How To Find Motivation To Meditate

Regardless whether you are new to meditation or a seasoned practitioner, motivating yourself is one of the toughest challenges a meditator or spiritual seeker faces, in the long term.

In this article, we will explore multiple ways to motivate the mind by varying the practice to make it more stimulating.

Please keep in mind that we are all individuals, so what works for someone else may not work for you. As a consequence, it's very important to find out what stimulates your mind, what motivates it, what inspires it. This calls for patience.

The way to go about it is really straightforward. First try the pointers that interest you the most. If they don't motivate you, work your way down the list.

Holding on to negative feelings and thoughts, make it virtually impossible to motivate yourself. The same holds true for boredom, a jaded mind is unwilling to apply itself or to make effort.

As a rule of thumb, meditate when the mind is fresh and rested. Perhaps immediately after waking up in the morning or after a nap.

Be willing to make effort, don't give in to laziness.

Motivational Pointers

By meditating with a friend or in a groups, most of us naturally get motivated. This type of practice also boosts mental energy, which makes it easier to meditate.

Join a short or long meditation retreat. It could be anything from an afternoon to 6 months. Intensive meditation practice makes for progress and it normally builds up plenty of mental energy, especially in the presence of experienced meditators.

Read inspiring quotes. Either get a book or compile your own list of inspiring quotes on a sheet of paper or in a notebook. When your level of motivation has come up, put the quotes aside and meditate. If you like, you can alternate between reading and meditating. Find out what works best for you.

Read about meditation or spirituality. Once you feel inspired or motivated, switch over to meditation.

Read a meditation book mindfully. One of the benefits of this practice is that it doesn't take up any of your time, since you do two things at the same time. Simply give relaxed attention to your meditation object while reading. The slower you read, the easier it is to be mindful.

Any body posture is fine. The more comfortable the body is, the easier it is to be mindful. This is a practice in itself, however, you can cycle between mindful reading and meditation if you like.

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Personally, I enjoy reading mindfully and to close my eyes for a short while, every 5 or 10 minutes, to give full attention to the meditation. During the meditation intervals, the concentration deepens, which supports the quality of the mindfulness while reading.

Seasoned meditators can work mindfully. It is much easier to walk mindfully though, for example in a park or a forest.

Meditate in nature. It is truly inspiring to be surrounded by buzzing insects, birds, trees, wind, lakes and mountains.

Create a sacred space in your home. Decorate it with an inspiring figurine or images.

Light a candle, or meditate in complete darkness.

Burn your favorite incense.

Keep track of your meditation practice on a board, app or notebook. Why not post it on your refrigerator for maximum benefit. The idea is to motivate yourself to make effort.

Give yourself rewards. For instance, when you have meditated for a total of 1, 3 or 5 hours in a week, treat yourself to something you really like. Find a balance, don't be too hard on yourself.

Do a self-retreat at home. Spend a morning, afternoon or evening meditating. Remember to switch off your phone before you start.

Listen to nature sounds while meditating.

Listen to a meditation talk with your favorite meditation or spiritual teacher. Afterwards, you can meditate. An alternative is to give relaxed attention to your meditation object while listening.

Many meditators find video even more inspiring than audio. Either you can watch the video followed by a meditation session, or you can give relaxed attention to your meditation object while watching the video, however that requires the ability to be mindful with your eyes open.

Alternate between walking and sitting meditation. It's nice to stretch the legs and to vary the practice.

Challenge yourself to meditate in a noisy place or when you are sleepy. This motivates certain meditators.

Meditate with ear plugs or with cotton in your ears. All you have to do is listen to your breathing, give it relaxed attention. Breathe normally.

Get a biofeedback system with finger sensors for your computer. This is bound to motivate most meditators.

Find a meditation technique that really suits you. This may take minutes or years to discover. The point is, the more natural the technique is for you, the easier it is to meditate and the more progress you will make.

Meditate alone. It's quieter to meditate alone than in a group. You won't be disturbed by meditators that cough and sneeze. Another plus when you are all alone, is that no one is looking at you, which can make it easier for some meditators to relax.

Always remember that moods or mental states fluctuate, from moment to moment. That is the nature of the mind. Whenever your concentration is poor, be forgiving and patient with yourself. Impatience, irritation and anger should be avoided at any time, since you can't meditate when the mind is agitated.

I encourage you to meditate when you are restless, unmotivated and unhappy. Even though you don't enjoy the mental state, it is good practice.

Try out the pointers and discover your favorites...

Best of luck!

Related:   Thinking In Meditation   Mindfulness While Reading   Motivation

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