Mindfulness: Preparation Before the Practice

A few days ago, I shared a list of the six most common problems we face when setting up a practice and how we can overcome them. This post is a wonderful addition and is about what we can do before the start of the practice to increase the odds to keep on doing it.

The following list is again taken from The Mind Illuminated, written by John Yates. To ponder these items helps to approach mindfulness with more realism. We don’t have false expectations what a practice should look like and what should happen during a practice. Maybe you can also print this out and put it next to the other list. After a while, only looking at those lists will help you to remember the elements. Especially in the beginning we need to remind ourselves of those points to establish a habit. And now, without further ado, the list:


  1. Motivation
    • Review your purpose for practicing mindfulness. Be honest! Don’t judge your reasons.
  2. Goals
    • Decide what you hope to work on in this session. Set a reasonable goal. Keep it simple. Keep it small.
  3. Expectations
    • Bring to mind the dangers of expectations and be gentle with yourself. Find enjoyment in every mindfulness practice. No matter what happens. There is no such thing as a “bad” mindfulness practice.
  4. Diligence
    • Revolve to practice diligently for the entire session. Recall that the best way to overcome resistance is by simply continuing to practice, without judging yourself.
  5. Distractions
    • Perform a quick inventory of things in your life that might come up to distract you. Acknowledge these thoughts and emotions and resolve to set them aside if they do arise. You may not be wholly successful, but at least you planted a seed: the intention not to let them dominate your mind.
  6. Posture
    • Review your posture and get comfortable. Attend to your supports, your head, neck, back and shoulders. Relax and enjoy yourself.


I hope this is another help for you to establish one of the most beneficial practices there are. If you have questions about the topic, I am always eager to have a nice chat or a call. Just write me (under Contact) =).



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