Most Important Thing for Your Meditation Practice: Your Vision
I love the writings of Jon Kabat-Zinn. This guy knows mindfulness. He knows meditation. His book Wherever You Go, There You Are inspires me to unknown depths. Just reading the book jacket gets me feeling better.
I will quote Kabat-Zinn in numerous posts, but at the heart of a meditation practice, he says, is a thing called vision.
"It is virtually impossible, and senseless anyway, to commit yourself to a daily meditation practice without some view of why you are doing it, what its value might be in your life, a sense of why this might be your way and not just another tilting at imaginary windmills.
Your vision. What is your vision? We are not speaking of visualization here. Your vision, he says, needs to be deep and tenacious, and it must lie close to the core of who you believe yourself to be, what you value and where you see yourself going.
To clarify, meditation offers no "product" or end result. It is its end result. Kabat-Zinn says this vision must be strong enough to keep this practice going year upon year, this discipline of staying mindful in the face of both challenges and triumphs, this discipline of mindfulness that points to where holding is and where letting go and growing need to happen.
He says your vision, your spiritual vision, needs to be renewed every day. The habit of meditation simply won't do the trick. The practice is the daily embodiment of your vision, he says. It is important to keep in mind what is most important to you so that this vision is not betrayed in the heat or reactivity of a moment.
So ask yourself why you meditate. Maybe write some of these answers down. Maybe the first ones aren't the ones to believe. Make a list of important things to you. What is your vision? Where are you going? How am I in all areas of my life? Who do I want to be in these areas?
Intention keeps your meditation strong and true and vital. It's your vision for yourself that matters.