How Can I Make Myself Sit Regularly?

This depends on your motivation.  Why do you want a meditation practice? Spend some time with the thoughts & feelings that entice you to meditate. Cultivate and encourage them.

If you know meditation makes you feel and function better, then look at the motivation that makes you not sit down to do it.  You might try sitting with those anti-meditation thoughts and feelings.  They may yield helpful insights into your mind, or raise specific questions to ask a teacher.

Another approach borrows motivation that’s worked before in establishing other good habits, like an exercise routine or music practice.

It helps some people to make sitting attractive by finding an appealing place to sit, setting up an altar, getting just the right chair, bench or cushion.  For some a ritual or yoga or a period of walking meditation helps transition to meditation.

The right time of day can be important, too.  Your biorhythms may dictate when you’re best able to meditate. For others, timing depends on their daily routine and finding a lull when they can stop the constant rush and just sit.  It can help to tie meditation to some daily activity, like after first getting up or before a meal.

If you think meditation requires a block of time too large to carve out of your day, then let go of that idea. Surely five minutes can be spared.  No?  Then ten breaths.  OK, three.  The important thing is to get into the habit of stopping all the busy-ness of the day.  Just go and sit down once every day.  Watch your body take three breaths.  Just keep doing that daily and voila, you’ll have a practice.  The length of your daily sitting may then grow on its own.

Also, consider any times when you “take a breather” during the day and return to mindfulness.  These are part of your meditation practice, too.  Celebrate these and let them motivate you to have more such moments.  Let the pleasure you get from them add to your motivation to sit down to meditate.

Comments are closed.