The following are the Buddhist meditation practices that we cultivate at IMSB.
We cultivate virtue through careful attention to our actions and training on the five precepts. The five precepts incline the mind toward wholesome states that support concentration and insight. They manifest as right action and help ensure kind and wholesome community relations. The five precepts are:
- To abstain from killing and harming living beings
- To abstain from stealing or taking what is not freely offered
- To abstain from sexual misconduct
- To refrain from lying
- To refrain from taking intoxicants
Create a meditation space in your home where you can sit without interruption. It can be a room, a corner of a room, or even a special chair. Sitting in the same place can impart a sense of specialness to that location, which may help to settle and focus the mind when you enter that space. Reduce potential interruptions: turn off your cell phone, put your computer to sleep, ask your family for quiet time.
Attend a weekly meditation group to support your practice and deepen your understanding of the link between practice and insight. Get involved, participate, meet other members, and volunteer. Involvement in dhamma groups supports sustained commitment, and will help you remember to integrate mindfulness into the activities of daily life.
To further strengthen your mindfulness, pick one activity that you regularly do each day and resolve to be mindful when you perform that activity. It can be something simple, such as washing dishes, showering, opening doors, driving, or answering the phone.
If you struggle with not feeling motivated to sit, reflect on why you wanted to learn to meditate, recall the benefits of meditation, and contemplate what inspires you to practice. Do this as your meditation time approaches. Don’t wait until it’s time to meditate—get inspired beforehand so you can practice when it’s time.