Spiritual practice leads us to self-rule, self-mastery, self-realisation, love, oneness—there are so many names for the destination.
All the names entail some ability to stay in the centre, which means an ability to not get pulled away from ourselves—by thoughts, by circumstances, by people, or by changes of any kind. We literally become who we are by eliminating all that is not who we are, just like the process of making a diamond out of stone.
So achieved, we remain happy and peaceful all the time, without any requirement, and so become able to offer the most noble service to others and the world. That’s the whole point.
As with the ten degrees of a Black Belt in the martial arts, there is a spectrum.
In the early stages, you find yourself requiring far less to maintain your sense of connection to yourself. Less meditation. Less alone time. Less intervention of all types.
You find a certain unchanging, internal stillness that remains in the crowded marketplace, as well as in solitude. Neither environment changes a thing.