We all have the potential to gain realizations in meditation but if we enter meditation without preparing we will not experience or progress as well as we would like. We all have seeds of virtue and potential to be developed but if we do not prepare the ground where our seeds are planted the meditation of water will not do much good. It will work, but not as well as we would have hoped.
Just imagine going to a meeting without preparing. Imagine writing a test without preparing. Imagine inviting a date over to your house if you have not prepared or cleaned your house. Please take this seriously, preparation is very important and can take a few seconds.
First, we must purify our mind to eliminate the negative habits we have accumulated in the past which obstruct the growth of our inner realizations. Second, we need to give our mind the strength to support the growth of inner realizations by accumulating positive energy.
From this we can see that there are two essential preparations for successful meditation: purifying negativities and negative habits, accumulating positive energy.
How do we do this? It is done with a few thoughts. A few quick thoughts.
Purifying negativities: Simply recognise and recall anything you may have regrets about, feel bad about, feel guilty about or know that you have done wrong. You do not have to get up and call the person you harmed or go see the person you may have betrayed. You simply have to recall whatever is creating any tension in your mind and make a small determination not to do things like that again. Make a short determination to transform your habits and in the future act in a way that you will not have to regret or feel bad about. Even if you cannot recall anything, just think that you may have done something in the past that has hurt someone and that you are now more determined to be conscientious and act with integrity and hold true to moral discipline. The more you do this the more you will purify the negative energy you have in your mind that prevents you from having a stable and successful meditation.
The more you are determined to act with moral discipline as your guide the easier your meditations will become. Its all about moral discipline. Moral discipling is like the road towards personal mastery. Without the road there is no foundation or path. If you are acting without moral discipline, you will always have thoughts and feelings that haunt you and distract your practice. If you lie, steel, betray and or hurt others you will always find it difficult to meditate and find more and more subtle and deeper levels of peace and happiness. Moral discipline is the key.
The more you are determined in your meditations to act with moral discipline the more your life will be pervaded with positive energy and confidence. The more you act with moral discipline the more successful you will be, not only in meditation but in life.
Accumulating positive energy: Love, compassion, kindness and caring for others opens your heart and removes any obstacles and tension in your mind. Before you start, quietly whisper to yourself that you wish all beings find happiness, that all beings find joy and that all beings find what they are looking for. Wish that all being will be free from suffering or any form of pain or discomfort. If you can, think of yourself being apart of their happiness and helping others be free from suffering.
I can guarantee you that if you are having trouble with your meditations it is because your actions are haunting you due to a lack of moral discipline and that you are tense because you are too concerned about yourself. Be determined to transform and act with moral discipline and start having the intention in your heart to be kind to others, to care for others and to have more and more capacity to love others by alleviating their pain just as much as you want to alleviate yours.
These two thoughts or determinations or mental actions are great preparations for you meditation and can be done within the first minute of your meditation. The more you do this, the more and more it will become natural in your day and the more it becomes natural to you the more successful you will be in life and in meditation.
Think of the mind as an infinite field of potential. What you sow in your mind you will reap in your thoughts and feelings and ultimately in your character. In a world full of distractions and time limitations, take a moment to prepare your mind as if preparing the land for a good harvest.
If your body feels agitated or uncomfortable, sit for a moment and find the agitation. Find the uncomfortable part of your body and visualise that you are breathing air into that area, which soaks up the pain and then breath it out. If you find that after a few moments or a minute or two that this does not release some of the stress then please find another position to sit in. As discussed, the body has a direct connection with the mind and will affect the quality of your meditation. What is most important is that you are comfortable.
Try as deeply and sincerely as you can to let go of any negative emotions you may be carrying with you when you sit down to meditate. Tell yourself that the most important thing you are going to do right now is to meditate and that all other thoughts and emotions can be dealt with at another time. For that matter, any negative emotion is not worth holding onto anyway. It only serves to hurt you and make you feel uncomfortable. Negative emotions have one function, to hurt you. They serve no purpose other than to cause you pain. There are many positive emotions that cause you to act and be powerful. There is no need to hold on to anger or desire with the illusion that they will help you solve anything unless you want to hurt yourself. These emotions do not help you solve your problems in better, wiser ways so let go of them for the meditation session (and ultimately, let go of them in your life). There are outer and inner problems. The outer problem is what has happened that you are upset about. The inner problem is the fact that you are upset. Outer problems do not have to initiate inner problems. We are so accustomed and programmed to automatically link an outer problem with a negative hurtful emotion that we have come to think of these two problems as one and the same thing. They are not!