But for the last three months or more, I've been on a daily routine, through no fault of my own. I fell into it, you might say, not due to anything I was reading or thinking. At most I just sort of felt it was time to "get serious" (an unfortunate terminology). And I've hardly missed a day.
True, sometimes I sit there for a few minutes and can't focus at all, and quit. Sometimes I sit there for a half hour drifting with my thoughts, hardly practicing awareness. I fidget a lot. Hey, I didn't say I was doing well, just that I was doing it. Part of my problem is always doing it right before bed, when I'm too tired. But I'm pleased overall; it's a step. And sometimes I do sit there calm and focused, really in the spirit of Zen.
On occasion I use mantras, like "so-hum" or "om mani padme hum" but mostly I just sit, watching the breath, or my heartbeat, or trying to use sound by accepting all I hear without comment. This is harder than it sounds, and I fail mostly. Sometimes I think I need a few months in a monastery to really succeed. Doing this alone, with no one to push me but myself, no one around to feel at least a sort of peer pressure to keep sitting... not easy. Right now, no one cares if I jump up three minutes into a twenty minute session.
The biggest help I know of, to fight the urge to stop meditating is: no matter what you're doing, it's what you wanted to do. And, I try to connect with the spirit of the thing, with the thousands of others who must be meditating at any given moment. That doesn't help much, but a little, maybe. At any rate, I hope to slowly improve my attention as I continue to do this, as this sitting is at least now a routine.