It’s strange that I stopped my daily meditation practice. I did it diligently for years and then one day I just stopped. Why would I stop doing something that was so enjoyable and helpful?
I think there were two reasons.
Firstly, the problems I had when I started meditating seemed to have gone away. So that initial impulse wasn’t there anymore. I had followed Mark Williams’ fantastic book, The Mindful Way Through Depression➹. I felt that I had built a resilience to depression into my mind so securely that the fear of falling into depression didn’t seem like a daily concern.
Secondly, I made meditation too complicated. As I progressed from the basics into richer meditations, I started to study a lot. With all those extra ideas for practice in my mind, I would sit on the cushion and be overwhelmed with options. Like a child in a sweet shop not being able to choose. There must have been some extra tension in that situation. Instead of it feeling like an exciting buffet of choices, it felt more like I was choosing from a large number of ‘shoulds’. I was aware of the problem but I didn’t address it.
So the cost started to feel greater than the benefit. It happened quite unconsciously. I stopped wanting to sit on the cushion. And then not sitting became a habit.