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Getting Meditation Right

January 31, 2020

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“I want to get meditating right,” I was told by a friend who is eagerly embracing meditating and the somewhat miraculous outcomes it can provide.
I’ve been meditating for years and have found meditation incredibly helpful on many fronts. In short, it has taught me how to become better at managing my thoughts. This means I ruminate less, worry less, and have come to truly understand that “just because I have a thought, I don’t have to keep it.” I’ve learned that much of my suffering I’ve created myself, and when I use Meditation as a tool to learn how to manage my thoughts, I’ve learned how to choose to suffer less.

“I am an old man and have suffered a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”

Author unknown (But it describes me to a tee!)

 There’s an irony in trying to “get it right.”

Any communication, including communication with ourselves has to be delivered in a way that makes sense to us. If you are speaking in a different language or trying to share an experience, teach a skill, or resolve a conflict and the person you are addressing, or your brain, has no, or a limited frame of reference, you’re likely to be profoundly unsuccessful.

Everyone’s perspective and world views are unique. That is to say that how we look at the world, and how we interpret the things hear, see, and experience (even our own words) becomes translated in our brain through the lens that was built by our experiences, our neurobiology and even genetics. Our worldview directly informs how we communicate, with others, and with our own brain.

The irony of trying to “get it right,” is that what we define as right is a constructed belief built with our worldview. And often, we choose to pick up meditation as a tool because our worldview, and thus our thoughts and actions, are not getting us the outcome in our relationships and life, that are ideal.

So, trying to “get it right” based on the unavoidable definition created by our current worldview, which we’ve already decided is problematic, is indeed problematic!

It’s hard for almost any of us to avoid wanting to be “successful.” Yet successful is a word with so many definitions that are unique to each of us, and its definition is also situational. It is important to understand that our definition of “getting it right,” or being successful, is one of the primary goals that we are seeking to change through meditation.