The Ten Homework Assignments for Meditation Practitioners

To improve our meditation experience, we must always observe how well we meditate every day. We should figure out the cause of both good and bad meditation experiences each day. For example, some days you might be able to still your mind very well because you had a good rest the night before, or you may feel refreshed due to a short exercise session. On other days, you may feel tense and have poor meditation experiences because of stress from work.

We should observe how daily activities affect meditation experiences. Thus, we can learn and correct the causes of poor meditation and resolve to get involved in activities that have a history of resulting in good meditation.

Here are some guidelines that can be followed in conjunction with your daily activities, from the time your wake up until the time you go to sleep. When followed, these guidelines generate a refreshing and relaxing feeling all day long. Additionally, when it is time for us to meditate, our minds will be able to readily come to a standstill.

Ten Homework Assignments:
1. Make the effort to see the virtues in yourself and others. Congratulate others on their virtues and give them the opportunity to congratulate you on yours;

2. Keep daily notes of your meditation experiences in a diary;

3. Before going to sleep, recollect the good deeds you have done throughout the day;

4. Center your mind before falling asleep.

5. Upon waking, immediately reconnect your attention with the center of the body;

6. Before getting up, take a minute to recollect that you are lucky to be alive and remind yourself that you will surely die one day in the unknown future. Spread love and kindness to all living beings throughout the world;

7. Throughout the day, create a feeling that you are united with the mental meditation object at the centre of the body;

8. Take one minute of every hour to still your mind and think of the mental object at the center of the body;

9. Recollect the mental object at the center of the body while conducting other activities throughout the day; whether that be brushing your teeth, standing around, showering, driving, exercising, etc.;

10. Smile and speak in an endearing way;

At all times, you can try to imagine the meditation object at your center. Keep at it without any expectations; it does not matter if the object appears clearly in your mind or not. The purpose is to get your mind accustomed to remaining at the center. Thus, when you close your eyes to meditate, you will be able to position your mind very easily. If you can do this all day, your mind will become still - easily, softly, and gently.