Although there are multiple names for it, a phase transition brings one closer to true happiness. It is a mental state of true contentment with the arising and ceasing of experience. With all the difficulties we drudge through, the tools learned in books on meditation from either an Indian or Tibetan perspective are a necessity. One way or another a person will use similar tools to keep composure as they hit boundaries, and press against inevitable trivialities. A person who organically uses similar tools should know they can be strengthened and sharpened like a carpenters chisel. It dulls when used, and rusts when not. But the workmanship is finer and more pristine as it ages. This is why aged skill is so closely attributed to wisdom. This is because a meditation practitioner practices with the mind, and whittles away the habits of suffering.
For many generations the practice adopted and inherited by Chinese and Indian culture is the practice of awareness. Awareness of intent in our actions, of others actions, of where we’ve been before, and what we’ve done. A gentle reminder of a mantra-like phrase “I’ve been here before,” and then the flood of memories which follows and shows the correlation of the present, and past and what occurs because of the decision to proceed.
The act of familiarization by practicing in this way (with sitting meditation, mantra reminders, and mindfulness pauses), is like any discipline. The difference is that the practice of the many meditation techniques learned through study are for peace. Peace is the cessation of suffering. In other words, when ones practice is deepened not through ego but through humility and rationality, the mind is one of deep compassion for oneself and for others. This is not in the conceptual sense but a felt sense of inherent compassion in the body.
As a rudimentary practitioner, musician, author, and business owner, these techniques I use to prepare for the many failures, successes, and intra/interpersonal conflicts in my life. I believe they can help anyone balance their serotonin levels, and build concrete rational, realistic open mindedness for life in a North American multi-cultural society.