Use Meditation To Fix Problems; Or Make A Spiritual Path?

I heard a meditation teacher give an interesting answer to a student’s question. The course was about embodiment in meditation practice. The question was about trauma. The teacher said something like this:

“Don’t make a meditation project out of healing your trauma. Instead, cultivate the qualities that meditation offers, and let them do the healing.”

Some people use meditation as a collection of tips and tricks to fix specific problems. Others meditate as a path taught by the Buddha and other teachers. So which makes sense for me?

There are multiple problems that I’m struggling with The one that troubles me the most changes day by day. So there’s a regular feeling of alarm, but an irregular response from my mind about what to do. This increases anxiety and makes my practice feel unreliable.

However, if I take the teacher’s advice above, then I have a single challenge. Meditation starts quite simply and becomes more complex as you see the options for further practice. If I take it one step at a time, then I can focus. I’ll be able to think, without being scattered by shifting priorities.

So I’ll focus on building a coherent path of meditation. And I’ll write about it here.

3 thoughts on “Use Meditation To Fix Problems; Or Make A Spiritual Path?”

  1. Note to “self”

    This speaks to a theme I’ve talked about often with friends. That you don’t need to root practice in your problems, because the dharma sits in the field of perception/fabrication between the substrate and experience. It affects all of experience and our responses, inherently. In fact, a problem-focused approach is limited by what we believe about our issues.

    There’s also the matter that a problem-oriented approach doesn’t point to emptiness. It seems more likely to reify.

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  2. Note to “Self”

    Does this bridge between Cell 1 and Cell 2? Cell 1 being more about where we came in, beginning a practice. That beginning still has its roots in life, self and its concerns. It is only once a vision of what can be achieved has become ‘established’, that we can consider that life can be fabricated out of other things. We can then start to shift our ground (to pivot you need a fulcrum(?) ) and that could be part of the theme of Cell 2 – at least for a while, until I discover that some of it splits into Cell 3.
    I think Cell 1 might fit into the behavioural layer – dealing with the stuff of life, to make space for developing our practice.

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  3. Note to “Self”.

    This also links to my thoughts about “The General Case” – where unhooking ourselves from unhelpful/unverifiable beliefs is the solution to issues. In CBT, it’s focused and specific – whereas the Buddha is pointing to something universal. Hence it takes longer.

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