It's very hard for me to discipline myself to practice meditation every day. Every time I decide I am going to meditate every day no matter what, after a few days I cannot not keep it up. Sometimes it is due to lack of time, but mostly it is because of laziness.
I am not sure how I can get over it and keep practicing. What should I do?
Sometimes it can actually be counterproductive when setting "absolute" goals such as "from now on i will meditate 1 hour everyday" or as you mention that you would like to meditate everyday no matter what. This can become a hindrance for one' practice when the bar is set too high compared to how much effort and energy is available. Maybe one is spending a lot of energy on work, relationships, training etc. Then there will be less energy for the practice and when one then sets absolute goals these goals can seem so high that they are not possible to reach. One's determination and resolution then turns into laziness.
It's like being giving a task that is above one's capacity at that given time.
Actually laziness occurs when there is an excess of concentration and too little energy to drive it. It's like wanting to run an entire marathon but only having the energy and stamina to complete half of the run.
What should one do then?
A way to deal with this is to set realistic goals for the time being. One can definitely get to a meditation practice that is once a day. That is far from impossible. That is actually recommended to practice as often as possible since the fruits will be bigger when practice is frequent and consistent.
But one have to start some place. Maybe a goal could be to meditate 2 or 3 times a week. Or maybe every second day and only for 15 minutes. As practice builds and concentration builds one can sit longer sessions or more sessions or do both if the energy and concentration is cultivated. It's better to have shorter productive sessions than long sessions where the last half of the session is dominated by dulness and drowsiness.
How can one then adjust one's practice?
Maybe you have heard the phrase "Balancing the faculties". We have 5 spiritual faculties that needs to be balanced. When the 5 faculties are matured they are called The 5 Powers. They are briefly; Concentration, Energy, Faith, Discriminating Wisdom and Mindfulness.
Energy and concentration needs to be balanced.
Faith and Wisdom needs to be balanced.
Mindfulness is general. It should always be cultivated and one can never get too much mindfulness.
If concentration is high and energy is low one will experience laziness.
If energy is high and concentration is low one will experience restlessness.
Faith and Wisdom i will not go into here since they are not the issue.
You need to balance your energy faculty, i.e. to arouse energy. There are several ways to do that. One can:
- Splash cold water in the face before a meditation session
- One can do walking meditation in a brisk pace before sitting meditation
- One can go to a high place, e.g. a mountain or building and practice
- One can make a firm determination to practice effortly and sincerely
- One can do contemplation on Death as that will induce a feeling of urgency
- One can reflect on the 5 daily recollections, i.e. That one will grow old, become sick and ill, die, loose everything that one holds dear and that one is the sole heir of one's actions.
These are all methods to overcome laziness and arouse energy, i.e. to balance the energy faculty so that one has the stamina to reach the goals that one sets forth.