Keys to easy, effortless meditation...
There are all sorts of reasons that people find it difficult to meditate.
On this page, we discuss some of the common ones and what to do to make
meditation easier. If you have been trying to meditate on your own or
trying the meditations we suggest and are experiencing difficulty, these
explanations should help.
We support styles of meditation which are simple, natural and easy to do.
Our hope is that meditation will create greater peace, relaxation, ease and
naturalness in your life. The suggestions on this page are in keeping with
Problems with thoughts in meditation
This is probably the most
common challenge people have with meditation. They feel they are
unable to quiet the mind and keep out thoughts. "My mind just won't stop
its chatter." "I can't stay focused on meditation."
Solution: The key is to stop resisting thoughts and trying to make
them go away. Thoughts are a part of meditation. They are a natural
activity in the mind. Although meditation can be a way to experience inner
silence, this comes about not by eliminating thoughts but by becoming away of
the silence that is naturally present in the mind along with the thoughts.
When we stop resisting what is naturally happening, we experience calmness and
peace. (Read more about thoughts in meditation.)
Often people find it's hard to sit still for
meditation. It doesn't take long to start thinking of all the things you
could be doing, or to feel restless like you want to get up.
Restlessness can arise as the body "unwinds". When we sit to meditate,
it's as if we've spent the day in a moving car. Once we stop and rest, it
feels as if our body is still moving. It takes time for the body to settle
down and feel at rest. Meditating is like shifting gears in a car -- you
shift into neutral and the engine takes a while to slow down and come to idle.
Continue meditating, allowing yourself to be aware of the sensation of
restlessness in the body. You can continue with the meditation practice,
such as watching the breath, during this time, or if the restlessness is
extremely intense you can give your attention fully to the sensation of
restlessness. Notice exactly how it feels in your body -- where you feel
it, and what the sensation is like. As you allow yourself to experience
the restlessness, it will eventually settle down.
Being uncomfortable with our
meditation, we may be uncomfortable with some of the feelings that arise.
This might take the form of a strong emotion or a physical sensation in the
body. When the mind is no longer caught up in its outer-directed focus and
the usual distractions of the day, we can become aware of feelings that have
been under the surface. You may feel tempted to stop meditating, or start
to resist these feelings, making meditation a struggle.
The key to achieving a state of deep relaxation, is to learn to stop resisting
certain feelings and be present to "what is". Thoughts, emotions, bodily
sensations come and go continuously in the natural flow of life. Left to
flow by themselves, they will pass through. Simply allow these feelings to be present, not trying to push them out, but also
not following the mind's stories about them. If an emotion is so strong
that it's overpowering, allow the awareness to be easily with that emotion.
Notice its location in the body, and let the awareness be with the physical
sensations associated with the emotion until the emotion diminishes. Let
go of the meaning the mind gives to the emotion.
Occasionally in meditation, something can come to awareness that is
particularly difficult, such as a repressed memory from the past or a realization
about something we need to change in our lives. In this case, it may be
helpful to get some support, such as counseling to help deal with the issues
Disappointment that "good experiences"
aren't always there
Every time we meditate our experiences will be different, depending
on our ever-changing physical and emotional states, as well as life
circumstances. It is important to understand that our experiences will
change, as we will tend to form expectations based on our previous experience.
Naturally we like some meditative experiences better than others, and may feel
disappointed if we meditate and don't have those experiences.
There are no good or bad experiences in meditation. There is no right
or wrong way to feel. Meditation is about "letting go" and trusting the
natural flow of life. It is important to remember that the goal of these
meditations is not to have special experiences, but to become more at ease with
whatever arises. By meditating regularly and following these guidelines,
ease in meditation will grow and this will translate into greater ease in living
-- the ability to flow with whatever life brings.
Sitting in an uncomfortable posture
Often people have the idea that they have to sit in a certain posture
for effective meditation, and yet they find it is impossible to do so
comfortably. If you are physically uncomfortable this will dominate your
awareness and it will be impossible to relax.
Solution: For sitting
meditations, it is best to sit with the spine erect, but not to strain in any
way. Sit in a way which is natural and puts you at ease. For most
people, sitting with back support and with the feet flat on the floor works
Read our Meditation Guidelines page for more
help with meditation.
Visit our Simple
Meditations page to learn some easy, natural ways to meditate!
MEDITATION MUSIC CD
Pure Light CD
10 selections of beautiful music for deep relaxation and meditation
GUIDED MEDITATION CDs
Silence of Being CD
guides you in effortless meditation
Pure Relaxation CD
variety of meditations and music for relaxing completely
Ease of Being CD
3 meditations for centering and healing
Sleep Easy CD
guided meditation for sleep
Body Aware CD
3 body-centered meditations for rejuvenation and grounding