Since childhood, our minds are programmed to think in terms of opposites like hot and cold, light and dark. Meditation erodes some of that programming such that values are nuanced and recognized as within a spectrum of totality. Light is more luminous than dark but dark provides fertility, for example.
Vulnerability and strength are two qualities that, when lived together, support the wholeness and integrity of a human being. Vulnerability acknowledges that we are vulnerable, mortal, easily up-ended, and are essentially emotional and soft inside. Emotions provide wonder, happiness, caring; they are the underpinning of us, of how we relate to one another and life in general, and gravitate toward that which benefits us. To live from these truths allows one to discover one’s inner being because everything else is temporary, is costuming, is show. There lies true strength: the strength of character, of virtue, of self-less-ness, and authenticity.
Strength is lived forcefully is just pushing. It is aggression. When strength comes from within, from the soft, the vulnerable, from the integrity of ourselves as mortal, changing, learning beings, then that strength is sought out by others. That strength is supple and warm and as strong as the sky or sea which nothing can conquer.
We meditate in silence after the preamble.