Meditation is NOT for me!

Meditation is NOT for me.You have heard it all before. To meditate all you have to do is sit in quiet spot, cross your legs, place your hands over your knees, close your eyes, concentrate on the breathing and prepare to relax. These basic rules are going to lead you to internal bliss. The research highlights this practise is good for you. Taking this action is going to make you smile just like the Dalai Lama.

Generally before you start something new, you buy an outfit, pay for a course, read about it or study a little – prepare in some way. But for this exercise; all you are required to do is sit and breathe. Really? How hard could that possibly be?

Your scheduled meditation time has arrived. You turn all the lights and any noise off and go to your allocated meditation spot. You take a couple of breaths and there is no magic. You take a couple more and now your mind has started nagging at you. Surely this can’t be right.

You shuffle around. Reposition yourself, blow out a big sigh and start again. Refocusing on the breathing. You may as well be at a party where a conversation is not an option because the music is so loud. You want to relax into peaceful pleasure but your mind has other ideas. It wants mental warfare to sit at the top of its thoughts.

Ego has come to visit the mind and is yelling, ‘I will not be silenced’, and brings attention to any number of excuses as to why stopping this nonsense immediately is more than acceptable. Ego encourages us to hold onto anger, stress, and torment.

Five minutes has not even passed and you are getting up, turning the lights on and shaking off this silly episode of doing nothing. Such a lazy pass time. How can people sit for hours? Yeah, yeah, they can do all the blah, blah, blah on meditation, but it is not for you.

I don’t know how many times I have heard someone say, “I have tried meditation. But it is not for me. I can’t just sit there. I can’t concentrate. How do you clear the mind? Every time I go to sit some distraction pops into my mind”.

All these excuses mean you’re mediating correctly. The struggle, the doubt, the mind interruptions, the lack of concentration are the signs you on the right track.

After fifteen years of on again off again mediation, I know this to be correct because all those justifications that you believe take you outside of the meditation category, are the exact issues that say you are capable of slowing down the mind. Breathing and finding time to just be.

The only difference between a beginner and my meditation experience is; I surrender to this time. My mind is not exempt from any of the above annoyances. I could be tired. My mind might be trying to bargain with me – saying, “start tomorrow or  next week”.

I might get anxious before a session. But regardless of how I feel, I am committed. I am going to surrender and whatever happens in this period, I am going to occupy my allotted meditation space.

Sitting and waiting for time to pass can be torture. Some meditation sessions I feel as though nothing is happening. But even if that were the case – I am relaxing. My mind may argue this point however; there are some nights where I should be doing something physical with the amount of tension that runs through my body.

There are moments where I feel as though I am on the wrong track. Although experience has proven otherwise. None of this time is ever wasteful.

For twenty minutes in the morning and of an evening I surrender to myself. I am always attempting to keep the same times frames for my mediation. There are days where focusing on the breathing is asking too much.

Other times going back to the breath is a saviour because whatever I was thinking about is a torment or hurts. Occasionally a wondering mind is easy to steer straight back to the breathing, and then there are times I indulge in the thoughts. Whatever it is I do, I give myself up to those valuable minutes.

I will explain why we all know how to surrender. We accept that certain tasks or obligations must be completed regardless of how we feel about them. Examples are: –

  • Mindless data entry, to keep the accounts up to date, in order for the books to be balanced at the end of the month.
  • The tools after a hard day of being a grease monkey; require cleaning before they are placed back in their rightful position. So that when the next project is underway all equipment is easily accessible.
  • Preparation for the following day, so that things run smoothly.
  • The never ending story of house work, however once done; has a number of benefits.

We do these duties because they prepare or help us move to the next step. That is surrending, accepting certain things regardless of how intolerable or boring they are. Yes repetition is with us all.

The benefits of calm outweigh the uncomfortable thoughts. It is not all bad; some meditation sessions are caught up in day dreams, finding a solution to a problem, romance or something very funny – where our imagination takes hold of us. These moments make us feel so good; that we don’t want it to stop.

However, it is the times when we are struggling that we need to meditate the most. That is when the mind is at its weakest. Once again committing to yourself and surrending regardless of how happy or irritated we are at the time.

I am not going to preach at you about all the benefits of meditation. But I will ask you this; does the Dalai Lama look like he uses medication? Does that wonderful smile ever look fake? Does he look like he has an unstable mind? He is an elderly man with lots of energy, love and affection. He radiates supreme energy. So there is no need to preach meditation when we have a living example as to the benefits of it.

Sitting and breathing requires a certain amount of will power and practise. There is no difference when we exercise or try a new eating regime. We don’t just learn to do up our shoe laces at a fast pace. We had to repeat the task over and over. We did not learn to drive a car confidently, it took time and practice.

Now all you have to ask yourself is – do you have the discipline and courage to at least do it for a month?

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18 Comments

  1. Hi Rachel,

    I only meditate occasionally not everyday. No doubt that meditation will never have any negative effect. But as you mentioned in the post, it is difficult to do just nothing but concentrate. Whenever I try to think nothing, I start thinking something Lol… 😛

    When I was in school, we were made to meditate for 15 minutes a day and I miss those days because I never ever regularly meditated once the school years were over.

    I will try to start meditating again. Thanks for sharing this post. A great reminder for all. 🙂

    ~ Rohan.

    • Hey Rohan, thanks for your comment. That is great you did meditation at school. I would love to know what country that was in. I tell you it is an invaluable tool that more schools would benefit from using. I am an on again off again meditator, but as they years have passed, I find I am more disciplined now, only because I see and feel the benefits. Even exercise which I do irregularly does not balance me like meditation, but when I do both, I am a bagful of energy. And I have found that now that I am committed to writing the mediation is one of my best tools.

      When I start meditating after some time has passed I am aware my mind will be all over the place, it takes me about a week to really get into it. But never mind, even when the mind is all over the place and I am resting, breathing, daydreaming, reflecting I still benefit. Talk soon.

        • Hey Rohan,

          Thanks for visiting my blog. Wow you meditation and prayers – the teachers would have loved this discipline, all their students well balanced before studies. I think it is a great idea to introduce to young people. It is more required now than it has ever been, especially since we live in a social media world. I look forward to knowing a little more about your situation. I did my first Vipassana course in Nepal, many years ago. Ten days of no talking and 12 hours of meditation. Its tough but the returns are amazing. Talk soon.

  2. Hi Rachel,

    Wonderful post indeed 🙂

    Oh yes…meditation is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, and I’ve also heard so many people say that they just cannot do it or cannot sit quiet for so long! But where there is a will, there is always a way, and I strongly believe in that. I guess they forget all the other things they’re able to do – but just don’t wish to take on to meditation.

    I started meditating years ago, and to be honest, picked it up from my Dad, who’s reached a very high level now, and we love it! I wasn’t very regular with it, but lately have started making it part of my routine, and taking out those 20 min every morning is the best thing I’m doing.

    I practice TM (Transcendental Meditation) – if you heard of it, and that allows you to let the thoughts come in, and as they come, so they go – you don’t or shouldn’t force them to come or go. In-between, you reach your blissful state, and even if it’s for a few seconds, it does you more good than you can imagine. I plan making it part of my evening schedule too – just finding the right time is what I need to decide on.

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    BTW – Love the changes on your blog – and I’d mention that on the ABC 🙂

    • Hey Harleena, thanks for your comment. I wrote this for all those who struggle. Because nobody really talks about how hard just sitting is or what happens when it is not going according to our own perception. The people that have tried it and said it is not for there (there are heaps hey?) they generally have attempted meditation when they were in a time of need. Either searching for something or when things weren’t quiet right. Years ago I did a 10 Vipassana course in Nepal and that is when I really nailed it. Before hand I had attempted it many times, many different disciplines and while I knew I got something out of it, I still felt ill at ease. Like I was not doing it right or I was a fraud. But when I learnt that our monkey minds require a little bit of time to ease into this practise the benefits were amazing. I generally do 20 minutes of a morning and night and during the day when I am writing or running around doing You Tube I do a guided meditation. I am not sure if I have done Transcendental Meditation – because I have never really practised thoughts going in and out. Generally just breathing. But I have no problem with trying any new meditation.

      Cheers for the feedback on the blog, still have two posts I don’t know how to get the permalinks to not error out on me, but I am working on it. I have a twitter widget so I got my handle which I will be working on after I reply to these comments. Five days I have been out of action, full of stress and anxiety (painful) but that highlights how much this blogging path means to me, so I am okay with it. And I will mention it on ABC-great idea.

  3. Hey Rachel

    Great post. you have explained in detail the feeling which we go through while meditating. It is difficult initially, but as the time passes our body becomes use to it.

    Thank You again for such a wonderful post!!!!

    • Hey Yash, Thanks for your comments. I agree as time goes on, it does become easier, well most times. I don’t know about you, but every now and again 20 minutes feels like I have been sitting for years. But that is when the mind requires more work and sitting. I can never predict how a session will start or end. Some times the alarm goes off and I think I have not set it correctly because it went way too fast. That is when I know I have had a great meditation. That’s when I know I have hit it right. Talk soon.

  4. Hi Rachel,

    At first I felt that same way about meditation. I just couldn’t get it or understand how I could do it. I thought it just wouldn’t be my thing.

    But once I tried it, I guess when I really needed to, and somehow experienced a vast improvement. Not immediately of course but I left like it was helping. I was actually getting it.

    I think you do have to have an open mind about it and try it for a certain period of time like you said. Even if it’s just a week at first, I’m sure you’ll be compelled to continue.

    ~Lea

    • Hey Lea,

      I think we all look for something when things are not right or go back to it (me all over) when I am at the edge. But as the years go on, I have found I meditate more than I don’t now. Even when I am feeling happy I recognise that a bit of balance will bring me to an equilibrium that suits me. It is like my energy gets balanced. You nailed it Lea when you say ‘at first I did not get it’ because that’s what happens, people don’t get it and they are expecting a something and when a something does not happen they feel disillusioned. But really it is like anything, we have to practise. Thanks for commenting – Talk soon.

  5. Hi Rachel

    I guess you are right about Meditation.

    To keep your mind calm isn’t that easy so times when I try to meditate, swarms of thoughts buzz in my brain and suddenly I am tempted to be restless but I don’t move an inch and allow such thoughts to keep coming till I can drift into calmness.

    Your post does have so much insight. Thank you for sharing. I am glad that I am not alone.

    • Hey Ikechi

      Thank you for your comment. The monkey mind our friend and foe, depending on our perspective at the time. I like how you are disciplined when restless but don’t move an inch. I turn into a wiggly worm some sessions. But over the years I have felt the benefits and I have had two amazing experiences, where I have sat for an hour and there was no pain, no anything – it was like got a window into what consistent practise can really do. I get what you mean by drifting into calmness – that sums it up so well. When that happens I don’t even realise it has happened until the alarm goes off. Sometimes I don’t even know what happens and other times I certainly feel every minute passing. While meditation is so singular it has amazing energy. How you ever participated in a group meditation – oh my that is so singular and so all us as one. Talk soon.

  6. Hi Rachel
    Meditation is really important in one’s life. But, the most important thing is to maintain a consistency. I also do not meditate on a regular basis. I am going to allocate time for this wonderful gift.
    Earlier, my mind used to hop from one place to another. I was not able to concentrate properly due to flickering thoughts. Now, I concentrate on my breathing without focusing on the thoughts. I don’t let them disturb my breathing pattern.
    NOw, I am planning to devote some time for meditation. It feels great after every process. There is unusual calmness after every sitting which can’t be expressed in simple words.

    • Hey Yatin,

      I agree with you about the unusual calmness that can’t be expressed in words. If I could explain it, it would have been put in this very post. But I don’t mind not knowing how to express it as long as it happens. I too stop and start meditation, but do it more regular these days. Something always pulls me back to it. It is my life saver really. I like your discipline, I can never gauge when will be a great meditation. I am disciplined in sitting but breathing continuously is not always how it goes for me. As I wrote sometimes I am right on the spot, but other times I struggle and that is okay with me. Whatever gets me through the time. Because the benefits are like nothing else I have tried. Thanks for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it. Talk soon.

    • Hey Skywalker

      Thank you for visiting my blog. I liked the the title too and it was exactly how I felt when I first began, however life had other ideas for me. Whenever I did stopped meditation, there would always some sign that guided me back. This post was aimed at those who do attempt but feel it is not for them. Can you remember when you first started prayer or meditation, how odd or different it felt. It was not until we attempted it a couple of times before it became comfortable. A monkey mind exists in us all, how we go about balancing that out can vary. But if I can do it, then I know anyone is capable of it. Talk soon.

    • Hey Kathy,

      Welcome and thanks for commenting. I always get my weekly fix of laugh from Emily’s blog. I enjoy her straight out style.

      Meditation is a great balancer, even when it feels as though it is doing nothing or we become restless. The results for me are always calm, clarity and back to balance.

      Going with the flow in both meditation and life is a great strategy.

      I look forward to checking out your blog in a couple of days – I always love to see what my commenters are up to. Talk soon.

      Rachel.

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