My big problem is staying with the practise, getting up in the morning to sit instead of sleeping in.
I am always very mindful of what Krishnamurti used to say about meditation. He was always totally against any idea of method, attainement, practise, discipline, or effort. It is hard to convey his point but it is an important counter-balance against getting too attached to the idea or the externals. He would say it is a state of mind that arises spontaneously if you are very attentive and mindful without being self-conscious of it.
But also I found that when I actually commit and sit properly, in the Buddhist style, there is an automatic process that just works, although I suppose it has taken many years for that to happen.
Anyway the main obstacle still is not getting up early enough. I've been pretty lazy. Life is passing by.
Yeah I also felt this way too, it as one of my problems. A lot of things I read suggested to meditate in the morning just after waking up, which is good advice because then the chances are better you won't want to fall back asleep, but it didn't fill me in on the other important details. You should never be "military" with your meditation. If you have to force any aspect of it to try and be disciplined, it will fail. You can't force it by making yourself wake up early before you want to be awake, because the whole time you are going to be fighting thoughts about wanting to just get a few more minutes of rest. Best thing to do is sleep fully that way you no longer care about sleep and since you are fully rested you will be less prone to want to go back to sleep.
Another poor advice I was given was, meditate before you eat in the morning too. No, because if you are even slightly hungry the body immediately screams at you. If you are hungry, eat a little bit, but don't over do it with a big breakfast or else you will swing the other way. Your stomach will feel all bloated and stuffed. Eat just enough so you can sit without thinking about eating and your body wont be screaming at you to get some food.
The key is, if you are being rigid in any way, it will fail. Doesn't matter if there is some kind of sitting position that you have been told about or that you want to look dignified like the Buddha. If you are experiencing pain it will fail. You need to have a position that is the most comfortable that you could sit there indefinitely without ever wanting, needing or forced to move. If you do move though for what ever reason that is okay, but the key is to find the most comfortable position for you. Later when you get good at focusing your mind you can then sit in some other way, like full lotus position.
That monk I mentioned explained it to me like this. If the roof of your house had a small leak, you can notice it and you can easily fix it with very little effort. But if your roof is leaking in a lot of places and in torrents of water pouring in, you will be over whelmed. So the best way to begin is in the most comfortable position no matter how undignified it may be. This way if your body tells you to move because you are not comfortable, it won't be as distracting as if your legs, back, neck, shoulders, knees, ect, are on fire with pain. When you have gotten the steps down then you can try to make your posture more elaborate or "dignified".
"It is easier to be aware of a small problem than to try and ignore torrents of water water poring in from your roof all around you."
But if you have to move for any reason, be mindful of it and then recenter your attention on the breath. Best advice ever.
This isn't the end, there is more...