most to me. At the moment, anyway. 

I spend quite a lot of time reading Buddhist teachings and one of the most common threads throughout is how compassion is cultivated by understanding our shared experience. 

There are many forms of meditation which involve giving and receiving affirmations. Things like, "May all beings everywhere have ease of mind' and 'May all beings everywhere be free of suffering'. 
For the longest time I did these practices believing there was some sense of 'energy' I was offering to the world. I don't doubt that our thoughts do carry energy but the sceptic in me felt like thinking things better just didn't make sense - and it doesn't. 

I had a profound realisation one day when I was doing a meditation practice on the Underground. I realised that there may indeed be some energy effect to the thoughts I was having but the sayings weren't about putting something outside of myself. They were to change something within. 
We cannot control the world around us. Nothing can be held static and there will never be a time when 'everything will settle down'. Life is constant change and generally unanswerable. The only thing we can work with is our mind. 

By working with our mind we don't change the world. We change how we exist within it. 

To me, these lyrics capture that work. We cannot expect to grow stronger by avoiding the very nature of life. Strength comes from knowing our experience as it is and not resisting it. 

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