Setting up a Positive Motivation before Meditation

Monk show positive motivation towards a dog
"Watch your thoughts, they become words
 Watch your words, they become actions
 Watch your actions, they become habits
 Watch your habits, they become character
 Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny"

Motivation Motivation Motivation

In Buddhism, the value of motivation can not be underestimated. Motivation is considered to be the single most important factor before doing any kind of activity.

From motivation arises the intention and if motivation is not pure, then intention is also tainted. Two people offering money to a poor might look like doing such a noble work. However, for one the offering is to actually help without expecting anything in return and for the other person it can be simply boasting his image of being someone awesome to have a great social status. HH Dalai Lama, always mentions, even he himself checks his motivation all the time before sitting in his throne so that there is no pride on having the title of His Holiness. Another importance of having a strong motivation before each session is to slowly put positive imprints in our mental moments so that it slowly becomes our action.

So let us close our eyes and settle our mind first. Take a minute or so to make the mind as light as a feather and once our mind is settled let us start the session generating a positive motivation and reflecting on why you are meditating.

Why are you Meditating?

Lot of people wants to meditate because it might seem cool and gives a holistic view of that person. One might meditate to calm the external chaos and bring more peace in their life. One might meditate to know the nature of their own mind and one might meditate to develop an omniscient mind of a Buddha. Whatever the reason of your mediation, start from where you are and then extend yourself from there.

Our Existence

How did we get here? We certainly cannot have certainly born out of nowhere. A mother knows very well, the joy of carrying a baby in her womb for 9 months. In these 9 months, she takes the deepest care for the well being of the baby. Every move she makes, every breath she takes is for the unborn baby. When we born, we are nothing but a flesh of meat, totally helpless. Without the parent’s care, we wouldn’t even survive a day. But slowly as we grow older, the memory of our caring parents slowly gets faded and we claim to be self sufficient. We pride ourselves to be ‘self-made’. But without them there is no we. They live among us, within us and in us.

Reflect deeply on this thought. Bring a memory from your childhood where your parents were giving you all the affection. Now think of an incidence where you have behaved rudely towards them. As a baby, we have caused so much trouble to them, gave so many sleepless nights. So isn’t it naive that we claim our spot of ‘self-dependent’? If possible, generate a very strong love and affection towards your parents and show a full gratitude of their compassion.

Our Surroundings

As our parents contributed to our existence, so is every sentient being around us. We think only our friends and families contribute to our happiness. But, the food that we eat, the cloths that we wear, the house that we sleep in, the job that we do; it is all because of the kindness of others whom we consider neutral (the people whom we do not know). One thing for sure, our well being is totally dependent on others. Some might think, the farmer who is cultivating the rice is not thinking of our well being, they are simply doing it for their own livelihood. But think deeply, no matter how much money we have, we cannot even manage a bowl of rice. We are even dependent on the bees and butterflies, beings and non-beings who helps with the pollination and millions of micro organism that helps us through the life cycle.

So from this simple analogy we can see that our food depend on others, our job depend on others, our entertainment depend on others and our happiness depend on others; from the moment we wake up, we are in the mercy of others. So it will be little selfish only to develop a positive attitude for our own well being, instead we can extend this attitude for the benefit of everyone around us.


Now being in the  meditational equipose visualise that you are sitting in the centre with your both parents on each side. Now extend your visualisation, imagine all your friends and families sitting behind you followed by all the neutral people whom you do not know, sitting in front of you. Also imagine, all the other sentient being from animals to insects to be in the surroundings of your meditational sphere and generate a strong motivation for the benefit of all beings.

Include all and leave no one in your motivation !!!




A Buddhist Practitioner and a Photographer