For most of my life, I have battled with meditation. Over a period of 15 years, despite buying meditation CDs, going to classes, and reading meditation books, I was unable to incorporate meditation into my daily life. The books and workshops made me feel like a failure, and the meditation CDs usually sent me to sleep. My first meditation was actually extremely uncomfortable, and I always thought I was too busy to practise meditation.
Sad to say, while the most of us are aware of the advantages of meditation, relatively few of us really engage in it on a daily basis. We have a long way to go before we can make meditation a regular part of our lives. I overcome those challenges and have been meditating every day for the past two years, in addition to occasionally throughout the day. Through meditation, I have increased happiness and calm in my life, reduced stress and reactivity, and gained more vitality and creativity. And I’m confident that you can also enjoy these advantages!
However, I believe it’s first vital to clarify what meditation is. We all have false beliefs about meditation. The biggest myth about meditation is that it involves ceasing all cognition! That would guarantee failure for everyone! Instead of becoming a reactor to thinking, meditation focuses on learning to become an observer of thought.
Being fully present in the moment is the essence of meditation! You are conscious of the truth of who you are, beyond your body and mind, when you are in this meditative state.
Ever been in awe of a breathtaking sunset? so much so that you weren’t contemplating the future and had completely forgotten what had happened five minutes earlier? You felt intensely alive within and totally present in the moment. That’s meditation, I guess!
How do we incorporate meditation into our daily life now that we are aware of what it is? I was aware of the causes for my years of struggle before beginning a regular meditation practise, but I was curious to learn if others experienced the same difficulties. As a result, I conducted a global survey on the biggest barriers to meditation and received more than 400 responses from individuals in 46 different countries. The TOP SIX largest challenges to meditation are listed here, along with solutions.
First barrier: insufficient time
TIME is the main barrier most many encounter when trying to establish a regular meditation practise. There is not enough time for meditation! (Interestingly, this phenomenon wasn’t just “American.” People from all around the world expressed that they lacked the time to meditate).
However, you can include meditation into your life in 4 easy methods without taking any time away from your present schedule!
I’d like to start by inviting you to use your waiting time to practise meditation.
A typical day of waiting lasts 45 to 60 minutes. We wait for appointments, in traffic, in grocery store lines, and when on hold for the phone. However, those priceless “waiting hours” can be used for meditation.
Consider your breath the next time you are sitting in a waiting room for an appointment. Or take a moment to grin from the inside the next time you are standing in line at the grocery store.
Second, make meditation a regular activity. Any of the following daily activities can be incorporated with meditation:
- Using a toothbrush
*cleaning out the dishwasher
- Ironing and folding laundry
Take note of your breath when you brush your teeth. Or take note of how alive your mouth and hands are. Feel the life in your hands as you put each dish away as you empty the dishwasher.
Third, make your pet your meditation partner. When you walk your dog, have you ever noticed how utterly present and aware it is of its surroundings? You are welcome to share your dog’s pleasure with them. When walking the dog, pay attention to how lively your feet feel with each stride. Take note of how alive the trees, the birds, and your surrounds are. Observe how soft the cat’s fur is as you pet it. Be fully present while you’re with your cat or dog!
Four, contemplate while you’re driving! Of course, you should not practise meditation while operating a motor vehicle. However, you can keep your eyes open and be fully present when driving. When you touch the steering wheel while driving, pay attention to how lively your hands feel. Or pay attention to your breath while stopped at a light or in a car.
These are easy techniques that won’t require you to take any time away from your existing schedule to incorporate meditation into your everyday life. We would all have a daily meditation practise if we all followed these easy steps!
Second challenge: A lack of self-control
Lack of self-discipline is the second major barrier that people encounter when trying to include meditation into their daily lives. It requires discipline to meditate. I’m aware that many of us begin with the best of intentions to practise daily exercise or meditation, and while we may stick with it for a few weeks, we often lack the discipline to keep it up.
Personal trainers, life coaches, and other occupations were developed for this reason. to keep us focused and to hold us accountable!
Find a meditation companion if you struggle with discipline. Invite a friend, coworker, spouse, or other loved one to join you in adopting meditation into your daily routine. Make each other responsible.
Alternatively, if no one is available to meditate with you, inform your partner, spouse, friend, or coworker of your plan to practise daily meditation and ask them to check in with you to see how you are doing.
A meditation buddy can be as helpful and effective as an exercise partner!
Obstacle #3: Lack of a suitable location or space for meditation
Lack of a suitable location or area for meditation was the third major barrier reported by the participants. A perceived impediment is this. You can actually meditate anywhere, even while operating a motor vehicle or navigating a busy mall.
Lack of a designated space or location is frequently used as an excuse not to meditate. We won’t ever meditate if we continuously wait for the ideal conditions.
I assign folks to do their meditation in a public space. They are able to pass through the wall while witnessing things like people and locations, their breathing, or the life in their feet.
Fourth obstacle: Dozing off
Sleeping is the fourth most frequent impediment to meditation. Yet many meditation CDs advise that it’s fine to doze off because you are still benefiting from meditation. The only advantage is a restful night’s sleep for you! But there is also a benefit to that. Being attentive is meditation. It entails being totally in the present. You are not meditating when you are sleeping.
Here are some suggestions if you doze off during meditation:
*Avoid meditating right before going to bed. Many of us wish to meditate every day but frequently don’t give it much thought until we are getting ready for bed or in bed, at which point we attempt to meditate. Of sure we’ll nod off.
*If you’re able, try meditating in the morning or in the middle of the day.
*Meditate periodically throughout the day in brief sessions. Once more, take a moment to focus on your breath when you wash your teeth or take a shower.
Obstacle #5: There are too many diversion
Too many distractions make it difficult to meditate is the sixth most frequent grievance voiced by individuals. However, diversions are not always necessary.
For instance, my cat Vinnie meowed at me while I was in the middle of a meditation. He also refused to give up. He was vying for my focus. Most people would view this as a distraction and a reason to discontinue their meditation at this point. Instead, I sat with him on the floor, opened my eyes, and noticed my breath as I caressed him. My cat was a part of my meditation. He became my meditation instead of becoming a diversion for me!
if you are meditating when anything distracts you. Take note of it. Just let it be. If something requires your attention, take care of it while continuing to pay attention to your breath.
Obstacle #6: Lack of meditation skills
So many individuals believe they lack the skills necessary for meditation. We overcomplicate the practise of meditation. Being present in the moment is a key component of meditation. The most important thing is to identify what works for you.
Once more, you don’t need to take time out of your routine to include meditation into your life. You can use life as a form of meditation. What matters are the times of the day when we are totally in the present. And by meditating, we experience the joy of being who we are!