The pursuit of enlightenment is a long-term endeavour but that doesn’t mean that we don’t need to act immediately. For any of us who have felt the sting of suffering, for example through the loss of a loved one or through a traumatic experience, it should not be too hard to convince us that we need to be resilient. We cannot predict what will happen to us in the future but we can say for sure that there will be things that we perceive as good and things that we perceive as bad and we can prepare for that eventuality.
I once heard a talk in Seattle by a monk named Ajahn Boonsee. He explained to all of us who were listening that meditation is like an insurance policy for the mind. When times are good and we feel comfortable, that is the time to strengthen our grounding in the present moment because that is the time when we are most capable of doing it. To site another analogy which our Teacher Thanat Chindaporn has used, if we lived in a village where we had to collect water from a stream, we would take as much as we can when the water level is high and save it up. During the dryer season when the water level is lower we cannot reach the water so we draw from what we saved.
An important thing to remember here is that we are not engaging in aimless worry about the future. On the contrary, by devoting our attention to the present moment, we build up our ability to deal with any difficulty that should come our way. This approach is much more effective than worrying because when we practice mindfulness, we are actually taking an action that will reduce our suffering whereas indulging in worry only increases it. Your path to freedom from worry starts or continues now when you book your meditation retreat.