Correct understanding comes from becoming familiar with the teachings.
Characteristics of Buddhist teaching
Buddhist teachings are supposed to have four characteristics, according to Mahayanauttaratantra:
Through familiarizing ourselves with teachings that have these four characteristics we develop a proper understanding that does not simply remain on an abstract level.
By studying and becoming familiar with the teachings, we appropriate their content into the continuum of our own experience. In that way, the teachings and our own inner experiences become inseparable. This is why it is sometimes said that there are the outer expressions of the teachings and the inner expressions of the teachings — the outer expressions being teachings in written or spoken form and the inner expressions being one's own experiences. This is called lung dang tog pa in Tibetan.
In Buddhism we practice meditation through understanding the teachings and placing our own experiences in the context of those teachings. We have to appreciate the fact that they cannot be separated. The understanding that one develops through appropriating the teachings into one's being is liberating in itself. It is not the case that we first have to understand the teachings, then do certain practices and then find liberation.