Staying with the discomfort is difficult. The mind keeps darting off to avoid the feelings in the body, primarily by trying to analyze why you feel the way you do. But you keep returning to the breath in the center of the chest and the physical experience in the body. At some point you then remember to broaden the field of awareness by including the environment—the feeling of space in the room and the sounds of traffic from outside. Awareness shifts back and forth between the internal bodily sensations and the physical reality of the environment, and gradually the somberness of mood begins to lighten. There is a sudden realization that you don’t have to struggle—that there’s nothing to do. It becomes clear that all of the struggle, the addictive craving, the need to fill the gnawing unease with activities and substances, are compulsions that you don’t have to follow. There’s a sense of freedom in realizing that even though the addictive tug may be strong, you don’t have to be pulled in by it. You see that by simply residing in what is, exactly as it is, the much more genuine experience of happiness can begin to arise naturally on its own.
From Beyond Happiness: The Zen Way to True Contentment by Ezra Bayda, pages 73-74.