The premise of a daily practice stems from the preconception that there is a necessity to do that particular thing every single day. For myself it is handling my runes and meditating with them, for others it is cleansing at some stage of the day – for example if they work all day then someone might cleanse when they get home, others still do things that aren’t strictly Pagan or Heathen but have some benefit like the Yogic Sun Salutation. What makes a daily practice somewhat easier to do every day is that they tend to be relatively simple or straight forward, not something that is going to consume large amounts of your day. So then why is it that every now and then you miss a day’s worth of that practice; more importantly why is it that you feel guilty for missing it? The obvious reason is that you know it not a difficult thing to do each day and so missing a day seems like laziness. The less obvious reason is the knowledge that even though it is a simple practice, it is an important one to maintain. Does that mean that, for example, at the end of the day when you are barely able to keep awake you should force yourself to go through with your daily meditation or not?
The most sensible or pragmatic answer would be that you shouldn’t force yourself to go through with it if you are simply that tired. However there is also a thought process that says that the effort will make the practice all the more worthwhile and what you achieve will be all the more for pushing yourself. Back on the other hand however, something meditation takes concentration and focus, which is really not readily available when you are yawning every half minute thus breaking your concentration. There are many, many arguments in favour of both choices but what are really in question are the ideas of dedication and the idea of meaningfulness. It is certainly dedicated to do you practice even when you’re about to pass out, but is it meaningful to do that. It is meaningful to take care and be in the proper mindset when doing your practice, but is that really dedicated when those precise conditions are hard to achieve – certainly harder than everyday. Perhaps a part of having a daily practice is learning how to not feel guilty when you miss a day and being able to maintain that practice even if you do miss a day.