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36. What motivates you to practice?

I listened to a talk by Oren Ergas who is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Education, Beit Berl College, Israel. He looks at mindfulness, as a form of education.

Starting, and maintaining any new habit requires motivation, and he talked about the two types of motivation that may be helpful for us to consider – useful if we notice if our practice has drifted, or if we want to start a mindfulness practice but don't fully appreciate the importance and the resonance of that practice for us.

We need motivation, it can come in two forms:

1 – The way we frame the practice and its place in our life (our beliefs and world views). What is my world view, and how might my practice contribute to it?

  • · Inner peace?

  • · Grounding?

  • · Less stress?

  • · To contribute more to society.

  • · To be kinder to myself and others?

Take a moment and settle into a comfortable position, start by following the breath in and out for a few moments as you settle, and invite yourself to reflect on what are your motivations for practice? Follow where this question takes you, it may throw up a few things, see if you can go deeper into that line of questioning by asking yourself 'why does this matter to you'?

2 - Why we practice. Often when we have a regular practice, a little bit of boredom can creep in! I know, who knew! It is not always easy or obvious why we may want to sit down and make time and space for our practice. We then must muster motivation or re-ignite the flame.

So, questions you can ask yourself if you notice your commitment wavering, or boredom creeping in.

Why might I practice in this moment?

Why this practice, today?

Why this practice that I have chosen? Loving Kindness, or the Body scan for example

Get to know you a little better, become curious and interested in the subconscious elements of your practice, the little ripple that sits beneath the surface that wants to tell you more.

And let me know what you unearth! I'd be interested to hear how you found those questions within your own practice.

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