Meditation Takes a Backseat

For 6 months, my afternoon meditation took a backseat to everything else going on in my life. My life was full of positive things that needed my attention (wedding, new house, new job), and my afternoon meditation just didn’t make the list. My morning routine was strong enough that I continued to sit for an hour every morning, and I found this helpful, but I simply decided not to sit in the afternoon.

Was this a mistake? Was I harming myself by missing that second hour? Given what was on my plate, it sure didn’t seem like it. I was building the foundation for the rest of my life and growing in many ways outside of dhamma. If the foundation of my life is strong, I will be able to continue growing in dhamma for many years to home. If the foundation is weak, I believe it will become much more difficult.

Now that my life is stable and good, I have noticed some complacency. I find myself wasting time on the internet or finding other distractions instead of meditating. I’m reminded that looking within is hard and requires a strong intention and effort. When life is going smoothly, at least on the apparent level, it’s hard to find the motivation to explore the dark spots within. While I was only meditating 1 hour a day, it didn’t feel like I was growing in dhamma, but I was able to stand stationary on the path. Now that the rest of my life is settling, I think it’s time to rediscover the importance of meditating 2 hours a day. Time to meditate.

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About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

3 thoughts on “Meditation Takes a Backseat

  1. I am new to this blog and have only been meditating for about eight months. I find people’s posts and comments here to be quite helpful in my practice. With the exception of one brief break (when the wheels fell off the wagon), my practice has been pretty consistent. But lately I too have found myself skipping my evening sitting. I have A LOT going on my my life right now, and I think I became frustrated by how meditation did not seem to be as effective as it had been in the past, so I ended up cutting back–although I have maintained my morning sittings, for fear of things totally falling apart. Has anyone else had similar experiences?

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