/What happens if, after meditating for a few months or a few years, you decide you want to take a rest and then continue your journey at a later time?/
In the ordinary life, after you have covered one mile you can remain where you are for a while and take rest before continuing your journey. But in the spiritual life it is not like that. In the spiritual life, once you take rest doubt enters into you, fear enters into you and suspicion enters into you. All kinds of negative forces enter into you and destroy your possibilities. Your potentiality remains the same; eventually you will realise God. But the golden possibilities that you once had are lost. You will fall back to your old ways and be lost in ignorance, and the progress that you made will be destroyed.
However, the essence of the progress that you made will remain inside the soul. The essence is never lost, even though in your outer life you cannot use it. The quintessence of the progress that you made will remain inside your heart, and after five or ten years, or in your next incarnation, when you want to meditate again, this quintessence will come to the fore. At that time, if you pray to God most sincerely to enter into the spiritual life again, your previous progress will loom large in your life.