Step One

Motivation

“May I Be Healthy and Happy”

It is not easy to sustain a regular practice of meditation. Therefore we need a strong motivation. For some, this personal goal of health and happiness may seem selfish and not worthy of a compassionate contemplative practice. Whether we admit it or not however, our own health and happiness is an unavoidable goal. Achieving it, as we will see, entails a profound process of transformation that is entailed in the six steps that follow. So our prayer for health and happiness is a practical and honest place for most of us to begin. Looking after our own health and happiness can provide the motivational starting place we need to sustain a regular practice of contemplation and meditation for the benefit of ourselves and others.

Even the neurological and medical sciences are proving the value of a regular practice. Here is A quote to illustrate this point.

“Meditation has been shown to reduce both the experience of chronic pain
and its inhibition of everyday activities. Pain-related drug utilization was decreased
and activity levels and self-esteem increased.”

— Jon Kabat-Zinn

For additional information on Step One, please refer to the book InterSpiritual Meditation. The following verses, poems, and quotes are provided to stimulate your journaling.

“The Lawof Reversed Effect

We hate misery, but love its causes.
We love happiness, but refuse to cultivate its causes.
— Alan Watts

“Four Worldly Dharmas

Gain and Loss: When we seek external things to make us happy, we are often frustrated in the attempt, angry when they don’t make us happy, or saddened by their loss; therefore, we suffer.

Pleasure and Pain: When we seek happiness through sensual pleasure, our longing and attachment to the pleasure, or sadness from the pain of unfulfilled expectations inevitably leads to pain and suffering.

Praise and Scorn: When we seek happiness through the praise of others, this praise eventually leads to scorn and jealousy.

Fame and Ill Repute: When we seek happiness through fame, the examination of our most minute flaws becomes the occupation of others, and we are eventually held in ill repute because of them.

Judaism& Christianity

Happy is the one who finds wisdom
And gains understanding.
Proverbs 3:13

Hinduism

Instill in us a wholesome, happy mind
With goodwill and understanding.
Then shall we ever delight in your friendship
Like cows who gladly rejoice in meadows green.
This is my joyful message.
Rig Veda X, 25:1

Buddhism

May I be well.
May I be happy.
May I enjoy good health.
May I be peaceful.
May all my good purposes by fulfilled.

May all sentient beings everywhere,
In all realms, in all world systems, be well.
May they be happy.
May they enjoy good health.
May they be peaceful.
May all their good purposes be fulfilled.
Visuddhimagga 9: 9-39

Taoism

Health is the greatest possession.
Contentment is the greatest treasure.
Confidence is the greatest friend.
Non-being is the greatest joy
.— Unknown

MOTIVATION VERSES (Ed Bastian)

In all the world
I cannot find
The source of peace
Outside my mind.

Neither play, nor drink,
Nor sex, nor food,
Can cause a constant
Blissful mood.

The things I see,
Touch, smell, taste, hear,
Cause both joy and pain,
Hope and fear.

Meditation relieves
my mind of stress,
Leading me to health
And happiness.