If you want to ski, you need snow; and you need skis, poles, a warm jacket and gloves. If you want a hard boiled egg, you need an egg, water, a way to boil water, and a pot to boil it in. Necessity goes hand in hand with a desired outcome.
Softening and opening is necessary in life. A flower bud cannot be pried to blooming. It has to soften and open in order to blossom. Meditation is like this too. We can try too hard, effort too much, be too critical of the ongoings in our mind during a sitting. Equally, we can be lazy, to soft, or passive during a sitting. That won’t work either. Finding the middle amount of effort blended with ease or contentment will establish the foundation necessary for a meditation practice to flower. Just as important, that middle-way demeanor is necessary for learning how to let go, allow, as well as to listen without defensiveness and instead with true interest and care.
Soften and open is necessary in both meditation and life. Experiment. See what you discover!
Downloadable podcast: Necessary