Some days you will want to sit in meditation; other days you may resist. How do you get yourself in the mood to meditate? How do you overcome the natural resistances that come with fluctuating levels of energy and interest? For most of us, concentration and insight develops more slowly than we would like, and it may feel as though we are just slogging along day after day.

For most people, a morning meditation routine is the easiest to maintain. Once you get into the habit of sitting in the morning, it will become part of your normal routine: waking up, showering, sitting, breakfast…before the rest of daily activities begin. Meditation becomes a good habit, a standard part of our daily routine, like brushing your teeth.

But if you prefer to meditate later in the day, you may need to develop ways of transitioning from the engagement of daily activities to the sitting meditation. After a hectic or emotional activity, you may need a transitional activity, to help to gradually slow down and gently let go of work and relationship dynamics.

  • You might slow down with a hot cup of tea as you gently pace back and forth in your hallway, systematically letting go of thoughts about work.
  • You might recite a brief verse from the Buddha’s teachings, or an inspiring chant or poem when you sit down to meditate.
  • A conducive and regular location in your home for meditation is a great support—a nicely arranged corner of the room with a few inspirational reminders.
  • A brief routine of stretching the body may make the transition from busyness to stillness smoother and help balance physical energies—even just five or ten minutes of gentle stretching can shift the mood and help settle the mind for meditation.
  • Reflecting on the potential of this practice and your personal aim can bring inspiration to face the moment, even when you just don’t feel like sitting quietly today.

There is a great power to commitment—a power that will gradually guide you to the deepest experience of inner peace and a full experience of living, while bringing greater peace and wisdom into our world.