Non-resistance in Meditation

November 18, 2011

Comment from Kathy — “I have trouble meditating in general. I can relax completely but then the slightest things disturb me. Things like my eyelids fluttering or an itch. My limbs become restless. Can you advise any strategy to help deal with that so I can stay in that relaxed state?”


11-19-2011 — Meant to add my comments before publishing this post yesterday. So here they are now — better late than never!

The obstacle to staying in a relaxed state is TRYING to stay in a relaxed state. You can feel restless and have fluttering eyelids and still be relaxed. The key to remaining relaxed is non-resistance. Let it be OK if you feel restless or your eyelids flutter. Go ahead and scratch an itch. Although some meditation styles may require that you stay perfectly still, we don’t subscribe to that approach. Naturalness is the key. Learning to let go of resistance to what is happening is the essence of the practice. Take it as it comes, and when you find your are resisting that, let it go. Even the resistance when it comes up, is part of the process. In our approach to meditation, you can’t make a mistake. Everything is part of the process of meditation!


17 Responses to “Non-resistance in Meditation”

  1. Carol D. on November 18th, 2011 6:51 pm

    When I read Kathy’s question about little things that “disturb” her while trying to relax/meditate I thought of Mary’s suggestion that she often weaves into the meditations when we might have thoughts that creep in or outside disturbances: “It doesn’t matter.” I try to let these things pass by like a little slide-show, just moving past and to remember “it doesn’t matter”.

  2. SUSAN wALE on November 18th, 2011 7:34 pm

    I have the same problem, I have now started thinking “OMMM” and running in my mind from the bottom of my spine up to the top of my head, that relaxes me and I can stay in a meditative state.

  3. Linda on November 19th, 2011 5:23 am

    I take comfort when Mary says things like “there is no right way or wrong way” & “it is all part of the meditation.”

  4. Mary on November 19th, 2011 10:03 am

    Carol, Susan and Carla — This is really funny — I published this post by mistake! I meant to use this as a springboard for a discussion. But it turns out you’re all coming up with great answers on your own. I love it! The answers you discover are what is important… Nevertheless, I’ll add a bit to the content of the post.

  5. Susie on November 19th, 2011 10:33 am

    I love how Mary says, “Everything that happens in this meditation is perfect”. It makes me feel good about the times I meditate– no matter how antsy, restless or frustrated I am. I love the concept of everything being natural. Letting things happen and not resisting them. Mary has the most soothing voice….I have yet to listen to a guided meditation that soothes me as much as the one’s on this site…

  6. tania on November 19th, 2011 12:32 pm

    Dear Mary,
    All of a sudden it does not seem unattainable anymore!!I’ve just gone through a couple of your pod-casts and parts of your blog just to make sure that I’ve found my meditation home-base and guess what, I have!!! I am so happy that I just had to express my gratitude. I love that your guided meditations do not end at your command and that you don’t have jarring music. I love that you have a lovely soothing voice and you don’t insist on a visualization for the most part. Thank you for giving a novice the hope of achievement.

  7. Mary on November 19th, 2011 1:38 pm

    Susie — I am so pleased to hear how much the meditations suit you. Sometimes meditation is much more pleasurable and settled than other times, but it’s always good. When you are antsy or frustrated, it’s just some “purification” — it’s all good!

    Tania — YOU’RE WELCOME!!! Continue to explore and find the meditations that suit you most. Visualization is not necessary — it’s just part of some of the meditations that have more of a specific focus. The exploration is all about you, your own inner experience and what feels good for you. The meditative state is a happening, and the practice of meditation is just something that can encourage that happening.

  8. Candy on November 19th, 2011 9:14 pm

    I been metitating for years now, you just have to let things go, and don’t worry about it, it will go away. Just set there and relax, and you be surprise what could happen.

  9. Mary on November 20th, 2011 10:26 am

    Beautiful, Candy!

  10. Candy on November 20th, 2011 12:16 pm

    you could hear ghost taking to you, or cats jumping on your bed, shadows, to, you could see. just be relax.

  11. MeditatCushions on November 26th, 2011 12:54 pm

    When my body parts do not remain still, I begin by checking my posture. Sometimes that is helpful and then I continue with my mantra. Other times, I just try to observe the thoughts, but I have not been successful in stopping them. I wrote Meditation Cushions and Practice Postures which was published on Ezinearticles. You may find it helpful

  12. Eliya on November 26th, 2011 10:37 pm

    I have been meditating almost daily for 20 years, and really have made it a valuable part of my day, and therefore of my life. I have found that an integral part of meditation is the breathing. I lead in with it and continue breathing with awareness the whole meditation. The breathing is what helps keeps the thoughts and distractions at bay. Keep it up no matter what.

  13. Richard on December 23rd, 2011 5:24 am

    Having a quite place to mediate helps a lot. It helps you stay focus on your objective, so you can stay relaxed for a long period of time. Thanks for the article.

  14. widi on June 14th, 2012 12:15 am

    Hi Mary ! Its such a relive to read ” Let it be OK if you feel restless or your eyelids flutter. Go ahead and scratch an itch” :)

    I am a beginner in meditation and these things always show up during meditation, and itch, a cramp..

    knowing that i dont need to push them aside to continue meditating.. is wonderful.

    Thank you !

  15. Mary on June 17th, 2012 12:36 pm

    You are welcome, widi!

  16. AMBER on June 14th, 2015 9:43 am

    Regards mary i am from india, when i start meditating and try to observe the breath but meanwhile i see different images at times , do i need to just observe the breath or watch the activity (without following it) with breath observance. Please simplify..

  17. Mary on June 14th, 2015 10:06 am

    Amber, you can treat images just as you do thoughts, allowing them to be there without resistance but not focusing on them. When your mind has become caught up in thoughts or images, easily bring your attention back to the breath. If awareness of the breath and thoughts/images is there at the same time, easily “favor” the breath. Hope this helps!

Share your ideas or ask questions!

(Your email will not be used by us or shared with a third party.)

Copyright © 2006-2014 Mary and Richard Maddux. Meditation Oasis is a registered trademark.