Proper Meditation Motivation
- From Mind Beyond Death by Dzogchen Ponlop
"We should think about how we can make the best
use of our practice so that we get the most out
of it in the short time we have in this life.
We do not have the leisure of wasting our time
here by delaying the benefits of our practice.
We have to use these situations as effectively as we can.
Before you begin any practice, first think
very carefully about your motivation. When we are
engaged in the threefold process of study, contemplation
and meditation, we should be very specific, very
clear about why we are doing it. We should remind
ourselves, "I am doing this to transcend my negative
emotions and my ego-clinging." This is a general example
of a specific intention. However, to be more precise,
we need to consider the unique make-up of our own
individual kleshas [intense states of suffering, and
ignorance]. Once we have identified our strongest
emotion, then we can focus on the practices that will
alleviate it. We begin with whichever emotion is strongest
for us and then we move on to the next strongest, followed
by the next, and so on.
It is important for us to prioritize our practice
in this way. We have to keep our intention very clear
in all three phases--in our study, in our contemplation
and in our meditation. During shamatha (single pointed
meditation) or other practices, when thoughts come up,
we recall that our purpose is to overcome our disturbing
emotions and kleshas. We have to have a sense of willpower
or determination in our minds. In order for the remedy
to work, we must tell ourselves, "Yes, I am going to
transcend this anger. I am going to work with it."
Otherwise, if we do not have a clear idea, if we simply
sit there with an indefinite or vague intention, then
the effect also will be vague. We may have sat for one
hour and although that time will not have been wasted,
because it was not directed in an intentional way,
the experience will not be so sharp, to the point or
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