The Right Way
I’ve been meditating for multiple years now at my local Chan center. And it’s been a positive experience for me. I’ve learned to observe my thoughts. To be aware of my emotions as they come and go. To practice radical acceptance of the present. And to just let go of things when they come.
It’s been a mundane experience but breathtaking at the same time. I’ve also been watching Dharma talks by a layperson leader, which admittedly I don’t understand most of what he’s talking about. But, it’s still been a therapeutic listen nonetheless.
In these talks and in these meditation sessions, there’s much talk about the “right way” to meditate. The right way to practice Buddhism or the Dharma. For example, in meditation there are multiple methods that you can take - such as Silent Illumination and Huatou. And there is always a non-dual perspective on life.
Whether it be not identifying with your vexations. And not seeing things as “good” or “bad”. Right or wrong. Left or right. It doesn’t matter. There seems to be a preferred way of looking at life. So, it’s hard to be unbiased. Because even in meditation, they teach you how to meditate. The right way to meditate.
But overall, I am grateful for this process. I’ve learned a lot. And I still consider myself a beginner. And ideally, I will always be a beginner in this life. To practice day in and day out. In lessening my attachments to worldly desires and to learn to let go of the things that don’t serve me. To become appreciative of that which is unchanging or unmoving. That which is eternal.
It’s kind of spiritual when you think about it. But, it’s not rocket science neither. Everyone can practice meditation. And I am still a big believer in its positive effects on human well-being. After all, we humans are always rushing around in our busy everyday lives. Sometimes, we just need a moment to step back into the stillness and observe and be grateful. That’s all we need.
At the same time, I don’t feel like there is a right or wrong way to meditate. I feel like there are lots of mediums out there. Lots of platform in which to practice meditation. There are apps out there. And you don’t need to be a Buddhist in order to meditate. Meditation is open to all comers - regardless of personality, religion, or ideals.
So, I feel like that’s the way it is in life. There’s no right or wrong way to approach things. There is simply your way. You can be more talkative. Or you can be quieter. You can be extroverted. Or you can be introverted. It doesn’t really matter. Everyone has their own unique ideals and perspectives on life. And that’s what makes the world so diverse and beautiful.
Everyone has their own belief. Their own dreams. And their own goals to achieve. And it’s important that we treat our fellow community members with respect and compassion. To look out for your fellow neighbors and do your best to give back to your family and your friends and whomever lives you happen to touch on that moment.
There’s no right or wrong. Left or right. But, again, that’s just my current view on things. Even my views can change with the wind. After all, I’m not the same person now as I was in high school. I let go of many perspectives that no longer serve me now that I’m in my late 30’s. So, I write this with the complete awareness that it may not be the right perspective neither for certain individuals.
This is simply my perspective, so take it with a grain of salt. You might be attached to your friends. To your community. To your country. To your political beliefs. To your family. And that’s all okay. We are living in a material and physical world. We have to be attached to something.
So, sometimes, I feel like I am going in circles with my analysis. But the world is fluid. It is ever changing. And it feels like we can always do better. And everyone is in their own journey mentally and physically. So, just treat people with kindness and respect. It’s not rocket science. Anyone can do it.
As for meditation, just practice it day in and day out. And there will be benefits. I realize that it’s not for everyone. But nothing is for everyone. Just do what serves you well, and you will attract the right people into your orbit. If you like to meditate, go for it. If not, that’s fine one way or the other. So, at the end of the day, you do you.
There’s no “right” way. And there’s no “wrong” way. There’s no one particular way to do things. We are fluid. And what I deem to be important in my 30’s may be not so much in my 40’s. It’s a flowing dynamic. And I wish you the best in this adventure called life.