I used to envy people who were able to meditate every day, because it was something I struggled with. Certain people just didn’t have a problem with meditating daily, but I found it hard.
I’d have successful runs of a few weeks, and then I’d end up not meditating one day. And that perceived failure led to me missing more days, on the dubious assumption that if I couldn’t do something perfectly there was no point even trying.
Eventually I did manage to become one of the people I used to envy, able to meditate every day. I’ve shared how I achieved that here in this blog and also in a course I created, called “Get Your Sit Together.”
- Becoming a rock-solid regular meditator
- Meditation: “It’s just what I do”
- Waking up together (Six benefits of spiritual community)
- Made a New Year’s resolution to meditate daily? Here’s how to make it happen
But you may wonder, why even try to meditate every day? You may experience benefits from sporadic meditation and not see the importance of becoming what I call a “rock-solid daily meditator.”
So I’d like to share some of the reasons I think it’s important.
Putting First Things First
Meditation is one of the most important things I do in my life. It changes everything. The mindfulness that I develop, the kindness that I develop in my meditation practice, the insights that I have from my practice, all change my life in many, many ways that make me happier and also make me a better person to be around.
And that for me is a very important motivation. I want to be a better person to be around and have a more positive influence on people around about me and not to be an asshole because that can happen.
The things that squeezed meditation out of my schedule were always less important in the great scheme of things. Spending time on social media, or watching TV, or working are just not important enough that we should allow them to stop us meditating regularly. No one on their death bed is going to think, “I’m glad I spent so much time at the office,” or “Looking back, I’m most proud of binge-watching Supernatural.”
Even things like family and intimate relationships shouldn’t get in the way. I’m not saying those things are unimportant. They’re very important. But the quality of those human relationships is going to be better if we have a regular meditation practice. Meditation gives us an opportunity to be better human beings: better parents, better partners, better friends and mentors. So it’s worth taking time out for practice.
Going Deeper In Our Practice
If we practice anything regularly, with the conscious intent to get better at it, then we’re more likely to see progress. It doesn’t matter whether that’s tennis, or cooking, or meditation. If we’re prepared to learn from what doesn’t work so well and what works better, then we’ll see progress. And seeing progress is encouraging.
My meditation practice doesn’t get steadily deeper and deeper. It’s more like a long, winding path with highs and lows. But on the whole it’s more inclined to be creative and enjoyable and transformative if I’m doing it regularly.
Experiencing the Benefits of Practice.
Meditation has lots of benefits. It has social benefits, emotional benefits, and health benefits. Consistency allows us to experience those benefits more consistently. We’ll be healthier and happier if we keep our practice regular.
It’s just like if you only went to the gym or a yoga class once in a while rather than having a regular schedule; you’ll see some benefits, but not as much as you could.
Not Letting Fear Rule Your Life.
In the days when I found myself unable to motivate myself to meditate and got caught up in other things, it was often about avoidance of feelings. There was often some kind of restlessness or dissatisfaction within myself and I did not want to sit down and face that.
So there was fear involved in avoiding meditation.
Now, I don’t want my life to be dominated by fear. I don’t want my life to be manipulated by my fears. I feel good when I overcome my fears, when I face them squarely and overcome them. I feel more in control of my life. I feel more fearless.
Feeling Better About Yourself
When you see yourself as the kind of person who can’t meditate every day, you don’t feel good about yourself. It seems that other people have will-power, and you don’t. You’re lacking.
It turns out that will-power isn’t what we need in order to meditate every day. It’s about intelligently using strategies to make it easier to sit than to do something else. It literally can get to the point where it feels unthinkable to miss a day. You probably feel that way about brushing your teeth. if it can feel that way for that activity, it can be that way for meditation as well.
And once you do manage to sit every day, you feel good about yourself. You shed that view of being “lacking” and defective. You feel strong and confident.
Instead of believing you’re the kind of person who can’t meditate every day, you know that you do meditate every day. It’s just what you do. It’s part of who you are.
I feel good when I’m meditating every day. I feel good being faithful to my practice. I feel good being faithful to myself, being faithful to my intention to keep practicing.
So those are some of the reasons why I find it helpful to meditate every day. And I enjoy sharing with others how to bring that about.