Updated: Feb 19, 2021
Some people are very lucky and disciplined and they find it easy to meditate daily, but I believe the majority of us find it a bit challenging. I have been practising meditation for the last 15 years every morning and sometimes also in the evening but it was not that easy at the beginning. It took 3 years to build a routine after participating in many retreats and group meditations.
Looking back on my experience in meditation, I believe there are 4 virtues we have to develop to become a good meditator:
We cannot expect to master our mind overnight after years of letting our mind freely jump from one thought to another without any restraint. This is why we need to be patient, understand that it might take time and with the determination of keep on trying and practising until we succeed.
Together with Patience goes persistence; both need each another as we need to be patient and persistent if we want to start having more control over our thoughts. Do not compare with others, never give up, just continue with patience and persistence; like everything in life, it needs practice.
We must have faith that meditation will benefit us, we have all heard so much about the benefits of meditation both through people's testimonials and scientific studies. We also know that meditation is open to anybody and we can all learn to meditate, so it is important to develop a sense of faith that “this practice is going to help me”. This understanding will give us the encouragement to patiently and persistently continue with the daily practice, with the firm believe that is going to help us greatly. Once we start seeing the benefits of meditation, faith will feed itself and meditation will become a necessity and joy rather that a chore but we have to go through the blind process of patience, persistence and faith before we can see results.
Equanimity is more about not judging our emotions and sensations. When we meditate we are mere observers; we go through different emotional waves, sometimes pleasant and other times not so pleasant; we need to understand the impermanence and changing phenomena of everything and stay equanimous to them all. Understanding and practising this virtue allow us to advance in our meditation and help us live a more mindful life.