If you haven’t already tried meditation, that is because you are still sure that there are activities that can bring you calm and peace in your heart. Those who have embarked on a meditation journey have likely realized that thinking does not calm the mind. But yet you may find it hard to meditate consistently. After a while, some meditators may find meditation pointless. Having taught mindfulness, we are aware of the struggles of meditating regularly. It is not about the meditation technique or how to meditate. Well-being goes beyond meditation. Qualities we develop in our lives can help us to meditate. And there are 3 qualities that can support your meditation practice.
1. Joy Supports Meditation
It may sound strange to you that joy is one of the three qualities that support meditation. That is because most people practice meditation in the hope they may find more joy by cultivating a calm mind. Yes, it is true that a calm mind can support the practice of meditation. For instance, having calmed your mind and heart regularly with a 10 to 15 minutes formal meditation a day may indeed help you pause during stressful situations at work. But, what if you are struggling to keep up with even a 10-minute daily practice?
When we meditate to develop a calm mind, it is not just being closed to the world by focusing on our breath. A calm mind is useful to help us discern or to gain wisdom through observing ourselves and things outside us. We can compare the calm brought about by meditation compared to the calm brought about by listening to music or admiring a beautiful sunrise. The calm from meditation allows us to stay tranquil in almost any situation (depending on your practice). But we cannot always depend on music to calm us down, because we cannot play our favorite song when a client becomes unreasonable during a call.
To practice meditation, you need to perceive meditation as a joyful exercise for the mind. You can persuade your mind that the 10 to 15 minutes of meditation a day is a real rest for your mind. We rest our bodies when it gets tired, but we never rest our minds! Also, recall the tranquility gained from your experience of meditation to remind yourself this is a joyful practice. Remember that serenity developed from meditation can always be with you.
2. Gaining Confidence
When you see the consistent tranquility that can arise from meditation, you become confident in the practice. Confidence is one of the three qualities one can develop to support meditation. How does one become confident in the practice?
This is actually a simpler quality to develop compared to joy. For joy to arise that you will enjoy meditation, you need to recall the meditation experience that gave you calm and persuade your mind that constant flux in our world causes stress.
Confidence comes when your discernment with a calm mind strengthens. This can only be done when you feel joy in the practice. As your practice strengthens, you gain confidence in your heart that meditation is indeed different from other things we seek to please our senses, because sense-based happiness doesn’t last.
3. Natural Self-Discipline
Most people dislike disciplining themselves. In fact, most of us willingly give in to our cravings or negativity. We give in to most things that can disturb our minds – such as not having the discipline to cut video gaming time, eating more healthily, or exercising more regularly. The same applies to being disciplined about setting time aside for meditation to strengthen our minds. We seldom neglect pleasing the senses of our bodies and strengthening our muscles. But we neglect the joy that we can bring to our mind by devoting time to meditation.
When we recognize the lasting ease that meditation can bring to the mind, natural self-discipline to practice follows. There is no more need to force or coerce ourselves to sit daily on our cushions for 10 minutes. When we have joy, confidence, and natural self-discipline in meditation, it becomes a very pleasant exercise for the mind and you will no longer want to put the practice aside. Having natural self-discipline, you no longer need to fight against your thoughts and restlessness, and tiredness. With the development of these 3 qualities, meditation becomes a natural part of your life.