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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 ?...

personlobsterKerome

Comments

  • 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.

    lobsterpersonShoshinRowan1980
  • 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 ...
    https://impacttheory.com/blog/meditation-critical-becoming-bad-ass/

  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited May 8

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

    Shoshinadamcrossley
  • 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.

    ShoshinadamcrossleyJeffrey
  • 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

    Shoshinpersonlobster
  • 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.

    lobsterJeffreyShoshin
  • 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. :)

    adamcrossleylobsterShoshin
  • @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.

    Shoshin
  • 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... :)

    adamcrossley
  • 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....

    ShoshinadamcrossleyQuidditchperson
  • 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

    ShoshinQuidditch
  • QuidditchQuidditch Earth Explorer

    I rarely have time in the morning to meditate, therefore it's hard to keep up with a sitting practice. My only hope is when the babe is napping... Sometimes I do. Sometimes I'd rather read Pema Chodron books instead. Which is a good second choice? I think ....? :awesome:

    Shoshinperson
  • QuidditchQuidditch Earth Explorer
    edited June 12

    JK. I know it's not.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Don't knock it, it's better than nothing. <3

    But consider that meditating doesn't have to be done sitting still, quiet and with your eyes shut.

    It can be done walking, washing up, making pastry or weeding the garden. Just be mindful, totally focused and attentive to what you're doing. Don't think excessively, or let your mind wander. Just be present, in the moment....

  • QuidditchQuidditch Earth Explorer
    edited June 12

    @federica that's what my practice mainly consists of, at the moment. Mindful living, whatever I'm doing. 😊 Thank you. ❤️

    I realized I didn't answer the question in the first place. I edited out a subpar and not really truthful answer and didn't get back to the topic at hand.

    I guess for me it's curiousity, at the moment. When I really got into mindful living and a little bit of sitting meditation, it changed me and my conception of myself. It was a little uncomfortable, and when I sat with that uncomfortableness, it disappeared and changed. I'm curious to see what else happens. Sometimes nothing of interest happens. But sometimes it does. I'm curious...

  • QuidditchQuidditch Earth Explorer

    I'm sure I'll get the virtue of sitting just to sit someday.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Quidditch said:
    I'm curious to see what else happens. Sometimes nothing of interest happens. But sometimes it does. I'm curious...

    That’s true, meditation can be unpredictable that way, there is no guarantee things will happen. Have you ever looked at the five hindrances, @quidditch? Developing a steady meditation practice has a lot to do with overcoming them.

    Just sitting can be very pleasant although it’s difficult. As opposed to sitting and thinking, that is.

  • adamcrossleyadamcrossley Veteran
    edited June 12

    @Kundo said:
    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....

    This makes me think, the motivation to meditate is necessarily a non-meditative mind-state. In other words, it’s based on wanting things to be other than they are: more peaceful, focused, or compassionate. So in order to get beyond clinging, we have to cultivate this specific kind of clinging, what an interesting paradox. Attachment to meditation (and really the whole Buddhist path) has to be the last attachment to be released.

    If we criticise ourselves for seeking and enjoying meditation’s benefits, we won’t get anywhere. I guess in the common analogy, this would be abandoning the raft in the middle of the river.

    To bring in what you have been saying, @Quidditch: perhaps a good accompaniment to this ‘attachment to meditation’, is curiosity. That’s a very open-ended mind-state, which doesn’t have too many expectations.

    lobsterQuidditchShoshin
  • QuidditchQuidditch Earth Explorer

    No, @Kerome, I haven't. Thank you for the link, I'll look more into them.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

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

    Indeed.

    Going through this thread we can understand the motivation and presence of Buddha Mind in our being.
    The more subtle, independent of description, less noisy, chattering, running riot, monkey gibbering, the closer we are to not having a motivation but having a meditation.

    The Buddha Mind is the Awareness Being. Awake and Pure.

    ... meanwhile we are the donkey rider, chase that stick donkey ...

    Shoshin
  • LionduckLionduck Veteran

    What motivates me? LIFE

    lobsterShoshin
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited June 14

    Just sitting can be very pleasant although it’s difficult.

    ?

    There I was having much to do.
    Have a break. Sit quietly for a while. Easiest thing in the world.

    However not everyone is so simple. That is why we find the practice to support Pleasant Being.

    @Quidditch said:
    I rarely have time in the morning to meditate

    Yes I rarely have five minutes to meditate ... so I do longer
    https://www.mindful.org/a-five-minute-breathing-meditation/

    You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day. Unless you're too busy, then you should sit for an hour.
    Zen saying

  • QuidditchQuidditch Earth Explorer

    @lobster I have an almost 11 month old who wakes me up at irregular times early in the morning by grabbing my face and speed crawling off the bed. I have to wait until she's napping, maybe early afternoon. So I have time, but later. I just have to choose, reading or meditation.... Reading has won out recently.
    Thanks for the link! 😊❤️

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I have to wait until she's napping

    Who says you have to? <3

    You can meditate whilst stroking a cat, rocking a baby, chanting, drinking tea, reading a book mindfully, waiting for a bus or an afternoon ... o:)
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/01/well/mind/how-to-be-mindful-holding-a-baby.html

    Welcome to the real world B)
    Morpheus

  • QuidditchQuidditch Earth Explorer

    Ah, sitting meditation. You got me there. I try to be mindful a lot, as much as I remember. But sitting meditation takes an asleep baby. For a beginner like me. 😄

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited June 14

    @Quidditch said:
    But sitting meditation takes an asleep baby. For a beginner like me. 😄

    It do? Where can I get a sleeping baby? Is it a type of cushion? ;)
    We beginners need to know ...

    Wait ... You mean ... using the baby as a living mudra?

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Meditation motivates more meditation....

    If one thinks about it...Simply put...Dharma practice on the cushion and off the cushion is 'training/taming the mind' so for the Buddhist practitioner, life is one big meditation and not just a every now and zen then thing ;) :)

    lobsterQuidditch
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited June 15

    Exactly so @Shoshin

    Us beggar-beginnings, wish for a baby mind, free, serene and mostly empty. Instead we are left holding what we mind in Mind ...

    Gate Gate Para Gate Parasam Gate Bodhi Svaha

    Shoshin
  • QuidditchQuidditch Earth Explorer

    @Shoshin said:
    life is one big meditation

    A teacher I was listening to mentioned the "ritual of life".. it meant treating all of life as a meditation/ritual and doing everything with reverence. What you said reminded me of that, I think that's a beautiful way to look at it.

    Shoshin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    In sitting meditation, when the mind goes astray (mind becoming charmed by its own thoughts) we bring our attention back to the breath...we keep doing this for as long as it take...

    And off the cushion, when the mind goes astray (mind becoming charmed by its own thoughts) we bring our attention back to the breath, which brings us out of the pseudo moment of make-believe and back to the present moment ...we keep doing this for as long as it take...

    It's all part and parcel of Dharma "practice"....

    Thus have I heard...the bi-products of this practice is kindness compassion patience & wisdom

    Practice makes perfect....and perfect practice makes perfect practice

    As for my self ....I am still a work in progress .......

    Giddy up donkey Oops wrong end ;)

    lobster
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