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I am thinking about making a practice based on enjoyment to help gain motivation to do stuff - a positive incentive but not sure how to do it (or even if i should do it) - all tips appreciated even if its just one

i do correct vipassana meditation finished with a short metta meditation - still i dont enjoy it really not the 1 minute meditation not the 2 hour meditation

and i am aware of benefits of the practice from study and from experience but not enough to combat the hindrances - and since i stop practicing for few months try and stop try and stop my motivation is really low

maybe if i say i eat a piece of chocolate/listening to music/watching videos etc after i meditate ? but that is to much greed and will probably harm the meditation cause i will think about the "prize" at the end

im asking based on an answer i got here on a different topic which made me think about it :

There is a big obvious difference between doing something because you want it and enjoying the effort, VERSUS beating yourself with a stick like a horse. In one case you are working hard but you're enjoying it, you doing what you believe in, you're getting deep sense of satisfaction from it. In the other case, you are forcing yourself, breaking yourself, torturing yourself - you don't really believe in it, you hate yourself for doing it, but you're still doing it.

My teacher said that the feeling of special enjoyment or satisfaction is a key criteria for success in spiritual practice. If you're doing too little, you will not be happy with yourself. If you are pushing yourself too hard, you will not be happy with yourself. If you are doing it right, it may be hard and painful - but you will feel happy and proud and inspired.

from :

Pushing onself too much ?

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i do correct vipassana meditation finished with a short metta meditation - still i dont enjoy it really not the 1 minute meditation not the 2 hour meditation

Vipassana meditation is not meant to feel enjoyable. It might sometimes but thats not really the point of the practice. The practice is undertaken in order to purify the mind from defilements. Its a purification process.

maybe if i say i eat a piece of chocolate/listening to music/watching videos etc after i meditate ? but that is to much greed and will probably harm the meditation cause i will think about the "prize" at the end.

This approach defeats the purpose and will just increase delusion and craving.

  • "Vipassana meditation is not meant to feel enjoyable. It might sometimes but thats not really the point of the practice. The practice is undertaken in order to purify the mind from defilements. Its a purification process." ... i am aware of that – breath Jan 14 '18 at 1:59
  • "This approach defeats the purpose and will just increase delusion and craving." i really need to find some kind of approach cause after years of this where i take this few month breaks with no control over it - im really out of motivation and the periods when im not on a "brake" are getting shorter and shorter and breaks longer and longer – breath Jan 14 '18 at 2:01
  • and this positive incentive approach is something i didnt try yet – breath Jan 14 '18 at 2:29
  • @breath. You should try it and see if it works for you or not. Just keep in mind that one is trying to free oneself from Samsara and not diving deeper into it. – Lanka Jan 14 '18 at 2:37
  • yeah you are probably right about that part - as you can see i also originally saw the bad side in a mundane prize - im writing this as to "get the conversation going" as to some idea of what a positive incentive can be – breath Jan 14 '18 at 2:46
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"Without joy no going on", that's a basic truth in the chain of "depending-cessation" and the path.

At first place, it's not the case that everybody might find joy in formal meditation and it's actually just one meritorious action of ten kinds.

What ever one is skilled in, one enjoys. Since everybody has certain skills, use them to sacrifice into of what is a beneficial source and outwardly it's the Sangha (either in conventional sense = community of monks, or the Sangha of the Noble ones) which serves the purpose to be a field of merits one can work on.

Sacrifice your skills, your joyful possessions there. Once you will come to a point where you gave all of your old possessions, or no more satisfy your self with the skills you own, you will naturally search for better skills and livelihoods. That's the step by step/gradual path of Dhamma.

You are not required to follow those having not done their home (basic) work, and cheat themselves with using meditation as a compensation to their incomplete ways of life. It's like if you attentive investigate the nature and reason of people doing fitness, sports of going into fitness studios. If they would lead a proper way of life, would they need such at first place? Have you ever seen a good hard working men in need of fitness training? Or don't they naturally appear fit and health, not so burdened by extremes?

It's required to start to change ones attitude from being a consumer to be one who tends to give at first place.

Better to Give than to Consume

It's the nature of consumer that they will be always frustrated: because they're walking the wrong path.

Once you have put into generosity, service, virtue, having gained certain debtlessness, you naturally gain the freedom to change your livelihood (hobby) into a more refined one; and objects of your hobby, which you like to tend on to gain needed pleasure and satisfaction to keep life going on, will become more refined.

If you take drugs, as suggested by some drug dealers here and there, you stay a slave of the wheel for what ever sake, but not for liberation, follow the ways of compensation and stay bound. What for? To be a "skilled" meditator? Release is the taste a wise seeks for: not a task, a skill, or any identification.

Watch out for the inwardly and outwardly Maras and Demons of defilements in all directions!

And, btw., one who is skilled, also in Vipassana, enjoys it and it's a source of pleasure, once you are skilled. You will, if really skilled, see of how much nonsense the hobby-athletics (laity) talks.

Making Tables & Chairs

It's good to make the mind pure and at peace, but it's hard. You have to start with the externals — your bodily actions and words — and work your way in. The path that leads to purity, to being a contemplative, is a path that can wash away greed, anger, and delusion. You have to exercise restraint and self-control, which is why it's hard — but so what if it's hard?

It's like taking wood to make a table or make a chair. It's hard, but so what if it's hard? The wood has to go through that process. Before it can become a table or a chair, we have to go through the coarse and heavy stages.

It's the same with us. We have to become skillful where we aren't yet skillful, admirable where we aren't yet admirable, competent where we aren't yet competent.

And now think that this is the way of the professionals already, which means that most actually polish and work on bark in their wild growing forests of defilements. How ever skilled in prepearing chairs from bark, they will not last long and it's clear that all those around will wonder of what they are doing there.

So go for release and to abandon all skills and the skills needed, just to gain the heart wood

If not having just worked on forming chairs of bark, you will have the merits not lost if not gaining final release but good foundation you can live and walk on, where ever you are.

"Good Labour makes (you) free!?", is a sentence that one does not like.

And if harming your self, body, then think an right effort not forgetting the advices toward the Son and harm for others when living on others pain.

And as [Buddha told a Deva](SN 1.1), how to cross over:

"I crossed over the flood without pushing forward, without staying in place."[1]

"But how, dear sir, did you cross over the flood without pushing forward, without staying in place?"

"When I pushed forward, I was whirled about. When I stayed in place, I sank. And so I crossed over the flood without pushing forward, without staying in place."

[The devata:] At long last I see a brahman, totally unbound, who without pushing forward, without staying in place, has crossed over the entanglements of the world.

[Note: This is a gift of Dhamma, not meant for commercial use or other lower wordily gains by ways of exchange or trade.]

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Oh no, no eating candy after meditation :)))

What I meant by "enjoying" is not superficial type of pleasure. It is the deep satisfaction of proceeding slowly, cutting off distractions, focusing, and doing something right.

This deep satisfaction is not the same as superficial pleasure. I suspect it is even different hormones on the chemical level. One is dopamine and the other is serotonin, I guess. You can see it if you try physical exercise. It feels difficult and painful on the surface, but if you don't rush and carry it through with slow determination, it gives you a deeper kind of satisfaction. At least that's been my experience.

As I said in my answer about energy, you can get satisfaction from keeping your house in order. Same way, you can get it from not rushing as you walk and maintaining good grace and posture, -- and(!) and(!) -- you can get it from mental hygiene. When you maintain mind that is stable, calm, observing everything with analysis and acceptance.

Your motivation to practice is inside you. Your real desires and values are inside you. You just need to stop "lying" to yourself. Then your practice will come from the inner source of truth, not from the books.

  • but i was in a good mental state in the past not only in retreates doing meditation all day long but also in doing for example 2 hours a day of meditation and other wholesome stuff and also times of eating once a day not doing anything fir fun etc - yet i always fall from it and the internet addiction for example is stronger than that - the tasty foods etc – breath Jan 14 '18 at 16:02
  • that means you're not doing what you really want. Maybe that should be your meditation. Sit for an hour and ask yourself what you really really want... – Andrei Volkov Jan 14 '18 at 16:03
  • i know what i want - control over my actions - nibanna - do good avoid bad .... the works – breath Jan 14 '18 at 16:05
  • Control over your action, very good. That's what you want. So slow down and start being in control of your actions, don't rush don't compromise, be the master – Andrei Volkov Jan 14 '18 at 16:06
  • but you know there is a difference between action and will - as i was in control in the past (not an arhant of course but good control) and it all faded - and the more the years pass i take breaks from parctice and they get longer and longer and my will is lower and lower – breath Jan 14 '18 at 16:09
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If the mind is ready, the teacher will arise. Fear of suffering or wanting to be free from sufferings are one form of motivation. Wanting to benefit all sentient beings is also a form of motivation. These are good motivation. Worldly motivation includes wanting to lead a good life, to be rich, cure illnesses are possible.

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