What 5 Days of No Meditation Has Taught Me

The main lesson: get back to meditation. Now.

Sometime early in July, I committed to meditating for a few minutes every day. The goal was to do at least 10 minutes of silent, Vipassana (mainly anapana) meditation while working my way back to the advised hourly session.

I’d do it in the morning right upon waking up, thus transitioning from a state of sleep into the woken world through peaceful focus on my breath to the tune of S. N. Goenka’s voice chanting some kind of doha.

The first time I meditated seriously, it was a weeklong, twice-per-day streak. I followed the Isha Kriya practice. It guided me through the fifteen-minute session. At the time, I was smack-dab in a mental breakdown, totally paralyzed by my emotions.

That very first meditation experience showed me how incredibly beneficial this practice is for me. My issues didn’t suddenly or magically disappear because I’d meditated in total 30 minutes each day. Instead, they simply didn’t seem to be so overwhelming any more.

Meditation helped me gain perspective on my issues. I was no longer paralyzed by them because I realized how little they actually affected my life…unless I let them.

And so began my on-again-off-again relationship with meditation. Four years later, we’re still not going strong together, but we’re working on things.

That work led me to me making this commitment to myself once again. Meditating every day, trying to get back to where I successfully sit for a full hour in the mornings.

For the past 5 days, I haven’t meditated. For ten (almost) straight days prior to that, I’d successfully sat for anywhere between 10 and 25 minutes.

I feel an acute difference in my psyche when meditation is part of my daily routine and when it’s not.

These past five days have been more difficult than warranted because my resilience is shot, my patience is strained, and misdirected aggression is coming out. And yet, in these past few days I’ve had almost exactly the same set of issues to content with as I did before.

The one thing that really changed was the exclusion of meditation from my morning routine.

Meditation has been proven to help on so many levels. This unintended experiment on myself has proven its benefits to me.

Now it’s time to get back to it.