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Biggest Mistake in Your Meditation Practice

Dec 7, 2007
I have been practicing meditation now for over 20 years. In these 2 decades plus, I have explored much of the spiritual landscape and discovered many of the profound treasures hidden there. Also, during this time I have made my share of mistakes and seen others make theirs. In this article I want to help you avoid repeating the biggest mistake with regard to establishing a deep and strong daily meditation practice.

It is the mistake of endless procrastination. So let's understand this detrimental behavior and also, how to change it, so that it can be removed as an obstacle forever.

The Mistake of Procrastination:

Lord Buddha said, "There are only 2 mistakes you can make in life. First mistake is not to take the first step, and the second, is that having taken the first step, to not go all the way."

I am amazed how few take the first step. Many people who talk and read about religion, spirituality, zen, yoga, meditation, etc. never actually start a personal meditation program. They even come to me and discuss these matters in great detail, but, never get down to doing it. Meditation, in this regard, is just like exercise, you can read every book on fitness, but, until you break a sweat you will have zero benefits.

There are many profound and now medically recognized benefits of meditation. More and more evidence is emerging about how meditation helps reduce stress, cure diseases, increase concentration, enhance brain capacity and improve the quality of your life, but, to enjoy these benefits you need to practice. All the reading and talking in the world will not help, you need to get busy doing it.

Solution to Procrastination:

There are several steps you can take which should help you end the habit of procrastinating your meditation practice and begin. Here are these recommendations for you.

1. Start small: Don't try to sit in meditation for one hour a day right off the bat. It will simply be too much. Although you initial burst of inspiration may get you to do that much at first, it will be very hard to sustain that intensity over the long term. The benefits of meditation are not instantaneous, they are acquired over time so a consistent practice is a must. Therefore, start with what you can easily manage and then build up from there. This will help you enjoy your practice more and also, procrastinate it less.

2. Create a meditation space: Create a small space in your home which you will use for your meditation practice. Keep everything there ready, so it is easy and inviting for you to start your daily session. Place there whatever inspires you and also keep there your cushions etc., so that when it's time for your practice there is little you have to do in order to get it started. This will go a long way in preventing thoughts the opportunity to dissuade you from getting your daily spiritual work in.

3. Stop procrastinating in general: Procrastination is really a disease. It will delay and prevent you from living your life completely. So, stop this habit, not just in the context of your meditation practice, but in general. Try your very best to do what needs to be done right away without concern for mood. Just move from one activity that requires your attention to the next, answering the call of the moment and you will find yourself building up terrific momentum.

This momentum then will spill over into all aspects of your life, including the most important, your daily meditation practice. The more you do things as soon as the time is right, the more you will find yourself free of the disease of procrastination. Free of this disease, your life will open up, your meditation practice will blossom and you will certainly fulfill your highest destiny.
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