If you are having trouble establishing a solid meditation practice, then you are most likely making one or more of these mistakes. Here is what to avoid when trying to make meditation a part of your life.
1. Not seeing Meditation as a Priority
This was definitely my problem when I first started!! It was my last priority and some days I wouldn’t do it and others felt like I was falling asleep half way through.
Meditation needs to become the foundation of our life rather than an afterthought. Without having that time to turn inward, our lives will be based on the chaos that is going on in our minds and the poor decisions we make. This causes us so much suffering and has long-term consequences for our pursuit of happiness.
When meditation becomes our foundation of our life, then we experience more clarity and deep satisfaction within. When the storms of life hit, we have our strong and solid foundation of meditation. We can weather those storms and come out with an even stronger foundation.
2. Trying to Empty the Mind
This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make and I was like this too. Trying to empty the mind is like trying to control the wind. It is impossible! Even when you have that moment of pure clarity, the mind instantly goes, ‘oh I’m thinking of nothing!’.
For the mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong, O Krsna, and to subdue it is, it seems to me, more difficult than controlling the wind.
Rather than trying to simply empty the mind, our meditation is actually about redirecting the mind. Whether this be on our breath, mindfulness, or in mantra meditation, we are actually redirecting the active mind to the focus of our meditation practice. As the mind starts to wander, we become aware of that and then redirect back to our focus point. We continue to do this through our practice.
Gradually the mind starts to become disciplined and we find it easier and easier to focus in our meditation. This is when meditation becomes a joy to practice and it is so worth it.
3. Not being Patient with your Practice
As you continue to redirect your mind in your practice, you may find yourself getting frustrated. I know I did. Why am I not focussing??!! Why aren’t I experiencing inner peace??
We must remember that meditation is an inner journey and some days are easier than others. Some days it will feel like you are fighting with your mind. Other days will be like butterflies and rain drops. Those days where it feels hard to practice is generally when we get frustrated.
Cultivate a patient attitude toward your meditation. The results are so worth it and it can take time for those results to fructify. Just like getting strong from going to the gym takes time. The more we practice our meditation, the less agitated our mind becomes and those easier days become more frequent.
The days where you feel frustration is creeping in, remind yourself to be patient and ignore that frustration feeling. Then just bring your awareness back to the focus of your meditation. Let go of the results that you are trying to achieve, take the pressure off yourself.
4. Meditation is Not a Daily Ritual
It can be difficult to have meditation as a daily practice due being time-poor or whatever impediment comes up. However, we need to remember that meditation is about bringing the mind under control. If we only do meditation when we feel like it, then we won’t have the necessary discipline to control the mind. As Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita:
For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his very mind will be the greatest enemy.
Making meditation a daily ritual creates a discipline for the mind. This is because we are doing the meditation whether we feel like it or not. We can know that our minds are out of control when we don’t practice meditation because we don’t feel like it or something else comes up. This thought is from the mind only.
Learn how you can easily add meditation to your life through the Transform Your Life with Meditation course!