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Can't Seem To Meditate


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Once or twice a day for the past week I've been trying to meditate for 20 minutes, but it seems to be a waste of time.  I've tried standing, sitting, eyes open, eyes shut, laying on my back - nothing works.  I can't even get to that state for a split second.

 

I know it takes time, but I've heard that after a week most people can get into that state briefly.  I've been thinking about trying to stare at a candle or maybe listening to special music?

 

Any ideas?

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Start with 5 mins and use a focus point or object, like a flower or candle flame xxx

Just aim to relax and breathe

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Start with 5 mins and use a focus point or object, like a flower or candle flame xxx

Just aim to relax and breathe

 

Thanks, 5 minutes sounds better than 20 minutes. :)  I'll try concentrating harder for a shorter period of time?

 

Also, if anybody knows a good intro for beginners, that would be great.  I think I must not understand what I'm supposed to be doing.

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It's possible you are hoping for a 'result' - i remember waiting for the feeling when I had been praying that meant i had done it right (a self fulfilling programmed xtian! )

 

With meditation it helps to know you are simply spending time now.

Let thoughts of past or future events float away and try to be present in the moment.

Lots of people start with body awareness where you just focus your attention on your toes, really feel them there, attached , then move up to your ankles and so on up to the top of your head :)

 

Have a go, unless you're on a pogo stick or something its pretty hard to do meditation wrong!

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It's possible you are hoping for a 'result' - i remember waiting for the feeling when I had been praying that meant i had done it right (a self fulfilling programmed xtian! )

 

With meditation it helps to know you are simply spending time now.

Let thoughts of past or future events float away and try to be present in the moment.

Lots of people start with body awareness where you just focus your attention on your toes, really feel them there, attached , then move up to your ankles and so on up to the top of your head smile.png

 

Have a go, unless you're on a pogo stick or something its pretty hard to do meditation wrong!

 

Thanks, I'll give those ideas a try.  I'll keep experimenting.  :)

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Maybe try giving guided meditation a shot, one that seems to resonate with you best. Youtube has tons of them.

 

Another practice that "primes" you, so to speak, for meditation is mindfulness. Being mindful of the present moment, no past, no future, just the now -- even if you're only washing dishes, give yourself fully to what you're doing and make it the immediate vicinity of your universe. Take a walk in the park mindfully. Cut the grass mindfully.

 

A lot of the struggle is in the idea "why can't I stop thinking?!" Lol. It's not about "not thinking" though, it's just in observing the thoughts, forming no attachment to them, and letting them go. You are not the thoughts, you are the observer of the thoughts.

 

Breathing exercises or mantra meditation is very beneficial as well. I chant Om. It's taken the place of prayer in my life.

 

Pops gave such solid advice. Body awareness is how I started meditating when I was a teenager -- there was a "grounding" technique I would use that evoked a blissful and relaxed feeling. I actually learned it from a counselor.

 

Best of luck.

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Maybe try giving guided meditation a shot, one that seems to resonate with you best. Youtube has tons of them.

 

Another practice that "primes" you, so to speak, for meditation is mindfulness. Being mindful of the present moment, no past, no future, just the now -- even if you're only washing dishes, give yourself fully to what you're doing and make it the immediate vicinity of your universe. Take a walk in the park mindfully. Cut the grass mindfully.

 

A lot of the struggle is in the idea "why can't I stop thinking?!" Lol. It's not about "not thinking" though, it's just in observing the thoughts, forming no attachment to them, and letting them go. You are not the thoughts, you are the observer of the thoughts.

 

Breathing exercises or mantra meditation is very beneficial as well. I chant Om. It's taken the place of prayer in my life.

 

Pops gave such solid advice. Body awareness is how I started meditating when I was a teenager -- there was a "grounding" technique I would use that evoked a blissful and relaxed feeling. I actually learned it from a counselor.

 

Best of luck.

 

Thanks, I went for a walk and tried to be aware of more details around me.  It will take me some practice though. :)

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One thing I found that helped me at first is that you should not try to control or stop your thoughts. That will be an exercise in frustration. What I did was to talk to my mind and simply tell it, 'I'm just asking to suspend thinking for this time, and then we can get back to it later'. That worked. What I find is that it's not about putting a stranglehold on your mind, but rather learning a cooperation with it through respect. The mind is just wanting to do what you ask it to do all day long, and to suddenly come on the scene and tell it to shut up will only result in freaking it out.

 

From there, you learn a lot more about how to talk to yourself. You have to look at these things as parts of ourselves and learn how to work with yourself cooperatively.

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One thing I found that helped me at first is that you should not try to control or stop your thoughts. That will be an exercise in frustration. What I did was to talk to my mind and simply tell it, 'I'm just asking to suspend thinking for this time, and then we can get back to it later'. That worked. What I find is that it's not about putting a stranglehold on your mind, but rather learning a cooperation with it through respect. The mind is just wanting to do what you ask it to do all day long, and to suddenly come on the scene and tell it to shut up will only result in freaking it out.

 

From there, you learn a lot more about how to talk to yourself. You have to look at these things as parts of ourselves and learn how to work with yourself cooperatively.

 

That makes sense.  I suppose it's like trying to explain how to ride a bicycle.  Hopefully I'm not too old to learn this. :)

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That makes sense.  I suppose it's like trying to explain how to ride a bicycle.  Hopefully I'm not too old to learn this. smile.png

Now that you use the bicycle analogy, it is a lot like that as well. If you attempt to analyze all the steps you need to do, you will never simply relax into it and simply ride. We somehow are able to find that balance in ourselves. With meditation, you really have to 'unlearn' the normal ways we try to do something. It's really more learning to 'not do'. You learn to allow. It's good to know some basic techniques of course, like you do in order to dance, but then you simply go with the flow. If you try to force anything, it all becomes mechanical, stilted, out of balance, and ultimately frustrating and unfulfilled.

 

Keep this in mind too, the process of learning how to 'not do', is where a huge amount of the work and benefit comes from! It's everything you learn about yourself in the process.

 

P.S. No way you're too old to learn how to meditate!

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  • 4 weeks later...

I find it easier to do in a group with a leader guiding it. You're there for the hour so you give yourself up to it for that hour. Especially as it's usually in a conducive atmosphere. If practicing at home use meditation music.

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I find it easier to do in a group with a leader guiding it. You're there for the hour so you give yourself up to it for that hour. Especially as it's usually in a conducive atmosphere. If practicing at home use meditation music.

Thanks. Right now I only meditate 5 minutes at a time as pops suggested, so I don't think I could sit there for an hour - but maybe I would surprise myself. The music might help too. I found a book I bought and never read called "The Meditative Mind: The Varieties of Meditative Experience" by Daniel Goleman. The book discusses meditation styles in different cultures and their commonalities. I don't know why this is so hard for me when it is apparently natural for most people.

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Don't try so hard. You're trying too hard.

I assume you mean I'm trying too hard for a result? I only meditate about 5 minutes a few times per day.

 

One meditation video I watched said that some people simply can't meditate and those people need to practice repetitive physical activities like dancing, hiking, etc.

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I assume you mean I'm trying too hard for a result? I only meditate about 5 minutes a few times per day.

5 minutes is hardly enough time to enter into meditative states, unless you are very experienced and know how to let go quickly like that. Even then, even with experienced meditators, it still takes a good 15 plus minutes to really know where you are at that day and go deeper. For someone to say they tried for 5 minutes and begin to question that they can't meditate is hardly a fair judgement.

 

"I just can't do it", guarantees you can't. In fact, look at it like this. The busy mind doesn't want to let go of its hold on you, and telling yourself this, is that busy mind trying to keep you from being master, rather than being mastered. We lie to ourselves. Even experienced mediators have the mind try to do this to them.

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Don't try so hard. You're trying too hard.

I assume you mean I'm trying too hard for a result? I only meditate about 5 minutes a few times per day.

 

One meditation video I watched said that some people simply can't meditate and those people need to practice repetitive physical activities like dancing, hiking, etc.

 

 

Aye, to think the second form of meditation to be less-fulfilling than the first is wrong. If you cannot sit with singing bowls, then try doing the dishes.

 

Three forms of meditation, where you sit and think on nothing. Where you sit and think on something. Or where you think on doing something, it allows the mind to move naturally with the body. It's just different. Sometimes it is useful to still the body, and sometimes it is useful to still the mind, and sometimes it is useful to notice them working in unison.

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I assume you mean I'm trying too hard for a result? I only meditate about 5 minutes a few times per day.

5 minutes is hardly enough time to enter into meditative states, unless you are very experienced and know how to let go quickly like that. Even then, even with experienced meditators, it still takes a good 15 plus minutes to really know where you are at that day and go deeper. For someone to say they tried for 5 minutes and begin to question that they can't meditate is hardly a fair judgement.

 

"I just can't do it", guarantees you can't. In fact, look at it like this. The busy mind doesn't want to let go of its hold on you, and telling yourself this, is that busy mind trying to keep you from being master, rather than being mastered. We lie to ourselves. Even experienced mediators have the mind try to do this to them.

 

Thanks. I've been hoping 5 minutes might be enough, but maybe that is wishful thinking. It does sometimes make me feel a little better, but it might be only the satisfaction of completing a chore.

 

I used to practice the Jesus Prayer and I didn't enjoy it and it never seemed to help me. Sometimes I would stand all night reading from a prayer book, fasting, etc. Eventually I decided it was better to invest a small effort that way the disappointment would be less painful.

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Don't try so hard. You're trying too hard.

I assume you mean I'm trying too hard for a result? I only meditate about 5 minutes a few times per day.

 

One meditation video I watched said that some people simply can't meditate and those people need to practice repetitive physical activities like dancing, hiking, etc.

 

 

Aye, to think the second form of meditation to be less-fulfilling than the first is wrong. If you cannot sit with singing bowls, then try doing the dishes.

 

Three forms of meditation, where you sit and think on nothing. Where you sit and think on something. Or where you think on doing something, it allows the mind to move naturally with the body. It's just different. Sometimes it is useful to still the body, and sometimes it is useful to still the mind, and sometimes it is useful to notice them working in unison.

 

That's interesting. I'm glad there are choices for meditation, because the standard type is hard for me. What I enjoy doing during my meditation time is to try to observe every visual detail without moving my eyes around. I forget about my problems while I'm doing that. Also lately I've been trying to remember that I'm not actually a human but I'm controlling a human and I need to make wiser choices for that human - if that makes sense.

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Once or twice a day for the past week I've been trying to meditate for 20 minutes, but it seems to be a waste of time.  I've tried standing, sitting, eyes open, eyes shut, laying on my back - nothing works.  I can't even get to that state for a split second.

 

I know it takes time, but I've heard that after a week most people can get into that state briefly.  I've been thinking about trying to stare at a candle or maybe listening to special music?

 

Any ideas?

 

1 - Get comfty.

2 - Breathing... ya know the tipical breathe in breathe out stuff... and listen and be aware of your breathing

3 - Close your eyes

4 - Think of something. Like a ampty room, a jummy icecream, what ever ya want.

5 - Put more detail in what your thinking about. And try to feel and sence it... like mmmm jummy cold delisuse chocolate icecream...

6 - Dont expect for something magicaly to happen.

 

Some people tell you to think of nothing and clear your mind... well thats imposible... unless your like brain dead.

However focusing on something clears your mind of anything else.

 

7 - If your having problems focusing on something then talk to yourself.

 

Hope my 7 steps are any use to you.. good luck :)

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Once or twice a day for the past week I've been trying to meditate for 20 minutes, but it seems to be a waste of time.  I've tried standing, sitting, eyes open, eyes shut, laying on my back - nothing works.  I can't even get to that state for a split second.

 

I know it takes time, but I've heard that after a week most people can get into that state briefly.  I've been thinking about trying to stare at a candle or maybe listening to special music?

 

Any ideas?

 

1 - Get comfty.

2 - Breathing... ya know the tipical breathe in breathe out stuff... and listen and be aware of your breathing

3 - Close your eyes

4 - Think of something. Like a ampty room, a jummy icecream, what ever ya want.

5 - Put more detail in what your thinking about. And try to feel and sence it... like mmmm jummy cold delisuse chocolate icecream...

6 - Dont expect for something magicaly to happen.

 

Some people tell you to think of nothing and clear your mind... well thats imposible... unless your like brain dead.

However focusing on something clears your mind of anything else.

 

7 - If your having problems focusing on something then talk to yourself.

 

Hope my 7 steps are any use to you.. good luck smile.png

Thanks, the idea of focusing on something sounds interesting. I'll see if that helps.

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