I just wanted to hopefully get some ideas on how some of the fellow users of this site motivate themselves to meditate on a more frequent basis. What ultimately motivates each one of you to continue meditating? The good feelings of samadhi or the tranquility of insight? I'm struggling with staying with the object of meditation as my mind is extremely restless. Anyways, this is my first time here so I'll leave it at that. Thanks in advance!
It's really important to do wise and healthy things even if they take a bit of effort to get the ball rolling. Very fortunately, we can use habit to overcome our habits, which is something very beautiful.
Personally, on days when I do not formally sit I cultivate many aspirations and cast the thought (joyously) "How good it would be to sit and meditate, to cultivate wisdom and insight, to perfect samadhi."
Meditation is not the only branch of the Eightfold path as was historically presented by Shakyamuni Buddha, so keeping all the folds in balance will help with your meditation, and vice versa.
The purpose of meditation is to uncover these enlightened qualities that are within us all.
On a mundane, physical level meditation strengthens the density of the cortical structure of the brain.
Please read about the methods of calm abiding, insight, and the altruistic motivation, because knowing what those are can really help nudge our patterned-ways into open ways. In general, reflecting on the many benefits and really making a strong wish to spend more time and regular time meditating will be great.
It has been taught that beings should seek enlightenment like trying to put out a fire on their heads. It's true! Based on how well we can see the value of our present condition (!) and how well we understand what we can accomplish through practice, the more clear it will be the need for meditation in our daily life, until the blurry edge between formal and off-the-cushion becomes such a natural and melodious flow that we will wonder why we had not been doing it this way the whole time.
In his book 'Good to Great', author Jim Collins describes how to build a great business using an analogy of a flywheel.
Right now, the flywheel is at a standstill. To get it moving, you make a tremendous effort. You push with all your might, and finally you get the flywheel to inch forward. After two or three days of sustained effort, you get the flywheel to complete one entire turn. You keep pushing, and the flywheel begins to move a bit faster. It takes a lot of work, but at last the flywheel makes a second rotation. You keep pushing steadily. It makes three turns, four turns, five, six. With each turn, it moves faster, and then—at some point, you can’'t say exactly when—you break through. The momentum of the heavy wheel kicks in your favor. It spins faster and faster, with its own weight propelling it. You aren't pushing any harder, but the flywheel is accelerating, its momentum building, its speed increasing. -- Source: See the section titled 'How change does happen'
This concept works very well with meditation also.
One way to generate motivation is to think of your current effort as the necessary labor to get the flywheel moving until it works in your favor and becomes second nature.
I just wanted to hopefully get some ideas on how some of the fellow users of this site motivate themselves to meditate on a more frequent basis.
Sometimes motivation comes in the form of doing a thorough job. Say if you sit for meditation trying be mindful of the breath and you cannot then this might be a demotivator. The best is to switch to perhaps insight meditation. Mostly motivation come through overcoming the hindrances. For more on this see: Nīvaraṇa by Piya Tan.
Also a motivator would be experiencing some positive results. Do you feel less stressful and unhappy than before, but chasing after positive results can set you back by developing restless-worry and even doubt when you feel progress is lacking.
What ultimately motivates each one of you to continue meditating?
The knowledge that you are doing a good job and also some insight to inspire faith. You should feel glad and happy (pamojja) about what you are doing and progress. This is what will keep you on track. Upanisa Sutta contains a path on how to get to liberation through faith.
The good feelings of samadhi or the tranquility of insight? I'm struggling with staying with the object of meditation as my mind is extremely restless.
(Yuga,naddha) Paṭipadā Sutta mentions either one (insight or calm) can develop before the other. Let it take its natural cause.
When doing breath meditation you have to keep bringing the object of your meditation to the breath by continuously reviewing if your mind has wandered away or not even when it has not. Knowing and Seeing by The Venerable Pa-Auk Tawya Sayadaw, p45 give 4 methods which you can use to keep focus, though this mentions in the context of calming the breath is is valid even before you come to this stage. Also have a look at: ANAPANASATI - MINDFULNESS WITH BREATHING Unveiling the Secrets of Life: a Manual for Serious Beginners by BUDDHADASA BHIKKHU.
Anyways, this is my first time here so I'll leave it at that.
Hopefully this is helpful and you would keep coming to the site as also do not feel shy to ask question.