Mindfulness is like a microscope; it is neither an offensive nor defensive weapon in relation to the germs we observe through it. The function of the microscope is just to clearly present what is there.
We say that the sun is behind the clouds, but actually it is not the sun but the city from which we view it that is behind the clouds. If we realized that the sun is never behind the clouds we might have a different attitude toward the whole thing.
Disappointment is a good sign of basic intelligence. It cannot be compared to anything else: it is so sharp, precise, obvious, and direct. If we can open, then we suddenly begin to see that our expectations are irrelevant compared with the reality of the situations we are facing.
You are actually doing something. You are getting into this process without making sure that what you're doing is okay. Things are actually taking place, almost of their own accord, very simply and directly. That is meditation.
Then, we realize that the degraded cocoon we have been hiding in is revolting, and we want to turn up the lights as far as we can. In fact, we are not turning up the lights, but we are simply opening our eyes wider. We catch a certain kind of fever.
We cannot avoid our lives. We have to face our lives, young or old, rich or poor. Whatever happens, we cannot save ourselves from our lives at all... the more you understand, the more you will realize your own responsibility.