Why we stop meditating
31st January 2022
Written by Suryacitta
MEDITATION IS NOT ABOUT GAINING SOMETHING, IT’S ABOUT LOSING
"Maybe I'm doing it wrong"
"Nothing is happening"
"I can't quieten my mind"
"I'm too anxious to meditate"
"I'm finding it boring"
Here are just some of the reasons people give up on meditation. There are similar reasons people want to start but are reluctant to take the plunge, even though they know that it is excellent for their mental and spiritual health.
So let's look at some answers to these phrases.
“Maybe I am doing it wrong”
Yes, I agree, maybe you are doing it all wrong. How you approach meditation is the key.
Normally we want something. We pay, we get! And often we have a good idea of what it is we will get for our money. Put your card in a cash machine and out comes cash, put your coin in a slot machine and you play a game. There is normally an instant payback, an immediate exchange.
Meditation doesn’t work like that.
We have an idea of what we want from meditation and for some it can be a real joy to begin with, but the glow dims over the months. This happened with me, I had wonderful releases of energy, and some spiritual experiences, but they waned, however I didn’t stop because I had a good teacher who explained what would happen, and what was happening.
We are experience junkies, we want something to happen in our meditation, it’s like we can be sitting there waiting for “IT.” We are just hoping.
Let me tell you a secret…meditation is not about gaining something, or getting somewhere - IT’S NOT!
It is about losing something, it's about losing some of what you just don't need - anxiety, worry, fear, feelings of unworthiness, self doubt, feeling confused about who you are and what to do with your life, the list is endless.
That is the main misunderstanding. Once you begin to see this misunderstanding then your meditation can begin to work its "magic".
We are looking for happiness (just to give it a name) or let’s use the word wholeness. The problem with looking for wholeness is we are already whole. That there is something missing is a just the mind telling you so - literally.
Then the mind dangles carrots of future wholeness or happiness and that becomes your pursuit in meditation. The carrot is just an idea.
We are totally conviced there is something missing- somthing wrong - there is nothing missing and nothing wrong!. Meditation helps us see this, feel this, know this, we are already whole. We are convinced by stories of the mind - we don't deserve happiness, just yet; we believe we need to become a more worthy person and then just maybe we will be happy and whole.
Meditation is about staying right where you are and seeing what seems to obscure this wholeness, this happiness. I have a saying, happiness is what you are, unhappiness is what you do - with your mind.
That is why early on it is good to get the attitude and approach to meditation correct. Otherwise you are just heading off in the wrong direction, you could spend years looking in the wrong places.
“Nothing is happening”
Nothing is supposed to happen! What we really mean is - I am not getting what I want or expect. However, if we practice over time with the right understanding a dawning of well-being, a dawning that all is well, all is whole begins to emerge. This doesn’t tend to happen overnight but takes some patience in commitment and sound teachings.
“I can’t quieten my mind”
Of course you can’t. This is one of the biggies, we are desperate to quieten the mind. But the mind - thinking - has a life of its own. It takes it’s energy from your attention, that’s its fuel. The mind is trying to work life out and it can’t. It tries to protect, tries to find security, to find a a safe place, but it can’t. The mind is a wonderful tool, but it cannot find you the happiness you seek no matter how much you try to have nice thoughts, or spiritual thoughts or to think positively.
Once you learn how to shift your attention to what's really happening in the here and now, what I call coming to your senses then all the ego or self centred thinking begins to drop away, leaving wholeness. We have to learn how to relate to thoughts wisely if this is to be discovered. This is done through practice.
“I’m finding it boring”
We find it boring because to the excitable, experience hungry mind, sitting and feeling the breath, or listening to the sound of traffic or birds is excruciatingly boring. The mind wants to think about life, it doesn’t want you to experience it. It wants us to keep watching the ME MOVIE because it is obsessed with it. The mind is more interested in what is not happening (the movie in the head) than what is really happening, hearing, seeing feeling etc. We end up living in a virtual reality of the mind.
“I’m too anxious to meditate”
On a recent meditation course in Leicester this was a point somebody made and this point does have some validity. If we are going through a very difficult and anxious period it may not be the best time to start. But once it decreases, then through meditation we can come to see just how anxiety is created and what to do about it.
If you are interested in starting meditation again or for the first time then take alook at our Back to Basics online mindfulness course over three weeks these are the areas we will explore along with any question at all you bring.
Suryacitta will give you a thorough understanding of just what meditaiton is and how to maintain and benefit from your practice.
Tagged as: introduction to meditation, introductory mindfulness course online, meditation - back to basics, online meditation course, online mindfulness course
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