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My thoughts on building a meditation habit

Over the past 5 years, I have meditated hundreds of hours. Initially, I was doing it very infrequently. Over time, I slowly learned how to build up a daily habit. Below you'll find some information about learning how to meditate which I found very helpful. Based on reviews online and recommendations from friends, my main sources of information are:

Disclaimer: there are hundreds of schools of thought around Buddhism and Mindfulness. Use whatever works for you.

Waking up mobile app

Start with this. The app has both (1) guided meditations (2) lessons. This app contains the highest quality spoken material I found so far, giving you an easy but thorough understanding of the usefulness of meditation.

The mind illuminated book

An incredibly thorough, detailed and scientific book with enough practice material to keep you working for years. This book has an emphasis on non-guided meditation: you will mostly be sitting alone to become more aware. This is the practice which I follow now, as in the "real world" you won't have any narrator to help you along either. I won't summarize it here but it mentions many techniques to grow awareness such as following, connecting, labeling, body scanning, investigation of mental objects, etc.

A note on posture

There is no single optimal way to sit, figure out what works for you. Don't make yourself too comfortable as you'll fall asleep, so I advise not using a chair or bed to sit on. I sit as Burmese or Seiza.

Source:The way of meditation

Some notes on building a meditation habit

Interestingly, most meditation courses are not just talking about meditation, but they consist of large sections on how to build habits. Humans suck at discipline and have a limited attention span, so better learn how to let your unconscious brain do most of the work. Therefore, it helps if you:

Finally, preparation is half the work and ensures that you don't have to spend any actual willpower on meditating. Keeping it up is easier if you take for example 5 minutes per week to actually write down and plan the specific steps you will take. E.g.:
- “I will meditate for [DURATION] at [TIME] in [LOCATION].”
- "After [CURRENT HABIT], I will mediate."
- "To prevent [EXTERNAL DISTRACTION], I will try [STRATEGY]."
- "I will meditate [X] days to evaluate if I like it."

Besides learning from these books, I've also followed the excellent but tough 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat . I can wholeheartedly recommend it. I hope this helps! :)