There are only a few things in life that you should be concerned about skipping. And to skip a day of meditation is not one of them.
– Most of us will die after about 3 minutes if we don’t breathe,
– We can last a little longer, about 3 days, without water,
– And 3 months is about all we can go without food…. I know most of you won’t believe that, but yes, we don’t need to eat 3 meals a day, every day!
As for skipping a day or two of meditation….. what’s the worst that can happen?
YOU CAN HAVE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS ABOUT IT!…. Yes, That’s the worst thing….. it’s your feelings of guilt negatively impacting you that is the worst outcome of skipping a day or more of meditation.
Is It Ok To Skip A Day Of Meditation?
It is ok to skip a day (and more) of meditation. The world will not end, and you will not suddenly lose any benefits you have established from your practice. Sometimes, skipping a few days can even be beneficial. How? Because if our minds revert to their ‘ before meditation state,’ we are made acutely aware of how meditating has benefited us. And this may be the realization we need to encourage us to meditate more.
Don’t take yourself so seriously! Seriously, I’m being serious about this!
Meditation is way easier than most people make it out to be. But it does take time and effort to establish good habits…. and the sooner you can adopt a great attitude towards your meditation practice, the better.
First things first…. Many, many, people live their whole lives and never meditate once….. and some of them have fantastic lives…. imagine that!
So, why are we meditating to make our lives better when it’s not the only secret ingredient to creating a great life?…. I do it because it cultivates an attitude that benefits me in all aspects of my life.
Since many of us didn’t learn to have an amazing attitude to life and appreciation of our lives from birth, we need to set time aside, apart from our busy normal routines, to do this.
And there is no better practice than meditation to develop a grateful and appreciative attitude within your being.
And when I say ‘meditation’ in this sentence, I wish to include other practices that help us develop a better understanding of ourselves and our place in this world. Therefore, I’m talking about mindfulness, visualizations, repeating affirmations, breath awareness, etc.
Establishing good habits, like practicing regularly is important….I’m not saying it isn’t. Because the reality is that we are thinking ALL day. And if we are not consciously choosing thoughts that create something better for ourselves, then our unconscious minds are busy regurgitating the same old thoughts that created the lives we are already living……
….. You know…. The life you want to meditate your way out of….. to make it better…..
Meditation is great! However, we all still have lives live.
A quality regular meditation practice gives cumulative results. So the more frequently you can meditate, to either quiet your thoughts or to focus on the improved reality you are wanting to create for yourself, the better.
But it never works out in your favor if you beat yourself up because you don’t feel like doing it today or you miss a few sessions….. So what? Just be kind to yourself, get over it, and pick it up again when you feel like it!
In the past, (many years ago) I’ve gone maybe 6 months or more without meditating. Sometimes life just throws stuff at you that’s unexpected, unwanted, and bloody inconvenient! And what’s best is if we can adapt in ways that cause us the least amount of stress possible.
So, be flexible, enjoy your practice when you can, and when it’s not convenient, let it go.
If it’s important to you to meditate, you will come back to it. I’ve been meditating, mostly regularly, for over 25 years now…. And it is the best practice that I have ever come across.
Meditation has helped me to smooth out life’s up and downs… mostly because I have learned through practice that I am not what’s happening outside of me, and more importantly, that my thoughts and feelings are mine to choose. In other words, I’m not the ‘victim of circumstances’ external from me that I used to be.
And I know that if you are sincerely dedicated to improving your lives you too will keep coming back to your meditation practice. Why, because returning to your old habitual ways of thinking, feeling, and acting will no longer be an option you are willing to settle for.
If I Skip A Day Of Meditation, Can I Make It Up?
It may take months or years for you to reach a point where you are comfortable with, and desire to take time out to meditate. And this is ok… We are all different and have different demands on our attention.
And the good thing is that, with meditation, there is no competition… it’s all about you!
Missing a day or two can never be made up…. The time has passed and you can never go back and live it again. However, that does not mean that you cannot devote more of your present and future time to meditating.
Just start now, where you are…. Meditation, in essence, can be anything that keeps your mind in the present moment. So while you’re on the bus to work, while you’re eating your meals, walking home, brushing your hair, going for a swim….. Becoming consciously aware of your thoughts and your bodily sensations is meditating on YOURSELF and this is what’s important.
Why? Because the reality is that no matter how much you want other people to change so your life becomes better, you can’t make them change…. so you have to work on yourself instead. And the more time you spend ‘cleaning your mind’ of your unbeneficial thoughts, beliefs, ideologies, judgments, and criticisms, the better your life will become.
So, in this way, meditation is not only something you do when you are sitting on your cushion. It becomes a practice that you will want to incorporate into more and more of your regular daily activities….. because it’s you who benefits….
It’s your ‘intention’ that creates your practice….. your desire to be more mindful, more often, will make this the default setting (go-to response) of your subconscious mind….And eventually, meditation just becomes a part of ‘who you are.’
– It’s no big deal to miss a day or more of meditation….. It will not negatively affect an established good habit.
– However, if you’re missing days often, it may mean that your habit is not yet established and is at risk of not becoming permanent. You may need to reassess your reasons for wanting to meditate in the first place.
– Meditation is a very diverse practice, and there are no rules that suit everyone. If your intention is good, you will find a way to meditate when and where you can. Being strict and beating yourself up when you miss a session is in no way beneficial for you!
– Your practice should be more about ‘relaxation and allowing’ rather than making a stressful chore out of it. And if you can do this, you will arrive at a point when you willingly desire to create the time and space to meditate because you crave the peace, in body and mind, that meditating brings.
– Meditation should be treated the same as most other things in life, (like exercise and diet.) It’s what you do regularly that gets results, not what you don’t do every once in a while.