Feb 04, 2013
The benefit of meditating regularly
As a long-time meditator who has never established a daily habit, I’ve been questioning the value of the 100 day challenge and asking: does it matter if I miss a day?
In the great scheme of things, it probably doesn’t. But although the ‘great scheme of things’ is a handy minimiser at times, its distant perspective doesn’t help much with detail.
The truth is that if missing one day turns into missing another and then another, I find it strangely difficult to get back to meditating. It’s as if an invisible membrane forms after the first lapse, which grows thicker and thicker as the days pass until it has separated me completely from my practice and from that part of me that values meditation and longs to be more consistent. I have to burst back through it. My first meditation after a gap usually feels like coming home and I can’t imagine why I resisted for so long.
This time I’ve let myself get to nearly 90 consecutive days on the timer I use (Insight Timer). There have been some ‘dry patches’ along the way where my mind has refused to settle, even for a second. But I’m trying not to expect immediate emotional or spiritual payoffs from my sits and just do them on trust, the same way I clean my teeth every morning. In a strange way, that lack of expectation makes it easier to ‘just do it.’
So for me, the benefit of being consistent is that it leads to more consistency. Whether there’s any other benefit, I’ll be very interested to see.