This is something we must learn through meditation — that it is impossible to be absolutely right. Most of the time all we are doing is defending a viewpoint, which is based on our own ego. Because we have this ego, the “me” delusion, all our viewpoints, all our opinions are colored by that. They can’t be anything else. It’s impossible. If there is a red tinge on the window, everything on the outside looks red.
When we get to know our mind and its reactions through the meditative process, we can be more accepting of the fact that while we’re thinking one thing, four billion other people are thinking something else. How could it be possible that we are right and the other four billion are wrong? We are defending a viewpoint, which may at times have validity, but only to the point where it relates to ourselves. The only one who can be totally, completely right is an arahant, who does not have the ego delusion.
All these steps are ways to gain insight, to be used not while the mind stays on the breath but while it is reacting to feelings or thinking. Every moment can be used to gain insight and from that calm arises. A bit of insight creates a bit of calm. When we see that we don’t need to pay any attention to our thoughts, it becomes easier to drop them. When we see that we don’t have to react to feelings, it is much easier to drop the reaction. A bit of calm also creates a bit of insight, and both have to be used.