It goes without saying that it takes a lot of courage and a lot of motivation to commit to months and sometimes years of solitary meditation. – Have you ever wondered how a Buddhist Monk/Nun keeps himself / herself motivated?

To get up every morning at 4am and meditate up to 12 hours a day?

Each meditator might have his/her own methods – but interestingly – there is a prescribed set of 4 meditations that Tibetan Buddhists are taught to help keep themselves motivated.

And these seem to work for most people. At least they worked for me on my retreat.

These meditations – or contemplations to be more precise are below:

As you can see they are a combination of stick then carrot, then stick again and finally carrot – to encourage us to make meditation a high priority.

Go ahead and try them out an see if they work for you.

  • Contemplation that suffering is prevalent
  • Contemplation on the appreciation of our life
  • Contemplation that our life could end at any moment
  • Contemplation on the best use of the present moment