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4 Mistakes When Trying to Meditate

4 Mistakes When Trying to Meditate

Meditating is not easy. Some people connect with it quickly, some slowly. It took me a few years of listening to guided meditations, and constantly seeking and trying out new techniques, before I was able to meditate regularly without external aid.
Here are some mistakes that can be made on the path to learning to meditate (a few I have definitely encountered):

1. Trying to stop the mind.
This is putting the cart before the horse. Meditation is not the act of forcefully stopping the mind. The mind becomes calm, and thoughts become fewer and less intense, through the regular practice of meditation. After years of meditating I still get carried away by thoughts when sitting to meditate.

2. Forcing it.
This is related to attempting to stop the mind, but a bit different. I would list under this attempting to just sit and push yourself to meditate, and not setting a regular time or place for your practice. In any effort we set ourselves up for success by taking the time to make sure we’re prepared. Take the time to get all that you need, including the uninterrupted time.

3. Not sitting in the right posture for you.
Full Lotus might not be your thing. It’s not mine. I sit on a block to elevate my hips so my back can be straight. Some people find a chair more comfortable. A good rule of thumb is to sit with your back straight, so do what you have to to sit like this comfortably.

4. Quitting.
Frustrations are to be expected, but don’t let frustration cause you to throw in the towel. I did take breaks in my journey to learning to meditate, a month or so later I would search for some other method, teacher, or group to learn from.

With all that in mind, here are some basic ideas that can help you to give your best effort, while refraining from aggravation and discouragement.

1. Keep it simple.
Meditation is really simple when it comes down to it, but it’s not easy.

2. Stick with it.
Don’t give up. Constant vigilance is the key!

3. Try different styles and teachers.
Always explore. There is so much out there at your fingertips.

4. Set yourself up for success.
As I said before, take the time before meditation to set yourself up for the best possible outcome. Pre-meditate if you will.

5. Try guided meditations first.
Guides are good when you’re somewhere new, this includes the space of the mind.

Good luck on your journey!

May we all be open and receptive to our highest good,

Chris

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