Six Points Preparation

After a few days of practicing meditation, you may find that your initial interest and motivation fade. While it is normal for the novelty effect to wear off, this also indicates that it is time to strengthen your motivation and review some aspects of your practice. The following six points preparation has been shared by Culadasa in his book The Mind Illuminated. Beginning your meditation with this 6-step preparation will make your meditation practice clearer and more effective.

This preparation is a form of meditation, so you can treat it as part of your session. Initially, the six points preparation might take you 5 minutes or more. This is normal, and the increased quality of your sits will reveal the usefulness of this preparation. Once you get used of it, the six points preparation will take you a minute or two, perhaps even less.

  1. Motivation. Why do you meditate? Review your reasons for meditating. Be honest, without judging your reasons. For example, you may want to reduce stress, get angry less often, increase your focus during daily tasks or learn more about the inner workings of your mind.
  2. Goals. Remember past obstacles or difficulties, and bring to mind the appropriate antidotes. Set a simple goal for your practice. For example, you can remember to appreciate the moment of clarity occurring when you notice the mind has wandered away.
  3. Expectations. Resolve to find happiness in every meditation session, regardless of what happens. Be gentle with yourself.
  4. Diligence. Resolve to practice seriously for the entire session. The best way to deal with difficulties is by practicing.
  5. Distractions. Quickly bring to mind a list of things that might come up to distract you. Resolve to set them aside if they do arise during meditation.
  6. Posture. Review your posture, make sure that your back is straight and get comfortable.