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Meditation.....What Motivates You ?

ShoshinShoshin No one in particularNowhere Special Veteran
edited May 7 in Meditation

When I first started out, it was not easy sticking to a regular meditation routine...My practice was somewhat haphazard and any benefits gained were soon lost, as the mind slipped back into its old habit patterns...However after many trial & error attempts I finally managed to tie my self down to a routine...This was out of appreciation for the clarity that just sitting (AKA cushion time) brought to my life...Now cushion time is a way of life...

If you have a regular ongoing meditation practice eg daily, what motivates you ?

And if you are yet to develop one what benefits would motivate you ?...



  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    I just meditate every day. Instead of thinking about if I should meditate today I don't think about that I just set the time and then sit. So I don't have to think about if I should meditate because it's already done. And then I think about if I want to do more later on in the day and that's different. But in the morning I don't think about it I do it.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Perfect answer from @Jeffrey B)

    Broadly speaking meditation can be hard arsed or soft assed.
    The hard is motivated towards concentration: breath counting, chanting, prostrations, walking meditation, yoga, pranayama, puja etc. It is about focus and discipline.

    Shikantaza is a soft, just sit way that I prefer. Another is yoga nidra, Tai Chi or led meditations where you are pliable or soft.

    Related to sitting both use a straight back, open posture.

    Do which? [shrug] but do ...

  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited May 8

    What motivates me is, that it's such a nice vacation from the chattering mind!

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran
    edited May 8

    I first got involved with meditation and Buddhism I dove in and established a fairly good practice. After about 5 or 6 years though my interest waned and my practice dropped off. I still considered myself a Buddhist and would usually spend a few minutes a day reciting mantras, but in my life I was spending way too many hours playing video games and was becoming career focused, trying to get fulfillment and meaning from it. After about a decade of that I was getting pretty depressed and worn out, I was working my way back into practice. At that time I had an accident that, if it had been a half inch more would have been catastrophic, and even so required much modern medicine to save me. I still had 4 months of recovery and two years before feeling normal again.

    Anyway, all that is to say that the knowledge of what kind of mental states life with and without practice produces and an acute awareness of how quickly it can all be taken away gives plenty of motivation.

    These days I can tell pretty quickly the difference not only in my life, but also in the way that my mental state impacts on others lives around me. As you both say, cushion time isn't something I need to think about whether to do or not, it is a way of life.

  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    I am congenitally undisciplined. Hard arsed meditation (very much obliged to @lobster for the proper technical terminology) I can do only occasionally, and a sizeable fraction of the soft arsed meditation I do follows no set schedule and would most likely not be recognized as such by a good Buddhist.

    My motivation is that, with meditation, life flows (relatively) easily, and without it life backs up and churns like slop in a blender. If flow could be achieved without meditation, I probably wouldn't do it. O.o

  • adamcrossleyadamcrossley Veteran
    edited May 8

    Hmm, I had a very unsatisfactory meditation this morning. My schedule has changed and I’m getting up slightly earlier to fit it in, but today my mind was simply not settling down. I try to bear in mind what I’ve been taught, that there are no “bad” meditations, and that the ones which feel good are often only possible because of them. That’s somewhat motivational.

    I try to sit twice a day at the moment. Guided meditations are keeping me motivated. They help me feel I’m not just sitting on a cushion twiddling my mental thumbs. And honestly, the thought of the Buddha motivates me, sitting on calmly through the good and the bad, a gentle smile on his lips telling of serenity in the midst of suffering. I find that a very hopeful image.

  • Rowan1980Rowan1980 Keeper of the Zoo Asheville, NC Veteran

    Briefly, I do it because I have found that it keeps me from flying off the handle when something unpleasant arises, and I am less impulsive overall. That result has led me to better realize that it’s really easy for almost anyone to behave unskillfully because of the stuff that gets heaped on us mentally. This has helped me quite a bit with my own need to practice patience and compassion.

    I know that is some fairly basic, Buddhism 101 stuff, but it’s what I could come up with until my coffee kicks in. :)

  • @Rowan1980, it might seem basic on an intellectual level, but to have direct experience of it and to know it intuitively, that’s really valuable.

    @Shoshin, is it appropriate to discuss what we find de-motivational as well? It could be quite beneficial.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited May 9

    @Shoshin, is it appropriate to discuss what we find de-motivational as well? It could be quite beneficial.

    Yes of course @adamcrossley ...Yin & Yang ...can't have one without the other... :)

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    I've found one of the biggest de-motivation is ..

    "I'll leave it today, but will definitely start 'tomorrow .....or next week"
    "Procrastination" it's a killer... :)

  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    What motivates me?

    Good question. I could say peace of mind, but that's clinging to an ideal. I could say previous attainment of moments of clarity, but that's clinging to an ideal. I could say a lot of things but in the end it's all just clinging to an ideal.

    I COULD say to end clinging to ideals, but that's a lie....

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    It is a good question. This is why @Jeffrey answer is ideal. It requires neither a reason/motivation or reasonable answering/resolution. It has becomes its own circle.

    “Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits...”
    ― A.A. Milne

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