Meditation results is almost an oxymoron. The moment your trying to achieve something through meditation, you’re craving and therefore heading in the wrong direction. Meditation is about being present with this moment, regardless of whether it’s good or bad, and accepting it. So how is a meditator supposed to function in this results based society?
I think this might be one of the major reasons meditators discontinue their practice when they return home. Most jobs are based on getting results so you push forward to achieve them. If you’re pushing forward at work and then try to sit on the pillow in the morning and evening your mind just keeps spinning. Eventually you wonder, what is meditation doing for me besides taking up my time? When you can’t articulate that instantaneous result from meditation you stop.
But meditation isn’t like a job. Living with a meditation practice is a way of life. You become less attached to those results and less motivated by achievement. The very things that drive a results based society become unimportant. So can meditation and results based occupations coexist? I don’t know.
Vipassana is about changing the habit pattern of the mind. Maybe by extension it’s about Vipassana meditators changing the habit patterns of society. Instead of corporations being driven by money, maybe they can start being guided by dhamma. But I can’t help but think that once a company loses focus on the drive for money that they’ll be outcompeted and go out of business. In the same way, I wonder if a meditator who has lost his/her drive will be outcompeted and lose his/her job. It’s that fear of failure that convinces us to continue working hard in a system that we know isn’t sustainable.
So how can we make a positive transition? Is it really just a matter of more people incorporating meditation into their lives? Money follows what people want, so once a majority of people want what’s best for society over personal gain will we see a shift? It could be argued that people do want what’s best for society but they just don’t know what that is. Business owners are creating jobs that help people feed their families. Now I’m getting onto another subject of right livelihood but they’re interconnected.
Ending with my initial point: I’m not sure how someone sustains a serious meditation practice and a results oriented job. I think if we could figure this out we would be able to help many more students maintain their daily practice. Any ideas?