I have arrived at place where I no longer need to become better, even in my way of meditation. Its not that I have reached a place where I think that improvement is not possible but more that in reaching my sixty third year I see more clearly the futility of putting effort into becoming or self improvement. We seem to inevitably become something other than what we started as in life despite all that effort and I no longer perceive effort to be a factor that makes us better than what we would have been otherwise.
More than all of this I am discovering that it is in letting go of the conditioned mind and its beliefs, intentions and assumptions that life unfolds. All that baggage just seems get in the way of what is authentic about life and my living of it. Growth or maturing seems not to involve effort as much as coming to live from the heart. This has revealed itself in letting go and listening and discovering a more authentic discerning voice. Taking time for contemplation has been helpful in this process. There are aspects of questioning our perceptions and assumptions and coming to experience directly and attentively life and our connections within it that is unfolding; the reality being that everything is unfolding inseparably together anyway.
When the focus is reduced to perceived parts and pieces there is a quality of the experience of life that is reduced as well. There are times when a focused effort, attending to particulars and pieces of the whole is helpful but we have taken this way of experience and negotiating life to extremes. Making time for contemplation is a natural and essential part of unfolding and it engages a more natural affinity of the mind to explore in a curious and expansive way . Effort seems to interfere with all of this.
There is a wisdom that seems to have arisen that I increasingly defer to, not outside of me but something that is a part of me and that I am a part of. The energy required in effort, over-utilized, leads away from that. Its as if that wisdom has always been available but somewhere along the road of life and investing in "becoming" there occurred an inability to attend to, or recognize it. Some of what I have written here related to beliefs and perceptions influenced that direction away from it. It ultimately influenced a questionable perception of "Me". This distraction developed honestly as I came to assume "becoming" after many young years of resisting. Effort and becoming have there place in life but it is best arising from a more natural and whole perception as opposed to them being pursued and valued in and of themselves as a means to promoting oneself.
Keith Johnston Ted Talk https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bz9mo4qW9bc&t=4m1s&feature=youtu.be