Buddhist Philosophy

A Habit of Meditation Practice!

How can we make meditation practice a new habit? We begin by encouraging ourselves. Many of us have good intentions, but our lives are very busy. We want to practice, but we feel frustrated because we can’t seem to find the time. How do we organize our lives to make practice possible — and to make practice a regular feature of our lives?

Start Small

In this video, Tulku Migmar explains that we first need to remind ourselves of the benefit of meditation practice. He then explains how we train in a new habit. First, he suggests starting with short sessions of practice. As a beginner, scheduling shorter, 10-minute sessions may make practice realistic. Slowly, slowly we will build the habit of practice. As the habit becomes more of a pattern, then we can naturally extend the time we sit.

Remember that meditation practice offers many alternatives. Meditation can mean chanting a text, merit-making, meditation with support or without support, visualizing a deity, or other practices. Think about how to divide up the hours of your free time to allow you to do short sessions.


Tulku-la reminds us that “glimpses” or reminders of practice throughout our day can be very effective. This gradual approach of integrating sessions during our day is more practical and achievable. If we have too high expectations and think that we will immediately be able to practice a 3- hour session before we leave or when we return from a busy workday, we often are unable to achieve that goal.  And if we approach the practice unrealistically it often results in discouragement and we skip our practice totally. We miss one day, then another, and soon we lose our habit of practice. It is far better to build the habit of practice slowly and gently, with strong intention.

1 responses on "A Habit of Meditation Practice!"

  1. Thank you again Tulku Migmar! 3 prostrations.

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Suggested Reading

Dudjom Rinpoche, The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, trans. and ed. by Gyurme Dorje and Matthew Kapstein (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1991), vol. 1, pages 468–474.

Ngawang Zangpo, Guru Rinpoche: His Life and Times, Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2002.

Nyoshul Khenpo, A Marvelous Garland of Rare Gems: Biographies of Masters of Awareness in the Dzogchen Lineage, trans. Richard Barron (Junction City: Padma Publishing, 2005), pages 41–48.

Padmasambhava, Legend of the Great Stupa, Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 1973

Padmasambhava & Jamgön Kongtrul, The Light of Wisdom, trans. by Erik Pema Kunsang (Boudhanath: Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 1986-1999), pages 43-47 & Appendix 5.

Taranatha, The Life of Padmasambhava, Shang Shung Edizioni, 2005

Tulku Thondup, Masters of Meditation and Miracles, Shambhala, 1996.

Yeshe Tsogyal, Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava, translated by Kenneth Douglas and Gwendolyn Bays (Emeryville: Dharma Publishing, 1978, republished 2008).

Yeshe Tsogyal, Lotus Born: The Life Story of Padmasambhava, Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 2004.

‘The Life of Guru Padmasambhava’ in A Great Treasure of Blessings, The Tertön Sogyal Trust, 2004.