Why People Can’t Meditate. Ever Wonder Why so Many People Fail at Meditation?
Why People Can’t Meditate. I have been teaching meditation for over twenty-five years. I have met hundreds of people through the years that have tried meditation and not experienced success with the practice. Why is it that meditation can be so amazing and life altering for some and yet seem not to benefit others at all?
I have found that there are a few commonalities among people who are not resonating with the practice. Why aren’t they getting the same benefits that others are receiving. In this article we will look at why some people fail with meditation and explore some of the reasons so many others are experiencing endless positive growth with their meditation practice.
Why People Can’t Meditate.
1- Lack of knowledge.
If you are not educated on why to use one meditation over the other often you may be introduced to a technique that is not right for you.
There are hundreds of different meditation methods and many of them are designed to have the meditator experience different outcomes. If you are trying meditation because you were told it will help take the stress out of your life or to lower your blood pressure, it can. While these are legitimate reasons to start a practice not all meditation techniques will help in these areas.
Meditation techniques are broken down in to three basic categories. Ritual practices which are meditations that require you to set specific time aside each day to focus on the technique. Active meditation practices are next type of exercises they are techniques that you can perform through your normal daily activities. Then there are philosophical practices these can be done either as a ritual or active meditations. With in each of these areas there are meditations techniques designed for different outcomes.
If you are not educated and understand the methods of meditation you are learning you may be using a technique that is not right to help you reach your desired results from your practice.
2- I do not have the time to meditate.
So many times I have heard someone say “I do not have the time to meditate”. This excuse really comes from lack of knowledge, because some active and philosophical practices can be done in as little as 3-5 minutes or even on the go.
There is a famous quote on meditation that says, “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day unless you are too busy then you should sit for a hour.”
One of my meditation teachers says “You should do at least 10-15 minutes of meditation a day if you cant find the time to do this than your life sucks”. While this may seem a bit harsh the point he is trying to make is an important one. Everyone can find 15 minutes a day you just need to prioritize the practice.
3- I can’t quiet my mind.
Again this is due to lack of knowledge about the practice. Nobody can quiet their mind when they first start a meditation practice. There will always be thoughts that arise and this is ok. There are different strategies with meditation. A common method when you are performing a sitting practice is to acknowledge the thoughts and let them go. To just focus on being present and aware.
Through time the mind will become more still and you may even experience periods of silence. This however; should not be something you strive for. When you sit enjoy the time, relax and truly experience what is happening.
How Successful Meditators Develop a Practice that Works.
1- They have good instruction.
With good instruction you will be able to understand different applications of meditation. Then build a meditation program that will fit your life style and help you move towards the out come you desire.
I will never forget this guy who came in to my academy about 12 years ago. He wanted to deepen his tai chi training and increase his understanding of meditation. When he started he had told me that he had been practicing tai chi for ten years and spent about two hours a day doing his practice. I was very impressed with his discipline and dedication to the practice.
When I asked him where he had learned tai chi he had told me he learned from watching a David Carradine dvd. Now I was extremely impressed by his dedication of the practice. To stay that motivated and disciplined from watching a video was truly amazing and takes a real strong desire.
After watching him move and seeing where he was with his practice I was a bit surprised. He looked like he had been studying tai chi for about 8-12 months. I remember thinking wow if he would have spent all of this time with a good teacher what could he have done? He would have saved himself many years and been so much further along with his training.
There are no short cuts with any meditative practice. We are not here on this earth for a very long time. If finding a good teacher can save you years of effort and greatly accelerate your learning curvethen do it. Isn’t it worth your time to find a good teacher?
2- They prioritize their practice.
Do you brush your teeth ever day? If you meditate it should be the same. There are rarely if ever reasons why you would let day go by with out brushing your teeth. If you meditate it should have the same priority.
This is a simple mind set adjustment. Once you make it a habit you will find it is not difficult to work a meditation practice in to your day.
3- Set reminders and offer rewards to help you establish a new habit.
If you have a smart phone you can look up free app’s that will send you daily notifications to keep you on track with your practice. The simple act of keeping a log or checking off that you finished your daily practice will give you a sense of accomplishment. This can be one more positive out come of your practice.
Another thing you can try in the beginning is offering yourself small rewards. Maybe if you meditate every morning for the next 30 days. Then you can take you self to to a nice dinner, or do something else that you would like.
Just like anything good, meditation is not easy, but there are methods that will be easier for you to adapt than others. If you have tried meditation before and did not have a good experience please do not let that detour you from trying again. There are so many amazing benefits of this practice I guarantee you it will be worth your effort.
If you are looking for more information on how to educate your self on the methods of meditation and build a program that will work for you check out The Meditation Mastery Plan.