Robert Wright reflects on Buddhism and the power of silent meditation in his article in The New York Times. I was particularly taken by this passage:
So there you go: covetousness, schadenfreude, anxiety, dread, and on and on. It’s the frequent fruitlessness of such feelings that the Buddha is said to have pondered after he unplugged from the social grid of his day — that is, the people he lived around — and wandered off to reckon with the human predicament. Maybe his time off the grid gave him enough critical distance from these emotions to discover his formula for liberation from them. In any event, it’s because the underlying emotions haven’t changed, and because the grid conveys and elicits them with such power, that his formula holds appeal for many people even, and perhaps especially, today.
It echoes my own experience with Vipassana meditation. I’m thinking it’s been too long since I’ve made meditation a regular part of my daily life. Time to unplug, even if only for a little while each day.