I have been meditating regularly for many years, so I can honestly say I know all the pitfalls of making meditation practice part of my daily routine. In fact I found it a lot easier when I was working because my life was much more structured. Now that I’m retired, no day is the same so I find that I have to make time to meditate at different times of the day, depending on what is happening. If, like me, you have been practising meditation for some time, then it isn’t too much of a problem to vary the times, but if you are new to it, then it really is important to try and stick to a specific time of day. This way your practice becomes established and you will quickly feel the benefits of meditating.
My favoured meditation technique is the simplest one, and that is to use the breathing as a gateway to stillness. It always works. However, the mind can sometimes create resistance to using the same technique and cause you to seek other methods. There’s nothing wrong in trying other styles of meditation, and in some cases it may be advisable. But just be alert to the fact that the mind never really wants to be still, and flitting from one style to another could be the mind’s avoidance tactics.
So to keep the simple breathing technique fresh, I have found it helpful to dwell on a short quotation or verse about breathing. In my preparation to meditate, I sit and read a quotation, and consider it for a few moments before starting to meditate. By doing this, it makes me more present to the qualities of breathing, and more alert and aware of the present moment. Here is a quote for you to consider:
“Do You think it matters if they’re tiny or deep? he asked. Well, if they’re not tiny breaths and they’re not deep breaths, then they’re just … breaths. Then you’re just breathing for the sake of … breathing.
… Seize them. Feel them. Love them …”