This post is very helpful for me because I would tend to do the same thing. I really like the initial sentence of noticing whether or not you are getting anything out of meditation. I believe every action we take has a purpose and if we never stop to consider how well the purpose is achieved, then we might habitually repeat an action, such as meditation, and do it in a way that does not produce the desired result.
I don't see seeking a result as the problem itself, since I see all activity as an expression of some goal that is desired at some level. But I do see a powerful shift in changing the underlying goal. If instead of seeking to have a certain positive emotional state, the purpose is to become more aware of all thoughts and feelings without being 100% immersed in them, then a result is a more aware and less immersive life.
I also like the concept of models such as the mystery method that can make everything around us seem like they are part of the model. This to me is so relevant to how we live, since everything always looks to fit the model we make, and this is done automatically, though I wouldn't say effortlessly because some automatic models can be quite draining to maintain.
What occurs for me after reading this post is the distinction between immersion and awareness. When I have lived years of my life not really enjoying myself, I was always immersed in a perspective that encompassed everything and left no room for growth. Life got much more fun when I started becoming less immersed in the world I perceived. So switching from 100% immersion to 90% immersion seemed to unlock an outdated system that was no longer working.
I would not say that awareness only occurs when we are not fully immersed, but when we are 100% immersed then 100% of our awareness will go along with the world in our heads, which doesn't really exist. As we become less immersed, as described for milleniums with the concept of detachment, we open up some of that awareness to see the model itself, rather than just being fully immersed within the model. This leads to freedom. The parts of the model that are working are great and will be maintained, but the parts of the model that don't work and lead to frustration can be recognized and dropped.
I'm not sure what degree of attachment is most effective though. Just the shift from 100% to 90% for me has been life changing. Though I consider 0% attachment to be completely indifferent to anything and perhaps would be even more liberating, but I wouldn't want to jump straight from 90% to 0% overnight. But since 90% works so well, heck maybe I'll try 80% and see what happens. This does seem to be forming a second level of consciousness, and can seem like effort when I've gotten comfortable to spending my day fully immersed in my experience, but it also seems to grow more natural over time and in moments when I'm not thrown into an emotional spiral by events the energy savings is immediately noticeable.
I really like your approach and that you ask yourself what works or not. This might result in often changing the definition of what working even means, but it is such a powerful question and many live their entire lives never really wondering whether or not their actions really work to support the results they want.
Last edited by AaronB; 03-24-2011 at 12:03 PM.