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Practice Circle on Motivation – Interspiritual Meditation Course
Practice Circle on Motivation2018-05-15T11:36:47-08:00

Practice Circle on Motivation


May I be well.
May I be happy.
May I enjoy good health.
May I be peaceful.
May all my good purposes by fulfilled.
May all sentient beings everywhere,
In all realms, in all world systems, be well.
May they be happy.
May they enjoy good health.
May they be peaceful.
May all their good purposes be fulfilled.
— Visuddhimagga 9: 9-39

In this step of ISM, we are focussing on our motivation for meditating.  Why?  Because without a strong and consistent motivation, it is doubtful that we can sustain and experience the benefits of a regular meditation practice.  In the following forum, please share your personal motivations for meditating.  Whether you are a beginner or experienced meditator, motivation will always be important.  As we go through life’s challenges, the nuance of our motivation will shift.  As it does, it is helpful to express it in our personal journal.

Please write about your understanding of true health and happiness in your journal.  Write about what changes in life you will initiate to bing about true happiness and health.

Please share a summary of your present contemplative insights on the step in the practice circle below. Condense your journal writing (into 2,000 characters or less) and post it in a comment box below. Your personal experiences with this step of the meditation will be gifts to everyone.  Please don’t be shy about sharing.



  1. Ed Bastian April 14, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Please share your motivation for meditation in the comment boxes below.

  2. awolfe April 20, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    While I am not an accomplished mediator, my motivation is strong, for there are so many gifts that are promised. Meditation can help me to transform into all that I can be through wisdom, insights and clarity. It can help me to experience being in the moment, connected with the divine and with all of creation. It helps one to increase love and compassion, to find gratitude and a positive attitude, and to be whole. It creates new neural structures, for our brain is shaped by what we focus on, and so traits of positivity and happiness can become stronger. Meditation is a key to becoming more compassionate as it deepens our awareness of ourselves and others, and it stills our wandering minds. As meditation brings us into wholeness it leads to compassion, clarity, wisdom and equanimity, and we no longer see ourselves as the center of the universe. We let go of judgments and old habits that trip us up. As we develop compassion we become happy and open and no longer live in fear, jealousy or doubt. We become whole and develop acceptance of ourselves and our world. Meditation helps develop the qualities I want to accumulate such as compassion, gratitude, presence, positivity, wisdom, connection, and non-judgmentalism, and to gain inner peace and understanding. This is the transformation I seek, and while I have not yet experienced all of these fruits of meditation, great teachers say they will come, and so I want to persevere.

  3. abundancetrek April 25, 2018 at 10:54 am

    Anna, that is a beautiful motivational statement. I am adding it to my First Step Resource Document. Thanks.

  4. Anne April 28, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    My motivation to meditate is my desire for wholeness. After a decade of illness and disability I’m well and ready for life. Reflecting on that time and the things I wanted as part of the future. In all of that time it occurred to me that I had little capacity for self care. The foundation of self care is wholeness. Wholeness will bring greater compassion, and love for me and compassion and understanding to people I encounter personally or through their narratives presented in life. I’ve opened myself to really hear about other’s experiences despite feeling confronted or saddened or whatever might be present. Meditation is access to the ability to relate and to be present with love and compassion and to act with love, compassion to create connection.

  5. Michael April 29, 2018 at 4:41 am

    My motivation is to become more aware of how my mind/consciousness traps me into repeating certain unproductive mental patterns, to understand where these originate, and to understand my relationship to the world, and to all the contradictions and ego-related traps that get in the way of people communicating. Other than that my motivation is self-centred (!), to be more healthy, to replace unproductive mental and physical patterns with insights from across traditions.

  6. cathyjcanton@hotmail.com April 29, 2018 at 5:06 am

    My motivation is to increase peace in my life and connect with a higher power. I have struggled with practicing meditation for years and I want to incorporate it solidly in my life. I have been working on being a more compassionate person and a regular meditation practice will help me to grow in this area.

  7. Annamarie April 29, 2018 at 7:02 am

    I have been meditating for many years and continue to be motivated to practice daily. I have increased my time each morning and continue to have a late afternoon time and since I am often tired at this time I read and journal first. Meditation helps me contain the day in a contemplative way with awareness and a grateful mindfulness. I’m a writer. Poetry is powerfully part of this life. The Sacred within helps me to be aware of illusions and egotistical judgemental increasing my joy of gratefulness so I take nothing for granted. I took this course to keep my prace fresh and new.

  8. crisgarli@icloud.com April 29, 2018 at 8:26 am

    I have been meditating each morning for many years because I believe that meditation helps to focus the mind to become more aware of our true nature. It assists me to become a more compassionate, understanding, patient and balanced person in my daily life. I am grateful for life’s blessings and experience joy and strength as I grow in transforming my self-centeredness into service for others.

  9. sabrinag12 April 29, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    My motivation to meditate is to accept imperfections and an illusory reality. I would like to let go of my strong drive for identity, which I believe is a hindrance to my path. I would like to become more compassionate towards others so that they may find their own happiness. I am also seeking to let go of my grasping of intellect, which I have done all my life. My intellectual work has ruled over everything else in my life, and I don’t think that’s healthy. These reasons are part of why I am motivated to meditate.

  10. hudecl@greenhill.org April 29, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    My entire life, I’ve been aware of the power of meditation and prayer, and its ability to create connections. My motivation to meditate is to explore connections through love and empathy, and to find spiritual renewal in a life of constant emptying. While I find intellectual fulfillment in my teaching career and see amazing love in my family and friends, I am fully aware that I am pouring out myself into my daily experiences, and am not taking time to renew myself. Especially at this time of the year, when demands are at their highest and are pulling me in all directions, I am in greatest need to re-establish those connections.

  11. susiej@jetbroadband.com April 29, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    What s/he said! (crisrgarli@icloud.com above, don’t know the gender of this person). I, too, believe that meditation helps me to realize–and act/speak//move/think from–my true nature. So I guess I would say the main motivation over my years of meditation is to realize my authentic self because I believe that is the key to happiness. Putting these thoughts into words is very elusive due to the challenge of writing well as much as the complicated nature of the topic. But the poetry of this excerpt from a sutra really resonates with me, and probably comes the closest to how I motivate myself to meditate, and how I feel the benefits of meditation that I see unfolding more and more in my own life the longer I continue down this path. From the Radiance Sutra: “Enter the bowl of vastness that is the heart. Give yourself to it with total abandon. Quiet ecstasy is there, and a steady, regal sense of resting in a perfect spot. Once you know the way, the nature of attention will call you to return again, and again, and be saturated with knowing “I belong here, I am at home here.”

  12. nancy.bray@yahoo.com April 29, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    I am grateful for this wise lesson on motivation. I am proof that it is necessary and that it needs to be visible and visited regularly. I have hope that my motivations for meditating will help me in shifting from embracing “the idea of meditating” to embracing a real and true and consistent daily meditative practice. My motivations are many but the most practical ones may be the true catalyst, at least initially: an elevated awareness, connectedness and care for my body and a dissolving of an old habit of fear and anxiety. I forgot that we either expand or contract, we don’t really stay in the same place. I have gotten complacent in working the tools I have used for many years to connect with Spirit and to grow. I generally experience a joy and ease in my life that is consistent but I see now that this is straining. I see that I have reverted to managing life through my limited, human means and have forgotten to actively seek the wisdom and power of the Great Spirit and to nurture myself this way. If I am out of touch and not connected, the effects of this will always surface. On the bigger picture, I want to give myself the pure joy and ecstasy of communion/love with God and I want to always be shown Spirit’s desire for me and to allow Divine Spirit to work through me moment by moment. This says so much of it for me: “May Thy love shine forever on the sanctuary of my devotion and may I awaken thy love in all hearts” Paramahansa Yogananda. I miss this devotion and hunger for it.

  13. mscott April 30, 2018 at 5:44 am

    At the present time, my motivation for meditating centers on a desire for equanimity and courage to face everyday life. I aspire to face difficult situations and stressors calmly, knowing that they are transient and will pass. I am convinced that focusing on my breath when I meditate can train my mind and heart to ride out cravings and impulses before I give into them and they control my emotions and behaviors.
    Likewise I trust that meditation will strengthen my resistance to impatience and judgemental attitudes toward others, thus allowing me to truly be present to the beings that cross paths with me today.
    I wish for God’s joy and light to shine through me. I hope meditation will enable that to happen more and more often as my practice deepens.

  14. pahutton April 30, 2018 at 8:31 am

    I have been practicing some type of meditation, off and on, for many years. One of my intentions for this class is to develop a consistent, daily practice that does not depend on my emotions or circumstances. Meditation helps me to focus and let go of the clutter of thoughts, ideas and things that can often overwhelm. I seek to function from the core of Knowing, which dwells within me, rather than functioning by reacting. Meditation helps me to live in the present through practicing mindfulness in all of daily life. I am reminded of the Serenity Prayer: “Grant me the serenity…”. Meditation provides a container for that state of mind. I seek to allow the God-spark inside of me to connect with the Oneness of the Universe, so that I can find my place in the Web of Life. Wisdom is waiting in the silence. In meditation, I seek to find it.

  15. Revmark April 30, 2018 at 11:05 am

    My motivation for meditating is to allow me the time I need/deserve to spend communing with the Divine as I strive to develop my spiritual disciplines and grow in my faith. As a full time pastor I was finding that I becoming so wrapped up in the requirements of my position (preaching, teaching, writing, counseling, and administration) that I was finding myself feeling spiritually empty. I was finding more and more difficult to appreciate the many wonders and blessings in my life. I was feeling increasingly anxious and stressed. I was focused on what was missing and not what was present. I felt less and less grateful. I needed something to help me refocus my energies on what was really important – my spiritual wellbeing. In just the first week I have noticed an appreciable change in my spirit. By taking the time for myself I find I have more to offer others. I am looking forward to the next week and focusing on living a life of gratitude for the many wonders and blessings that constantly fill my life.

  16. crisgarli@icloud.com April 30, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Hi Susie – This is Cris and I’m a female. (-: Hope you’re enjoying this class as much as I am. Cheers!

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