21 May Difficulties Meditating
The following is an excerpt from my book “True Happiness: 4 Practices to Promote Inner Peace and Simple Guides to Carry Them Out:”
I’ve had the same difficulties with meditation over the years that many people say keep them from practicing meditation. My mind still wanders during the practice sometimes. Well, most of the time really. But as physical exercise is something that gets easier, and has accruing benefits over time, meditation is something that gains more depth and ease as we continue to practice it.
Can’t Stop My Mind
The main thing I hear when talking with others about meditation is that they can’t stop their mind. I could never do this, and like I said before it still is something that happens. This is really a misconception though, I believe.
Meditation isn’t the act of stopping the mind, the stilling of the mind or thoughts is an effect of meditation. That is why there are so many different techniques for meditating, and why many active meditation practices may be of more benefit at first. You concentrate on something (mantra, part of the body, idea/concept, etc.), and that one-pointed focus makes the mind more still, or allows the nagging of random thoughts to subside.
No Time to Meditate
I’ve said this about so many things in my life, but I’ve come around to the realization that when I say I don’t have time for something I’m really saying it is not a priority to me (and yes, I heard that said many times before it came into my actual experience). A practice like meditation can begin with dedicating as little as five minutes each day, and you will see the effects.
Right now I’m writing this because I’ve made the decision that it is a priority, and have carved 30 minutes out of each morning, before work, to write (well, it really ends up being 25ish minutes). For weeks before I made the decision to do this I said to myself numerous times “Where will I find the time to write?”
It came down to making the decision that I was going to get up a little earlier so I could spend this time writing each morning, because attempting to slot the time in after work, at the end of the day, was difficult and prone to being trumped by other things I needed to do then.
Uncomfortable to Sit for Too Long
I’ve heard it said by many teachers, and it is true for me, that the practice of asana (yoga postures) is to make the body more able to sit still for longer periods of time. This reduces the distraction from tight or sore parts of the body while sitting. Some techniques like yoga nidra are practiced with the body lying down and completely supported to minimize discomfort which may occur.
You don’t have to sit cross-legged on the floor to meditate. You can sit in a chair. You can also use supports to prop yourself up from the floor a bit if you do decide to sit cross-legged. We’ll go over this in a moment.
I Never Get It Right
If you have to get something right to do it, there’s no point in doing anything. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything right the first time I attempted it. It takes familiarity to do something correctly. That’s why it’s called practice. Even with years of daily meditation practice under my belt, I often fall into the trap of fantasizing. I don’t mean exotic fantasies. I simply mean daydreaming about things in an unconscious way.
If you want to get good at anything, you have to do it repeatedly. And that is true of meditation as well.
If you need help with creating a regular meditation practice the guides in my book may be useful. If you would like me to personally coach you through 30 meditation practice to help you create a habit of meditation daily, use the contact page to get in touch.