I made dinner tonight. Although it was pretty straightforward, it still took a lot longer to make dinner than to eat it!

That reminded me about the amount of time we spend in the preparatory practices for meditation. 

Sometimes we may wonder why we engage in sadhanas. They take a lot of time – why not just spend the whole time meditating?

There are several reasons why we should fully engage in sadhana practice. One reason is that sadhanas prepare our mind perfectly for mediation. If we concentrate on the meaning of each line of the sadhana, we will be bringing our mind under control and making it more focused. When the time comes for meditation, we will have a well prepared mind which will stay on its object easily. 

If, by contrast, we daydream throughout the sadhana, we will receive hardly any benefit, and our mind will take a lot longer to settle well on our object. 

So, just as it takes a lot longer to prepare a delicious meal than to eat it, if we want our meditation to be delicious, we need to invest the time one preparing our mind well.