Do you ever feel like meditation is harder than it looks?

You’re not alone!

This video explores the common challenges people face and offers tips to make meditation a practice you’ll actually look forward to.

(If you would prefer to read about it, scroll further down for the video transcript).

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Why Meditation Can Be Hard – Video Transcript

Why meditation can be hard

Well, it can be for various reasons.

What is it about something as simple as sitting still and watching our breath that evokes a bit of panic, even fear? We hear all the hype about how good meditation is, so we give it a try, and then we wonder why we’re doing it.

Why are we sitting listening to the constant chatter in our head, with our minds continuously wandering all over the place?

There are several common reasons why meditation can be hard.

We are such human doings rather than human beings, living our lives at 100 miles an hour, so sitting still and quieting our minds can be difficult for those of us who are used to constant activity.

Impatience with the meditation process itself can also hinder progress because we expect the benefits to be immediate. And this expectation can create more stress, making it even more difficult to relax. And this is where resistance can make an appearance, because meditation can bring about self awareness, and we may need to confront and accept certain aspects of ourselves. And facing our thoughts and emotions can be uncomfortable.

And then we say, I’m too busy, I don’t have the time to meditate.

How often do we doom scroll through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, whatever your thing is. That will definitely take longer than any time we might take to meditate. It only appears we don’t have time because we usually fill every moment with activity and never press the pause button. So there will be time to meditate if we want to.

And so often meditation is misunderstood

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There’s a misconception that meditation requires to completely clear the mind. It’s definitely not that. We’re not robots. It’s about quietening the mind and focusing on the breath or on our senses when our mind wanders. Surprisingly enough, trying to stop your mind from thinking is like trying to stop the wind.

When we attempt to sit still and quieten our mind, more often than not, we find that chatty monkey noises have taken charge of our minds.

This is nothing new, it’s just that when you start to meditate, you become aware of it. Whereas before, you were immersed in it, unaware that this chatter was so constant.

It’s estimated that in any one 30 minute session of meditation, we may have upward of 300 thoughts and that’s from years of a busy mind, of ruminating, years of stresses and confusion and self focus, and the mind has no idea how to be still.

Rather it craves entertainment. So it’s not as if you can suddenly switch off when you meditate, which just means you’re like everyone else.

Another reason why meditation can be hard, is saying it’s too uncomfortable to sit for so long.

It’s essential to be comfortable. You don’t have to sit cross legged.

It’s it’s about being comfortably upright. You can even do a walking meditation. Moving meditations can be just as beneficial as still meditations.

And then we complain that there are too many distractions. A good one is, it’s too noisy. So just allow the noises. All the different noises can make up your own personal orchestra. It’s all yours. The quiet you’re looking for is inside of you, not outside.

The more you sit, the quieter, more joyful the mind becomes, and remember, music needs to be played for hours to get the notes right.

Being still happens in a moment, but it may take some time before that moment comes. That’s why we need patience.

And no meditation is ever the same. We get hooked into thinking that we’re no good at it and will never get it right.

It’s impossible to fail at meditation.

Even if you sit for 20 minutes thinking non stop, meaningless thoughts, that’s fine. It quite frequently happens to me, and I still feel the benefit of having spent that quiet time with myself.

Just remember, there’s no right or wrong way to meditate. Just do it.

The important point is that you make friends with meditation.

It’ll be of no help at all if you feel you have to meditate and then feel guilty if you miss out a day or if you only do 10 minutes when you’d promised yourself you’d do 30.

It’s much more beneficial to practice for just a short time and to enjoy what you’re doing rather than to sit their teeth gritted because you’ve been told that only 30 or 40 minutes will have any effect. Meditation is a companion to have throughout life, like an old friend you can turn to when you’re in need of support, or inspiration, and clarity.

It’s to be enjoyed.

I can’t stress this enough.

So to wrap up, facing challenges in meditation is normal and progress often comes with time and consistent effort. It’s not about forcing the mind to be absolutely still. Rather, it’s a letting go of resistance of whatever arises, whether it’s doubt, worry, certainty, or feeling inadequate.

The bottom line is, every time you find your mind drifting, daydreaming, remembering the past or planning, just come back to the now, to this moment. All you need do is pay attention to be with what is, nothing else.

An idea, if you’re new to meditation, is to find a few guided meditations on YouTube with a tone of voice that you get on with, and a length that suits you. Whatever works for you, just do it. (Here is a link to my meditation playlist: https://jg-therapies.co.uk/Guided-Meditations-YT)

See you next time.