Practicing Meditation: Getting started is a struggle.

This week I expected my task to bring ease and relaxation. I was looking forward to the added focus and concentration that I would find. Instead I have found frustration and fatigue. After the first three days I have only completed one thirty minute session. One week of meditation has been much more of a challenge than I had expected.

On the first day I followed along with a YouTube series about how to meditate. As I listened to these videos my mind was constantly wandering. With my eyes shut my brain filled in the pictures, but quickly took over the rest of my senses also. Losing all focus on my meditation I was lost in my own thoughts, just seconds after I started. This happened repeatedly, only to be corrected when the video reminded me to focus on my breath.

As I continued to catch myself thinking in tangents, as I often do in everyday life, my frustration grew. After little more than 15 minutes I was angry enough to express myself out loud, even though nobody was around. This is when I realized that I was moving in the wrong direction, and thought it would be best for me to stop for the day. Going to bed almost immediately, I fell asleep quickly and remember my dreams vividly.

Tuesday, day two, was arguably less productive than day one. I began meditating shortly after 11 pm, hoping to achieve the same drowsiness as the day before. If what they say in that video is correct, (Meditation is dreaming, and dreaming is meditation.) then I was meditating for 12 hours straight. I woke up on my couch at 11:30 am feeling drained.

After work I took a four-hour nap and woke up refreshed. Not wanting to fall asleep again I began meditating shortly after waking up. This time I didn’t use a guide or video, I just sat in the dim light coming in the windows and focused on my breath. I don’t believe that I reached more than a very basic state of meditation, and still frequently caught my mind wandering, but for the first time I felt like I had made some progress.

Preparing for tonight’s mediation I will sit in silence, and aim to improve my focus even further. I have found it very difficult to be both focused and alert while practicing meditation. A lack of focus allows my mind to wander, while no longer being alert will cause me to fall into a dream. These are two areas that are likely to make a huge improvement in my everyday life. Hopefully this week continues to show me the potential that practicing meditation can have.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Don’t get discouraged. It takes years of practice to master meditation especially over long periods of time. It is actually recommeneded the one start with 5-10 minute increments. Starting out with short increments of time creats less frustration. A method that works well for me is focusing on a candle flame. There are many varieties of meditation, not all of them about total blankness of the mind. Just being able to focus on one thing is a form of meditation. When random thoughts enter your mind, acknowledge them and immediately allow them to leave your mind. This keeps you from beating yourself up all the time. Keep it up…you see and feel a difference.

    Reply

    • Thanks Isis, I appreciate the advice; today I think I will break my meditation down into two shorter sessions. Having completed two 30 minute practices I still find my frustration building by the end, preventing me from feeling relaxed and calm when I finish meditating. Hopefully breaking down my meditation will allow me to hold onto my peace of mind as I return to everyday life.

      Reply

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