Commentaries on yoga

Difficulties with meditation

by Tristan Dorling

Q:

I can’t meditate at all. Every time I sit down to meditate, my mind just wanders onto other things. I spend most of my time just daydreaming and can’t focus. Am I really suited to this?

A:

This is quite normal, and is what nearly everyone experiences in the beginning when they start to practice meditation. It doesn’t mean that you can’t do it, it just means that you need to practice some more. It can take a while in the beginning for the mind to begin to calm down. At first there can be a lot of thoughts, pulling us one way or another. This doesn’t matter. Just continue to come back to the object of meditation when you realise you are off it. Sometimes you will find that you are lost in thought for a whole session. Other times you will find that you have more clarity, and can remain with the meditation object for longer periods of time.

Gradually you will find that you are able to notice more easily when you are lost in thought, and come back to the meditation object more often. You will also find that, with practice, you are able to remain with your awareness on the object of meditation for longer periods of time. The important thing is to practice.

When your mind becomes steady, and the thoughts become quiet and you are able to remain simply sitting with your awareness on your breath, you will notice that the world is a very quiet place. It is also a very peaceful place and a very beautiful place. Simply sitting, with the attention resting gently with the object of meditation, allows these qualities to be noticed. Meditation brings us quietly to a place of stillness which is ever overflowing with joy. So it is worth making the effort even if, at first, it seems difficult.

 

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