How Can I Meditate When I Just Can't Meditate (Part One)
Is there a meditation tape that can successfully be used by someone who just can't meditate? I have tried many different ways to meditate - TM, breathing, visualization - and none of these seems to work for me.
Perhaps I don't have the patience. I really don't know what it is. I just know that I would like to be able to meditate, if only for a few minutes. Any suggestions? I would appreciate your input.
This is such a great question!!! Do you know how many people ask this? I'm glad to have a chance to collect my thoughts for a decent answer.
Okay, so let me opine for a minute here...
It's always possible that your idea of 'properly meditating' is a little too rigid. You may be doing it perfectly well enough, but quickly jumping into judging yourself, deciding you're not doing it right, and killing the whole deal. Remember; it's not that your mind shouldn't wander. Minds always will. You just gently guide it back, 'til it wanders again... That's the most likely possibility. You might be meditating and just don't know it.
Another might be that you're trying to do this for too extended a time period. You might do better with smaller doses - like 5 or 10 minute segments. We have short tracks like that on our Guided Imagery Mix and our newly recorded, about-to-be launched Mindful Meditation Mix and on Traci Stein's short track in her new Mindfulness Meditation program that's just about to be released digitally this week. So, going briefer is worth a shot, too.
Another possibility might be that you just aren't wired for easily sitting still or focusing with your imagination (that's about one in a dozen people), so the whole attempt to do this stresses you and makes you fidgety. Could you eventually learn to sit still and imagine a healing scenario, or mindfully note your thoughts, your body sensations, your feelings and such? Sure. But is it worth spending a ton of time and effort to train yourself to go against your grain in this way? No, not really - especially when you could learn walking meditation, yoga, tai chi or some other method that accommodates your itching-to-move nervous system, by using body movement as part of the drill. Our Relieve Stress and our Mindful Meditation Mix have a walking meditation that's made to order for this; or you could try a biofeedback machine to help you out; or you could try simple, clear yoga instruction - we have pages and pages of fine yoga offerings in our catalog for you to try.
Perhaps some of these ideas will be a help. But if not, stay tuned because we've got more suggestions coming next week.
p.s. If you liked this post, you might enjoy getting our weekly e-news with other articles just like it. If so, sign up here!