Bodhidharma tore off his eyelids. Jack Kornfield’s teacher told him to meditate at the edge of a well. The Buddhist tradition is full of stories of practitioners who have found unique techniques for stimulating and maintaining their practice. In fact, anyone who has sat on a zafu more than once probably came up with a trick or two for staying there. To tap into this resource, we’ve asked seasoned Buddhist teachers and longtime practitioners to share their favorite meditating tools. Check out what they have to offer.

14-02Toolbox3_timerHR1 Just get in the posture

“Try making a commitment to getting into the meditation posture at least once a day. You don’t have to sit for any particular length of time, just get on the cushion. A lot of times, the hardest part is getting there. Once you’re sitting down, you think, ‘I might as well sit for a few minutes,’ and more often than not, you’re getting full sessions in.” —Insight Meditation Society co-founder Joseph Goldstein

2 Reflect on the big picture

“The breath is not only a useful object of concentration but also a sign of life. A little reflection can bring a sense of gratitude and delight to each breath, which is further enhanced by sensing what the Indian mystic and poet Kabir called ‘the breath within the breath,’ the mystery that is riding along on each inhale and exhale.” —Author and meditation teacher Wes Nisker

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