"And one has to understand that braveness is not the absence of fear but rather the strength to keep on going forward despite the fear."-Paulo Coelho
Perhaps you were as drawn to the news reports of twelve soccer players and their coach trapped in a cave in Thailand this summer, like me. A miraculous story of survival, and of the power of the practice of meditation in times of crisis.
As we learned upon their rescue, the boys' coach, Ekapol Chantawong, had studied vipassana or mindfulness meditation as a youth in a Buddhist monastery. Under the most challenging of circumstances, he taught his young charges to observe, to slow their breath, and to remain calm in the face of the unknown. Through their meditation practice, they conserved oxygen, and avoided panic despite lack of food and uncertainty of rescue. Not many of us will have the need to practice mindfulness trapped in a flooded cave for two weeks; however we will be faced with obstacles, fear and challenges in our lives. How will we meet these challenges...with calm or chaos? The choice and the power is ours.