The importance of practice

flowerOne of the key principles of meditation is that practice makes better — if not perfect. Meditating once in a while will have some effect on you, but to get the full benefits you really have to practice most days, and preferably every day.

It’s a bit like going to the gym. If you go once in a while it will have some benefits, but mostly what you’re going to notice is how unfit you are, in which case your experience is not very likely to be pleasant. With meditation, if you practice very irregularly then you’ll notice how scattered your mind is and how distracted you are. Again, that’s not going to be very pleasant and you probably won’t want to meditate much.

On the other hand, the benefits of training (either at the gym or in meditation) are that you will build on what you have achieved before. In other words, the effects of meditation, when done regularly, are cumulative.

To support your regular practice you might want to do a number of things:

  • Read our suggestions about setting up a regular meditation practice.
  • Visit this site regularly. There is a lot of material on this site, and it’s going to expand all the time.
  • Is there some area of practice you’d like to see on this site? Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Then why not visit our contact page and tell us that you think or ask a question?
  • We have an excellent selection of books in our bookstore. These will help you to deepen your practice.
  • Wildmind offers online courses in meditation that include personal coaching. You can sign up for our newsletter, and we’ll let you know when classes are available.
  • Find a local meditation group (a Zen, Theravadin — or Triratna Buddhist Community group is most likely to teach meditation similar to what you’ve learned here). Dharmanet has a searchable list of meditation groups, although entries are not always up-to-date.
  • Go on a meditation retreat. A retreat is an opportunity to meditate more regularly in a supportive environment. The internet would be a good place to start looking for a retreat center.

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