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  • Written by  Ian Ives
  • // Saturday, 29 September 2012 07:44
Ian Ives

Tips for waking up in the morning - part 2

If this first tip doesn't do it for you, here is another way to motivate us to meditate first thing in the morning

2. Something to look forward to  

My teacher told a bunch of us once that it is very important to make sure your practice is something you look forward to doing. I think you can do this in a couple of different ways. For a start try to remember your original intention for taking up meditation. Somewhere, way back in the past, before it became some sort of penance or remedy for spiritual guilt, you may have had a real enthusiasm and interest in meditation, and it was something that you could hardly wait to try out. The key is to remember this feeling again and generate some sort of excitement about the thought of getting back to your cushion.

Or, simply remind yourself of all the ways that meditation has really helped you, or just recall how cosy it can be to sit on a cushion, wrapped in a warm blanket, early in the morning before anyone else has stirred, with only the soft glow of a flickering candle and maybe a nice warm cup of tea in your lap. Think about how wonderful it feels when your mind settles even just a little bit, and what joy it is to come in touch with a deeper aspect of yourself even for just a brief moment. All of this can help a lot when it comes to getting up in the morning. If you do it to much, there is even the slight risk that in the most severe of cases you may actually wake up before your alarm goes off, full of excitement to meditate…I think this happened to me once.

Another interesting tip about looking forward to your practice is connected with how you practice in meditation sessions. Mingyur Rinpoche once explained that whenever your meditation session is going really well, you should stop. This is counterintuitive but it helps to cut through any attachment to experience you might have developed, and also helps you to feel very eager to get back to your practice. Contrast this with ending your meditation after trying to push through a frustratingly long and physically painful session…it’s not something your going to look forward to doing again.

So these sorts of skilful ways can make it much easier to get back to the cushion, especially at that most difficult of times for some of us: the start of the day.