My idea of discipline is eating half a bar of chocolate, waiting half an hour, and then eating the other half. It is of no surprise to anyone that I have been trying and failing to develop a meditation practice for the better part of a year now.
There’s a lot of information out there right now about how to turn your home into a temple, steps you can take to help you develop your home practice, and if you’re looking for something of that nature, then this post is not for you. Because that kind of self-practice takes a degree of discipline that is in severely short supply. I need to hold some discipline in reserve for my many other vices.
What I think is the easiest way to cultivate a practice is to go out of your home and find a meditation center* or a group of people who meditate together. What I look for is the meditative energy that can be found there, that I can draw into my own practice. I would otherwise hate to mention “energies” or “crystals” or, God forbid, “auras” but sometimes, the term just applies. I find it infinitely easier to drag myself to a separate place to meditate in the company of strangers than in my home.
When doing something difficult, there is always that initial hump that has to be overcome before you can build sufficient momentum to get going. Going to a separate location is the equivalent of getting over that hump.
Here is a concept that was explained to me by someone much wiser to demonstrate what meditation can do for you:
Your thoughts are key. Your thoughts are the bridge between your internal and external self. Thoughts are the messenger of what is not right in the mind.
Externally, your thoughts lead to words, which lead to actions, leading to your habits, and eventually to your character, nature, and personality. Thoughts –> actions –> habits –> character, nature, personality
Internally, thoughts lead to your awareness, which creates your experiences, and then your emotions and feelings. Thoughts –> awareness –> experiences –> emotions and feelings
Through meditation, you become aware of the content of your thoughts, and can eventually learn to direct which thoughts you want to grow, and which you want to fade away. Whatever you pay attention to will grow, and what you ignore will fade away.
*Yes, these things exist.