Instead of telling ourselves, 'I don't have time today, I'll meditate tomorrow. I don't have time this week, I'll do it next week. This is a busy year, I'll get around to it next year,' we need to feel an immediacy about doing practice right now, not just today, not just this hour, but this very moment." - Chagdud Rinpoche
Not being able to awaken a sense of immediacy is one of the primary hinderances to meditation. Sitting with crossed legs and a straight spine is tiring, painful, dull, and unproductive. How can you be convinced otherwise?
Sometimes the approach to encouraging meditation is to make stark realities salient.
“Whether we're ready to do practice or not, death and sickness won't wait. Why not prepare? Why not develop the capacity to help ourselves and others? We're ready to drink poison, but not to take medicine.” -Unknown
Quotes like this remind us that the world isn’t waiting for us to understand it, chaos lurks around every corner and bend - and when we slack off, it is ready to strike. So, as a compensatory measure, we should seek to produce a correct vision of reality, as to minimize our suffering. Yet, there is another approach that leverages our innate sense of curiosity, as opposed to our fear of death.
“The key to maintaining your inspiration in the day-to-day work of meditation practice is to approach it as play—a happy opportunity to master practical skills, to raise questions, experiment, and explore.” - Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Beginning on the meditative journey with a sense of excitement and a sense of ‘something to discover’ is an important means! Divest yourself from spiritual attainments - and notice the practical benefit of a daily meditation practice. Discipline, Commitment, Diligence, Concentration, and most importantly - insight. Every morning, give yourself space to sit in the seat of your own heart. What emotions arise? Does tiredness creep in immediately? Do you tell yourself stories and rationalize the pain in your crossed legs? What kind of stories? Be curious.
Taking time every morning to enter into contemplation gives one insight into the nature of being - and by extension, you begin to see into the nature of many quotes.
“Nobody even imagines how well one can lie about the state of one’s own heart” – Yukio Mishima
How can you see the lie unless you can first apprehend the state of your own heart?
“Don’t get lost in the things you are seeing. Look at the one who is seeing.” -Mooji
How can you penetrate this unless you realize that the seer is different from the seen?
“Arisings are not solidified. Rest in what is and what eternally has been so – the undisturbed awareness of simplicity.” – Longchenpa
Your body and mind are a laboratory. For around 80 years you can spin, flip, think, walk, run, stretch, love, yell - and do myriad other things. But every now and again, I urge you to sit still. To come out of whatever conceptual game you’re playing, detach from your lens of reality - and just sit with a sense of open curiosity. Perhaps, as Longchenpa suggests, you’ll see that the world isn’t as solid or serious as you once thought. Perhaps for a moment, you’ll rest in simplicity.
But first - you must sit and meditate, daily.
It is as it is.