Many times we like to think that simply by adding meditation to our lives, the effects of the meditation will permeate throughout our whole lives without our having to do much of anything else. Simply add the meditation to the mix of your life and it will change all the other ingredients: that’s what we’d like to think, but it doesn’t really work that way. You have to remake your life to make it a good place for the meditation to seep through, because there are some activities, there are some states of mind, that are really resistant to receiving any influence from the meditation.
This is why, when you’re meditating, you also have to look at the way you live your life, your day-to-day activities. See if you’re creating a conducive environment for the meditation to thrive and spread. Otherwise the meditation just gets squeezed into the cracks between the rocks here and there, and never gets to permeate much of anything at all.
There’s a teaching in the Canon on five principles that a new monk should keep in mind. These principles apply not only to new monks, but to anyone who wants to live a life where the meditation can seep through and permeate everything.