Teaching for years and decades when Zen was not popular in Japan, Harada persisted and drew faithful crowds not only from Japan but worldwide. In one of his teachings on the importance of consistency in meditation, he shared this personal insight. His wisdom is worthy of further reflection.
It (meditation) was always easy for me. I struggled mightily, as you struggle. But I stuck with the practice — the one single way of practice — and made no excuses for myself. I did not allow my practice to fade out in feelings of discouragement. There were hard times. But I stayed with the practice, no matter what. And this is what each one of you must do. Even times when I thought I was not going to live through it. There were times when I could not breathe, times when all went dark before my eyes, times when I thought I was going to pass out. But even then I refused to give in to my old self-centered patterns of behavior. I did not try to adjust the practice to do it my way. I stuck with the simple practice that was given to me.
I cannot stress enough to you the absolute importance of sticking to your practice no matter what. No adjustment is required; no calculation is needed. I went through the same thing that you are going through now, so I can tell you from personal experience what you must do. You must give your life to this, and refuse to let anything — any thoughts, ideas, attitudes — get in your way. Your ‘yes’ must be open. Your resolve must be like steel.