The last week and a half were super stressful for me. I was taking way over a full summer load in school in preparation for graduating. As the work and studying piled up I first abandoned zazen and then any form of mindfulness. Although it isn't optimal it didn't really surprise me as time was short, I was stressed, and family was staying over at the house for the graduation adding to the chaos. I kept telling myself just to survive till this Saturday, graduate, and then I would get right back into the groove. So, Saturday comes and goes, I graduate, and the family leaves back for home. Sunday evening I told myself I would get back into the routine Monday. I was excited. Then Monday came and I dreaded the thought of doing zazen, checking the forum, or doing anything related to practice. Tuesday was much the same. Wednesday I forced myself to sit for 10 minutes, but my mind raced the entire time. Finally yesterday I sat for 20 minutes and it felt ok.
I guess why I'm writing, is that is was the first time since I've started meditating that I felt a dread for sitting, as if it were a burden. I don't know if I just needed to de-stress from everything, including zazen, but it was odd. Sitting is not very difficult and for most of the day I was sitting three feet from my alter only surfing the net on mindless websites.
So, what the rest of you do when time and energy are on short supply. The best I could muster during this last push was an occasional gatha or a few mindful breaths.
As an aside, I would also like to know if the old meditation timer with the heart sutra is hidden somewhere on site. My old link no longer works. I loved that version of the heart sutra and sometimes the "reward" of hearing them chant was enough motivation to get on the cushion!