The path to mastery
My job is not only to teach people how to meditate, but to prepare them for the path to mastery--which is often different from what people think it looks like:
It is a process of being open to learning something new, applying what you've learned in a controlled environment, failing, asking questions, reapplying with new understanding, refining your approach, realizing you're not actually failing even when it feels like you are, redefining what success means, breaking down your old indoctrinations, doing your homework, re-learning how to learn, replacing old habits, "failing" again, asking better questions, going back and doing it the wrong way again just to see how much you've learned, "failing" yet again, doing more homework, getting lucky, "failing," then casting doubt on the whole thing, stopping it for a while, experiencing a crisis, coming back to it with humility, hearing it again as if for the first time, getting re-inspired, following the protocol with more confidence, asking even better questions, making your new habits non-negotiable, becoming process-oriented as opposed to outcome oriented, redefining success yet again, taking tiny steps just to keep moving forward, making smaller goals, reviewing your past trajectory, adjusting for common mistakes, pre-empting future "failures" before they happen, adapting to change easier, letting go of the outcome, and committing to something larger than yourself.
Obviously, I could keep going, but you get the point.
Mastery is multi-layered, multi-faceted, and extremely dynamic. It draws upon your supposed failures, and therefore it is sometimes hard to know where you are in the process. But that's what it means to be "in the process."
The faster we stop thinking of mastery in linear terms, the more we will trust the process, and the faster we will advance.