Meditation is Like Skydiving Good Preparation is the Key

Meditation is Like Skydiving — Good Preparation is the Key

Skydiving is a good analogy for meditation because both require proper preparation.  Fact is, preparation is essential for many spiritual practices.  Come and see how to apply this principle to your practice.

An analogy is a tool to help you remember important things.  We don’t usually think of spiritual practices and skydiving as being similar.  However, this analogy shows the parallels of preparation that are important in both.   That is what makes this analogy an excellent memory device.

The preparation for skydiving is of utmost importance.  Your life depends on good preparation, and we can say the same for many spiritual practices.

“Skydiving isn’t really about jumping out of airplanes.  Flying through the sky is great fun, but it is what the act represents that is important.  It is about Freedom.” ― Brian Germain, Transcending Fear: The Doorway to Freedom

How is Meditation is Like Skydiving?

You wouldn’t jump out of an airplane and then try to put on your parachute.  Trying to put your parachute after you have jumped out of an aircraft would be exciting, but the outcome may not be desirable.  Also, you’d want to know how to put on and use your parachute before jumping.  Good preparation is the key to a safe and enjoyable experience, and this is how meditation is like skydiving.

So, the best way to get the best experience with any meditation technique is to learn how to prepare to do it correctly.

Most people who have difficulties sitting or moving meditation can be traced back to bad habits because they didn’t follow the proper preparation.  Don’t jump out of the airplane, and try to learn as you fall.

Preparation is essential to the success of many spiritual practices.  If this sounds like you, don’t despair.  We have a meditation troubleshooting guide as well.

For instance, it is crucial to understand the theory behind the process.  Learn what to expect and standard troubleshooting techniques.  You need to learn about the equipment and how to use it (when to put it on).  Most times, this means learning about how the mind works.

Preparing for spiritual practice will involve exercises to help you anticipate the experience.  Skydiving instruction teaches you what it feels like to jump out of an airplane.  It helps you prepare for the jolt of the parachute opening.  And, most importantly and how to land and roll.  Some jumping schools have antigravity updraft fans.  Here you can learn to control your body in a situation similar to free-falling.

Managing your expectations is a crucial part of meditation.  You prepare for how to deal with issues but at the same time practice without a plan.  For example, it’s essential to know what to do when you can’t keep thoughts or distractions from interrupting.  On the other hand, it’s just as important not to have unrealistic expectations that every meditation session will be without flaws.

“The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace.  With each step, the wind blows.  With each step, a flower blooms.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh

So, this is how is meditation is like skydiving.  It’s all about preparation.  Good preparation and training result in the best possible outcomes.  The skydiving analogy reminds us why we need to prepare before engaging in the practice.  It’s especially true for learning any new methods.  You have no previous experience to gauge what will happen when you are in the process of learning.  So, executing the technique with knowledge of what to do if you run into issues.

Good Preparation is the Key

All effective spiritual technologies have preparatory, learning, and post-learning checkpoints.  These checkpoints are one way to tell if the learning curriculum is sound.  For example, we teach Japa Meditation; this is the generic name for the meditation technique known as Transcendental Meditation (TM).  There are checkpoints throughout the learning process to ensure proper learning.  To ensure the best learning outcomes, one should always follow all preparatory steps.  So it is just like skydiving.

Both TM and Japa meditation are the same processes.  They both have the same preparation, learning format, and post-learning checkpoints to achieve the best learning outcomesThis process is a quality check.  It ensures the best learning outcomes.

“A well-trained skydiving instructor can’t save one from a broken parachute.” ― Bryan Way

The key to the best outcomes with this process is preparation.  You learn how to do it and the best times to do it.  There are routine checks during and after the learning process to ensure the best learning outcomes.  They reinforce the fundamentals that return the best results.  And this is how meditation is like skydiving.

Building Preparation into Your Practice

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” — Alexander Graham Bell

Make A Goal, Put In Writing

Putting your goals in writing will increase the probability of meeting them.  How much will increase them, about 80%!  Only 5% of people who don’t put their weight goals in writing meet their goals.  More than 25% of people abandon Newyears Resolutions in only one week.  (1)


The best way to make preparation a part of your everyday routine is to start with a checklist.  It doesn’t have to be elaborate.  You start with a sticky note or put a list on your smartphone.

For example, you know you do some breathing exercises and light yoga before you meditate, but you always run out of time to get everything done.  So, set a reminder on your smartphone so you have time.  Place a sticky note on the corner of your monitor.  The old saying that it takes 28 days to make a habit isn’t correct.  Sometimes it takes a lot longer because we are creatures of habit and patterns which are hard to break.  A checklist will help remind you.

Partner for Accountability

When you share your goals with a partner, you also increase the likelihood of sticking with your goals, which is extremely important with preparation activities.  Good preparation is the key to helping you get the most out of your practice.

Skydiving is a Good Analogy for Other Practices

Skydiving is a Good Analogy for Other Practices

Many mediation forms have built-in checkpoints, like Japa meditation or Thay Kek, moving meditation similar to Tai Chi.  These are awareness-changing processes.  They can be just as exciting as skydiving.  They depend upon the proper foundation, which comes from preparation.

“We cannot expect miracles of mindfulness in our own lives without preparation, commitment, and continuing to energetically progress along our spiritual way.” —  Surya Das

They developed many ancient traditions over eons using trial and error.  They created a learning process that incorporated steps and guidelines to ensure the prospect was ready to learn.  Then, as they are learning, they exchange feedback.  Afterward, they meet to discuss post-experience.  This process results in the best learning outcomes.

Unfortunately, some cannot see the value in all the cultural preparatory activities, and they view them as nonessential ritual dressing, which is an error.  Taking a technique out of its proper cultural context can lose essential elements that ensure safety and effectiveness.  Those who don’t understand the process don’t know how they are degrading and changing it.  All they care about is making it more marketable.

Much is lost when ancient processes are re-named, re-branded, and re-packaged.  If you don’t understand the tradition and culture, it is easy to remove or change critical aspects of the teaching.  Sometimes these activities are essential for proper learning and execution of the technique.  So, the result is like jumping out of an airplane and trying to put on your parachute.

Find qualified instruction if you want to learn any spiritual technologies.  Look for someone who knows and cares about the cultural context.  Remember, skydiving is a good analogy for preparing to learn any spiritual technology.  When there is doubt about the preparation, please don’t do it.

Many of these methods share the same preparatory techniques.  Good preparation is the key to many other processes.  For instance, if someone is ready for Japa meditation, they will quickly learn a moving meditation like forest bathing because they share the same preparation steps.

Meditation is Like Skydiving

How is Meditation Like Skydiving

We will hammer this point.  This way, you will remember this analogy, and hopefully, you will take the time to prepare before you meditate.  The skydiving analogy is an excellent way to remember the proper steps for learning any new skill.

Use it as a background script to determine the correct order of things.  Then add the elements to this script.  If you don’t know the exact steps, look them up.  Use this process as a memory device to memorize the actions of any other process.

Sky dividing is a good analogy for many spiritual practices.  If you prepare correctly, you will have a positive experience.  Both meditation and skydiving are life-changing benchmarks.  You will remember your first experience of skydiving and the first time you transcend awareness.  And you can also tell them the analogy reinforces the principle, and good preparation is the key.

If you have other ideas about preparation, let us know, you can contact us with any questions.


(1) Reasons to put your goals in writing:

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