I have been meditating for more than 10 years now. My aim is to meditate daily, but somehow I always get lost in activities that feel more important or urgent at the time. Then, suddenly I realize that I have lost track of my intention to meditate daily. I then start again, and everything is fine for a week or so, and then the same pattern repeats. I've read that one meaning of the word sati is to remember. So this experience is like waking up during a single meditation session and realizing I'm not focused on the breath. I feel like the ability to get to a consistent daily practice is the next small step forward for me. I think this inability stems from the hindrance called doubt.

How to I get out of this cycle? Any advice is welcome.

  • 1
    I don't have a scriptural source offhand so this is a comment instead of an answer, but one thing that helps me when I'm slacking is to replace some other activity with a Buddhist-related activity. This gets me back in the right headspace, longer-term. An example might be, instead of watching funny videos of cats on YouTube, I watch a lecture series on the Platform Sutra, or instead of reading the news over lunch, I read a chapter of a commentary. Setting an alarm and even having a daily calendar event on your phone may also help.
    – Zac Anger
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 2:56
  • Read the Nivarana sutta with Commentary
    – Blake
    Commented May 9, 2023 at 10:32
  • Thanks Zac - I've noticed that when I go back to daily reading of Buddhist material, I'm more likely to meditate regularly.
    – Andre
    Commented Jan 11 at 10:27

3 Answers 3


Make meditation pleasant. Things you enjoy you're more likely to do.

When you go to meditate, think about how you're taking a break from the stressful and chaotic world and you're going to do something good for yourself.

Find a style of meditation that you enjoy. If meditation feels like a chore, then it is a chore and you won't do it as much.

Sit comfortably. It's okay to meditate on a chair. I wouldn't recommend lay down on a couch or a bed because you're more likely to fall asleep.

Experiment with the duration. Sit as long as is comfortable, then get up. Don't sit through pain. You can do multiple short meditations if you like.

Having an altar or a place for meditation that is visible will remind you to meditate.


In Buddhism, there is a notion of renunciation. It means not to be attached and wanting to be free from samsara. It means to let go. That should be the motivation of meditation.

If the motivation of meditating is not renunciation, then it is very difficult to meditate. For example, if the motivation is to have peace (many fall into this trap), then when we start thinking of something else more peaceful, we lost the present meditation and starts wondering. (The remedy then is to renounce the wondering mind and comeback to the present meditation and continue with present meditation)


Generally this happens due to five hindrances.

If you think the problem stems from Doubt (Vicikiccha), then there are remedies mentioned extensively in the Commentary.

You can read the following texts in order to strengthen your faith and ovecome the doubts.

  • Nivarana sutta with Commentary

  • Commentary to Indriya vibhanga of Abhidhamma (about Saddha-indriya)

  • I will find this and read it. Will feedback once done. Thank you and much metta to you!!
    – Andre
    Commented Jan 11 at 10:32

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