Monday, September 24, 2012

The Beginning and the End of Meditation

How one starts and ends each sitting are almost as important as the meditation itself.

From Leigh Brasington, instructions we practiced during the retreat:

5 things to do at the beginning:

  1. Gratitude to teachers, life circumstances . . . 
  2. Motivation - Why am I doing this?
  3. Determination - to use time wisely
  4. Metta, first for one self
  5. Breathing - in and out

5 things to do at the end:
  1. Recapitulation - review what contributed to quality of sitting
  2. Impermanence - reflect 
  3. Insight - what did I learn that is personal and also impersonal
  4. Dedication of merit
  5. Remember to be mindful and continue momentum throughout the day
I have developed my own, simplified version. Starting always with gratitude for the practice, then determining to set aside ordinary habits of mind, then metta, and then breathing. Then ending with reviewing highlights of the sitting, and determining to stay mindful. 

How about you?

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