Why is it so hard to meditate every day?
Our Western culture, education, and social profile are imposing on us to be busy. Our ego also loves to be busy because it may imply “ I am indispensable, important, I am not lazy, and I don’t want to be bored”. To the question “ How are you doing? most of us reply “busy” because replying “ not busy” is unthinkable, sort of “lazy social image”. Here is a fact: Americans report having less than 9 hours of leisure time weekly, once work and all other obligations are taken care of, and that duration is rapidly shrinking. Forget that many of us have to work two jobs with outrageous hours to make ends meet. And, don’t forget that we are bombarded, and addicted to information overload and hyper-connectedness thanks to IT and cell phones.
Even putting all of the above aside, there are still several other reasons why it’s hard to meditate every day causing a high quitting rate. It’s hard:
1) Because most of us come to meditation expecting to solve current issues. Either the issues disappear, and they don’t need to meditate anymore; either the issues persist, and they quit for not believing in the effectiveness of meditation.
2) Meditation is the opposite of how we’ve been culturally conditioned that is being in constant motion physically, mentally, and emotionally all day long.
Sitting still even a few min. May act like a brake triggering an alien feeling of being stalled, of emptiness, restlessness, and even anxiety besides a waste of time.
3) Because our mind is controlling us whereas during meditation our mind is under our control. Therefore, it will use all the tricks to avoid sitting for meditation such as:
Here are the common mind tricks: Cannot make time, boring, feeling guilty of not doing something more interesting to do or more importantly, a waste of time.
I am not progressing, I don’t feel any of the benefits of meditation, and my mind is still running non-stop, so I must quit. I will never be good at it, et…..The list is endless.
4) Because it’s not yet one of our daily automatic habits that we start spontaneously.
5) Because, often we are going through an intense emotional rollercoaster, and simply sitting still, and focusing on breathing is simply impossible.
Yet paradoxically, that’s the best time to meditate. meditation—calm, concentration, wisdom, equanimity, and joy—that eventually become who we are.
6) Because we are expecting quick results which will never happen causing discouragement.
So, what to do to make your solo mediation practice part of your daily routine, and weekly group sitting?
Built confidence in your practice that is:
Understanding the virtues of meditation at its 4 levels: physical, intellectual,
emotional, and spiritual and how it works. The teacher will help you.
Understanding that the practice of meditation is cumulative.
Understanding to be patient since meditation is not a quick fix and progress is slow.
Accepting that bad sessions always happen, and it is not the end of the word.
Find a place-time duration for your solo formal sitting, and add it to your schedule as a priority. If meditation is not a priority, quitting is around the corner.
Join a weekly group practice.
Consider mini-meditation on the go as “My daily refuge/island ” several times during the day for a few min. We talked about it many times.
Again: you always make time for your priorities. If meditation is not one of them, it will die for lack of interest and time. TX