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Motivation

Mindful Reflection Tip #2

As you settle into your meditation seat, ask yourself why you’re there. It may seem obvious but, like everything else about the mind, motivation shifts constantly and subtly, so check it out. Depending on how you’re feeling right now, you may be trying to prove one thing, escape another or to just drift into a familiar pattern and zone out.

The point of meditation is to understand the mind and how it works, and the point of Mindful Reflection is to bring that understanding to all of life, not just cushion time.

Mahayana Buddhists make much of dedications (left): declaring that the merit of their actions will contribute to the awakening of all beings. Trouble is, dedications tend to take on a prayer-like flavor that quickly turns into rote. You can be mouthing the most wonderful expressions of love and universal compassion, but if your mind’s not there … well, it’s just not there, is it?

So instead of trying to turn your meditation into what you think it should be, ask yourself with all the naked honesty you can muster why you’re there at that particular moment in your life. What do you want? If you find your motivation’s flimsy or lacking in any way, you’ll see it right away and pull yourself together.

In what way? You don’t need me to tell you that. Just pay attention; you’ll know what to do.

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3 responses to “Motivation”

  1. Ralph Chidiac

    Dear Sir

    I have dabbled in philosophy/psychology all my life with a schooling in physiology.
    I have to admit that I am not a Buddhist, but through Buddhism I have encountered MINDFULNESS, the most convincing, pragmatic, enlightening philosophical outlook on life, especially after having searched most of my life for a compelling approach to daily living.
    Your site is a refreshing outlook on a Secular yet Spiritual approach to LIFE in general from an AWARENESS perspective. A functional tool the Buddha himself would be proud of.

    Would love to be able to attend one of your seminars and probably will as I live and Work in Ottawa ON, yet all my family resides in Montreal.
    I am there often but never long enough to commit to the course.

    I have also listened to your interview on The Secular Buddhist podcast, it was extremely
    edifying.

    Thank you for your involvement, and outlook.
    Regards

    Ralph Chidiac

  2. Patricia MacGeachy

    So glad to have found this interview.
    I am fortunate to have attended two of Stephen’s talks.He made a profound impression on me. Thank you
    Where did I read and note…If you want truth…. cease to cherish your opinions.

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