My old lama used to say that there are two wings of spiritual practice; wisdom and compassion. For the past several years I've been fostering compassion and empathy, through meditation and real world practice (mostly through the emotional support of others.) This practice is very rewarding and feels 'good', so it's easy to keep coming back to it. But a couple of years ago, I realized that I had lost a lot of my self-contempt, and my natural enthusiasm for metta bhavana waned.
Which brings me back to wisdom and mindfulness. Metta bhavana practice made me feel good and met some emotional needs, so it was easy to come back to. Anapanasati just doesn't have the same direct benefits for me that metta bhavana did, so it makes it hard to cultivate the practice. What suggestions do other practitioners here have for cultivating mindfulness and other aspects of wisdom, as well as improving my motivation to come back to it?