What is it about something as simple as sitting still and watching our breath that evokes panic, fear, and even hostility? Meditation can certainly be challenging, and even more so if we are uncertain as to why we are doing it.
The article “Why We Find It Hard to Meditate” by Ed and Deb Shapiro on Mindful.org delves into the common challenges people face when trying to meditate. Here’s a concise summary for your meditation blog:
Challenges and Solutions in Meditation
- Time Constraints: Many feel they are too busy to meditate, often consumed with daily activities and responsibilities. However, meditation requires as little as 10 minutes a day, a duration most can spare, especially compared to the time spent on phones or the internet.
- Physical Discomfort: Discomfort in maintaining a still, seated position is a common barrier. The solution lies in finding a comfortable posture, be it sitting, standing, lying down, or even engaging in walking meditation or yoga.
- Restless Mind: A prevalent issue is the inability to quiet the mind, with thoughts racing and causing frustration. This is a normal experience, likened to a ‘drunken monkey bitten by a scorpion’. The key is not to stop thoughts but to become aware of them without getting absorbed.
- External Distractions: Noise and interruptions can hinder meditation. The article suggests that the focus should be on internal stillness, learning to be undisturbed by external factors.
- Perceived Lack of Benefits: Some struggle to see the immediate benefits of meditation. Regular practice and patience are essential, as benefits often become noticeable over time.
- Self-Doubt: Feelings of inadequacy or doing it ‘wrong’ can arise. Meditation is a personal journey without a right or wrong way, and it’s about finding what works for you.
- Skepticism: Doubts about meditation’s effectiveness or dismissing it as a trend are common. Meditation, however, has a long history and is rooted in various cultures and religions.
The article emphasizes that meditation is not about achieving a completely still mind but rather about letting go of resistance and being present in the moment. It’s a process of becoming friends with meditation, enjoying it, and integrating it into daily life as a source of support, inspiration, and clarity.