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  • Written by  Ian Ives
  • // Sunday, 16 September 2012 10:37
Ian Ives

Tips for waking up in the morning - part 1

The only time of day when I can usually fit in some meditation practice is in the morning after I get up and before I start my day’s activities. Usually in the evening I’m too tired to sit for more than just a few minutes. Practicing meditation in the morning works very effectively for me as long as one thing happens first: I actually get up.

I’m sure there are one or two of you out there, or reading this, who have struggled to wake up earlier to do a bit of meditation, and so to express my camaraderie with you, I wanted to share a few things that have helped me out.  Of course going to bed earlier is an obvious one, but here are a few others:


1. Have a clear and determined intention

I’ve heard several teachers explain the difference between a vague aspiration and a clear and firm intention. For example if I say, “may others beings have happiness”, it is not quite the same as saying: “I will make sure to help anyone I meet to be happy.” This same principle applies when trying to get up in the morning. For example, before I got to sleep, I make sure to remind myself very clearly that I will get up tomorrow morning at such and such a time and do such and such a thing. Of course this doesn’t need to be strong or self-abusive in any way; it can be relaxed, or even playful, but the key is that I need to have a clear and direct intention. Whenever I manage to do this, I seem to wake up in the morning.

On the other hand, when I leave it as more of an aspiration, such as: “I’d really like to get up early, but we’ll see what happens,” then invariably when my alarm goes off, I somehow seem convinced that I have full permission to ignore it, and as a result, getting up does not happen. I’ve noticed that just the slightest doubt or hesitation at night can make a huge difference in the morning…it’s a kind of shocking reminder of the power of mind and intention.

What is helpful for you?