Meditation is all very well and good, but why are we meditating? Here are collected articles that talk about the meta-level of meditation: strategies we can use to find the right teacher, and ideas about how to see the world and what philosophy of life to adopt. I do not claim to know the right answers to questions on these topics, but I am sharing my current thinking on the topic here in hopes that it may be of use to you.
I talked about magical thinking in an earlier post; perhaps I should have said wishful thinking instead. Thinking that things will just take care of themselves, that I don’t have to do any work, or any thinking, this is wishful thinking. Imagining that a result will come with no effort. Thinking that your teachers are infallible is actually an example of this kind of thinking. To succeed in the practice, we have to take responsibility for our own success, and not put it on someone or something else.
When we see the world as we wish it were, and not as it is, we weaken our ability to actually make that wish a reality, and make ourselves suffer in the bargain. It is possible to reach a state of mind where we can accept what is and work from there; in doing so, we become much more effective and also much happier.