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Overcoming problems with daily mindfulness practice

Kerome

Kerome

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Overcoming initial problems practising mindfulness on a daily basis

Link your practice into your normal daily routine, and make your practice habitual

Usually it is best if a practitioner links the mindfulness practice into their normal daily routine. Most people have a predictable morning routine into which mindfulness can be slotted. The important thing is that the practice should not be based on whether a practitioner feels up to it on a particular day or not. Instead it needs to be established as a good habit which is practiced without internal disputation, much like brushing your teeth.

Consider Use of Ritual to Support the Habit

Setting up a special place for your sitting meditation with articles that help you enter into the practice. Some people find articles like candles and bells conducive. Others react against the stereotype. Find what suits you.
Some people find it helpful to use simple affirmations stating the purpose of your meditation at the beginning and end of a sitting practice. Examples of such affirmations are:
Before Sitting:
May I develop a clear mind, skilful communication and effective action for the benefit of all living beings including myself as a result of this practice.
After Sitting:
May I use my mindfulness to act compassionately and wisely toward all living beings including myself.

Sometimes flexibility and imagination are required to find an appropriate time and place

People with young children often find it easier to meditate at work in their office. Single parents of preschool children often find it very difficult to find time. Sometimes they can fit it in when the children are napping. Some people meditate on the train on the way to work in the morning.

Westerners, especially therapists, have great difficulty letting go of striving for specific outcomes.

In mindfulness we apply effort to focusing our attention on the breath and then opening to awareness of other mental phenomena. With mindfulness we acknowledge that the effort to “Get somewhere” is often the wrong kind of effort for catalyzing change or growth or healing, coming as it usually does from rejection of a present moment reality without having a full awareness & understanding of that reality.

So let go of expectations and just do it.

When practicing mindfulness, we need to let go the desire for other outcomes, such as getting rid of urges, feeling better, thinking more logically or optimistically. This becomes easier with practice as we naturally begin to trust the method more. In the meantime it helps to read the literature. It also helps to reflect on the inevitability of change and the ultimate impermanence of all phenomena and of all relationships. Contemplation of the Serenity Prayer can also be helpful, in this regard.
 
Anime-Alchemy

Anime-Alchemy

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I enjoyed reading your post, it's insightful :)
 
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