You have probably gone through a time when you are just about to meditate, only to experience difficulty while you are at it. Getting started might be easier, but as time progresses, you find your mind wandering aimlessly – until you give up and put off your goal of meditating for just a few minutes that day.
If ever you come across this experience more often, then you must be feeling quite frustrated. After all, you deserve a moment when you can just stay calm, relaxed and without any worries on your mind. But if meditation continues to be somewhat of a torture to you, how can you possibly get out of that feeling and actually find that peace of mind you have always been dreaming of?
When Distractions Strike Back
We all come to a point when even in our quite times, we get to be bogged down and bothered by a million things that must be done. For instance, just when you find yourself in that silent and meditative state, thoughts somehow find their way of pouring in – and this can be seriously tough when all you want is to stay still and breathe in a moment of peace and repose.
Suddenly, you catch yourself thinking about your kids in school, making a mental note about your updated grocery list, enumerating in your head things you need to do tomorrow and the day after that … The endless flow of distractions just keep coming in!
The truth is, we have all been in that kind of scenario. The mind has an uncanny way of setting up resistance and seek an excuse to stop doing what you think you are geared up to do at that time. In a flash, these other things that enter your mind present themselves as entirely compelling, and you find yourself deeply absorbed into these distractions until there is no more time left to meditate.
Meditation Should Not Be A Torture
While these thoughts find a way of penetrating in our mind at a time we want to focus on something else, it is still possible to gently push them away and go back to what you need to be doing at the present moment. It is a matter of being a passive observer as these thoughts come and go, without making any harsh judgment on yourself. After all, the moment you concentrate on those thoughts and force yourself to get them off your mind, you are only making meditation as a forced activity. What’s more, you tend to torture yourself by battling with your mind instead of simply watching those thoughts in your head and allowing them to drift away.
It also helps to recognize possible reasons why you end up deferring your practice. Try to acknowledge the present feelings you have. Are you suffering from physical discomfort? Is there a throbbing pain in your head? Identify these sensations and turn these into your object of focus and awareness. Keep in mind that meditation involves a subject to be used as a focal point. For instance, this could be your breath, a mantra, or an image.
Then, as you recognize the sensations you are experiencing, be sure to address these without any judgment whether positive or negative. Think of these as object of your awareness, and try not to banish or control them. When meditating, you only need to approach any sensations with kindness and love, so negative feelings toward these thoughts are unnecessary.
By the time you reach this point where you are only a mere observer to your feelings or thoughts, then you ARE already in a meditative state. It does not even matter where you are at that moment. You could be sitting in front of a computer, standing by the doorway, drinking a cup of tea, or lying on the bed. The fact that you are no longer having an inner battle with your thoughts is already an act of meditation.
Helpful Tips to Get You Started
Now that you are ready to meditate, here are some tips that can help you with your practice while minimizing any negative emotions along the way.
- Have a regular meditation practice.
As with any activity, meditation becomes much easier and stronger with repetition. Sure, there is no need to be strict with your time, but try your best to allot at least 15 minutes a day to meditate and reconnect with yourself. By giving ample time to yourself each day, you can achieve benefits to your heart, mind, body and spirit. Consider starting and ending your day with short meditation, and you will discover how this routine can be a calming experience that clears out your thoughts and emotions.
- Find a comfortable spot to meditate.
To help you with your meditation, finding a quiet and comfortable spot is important as this also spares you from any external distractions that can make your practice even more challenging. It may be a peaceful area in your garden, your room, or any section in your home where it is fairly quiet and free from people who engage in loud conversations.
- Use soothing music as a background or a candle to establish your attention.
Another thing you can do during meditation is by playing some soothing instrumental music as you get into your practice. If it is difficult for you to establish your attention by closing your eyes and creating a visual image to focus on, then you can have an actual object such as a candle that you can look at and use as an object of awareness.
- Just let go.
Meditation has nothing to do with pushing back thoughts, reprimanding yourself silently for thinking of other things, or attempting to stop any ideas from coming in. Instead, meditation means letting go of your thoughts and emotions while surrendering to the silence within you.
Additional Things to Consider
It may be helpful for you to meditate with other people or attend workshops that can strengthen your practice. Learning from experts and regular practitioners is a great way to overcome your difficulties since these people have already gone through several years of improving their practice. Moreover, meditating with others send in a stronger and more powerful flow of positive vibrations. Hence, you can absorb more of these energies and enable you to meditate more effectively.