It is one thing to meditate when everything is flowing, but another thing to be in the midst of chaos, in the marketplace? Will meditation, the meditation of relaxing your body and being detached from the situation, be possible to practice in this situation? That's the challenge that life always confronts everyone with. You think you've got everything under control, you think everything is now okay, when all of a sudden everything changes. The nature of reality is impermanence. As soon as you think you've got things flowing in one way, guess what? It won't last. So what can you change?
Most people want to change the world outside of themselves, control it, and even in their practice control it by, thinking that they have to go and meditate, or that they have to go and relax now, or they have to go somewhere to get away from the stress. Of course, this won't work, because the stress is not just outside. The situation that is creating your reaction in this way is not just outside, it is within you.
Relaxation means being receptive, and receptivity is something that just isn't nurtured or just isn't practiced in the spiritual work but also it isn't part of everyday living. I mean, you don't practice being receptive to that which is beyond what you see, and when a situation arises that stresses you, you're only stressing, you're only getting caught by it, you're only reacting to it because you're only seeing the surface of that situation.
Even if it is a negative situation, or your mind perceives it as a negative situation, even if it's Karma, where there are certain situations that are often unpleasant to deal with, meditation doesn't mean that everything has to be perfect and pleasant outside of yourself. It means that you, the you inside of yourself is aligned to that which is perfect within, and that is an internal movement.
If you are unable to relax the nervous system and breathe out and take that first step, then nothing else happens in meditation because you will be in a reactive state and you won't be able to take the next steps that need the structure of receptivity, need this sense of deep relaxation, so that you can follow on from deep relaxation to the state where you're communicating with that which is beyond that picture that you're perceiving on the surface.
Beyond the little stress that you're having to deal with, or the big stress that you're having to deal with, there is energy, and that energy is a very specific structure that you can communicate to and which communicates to you, but only if you're receptive. That is the first step.
Hence, relaxing whenever you notice that the body is in a state of agitation, whether it is caused by your mind or whether it is caused by situations outside of yourself, it is the same. The work is step by step, to relax into the comfort of being yourself, the joy of embracing that which is within yourself, and allowing that which is within yourself to communicate to the space that is around whatever your experience may be. By doing this what you're doing is going deeper – deeper into a state of grace, where receptivity is not just receiving the knowledge of the situation, but where you receive the spiritual message that is within that situation.
Grace is the openness, the deep openness where receptivity allows for the sacred to communicate to you. So, step by step today, remember to be receptive, and every time you react or get agitated by a situation, remember to relax, breathe out, and just be.