The Power of Being Wrong & The Dalai Lama

There isn't a lot to learn from being right.  When we are sure we are right, our minds are fixed and we only review thoughts and beliefs that we already had, further entrenching ourselves in our fixed views.

My wife and I have completely different memories of a difficult period in our marriage.  For years now we have reviewed it, ie.. fought about it, both entrenched in our own positions.  Nothing has changed, nothing has been learned, and feelings have been hurt.

I've recently heard it said that the Dalai Lama has mentioned that one of his standard meditations is a meditation on being wrong.  He simply repeats "I was wrong" over and over.  Interesting.

At first the thought threw me off.  What value could there be in that?  Then the thought of my embattled position in my marital dispute came to mind.  Was she right?  Could it be I was wrong?  The answer was maybe.  A magical word "maybe".  No entrenched position with fixed views and inflexible opinions...maybe.  Unlimited possibility...maybe.

Meditating on the possibility that I was wrong was not easy at first.  The ego resisted but eventually a small crack appeared in the wall of self-righteousness I'd built around my "self".  Self,  that fragile sand-castle we protect at all costs.  Eventually an opening and light shined through.  The light of love, understanding and possibility.

Whether right or wrong I've learned A GREAT DEAL about myself and made some serious changes for the better.  I think I'll try to be wrong more often.

Zen Presence - Ideas for Meaningful LivingDonate

Please support Zen Presence by making a small donation below.

1 comment:

  1. This makes me think of Bodhidharma's text 'Outline of practice' where he goes into suffering injustice as an entrance to practice...

    'To enter by practice refers to four all-inclusive practices: Suffering injustice, adapting to conditions, seeking nothing, and practicing the Dharma. First, suffering injustice. When those who search for the Path encounter adversity, they should think to themselves, "In Countless ages gone by, I’ve turned from the essential to the trivial and wandered through all manner of existence, often angry without cause and guilty of numberless transgressions.
    Now, though I do no wrong, I’m punished by my past. Neither gods nor men can foresee when an evil deed will bear its fruit. I accept it with an open heart and without complaint of injustice. The sutras say " when you meet with adversity don’t be upset because it makes sense." With such understanding you’re in harmony with reason. And by suffering injustice you enter the Path.'