Since we have just launched this week, it is safe to say that we are all in week one right now. On Day 2 I talk about knowing what your motivation for meditating is, and have created a podcast (#2) outlining why it is so helpful.
If you feel comfortable, you can share that here, it may help you to further refine it by discussing it and it will definitely help others by hearing the different reasons that are out there.
My suggestion to everyone is to try to have a spiritually motivated practice, one in which you aspire to be a better person, to cultivate positive qualities. Once these qualities are established and nurtured, everything else falls into place on their own.
Motivation(7 posts) (4 voices)
Thanks for this. When I first heard, "what is your motivation for meditation?" I thought what am I an actor looking for my motivation? I didn't quite understand the word motivation in regards to meditation. However, over time I really started to 'get' why knowing my reasons for wanting to meditate are so important. If I don't have something that truly inspires me to meditate, when the alarm clock rings at 6:30 in the morning, I will hit the snooze button a half a dozen times until I 'have' to get up and low and behold another week or month has gone by without a practice established -- much like my various New Year's resolutions to start a daily swim regime.
At first my inspiration lay in what I didn't want, I didn't want to spend so much time worrying, I wanted to loosen the control my thoughts and emotions, in their various urgent and disguised forms, had over me. I knew enough to understand that this would take time and regular practice and that a couple of days of meditating wouldn't free me from my crazy mind. But over time I did feel worry decrease and definately felt the difference between the days I meditated and the days I missed. For me it is the consistency that is key, and reminding myself of my motivations by reading them sometimes daily, although they have changed over time is the way to get there every day.
Anyways, more on this later, in the meantime I am interested to hear your reasons
Hi there, I am new to Meditation Village and am a student at Langara College. My motivation is mainly to learn how to relax. I have a mixed schedule (work and school) and some nights when I need to get to sleep at a reasonable hour I just cannot wind down. I once took a yoga meditation class at a community centre and as much as I disliked getting up early on a Saturday, I could see improvements in myself after only a couple of weeks. My posture was better, I was breathing better (apparently even when I was asleep - the boyfriend noticed) and just felt overall good about myself. I want to get back to that point and I think meditation is one way to get there for sure. Even yesterday when we did the short workshop at school, I felt more relaxed and calm afterwards. I've only downloaded Step 1 so far and am definitely looking forward to it!
Welcome and thanks for posting a great message in the forum.
Learning how to relax seems like it should be a no brainer - but as most of us have found - it is very difficult. Often we try to relax by watching TV or doing another activity. This is interesting. Take the example of TV. It is filled with non-stop stimulating images and has a constant onslaught of advertisements that tease us into wanting more and being more. Nothing to do with relaxation.
When do we learn to really relax? When we are thinking or doing, we are active. How many of us think that we need to be thinking to be alive and relevant? "I think, therefore I am".
Note that in meditation the thoughts are not the enemy, we are just learning how to control them and for the to not control us.
The purpose of meditation is to learn how to be present. In the present the past nor the future does not have an impact. We are only here now and observing the present moment. As you stated, even a short period of meditation can achieve this. As our meditation practise matures, the calm we experience will last longer and longer.
Though we do not want to mix meditation with sleep, some of the techniques can be used to help get to sleep. When the mind is filled with worry, excitement or planning a future event, sorrow, joy or reflection about a past event, we are often unable to get to sleep. The mind is relentless, it will perseverate for hours! Just simply observing the breath while we are lying awake will help to become present and allow the body and the mind to relax and fade off to sleep. You can use the techniques from Step 1 week 2 to do this.
One of the many things to help keep me motivated is reading a spiritual book. I have this type of mind that wants to understand so I spend alot of time reading philosophy. I read ever so slowly and take notes along the way.
But I also love reading a great travel book that has a spiritual component to it.
In 2009, my favorite book by far was "The Way of the White Clouds" Written by a German Monk named Lama Govinda. He was one of the first foreigners to journey through Tibet before they were invaded in the 1950's. He was not only an accomplished Buddhist practitioner, he was an artist and a fantastic writer. For me, it was one of those books that I did not want to put down and I did not want to finish it.
There are some pretty heavy practice sections that may be a bit difficult to understand for some, no worries, just breeze through that section and he will soon return to his incredible story.
I would love to hear about some of your favorites in 2009.
Recently tapped into the Mayo Clinic Mind/Body 2008 Conference videos at the Mind & Life Institute http://www.mindandlife.org. Virtually attending such a conference with Q & A sessions motivates the mind and reminds what this is all about. Helping others to heal themselves whilst healing self is a prime motivator.
Thanks for the link! It is so helpful to have a variety of places to learn from to help both refine and expand our view.
Our practice depends on three things, all of them important each of them required - like a tripod.
The first is call view. This is our philosophical standpoint of reality and is the foundation of every successful practice. If we do not know what to to think about, what is real and what is unreal; then one does not have a sense of direction and will not know when adjustments are required.
Listening to teachers, reading books, being part of discussions are all great ways for us to establish our view. These help define our standpoint and are also great motivators.
The second is practice - putting to use that actual methods we learn that will help us to make progress on our journey. This of course includes meditation as well as behavioral actions like morality and discipline.
The third is called result and is the fruit of the work done, the fruit of the seeds planted. Wisdom.
With wisdom we can further refine our view and continue to practice, etc etc.
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