Connecting the Dots

While I’ve experienced the benefits of meditation with my own experience, it bothers me that I can’t figure out the connections. When I’m meditating 2 hours a day, my life trends upward. If my wife or I start missing our sittings, our lives just go in circles and we become agitated by the details of life. As a scientist, I like seeing the action-reaction pairs. When I water my plants, they grow. If I neglect them, they die. If I push the gas pedal, I move forward. When I hit the brakes, I stop. With meditation, it’s more like, if I meditate two hours a day for the next 3 months, I know my family relationships will improve. That doesn’t make any sense!

With my plants or my car, I’m acting directly on the object and seeing the result. With meditation, I’m sitting in a room by myself for many hours, which has nothing to do with my relatives, but I interact with them, things keep improving. Even more frustrating is that when I try to help (or change) a relative, it backfires and typically makes situations worse. So, when I try, I fail, but when I do nothing, I succeed. Wait, what?

The scientist in me has mostly given up trying to understand. If things are working, what is there to complain about? By overthinking it, I’m simply tying new knots that meditation is working to unravel. Maybe someday I’ll develop a deep enough awareness to see these subtle connections, but for now, I’m just going to roll with it. Time to meditate.

This entry was posted in Personal Experiences by Ryan Shelton. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

One thought on “Connecting the Dots

  1. The same thing bothers me. You’d think there would be some kind of pedal power to meditation…for me (and I am a starter), the effects of meditation versus no meditation are seen within the day.


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