Difficulty Meditating

Keys to easy, effortless meditation…

There are all sorts of reasons that people find it hard to meditate. On this page, we discuss some of the common ones and what to do to make meditation easier. If you have been trying to meditate on your own or trying the meditations we suggest and are experiencing difficulty, these explanations should help.

We support styles of meditation which are simple, natural and easy to do. Our hope is that meditation will create greater peace, relaxation, ease and naturalness in your life. The suggestions on this page are in keeping with our approach.

Problems with thoughts in meditation

This is probably the most common challenge people have with meditation. They feel they are unable to quiet the mind and keep out thoughts. “My mind just won’t stop its chatter.” “I can’t stay focused on meditation.”
Solution: The key is to stop resisting thoughts and trying to make them go away. Thoughts are a part of meditation. They are a natural activity in the mind. Although meditation can be a way to experience inner silence, this comes about not by eliminating thoughts but by becoming aware of the silence that is naturally present in the mind along with the thoughts. When we stop resisting what is naturally happening, we experience calmness and peace. (Read more about thoughts in meditation.)

Restlessness

Often people find it’s hard to sit still for meditation. It doesn’t take long to start thinking of all the things you could be doing, or to feel restless like you want to get up.
Solution: Restlessness can arise as the body “unwinds”. When we sit to meditate, it’s as if we’ve spent the day in a moving car. Once we stop and rest, it feels as if our body is still moving. It takes time for the body to settle down and feel at rest. Meditating is like shifting gears in a car — you shift into neutral and the engine takes a while to slow down and come to idle. Continue meditating, allowing yourself to be aware of the sensation of restlessness in the body. You can continue with the meditation practice, such as watching the breath, during this time, or if the restlessness is extremely intense you can give your attention fully to the sensation of restlessness. Notice exactly how it feels in your body — where you feel it, and what the sensation is like. As you allow yourself to experience the restlessness, it will eventually settle down.

Being uncomfortable with our feelings

Sometimes during meditation, we may be uncomfortable with some of the feelings that arise. This might take the form of a strong emotion or a physical sensation in the body. When the mind is no longer caught up in its outer-directed focus and the usual distractions of the day, we can become aware of feelings that have been under the surface. You may feel tempted to stop meditating, or start to resist these feelings, making meditation a struggle.
Solution: The key to achieving a state of deep relaxation, is to learn to stop resisting certain feelings and be present to “what is”. Thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations come and go continuously in the natural flow of life. Left to flow by themselves, they will pass through. Simply allow these feelings to be present, not trying to push them out, but also not following the mind’s stories about them. If an emotion is so strong that it’s overpowering, allow the awareness to be easily with that emotion. Notice its location in the body, and let the awareness be with the physical sensations associated with the emotion until the emotion diminishes. Let go of the meaning the mind gives to the emotion.

Occasionally in meditation, something can come to awareness that is particularly difficult, such as a repressed memory from the past or a realization about something we need to change in our lives. In this case, it may be helpful to get some support, such as counseling to help deal with the issues that arise.

Disappointment that “good experiences” aren’t always there

Every time we meditate our experiences will be different, depending on our ever-changing physical and emotional states, as well as life circumstances. It is important to understand that our experiences will change, as we will tend to form expectations based on our previous experience. Naturally we like some meditative experiences better than others, and may feel disappointed if we meditate and don’t have those experiences.

There are no good or bad experiences in meditation. There is no right or wrong way to feel. Meditation is about “letting go” and trusting the natural flow of life. It is important to remember that the goal of these meditations is not to have special experiences, but to become more at ease with whatever arises. By meditating regularly and following these guidelines, ease in meditation will grow and this will translate into greater ease in living — the ability to flow with whatever life brings.

Sitting in an uncomfortable posture

Often people have the idea that they have to sit in a certain posture for effective meditation, and yet they find it is impossible to do so comfortably. If you are physically uncomfortable this will dominate your awareness and it will be impossible to relax.
Solution: For sitting meditations, it is best to sit with the spine erect, but not to strain in any way. Sit in a way which is natural and puts you at ease. For most people, sitting with back support and with the feet flat on the floor works best.

Read our Meditation Guidelines page for more help with meditation.

Visit our Simple Meditations page to learn some easy, natural ways to meditate!

Comments

154 Responses to “Difficulty Meditating”

  1. Piera on January 6th, 2009 4:27 pm

    I’d really like to thank you both very much for your podcast meditations. I have been finding it very difficult to sleep for the past months and your meditations really help me to settle. I particularly like the chakra meditation.

    Thank you again for your kindness.

    Piera, Berlin, Germany

  2. Rose Summerfield on January 6th, 2009 10:03 pm

    I seem to fall asleep whenever I sit and meditate…. how can I stop this?

  3. Mary on January 7th, 2009 9:57 am

    Piera, you are welcome. Good to hear that the meditations are helping.

  4. Mary on January 7th, 2009 10:02 am

    Hi Rose,
    In our style of meditation, we encourage people not to strain or make an effort to stay awake. Meditation has to do with not resisting the natural flow of life. So we don’t recommend trying to stay awake as you meditate.

    If you are falling asleep whenever you meditate, however, it may mean you need more rest. The body takes advantage of the relaxed state in meditation to take the rest it needs. Perhaps you need to be getting more sleep at night. If this is what is happening, the way to stop falling asleep in meditation is to get more sleep in general.

    Also, if you meditate lying down you are much more likely to fall asleep.

  5. neha on March 25th, 2009 12:53 pm

    I am often told i am a restless person by nature.
    I also have problems meditating..like i just can’t sit still for even an hour a day to meditate. I have often made resolves and decided to stick by them. but to no avail.
    my restlessness gets the better of me.
    Can i cure my restlessness that is ingrained in me?
    On a daily basis I would like to do some thing that helps..besides even meditation. Like in a 24 hrs day, I’d like to follow sth all the time to change my restlessness into peace and patience.

  6. Mary on March 25th, 2009 5:19 pm

    Hello neha,
    I would encourage you to read more on this website and to try the guided meditations in the podcast. Try the Breath Awareness Meditation. Perhaps you will eventually want to take the Online Course.

    An hour is a long time to sit in meditation. Try a shorter period. It makes a big difference as well what kind of meditation you try to do. You might not have found the right style for you. You might even try a Walking Meditation if trying some of the shorter sitting meditations here doesn’t work.

    Good luck!

  7. patrick on April 21st, 2009 6:58 pm

    recently started meditating under guidance from my martial arts instructor

    every time i meditate i have an overwhelming feeling of some one sitting in front of me with their face almost nose to nose with mine.

    problem is it starts as a curiosity but sometimes i feel horrified by it.

    just an average 21 year old no prior episodes of violence or anything
    just wondered if u guys had any thoughts

  8. Mary on April 22nd, 2009 9:00 am

    Since you are being instructed in meditation by your martial arts instructor, I would suggest that you ask him/her about this experience. Without knowing what kind of meditation you are doing, it’s hard to comment.

  9. Suzanne on April 29th, 2009 11:56 am

    I really like audio meditation. I’m a beginner at it and I do have a few struggles.

    One thing is is that I have a hard time visualizing or grasping certain things (a common element in meditation is imagining a wave or halo of light covering over your body) and try as I might, I can’t really do it.

    I have similar problems in guided mediations or anything that involves imagery. It takes me awhile to build things in my head (if that makes any sense). For example, if I’m told to picture a field of grass, I have a hard time “building it” or making it permanent.

    Do you have any suggestions?

    – Suzanne

  10. Mary on April 29th, 2009 1:15 pm

    Hi Suzanne,
    Some people visualize more readily than others. I actually have a similar problem with meditations involving visualization and don’t really like them, so the meditations I create rarely ask you to visualize anything in particular. There are guided meditations that don’t involve any visualization at all. You might want to try some of the meditations in our podcast or our CDs and see how they work for you.

  11. Donny Kitson on May 19th, 2009 10:45 pm

    My big problem is in controlling the breath. I just can’t seem to let go and breath naturally. I can’t stop manipulating it, each time I meditate. Any suggestions.

  12. Mary on May 20th, 2009 10:47 am

    Hi Donny,
    This may sound like strange advice, but go ahead and let yourself manipulate the breath! I say that because it sounds like you are trying to breath naturally. You can’t breath naturally by trying. Breathing just happens naturally. It may even be that you are not actually manipulating it, but once you bring your attention to your breath, it feels as if you are. So in that case — let that happen, let yourself manipulate it. Also, notice that you are having these thoughts about manipulation and let those go.

    Have you been having this difficulty with our Breath Awareness meditation on the podcast? If not, perhaps by using that, this pattern will be broken.

    Finally, if all the above doesn’t work, try meditating along with one of the other meditations that doesn’t involve the breath, like the Simply Being meditation on the podcast.

  13. William on June 22nd, 2009 9:15 pm

    Sometimes when I meditate, I feel like my body is coming apart, or I am being flipped upside down, or pulled away from myself. There is also a sense that if I give into this, something bad will happen. Has anyone else ever had this problem? What does this mean?

  14. Mary on June 23rd, 2009 9:46 am

    Hi William,
    People have made comments about some similar experiences in the following two blog posts:
    Body Movements in Meditation
    Sensing Energy during Meditation

    I don’t know what kind of meditation you are doing, but in general the deep relaxation and rest of meditation gives the body-mind a chance to rejuvenate and balance. People often report a sense of movement even when the body isn’t moving. As this is happening, all sorts of things can be experienced subjectively. It’s not uncommon to feel as if the body is moving, even when it isn’t.

    There’s no reason to think that something bad will happen. It’s simply an inner experience. It sounds like the experience is bringing up some anxiety. If it is too uncomfortable, you can open your eyes to bring your awareness out and stop the experience.

  15. Bart on July 25th, 2009 3:45 am

    Hi,

    I started meditation about half a year ago, as part of a therapy to treat chronic depression. Since then I’ve moved further into meditation and Buddhism but recently have encountered difficulties in focussing whilst meditating.

    Mostly, sometimes just after a couple of minutes, a dull and somewhat restless pain starts to arise in my arms, being most pronounced in my left arm. It becomes so overwhelming during the rest of the meditation that a light sense of panic arises spontaneously and I have an incredible amount of difficulty keeping my attention on just observing what’s happening and trying not to react/interact with the disturbing sensations.

    Even after the meditation the feeling continues to linger and even as I type, almost an hour later, there’s still a residue of the dull restlessness. Having said all this, I must admit that the quality of my meditation seems to have improved recently, even though I can’t seem to get myself past 15 or 20 minutes like I used to in the beginning.

    Do you have any ideas, comments or suggestions on this because it’s worrying me?

    Bart

  16. Mary on July 25th, 2009 9:13 am

    Hi Bart, I won’t be able to comment based on a Buddhist perspective. My approach may be slightly different from what you are studying. You can experience it by listening to our free podcasts, and with what you are experiencing, you might trying the Emotional Ease meditation.

    My comment on what you are describing is that the dull restless pain, the reactions that come up about it (including thoughts and feelings) ARE all part of what’s happening. Your attention is naturally going to the sensation and your reactions are spontaneously happening. Noticing those things is part of what is being observed. It doesn’t have to be opposed to “observing what’s happening”.

    If this answer doesn’t help and if you want to experience a slightly different approach, try listening to some of our podcast episodes, such as Effortless Meditation or Letting Go. You can also consider our Online Meditation Course.

  17. k martin on October 20th, 2009 4:15 pm

    Two weeks ago I started a mindful meditation class at a midwest university health center. I have had severe tinnitus for years, and long ago came to accept it and live with it. Starting meditation the meditation program, doing both the body scan and sitting meditation, has brought the tinnitus front and center. I am absolutely miserable. I had resolved this years ago, but the body scan and concentrating on sensation has totally ruined my good relationship to my tinnitus, which is high pitched, loud and constant. Right now, I feel like meditation has ruined my life.

  18. Mary on October 21st, 2009 8:49 am

    Our approach is not mindfulness meditation. You might try listening to our Beyond Pain meditation on our Listen to Our Podcast page and see if that helps.

  19. donna on December 2nd, 2009 2:19 am

    I have just started meditation and after 5/10 min i feel my body rocking i don’t know if it really is or i just feel like it is.What does this mean? When will i start to benefit from my meditation ?

  20. Mary on December 2nd, 2009 10:55 am

    donna, I suggest you read the Body Movements in Meditation blog post and comments. It addresses things like rocking in meditation. If you still have questions after reading that, you can leave a comment on that page.

    We start to benefit from meditation from the very beginning. You may not notice changes right away, and different kinds of benefits take longer than others to appear. What the results will be also depends on the kind of meditation you are doing.

  21. nooor on December 5th, 2009 4:56 am

    I have been practicing meditation for 5 years now. I have been in many changes. At this stage now. I feel not interested in doing anything just meditating. I don’t feel like having a child or doing anything at home. Meditation is all what I want to do. I feel as if I am distracted away from the world. What is happening to me?
    noooor

  22. Mary on December 5th, 2009 9:53 am

    Without knowing you and a lot more about you, I really can’t comment about what might be happening. Do you have a meditation teacher or spiritual teacher you have been working with? I suggest you discuss this with them or another trusted counselor. Best wishes.

  23. Edith on December 11th, 2009 12:49 pm

    I used to be able to meditate very deeply when I was in biofeedback. Then I ran into this huge resistance, and I have been unable to meditate. The basic problem is that I am “trying too hard” and I don’t seem to know how to let go anymore. How can I overcome hindrances to meditation?

  24. Mary on December 11th, 2009 3:29 pm

    This is such a common problem, Edith!

    Sometimes this is just a phase that passes. The trying just stops at some point (without you trying to make that happen of course). But sometimes it helps to be guided in meditation, so I’d recommend you try listening to some of our podcast meditations. Effortless Meditation would probably be best in this case.

  25. nooor on December 14th, 2009 11:03 am

    Thanks mary, In fact no I don’t have a spiritual teacher nor a meditation teacher. In the area I live no people practice meditation I have read so much about it and at this stage I feel as if I am losing control on my life. I am so distracted from my husband I don’t want him around all I want to do is meditating and I feel as if my life is being messed up because I don’t feel like doing anything anymore. My whole joy is meditating and I feel that I need alot of space around me to be able to meditate and when my life responsiblitlies come up I hardly want to do them I just want to meditate? Can anyone give me a contact of a good meditation teacher or a spiritual guide I would really appreciate it.

  26. nooor on December 14th, 2009 11:17 am

    Edith,

    Yes this happens but what you need at this stage is to do a certain exercise before meditating. When you dance or run before doing a meditation then it happens more easily the resistance is less than it is. And you find yourself deeply meditating again.

  27. Sanjay Soni on December 30th, 2009 1:05 am

    Dear Sir,
    i came across your article which is exactly what the difficulty i am facing in my mediation. I practice mediatation for the last two year. I observe my breath, thoughts. i have different experience every day. SOmetime it becomes difficult to be at ease with my experience and my routine work also sufferes due to that. In spite of that i am very regular in my mediation. I want to ask, ” Is there any technique/approach by which i can be at more ease with my varied day-to-day experience”
    with regards

    yours
    sanjay soni
    IIT Kharagpur, India

  28. Mary on December 30th, 2009 9:55 am

    Sanjay, it’s difficult to answer this without detailed knowledge of how you are meditating and what your experiences are. You can try listening to our meditations, however, through our free podcast. Visit the Listen to our Podcast page and try the Breath Awareness Meditation and see how that goes for you. You might also try Effortless Meditation, Letting Go or Simply Being. You might find our approach a bit different from what you have been doing.

    If that doesn’t help, you’ll need to explore other approaches. It’s certainly possible to experience greater ease in daily living, but different people find different ways to achieve that. Best wishes!

  29. Kim on January 12th, 2010 2:13 pm

    Just wanted to say thanks. I’ve been in a meditation funk for about 2 weeks now and been noticably more irrate and irrational as a result. Every time I tried to meditate I just couldn’t ‘get there’, which made it all worse!

    On your advice I listened to the Effortlessness podcast, and have just spent the past 30mins in blissful, non-judging, effortless meditation. The spiritual boost I needed – thank you.

  30. Mary on January 12th, 2010 2:55 pm

    Good to hear, Kim! You are welcome!

  31. Siobhan on January 22nd, 2010 5:07 pm

    HI Mary
    I have just discovered your podcast. After some time trying to find a way to meditate I have found your podcasts and messages on your website to be so helpful. I love your gentle, non judgemental approach and have found myself for the first time just relaxing and giving myself permission to simply enjoy the experience- this is so freeing for me. Thank you. I’ so looking forward to continuing enjoying the journey on your future podcats!

  32. Mary on January 22nd, 2010 5:17 pm

    How wonderful to hear this, Siobhan. So glad you were able to relax into the experience — what a blessing! You are very welcome.

  33. Laura on February 8th, 2010 6:02 pm

    frequently when I meditate I start dreaming, then suddenly I will realize that I am only meditating and not sleeping – is this helpful or should I let go of the dream and come back to present awareness?

  34. Mary on February 9th, 2010 10:00 am

    Laura, if you are doing our meditations, whatever happens is just fine. Sometimes your mind might drift into a dreamlike state or you might even doze a bit. In the deep relaxation of meditation, the mind and body do what they need to for the sake of rest and rejuvenation. Just easily continue with the meditation when you become aware the mind has wandered.

    If you are doing another system of meditation, like mindfulness, the answer might be different!

  35. Deepali on March 4th, 2010 6:27 am

    When i meditate , after every 20 min session i feel i want to sleep..even if it is early morning after a good night sleep …is it normal or i am doing anything wrong.

  36. Mary on March 4th, 2010 10:19 am

    Deepali, wanting to sleep after meditation doesn’t indicate you are doing anything wrong while meditating. Usually this would indicate that the body wants more rest, but there could of course be other factors that are causing this reaction, but I don’t have enough information to know what is actually going on.

  37. nooor on March 10th, 2010 2:45 pm

    Dear,

    I have been meditating now for 6 years. I am calmer now and I am different in a way that the many thoughts have calmed down. But I have been coughing and sneezing and these have been accompanying my late mediating, if feels as if my system is changing and I am quite embarrassed when with people as I keep coughing every time I want to talk.
    Is this normal? and is it a stage that will go as this energy goes to the right place???

    nooor

  38. Mary on March 10th, 2010 3:46 pm

    nooor, of course with a cough that doesn’t go away, it’s always recommended to see a doctor to make sure it isn’t a medical problem. Otherwise, it may well be that your system is changing. Life brings change, and meditation can bring even more change. Coughing could have to do with the throat chakra, and you can investigate the meaning of the second chakra and see if there are any issues in your life related to that or if something is going on with your emotions. Perhaps something has changed in your life that is affecting you. There are so many things it could be and it’s impossible to answer what it is here – it isn’t a “normal” stage in meditation that has a simple explanation.

  39. nooor on March 12th, 2010 1:13 pm

    Thanks mary, in fact no it is not cough problem it is something that happens the more I mediate, and when i want to talk I feel as if the air is going to some places that it is not used to and causes the cough. But then it stops for a day and I meditate and it comes back I have been avoiding talking as I feel better by not talking. I sneeze a lot sometimes as the air goes in after finishing a meditation. But it is quite irritating specially when I want to do presentations. I feel I am better by being by myself.
    How can I know what is happening to me? Whether it is right? or something I am doing is wrong?

  40. Mary on March 13th, 2010 9:54 am

    nooor, I think you need to seek out some personal guidance (in person or in depth over the phone). This isn’t something that can be answered through commenting here.

  41. Keith on May 23rd, 2010 1:15 pm

    I tried to begin meditating again for the first time in twenty years and now I remember my problem – whenever I am meditating and am being asked to focus on my breating I feel this inexplicable feeling in my throat which compels me to clear my throat and/or cough. Does anyone have any advice for me regarding how I can make it stop? Thanks

  42. Mary on May 23rd, 2010 1:46 pm

    Hi Keith, It might be that if you just continue meditating regularly for awhile, this will go away on its own. Just let it be there, not trying to resist or push it out. You could also try meditating without following the breath. It may not depend on the kind of meditation you do, but maybe it would not happen with another meditation. You can try meditating with one of the guided meditations in the podcast and see if your experience changes. Best wishes.

  43. Dan on June 9th, 2010 1:41 pm

    Hello Mary, I am meditating regularly for a couple of months now. I have a problem with thoughts. I learned to silence my mind but my problem is that sometimes a thought comes out of nowhere in the middle of my practice and generally carries something I’m afraid of. I believe that my mind tries to trick me and although I tell myself to not care of it I endup with a bad feeling. Thank you.

  44. Mary on June 10th, 2010 9:20 am

    Hi Dan, You are using a different approach to thoughts than we do. In our style of meditation, thoughts are not a problem. It’s more about discovering the silence that is in the mind all the time even when thoughts are there, not trying to stop having thoughts. If you want to explore our approach, you can listen to our free podcast meditations and see how that works for you. Best wishes.

  45. Callie on July 2nd, 2010 10:14 pm

    i find that focusing on my in and out breath helps me to center myself and find my inner consciousness allowing me to fall in to a meditative state much easier. taking deep breaths and focusing on the present moment. allowing myself to have time with myself. breathing in and out. feeling every inch of my body and drawing it back in to my consciousness in my heart and the center of my very being, my body and my soul. breathing in and out.

  46. Renee on July 15th, 2010 10:59 pm

    Hi Mary
    Thank you for your podcasts which are helping me to meditate for the first time. I tried the Accessing Intuition meditation the other day and had trouble ‘hearing’ my inner voice. In fact, nothing came to me at all. Does this have any significance?
    Thank you

  47. Mary on July 16th, 2010 1:33 pm

    Renee, you are welcome. I wouldn’t say there’s any particular significance to not ‘hearing’ your inner voice. Your experience will be different each time you use that meditation. It is helping you to reach the state of mind where intuition takes place. You may or may not have any particular experience during the meditation, but might find that later on your intuition will be working better. It may take using the meditation several times before you notice something, or it may also be that that particular meditation doesn’t work well for you. Different things work for different people.

    Also, intuitive knowing doesn’t have to come as a “voice” or “hearing”. It can come in many forms, such as an image, or may simple be an ineer knowing.

  48. Benjamin on July 26th, 2010 6:11 pm

    Hi Mary,
    I first want to thank you any everyone else for providing a measure of guidance on this. Being from South Dakota, I’m pretty much on my own (I suppose that’s appropriate). I’m just beginning to explore meditation. I have meditated before, but never regularly and so I consider myself a novice of novices.
    My question; I tried meditating before bed and while I am meditating I find it easy to let go and enjoy the stillness. It isn’t until afterwards that a problem arises. Sleep simply would not come even though my body was relaxed my mind seemed somehow unable to sleep. I consider myself a champion sleeper, I love the dreams I have and frankly take an enormous amount of effort to drag myself out of bed. Why does meditation set my mind abuzz? Is this something to continue working past and see what happens? My browser won’t be able to listen to podcasts, so until I get a pc in the spring, any advice will help.
    But I’m not daunted, thanks for anything!

    sincerely,

    Benjamin

  49. Mary on July 27th, 2010 2:49 pm

    Benjamin, sounds like you are having a very deep experience of meditation quite easily. When the mind goes deep like that, it can become more alert and you can become energized. In your situation, I’d recommend meditating in the morning or maybe at the end of the day after work or school, not just before bed. Best wishes.

  50. Ashly on August 11th, 2010 11:07 pm

    when i meditate, my body gets very heavy and it feels as though my mind and “energy body” wants to break free but is held there strongly by my mid forehead (feels like a string holding me down with a rock) i start to tilt. it feels as though i am completely on my side as if i am in the air. I know im not because i feel my body still heavy against the place in which im sitting. I feel as though im looking thu sidewise, i open my eyes to find myself in the same position, my forehead feels fuzzy and heavy directly between my eyes. why is this??!! btw…this is my first time. lol
    Please Help!

    Ashly~

  51. Mary on August 12th, 2010 8:45 am

    Ashly, I suggest you read the following two blog posts and peoples’ comments. These posts are all about what you experienced. If you still have questions, leave another comment on one of those posts. (What a first time experience!)

    Body Movements in Meditation
    Sensing Energy During Meditation

  52. Dhiraj on August 29th, 2010 11:00 pm

    I’ve started meditation after hearing and reading so much about it. its been a couple of days now. first i tries breath technique but it didn’t work. so I’ve changed to TRATAK meditation technique. I am able to calm my mind. concentrate easily on the flame with no thoughts in mind. i am having trouble stopping my inner voices. it keeps chattering or singing songs. i am not able to concentrate properly due to this. what should i do?

  53. Dhiraj on August 29th, 2010 11:04 pm

    Is it compulsory to do it through a instructor. Cant I do it myself through reading books.

  54. Mary on August 30th, 2010 9:01 am

    Dhiraj, my advice would be to not try to stop the “inner voices” – just let the chatter go on. If you lose your concentration at times, fine. Just easily come back to the object of your meditation.

  55. Mary on August 30th, 2010 9:03 am

    Dhiraj, it’s impossible to say if having a teacher or finding your way on your own will work best for you. Experiment and find out for yourself!

  56. Ian on September 10th, 2010 3:50 pm

    Hi Mary. Thanks for such a wonderful site and media. I have a problem with habituation and I’m sorry it requires an essay to explain but I guess it must be common (and therefore useful to others). I find that there are four stages to my thinking when I meditate using any method (including the podcasts). The first stage is that my mind is silent, though that is rare and brief. The second stage is that random thoughts pop into my head and disappear again, which are fine. Third, I engage with one of those thoughts and it turns into a little chain: ‘I must go shopping…I’ve run out of salt…maybe I could get some chocolate too…that would be nice…etc.’ Finally, at stage four I get wrapped up in a full-blown daydream where I am replaying an argument with someone at work and starting to get an emotional response in my body. The problem is that when I meditate after a break, or try a new method, I find that I tend to mostly have stage one and two thoughts. After 15 mins, I feel calm, at peace, and that stays with me – in fact, when I start thinking again normally, it seems quite loud and obtrusive. However, after a few days of meditating a couple of times a day I find that I have more and more stage three and four thoughts until I pretty much spend my time daydreaming and occasionally remembering that I should be meditating. If I focus REALLY hard, like a cat at a mousehole, I can catch each thought as it arises and watch it go out the door and make sure it doesn’t come back in, but that’s quite tiring, leads to tension, and is at odds with your method of effortlessness. Do you have any suggestions at all?

    Many thanks,

    Ian

  57. Rikki on September 11th, 2010 4:31 am

    Hi there, I am relatively new to meditation and have had a few of the concentration problems above although they seem to be calming a little. I now have more time as I have left work on Maternity Leave and am looking forward to doing more meditation. However, I seem to be very good at thinking of other things to do and for some reason I feel like I am ‘blocking’ myself from doing it. I am quite non-judgemental about the difficulties I have had previously with meditation and know it will simply take time and practice, but part of me seems really unwilling to give myself the time and space to do so. Is this behaviour perhaps because I am actively trying to ‘stay in control’? Wonder what your thoughts are! Thanks

  58. Mary on September 11th, 2010 9:21 am

    Ian, you are welcome, and thank you for this question. It’s possible that what is happening is that after you meditate regularly for some time, your system is getting more deep rest. This allows for a release of tension and stress, and actually that can produce activity in the nervous system and lead to more thoughts and emotions coming up. If you keep on with meditation and “ride through” this, it is usually followed by a time when the mind can settle down a bit more. In other words, the “unwinding” process tails off and the system settles down a bit. When you meditate regularly, there will usually be an alteration of the more settled periods and the more active “unwinding” phase. If you start to get into what you are calling stage four, you may tend to stop your practice feeling that it is not working. Try to keep with it and see what happens after some more time goes by. Let it be OK that “stage 4″ happens. Just go on.

    There is usually an alteration of more silent meditations and ones filled with mental and emotional activity. Understanding this may help you to stick with it. Stage 4 is accomplishing something, just at Stage 1 is. It’s all good. If you try this experiment and continue with your practice longer, let us know what happens!

  59. Mary on September 11th, 2010 9:28 am

    Rikki, I think you would enjoy reading the blog post and comments — Why do we resist meditation? It was prompted by a question from someone having a similar experience to yours — it’s very common! The best thing to do is to investigate for yourself what your resistance is about. That can bring valuable insights. Perhaps that blog post will help you with your exploration.

  60. Ian on September 11th, 2010 3:18 pm

    Hi Mary. Thanks for your response – and yes, I can see what you mean (though it hadn’t occurred to me before). I guess that although I no longer abandon a session halfway through or get annoyed and start fidgeting, I was still making judgements on how it was going, albeit at a subtler (more insidious!) level. I look forward to continuing my practice and will let you know how it goes.

    Many Thanks,

    Ian

  61. Mary on September 12th, 2010 9:19 am

    You’re welcome, Ian. It will be interesting to see how it goes for you.

  62. Sandip Bose on October 11th, 2010 6:32 am

    Sometimes when I meditate I am overcome by sneezing.
    What is the significance? Could you please guide me.
    Love and Best Wishes

  63. Mary on October 11th, 2010 11:11 am

    Sandip, It’s impossible for us to say what is happening. With the deep relaxation of meditation, changes take place in the physiology. It could be a way of the body releasing tension, but again, it’s impossible for us to say!

  64. Kate on October 17th, 2010 2:07 pm

    Hi,
    firstly, thanks for a really good site, it’s already answered a lot of questions!
    Secondly; I’ve been trying to meditate for some time now but every time I really slip into relaxation, I get some really intense bad feelings, which I find very scary and threatening and have to stop. Is this normal? Am I doing something wrong?? Also, is it OK to lie down? My back kills me just sitting straight… Thanks in advance!

  65. Mary on October 18th, 2010 9:10 am

    Hello Kate, when one becomes deeply relaxed with meditation, emotions that have been under the surface can come up. It’s not because you are doing anything wrong. It’s actually a good thing to allow emotions which have been held in (and often so suppressed that we are not aware of them) to come up and be processed. If you can be present to them and allow them to be there, they will “flow through” and be released. You can use the Emotional Ease meditation in our podcast for this (go to the Listen to Our Podcast page). If you feel too threatened and upset by the feelings, however, it might be a good idea to seek a counselor or therapist to help you see what is so threatening for you. With support, one can work through the issues that have been under the surface and this can be really enhance ones well-being.

    And yes, if it’s too painful to sit, you can lie down, at least with the meditations we offer on this website. (There are many different meditation styles, and some require sitting.) Best wishes and you are welcome!

  66. Kay on January 17th, 2011 3:34 pm

    The problems you have listed are all about problems during meditation.

    The problem I have, however, all have to do with my state of consciousness after meditation.

    I find it hard to come back entirely, and find that during the days/weeks that I meditate I am often more tired, forgetful, and disconnected. I know this can’t be the kind of effect I should be seeing..

    Help?

  67. Mary on January 17th, 2011 4:06 pm

    Kay, it’s possible you are coming out of meditation too quickly, or meditating too much. Always take time to come out of meditation gradually, and you can read our blog post about meditating too much and see if that rings a bell.

  68. Maggs on January 27th, 2011 10:09 am

    Hi
    I did Raj Yoga for a while and then one day, I looked in the mirror, in my bathroom while I was coming my hair, and I swear, a strand of hair that just floated up and was suspended for some seconds, and then it fell back to the sink. Since then, I’ve stopped and would like to get back to do meditation but fear I might introduce something…. What can I do?

  69. Mary on January 27th, 2011 10:36 am

    Hi Maggs, I’m not an expert on Raj Yoga and don’t know why you associate that practice with the incident with the hair. I doubt there’s a connection — chances are there was static electricity that day that made that happen. Also don’t know what you mean by “I fear I introduce something”. You are certainly welcome to try the meditations in our podcast and see how those work for you.

  70. rahul on February 1st, 2011 3:24 am

    hi i m rahul , i feel heavy in my forehead while meditating,is it something wrong or it is something which comes next .

  71. Mary on February 2nd, 2011 10:08 am

    rahul, I’m not sure what you mean by “heavy in my forehead”. If this means you feel tension there (it feels tight or you feel some pressure), there’s a good chance you are straining in meditation (trying too hard). If you are trying hard and concentrating, see if it helps to let go of that. You can also try meditating along with our Effortless Meditation in the free podcast and see if that makes a difference.

  72. Kaya on February 15th, 2011 7:50 pm

    Hi,
    whenever I do meditation and I go really deep I feel like Im spinning, like on a amusment park ride. It’s really comfortable though. I was wondering if this was normal?

  73. Mary on February 18th, 2011 9:38 am

    This can happen, Kaya. There are two blog posts that might help you understand this. You can learn something both from the post and comments by others about these kinds of experiences.
    Sensing Energy During Meditation
    Body Movements in Meditation

  74. JT on April 14th, 2011 4:10 am

    Hi Mary

    I have ,by chance, found your website and I really enjoy your guided meditations – esp. the breathness & effortless meditations.
    I am following the “observe your breath” type of meditation.
    There are some days that I have too much difficulty during meditation.
    I think I am trying too hard to concentrate on my breath, with thoughtless state achievement and to get some experiences.

    Can you please tell me what should I do for the same? I would very much like to experience everything that meditation leads to.

    Thanks & good luck for your future guided meditations.

  75. Mary on April 14th, 2011 9:30 am

    JT, I’m pleased that you are enjoying the meditations. Chances are you are trying to hard. You don’t need to concentrate at all in these meditations. I highly recommend that you take our Online Meditation Course which will provide you a lot of support and help make meditation easy for you. And – you are welcome!

  76. stefanie on April 26th, 2011 3:41 pm

    I have a hard time with my self talk while i am trying to meditate and don’t get into the deep meditation states that i’d like to. any suggestions?

  77. Mary on April 27th, 2011 8:48 am

    Try meditating along with one of our free podcast meditations on our Listen to Our Podcast page. You might want to try Letting Go or Effortless Meditation.

  78. Vy on May 18th, 2011 6:57 pm

    The problem that I am having while meditating is that I always feel like if I’m about to reach some sort of peak, and I always loose it right before I reach it. Often I see light, colors or colored circles, and yet this is all. I don’t know what to do…also, the last time that I meditated, I felt as if I was upside down in my body…can you please shed some light on this…thank you.

  79. Mary on May 19th, 2011 2:47 pm

    Vy, sounds like you need to get some guidance with your meditation. If you were meditating with our Podcast meditations or Online Course, I’d be in a position to comment. You might, however, learn some by reading the following blog posts and peoples’ comments on them. People share a lot of different experiences that might mean something to you in understanding yours.

    Sensing Energy During Meditation

    Body Movements in Meditation

  80. Daz on May 22nd, 2011 10:56 am

    Hi Mary, i love listening to your podcasts on my iphone. I have found them very usefull and they have helped me endlessly with my day to day living. I look forward to downloading more in the future. Thanks again Daz

  81. Mary on May 23rd, 2011 9:34 am

    You are so welcome, Daz!

  82. Vy on June 5th, 2011 9:27 pm

    Mary, thank you so much for your quick response. I shall look up the sites that you’ve suggested and also try meditating with some of your podcasts.

    Gratefully,

    Vy

  83. Mick on June 16th, 2011 11:48 am

    Hi,
    I am recently having problems falling asleep: two hours on some nights, others awake ALL NIGHT! It’s all only in the past 8 weeks and i’m very, very anxious and nervous of trying to sleep: It’s trying. If i follow the ‘simple’ methods of meditation..not sure which will help?, will this help me more easily? I’ve tried the candle method and find it stimulating and peaceful. I guess i should practice daily, and results might come when least expected?? Thanks.

  84. Mary on June 16th, 2011 2:36 pm

    So sorry about this sleep problem, Mick. Of course, problems with sleep can be due to medical issues so be sure to check with a doctor. Try the Deep Rest meditation on our Listen to Our Podcast page. Use it every night for awhile and see if that helps. Some meditations might make you more awake if done before bed, so it depends on the style. But many people use Deep Rest for falling asleep. You can also read some tips for falling asleep.

  85. Jay on June 19th, 2011 1:51 am

    Hey Mick,

    Yes you probably should see your doctor. I also suffered from sleep and anxiety problems and found out I had a hyper active thyroid aka hyperthyroidism. Im on medication to control it and Ive started learning meditation as a natural means to relax. Its only early days but I have found it really helps me sleep or if I awake in the night fall easily back to sleep.

    Jay

  86. Isayah on July 5th, 2011 5:29 pm

    I’ve only just started mediating but when i was mediating last night something weird happened, I had gotten to a point of calmness, my breathing was natural i was not focusing on my breathing but even though I was breathing it was like someone was burying me in sand, I couldn’t breath even though I was, could you help me with this issue

  87. Mary on July 6th, 2011 9:19 am

    Isaayah, sorry but it’s impossible to answer this through comments on the website. There are so many different things that could have been going on. Someone would need to know more about you, about what happened and also how you are meditating to help you with this. Maybe you can find a local meditation teacher if this experience continues and is a problem for you. Good luck.

  88. Eleanor on July 27th, 2011 2:15 am

    Dear Mary,

    Recently I find myself hyperventilating during meditation or when I am going to work or returning home alone. I guess this is mainly because I don’t sleep well at night and I’m tired. So I’ll first fibd ways to handle my sleep problems. But in meditation, if I just follow my breathing pattern, I would feel chest pain and dizziness soon afterwards which are signs of hyperventilation. In this case, should I go for other deep breathing meditations (e.g. belly breathing), or stop using breathing meditations altogether?

    Thank you very much and I look forward to hearing your suggestions.

    Eleanor

  89. Mary on July 27th, 2011 2:24 pm

    Hi Eleanor, you can try some of the podcast meditations that don’t involve following the breath and see what happens. Also, you might want to explore whether this is a result of anxiety (which could also have to do with your sleep problem). If so, you of course want to address the anxiety. Best wishes.

  90. Eleanor on July 29th, 2011 6:31 am

    Dear Mary,

    I’m trying with “Going Deep Within”, and the symptoms of hyperventilation seem alleviated. Perhaps “deep meditation” is the most helpful and I’ll stick with it for the time being. Thank you very much for your suggestion.

    Eleanor

  91. Meditation for Body and Soul: Slowing Down the Mind | Back Pain Portal Blog on July 31st, 2011 10:32 pm

    […] Here are more detailed instructions, and a link discussing meditation difficulties. Breathing Instructions Difficulty Meditating […]

  92. Faith Silverwolf on August 15th, 2011 4:17 pm

    I’m finding that I that when doing a Mediation where I’m supposed to Visualize a scene or some Peaceful place like in a Guided Mediation I can’t see any images. I do however get the feelings and even hear the sounds of the area.
    I have had many years of Experiences with things that go hand and hand with Shamanism. I am a Shaman in Training accually and a Wiccan High Priestess. I have no problem Silenceing my mind and getting to that Quiet place That is never the issue. I just can’t seem to get my minds eye to see the images that I should be seeing. I can’t imagine that the problems with my physical Sight would be the problem with my minds eye. However there was some Brain Trauma when I was born. I wonder if that also could be the cause of me not seeing the imagery that I so wish i could see while mediatating. So I’m wondering if that is the case or is it something else maybe. I need to be able to visualise well and see with all my scenses in the Shamanic Journeys I’m trying to Train myself for.

  93. Mary on August 15th, 2011 5:18 pm

    Faith, visualization comes more naturally to some than others. We feel that sensing things through other means than sight is sufficient for our meditations, but you say you need to be able to visualize well through all your senses for your training. Perhaps your teacher can help you with this. Also, you can continue using guided meditations with visualizations over and over, and eventually images may start to come. Just be easy about it, not straining on it. Try to let go of the concern about whether images come and welcome what does come. Often images come in a quick flash but aren’t sustained on the “screen” of your mind. That may be all you need.

  94. Faith Silverwolf on August 16th, 2011 2:31 pm

    Thank you Mary,
    I would have asked my Teacher however I’m self teaching myself using D.J Conways by Oak Ash and Thorn a Beginners guild to Celtic Shamanism then will move on when I feel that I am ready to the next book in the set Advanced Celtic Shamanism. I have looked for a live teacher to teach me in person or via distance for many many years. So as the only thing that has Come into my life being the set of books that I now have in my Vast Library of books and they have sat there for years now untouched I feel called at this point to work though them slowly baby steps at a time. I happened apon this site and figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask while I was here.
    I think your very Wise to advise not Forcing and letting me know that the Images on the “Screen” of my mind could just come as flashles verse a Movie…LOL. I think that maybe just what I needed to hear at the least it feels right at any rate. So I shall be Guided by your Wisdom. I may come back time to time to see if you have any other wisdom for me if I happen to find more stuggles with the Meditation part of my Journey in the Shamanic Learnings.
    Thanks Again.
    Faith

  95. rabia on August 25th, 2011 10:38 pm

    Hello Mary,
    I have been meditating for two months, first relaxing and scaning my body then focusing on my breathing. The problem is i have started sensing energy rising in my body but the feeling is not comfortable. In the result wave of fear come and make me feel scared, my palms get sweaty, i feel nausea and a feel of anxiety along with fear lingers after meditating. Actually i m trying to get rid of anxiety and panic i have been suffering from many years, i read a lot about meditation benefits which inspired me to practise meditation but it looks like it is adding fuel to my anxiety. plz give me some advice as i have a lot of hopes with meditation.
    Thanx in anticipation.

  96. Mary on August 26th, 2011 8:36 am

    rabia, we recommend you get the help of a meditation teacher in your area to go into this with you and help you find the right practice. Also if you are not already having some counseling for your anxiety and panic, it would be a good idea to get some professional help with that.

  97. J Walsh on August 30th, 2011 2:43 pm

    I read one of your bloggers comments: K Martin on October 20, 2009, where he/she said they have tinnitus and meditation has ruined his/her relationship with the tinnitus. I too have tinnitus and had hoped that meditation would be helpful. I think I got it following a procedure where the ENT sprayed several meds into my nose and then inserted a scope to look into my throat. (I was having post nasal drip.) Within 15 minutes, I developed the most excruciating headache that I just cried and cried, and was placed in a dark room for almost 2 hours until I was able to handle the light and the headache had diminished enough to allow me to make the drive home. Next thing I know, I have tinnitus, and have had it now for 10 months. My thought is that meditation would help. But now I’m afraid that it will only make it worse. As the expert in meditation, what are your thoughts please. Thank you very much.

  98. Mary on August 31st, 2011 10:52 am

    J Walsh — There’s no reason to think that meditation would make whatever is causing the tinnitus worse. It is possible you would be more aware of it, as meditation can increase awareness of what is going on within us. But if you don’t fight the tinnitus by trying to block it out, but rather relax into it, it may help you with the problem. You can try our Beyond Pain meditation in the podcast, considering the tinnitus to be the “pain”, and see if that helps.

  99. Sara on September 3rd, 2011 8:44 pm

    Hello Mary.I just wanted to take a moment and say thank you for your wonderful podcast.You really help to put me in a relaxing position and help me rest.I am a newbie in meditation I just started in June.I always make sure to balance my chakras.I like to try and work on the heart a lot because I feel like that’s what I need the most improvement on.I did have a question for you though.How often should you cleanse your chakras?Is it ok to do it everyday?And whenever I cleanse them I always feel a tingle/warmth sensation in my spine and it last for awhile and sometimes I feel my body vibrating but when I look down at my body it doesn’t look like I am shaking.Is this normal?I am so new to this so I want to make sure that I am doing this right.But there’s nothing about positive thinking that can cause something negative right?Thank you so much

  100. Mary on September 4th, 2011 9:42 am

    Sara, you are welcome, we’re glad you’re enjoying the meditations. There’s no general rule about how often to work with your chakras, and without knowing more about you and exactly how you are doing your “cleanse”, I can’t really comment. You might get the answers you need, however, by reading through the following posts and comments.

    1 – Sensing Energy during Meditation
    2 – Body Movements in Meditation
    3 – Can You Meditate Too Much?

  101. Chetan on September 9th, 2011 6:12 am

    I am doing meditation from the last 3-4 months and following Hong sau technique. I am taking lessons from Yogoda Satsanga Society of India. I want to know the techique, how one should concentrate on Spiritual Eye / Third Eye. I am facing problems in this regard as lifting of eye gaze upwards and between the eyebrows—-makes me feel tense in the eyes. And eye gaze lowers down on its own. Please help.

  102. Mary on September 10th, 2011 1:34 pm

    Chetan, we are not familiar with this form of meditation and cannot advise you. Please consult your teacher.

  103. priya sharma on October 3rd, 2011 11:56 pm

    Hi Mary,

    I wanted to start meditation, so thru google I got this page, I am really thankful to you for all the gr8 suggestions. Do you have any link for beginners. Now-a-days I am so stressful because of my personal problems, so thought to take help of meditation.

    My problem is whenever I try to focus for more than 15 mnts, I feel as I have started sleeping.

    Can you plz. tell me is sleeping and meditation are both the same feelings:-) funny but pls. help me to understand this more .
    regards:

  104. Mary on October 4th, 2011 1:24 pm

    Priya, glad you are beginning meditation. We have many free guided meditations you can listen to our our Listen to Our Podcast page. Breath Awareness, Body Awareness and Simply Being are good ones to start with.

    It’s possible that you are falling asleep when you meditate, since the body will take the rest it needs when you are deeply relaxed. But you could also be experiencing a state of complete relaxation where the mind stays alert. It has the total rest of sleep, but you are still conscious. With more experience, you can learn the difference. If you are actually falling asleep in meditation, and this happens a lot, it probably means that you are not getting enough sleep at night, so be sure to get enough rest.

  105. priya on October 11th, 2011 2:53 am

    thanx a ton Mary. I have d/w few of the clips from your PODCAST, these are just great. Yes, I think, i am not sleeping in nights well cause of my stress. Thx for your suggestions, I will again disturb you for your imp. suggestions during my experience with Mediation:-) God Bless You.
    regards:
    Priya Sharma
    India

  106. Dennis on October 22nd, 2011 7:09 am

    Hello Mary,

    I practice Centering Prayer, which is Christian based. It is basically meditation using a ” sacred ” word. I do find that there can be a subtle physical tension in different parts of my bodyduring meditation. It seems I have a problem getting beyond them.

    I do feel peaceful in most meditations. I’m not sure if these tensions are physical or could it be on the Astral plane ? Not that I know much about the Astral plane.

    I find it hard getting beyond these tensions and letting grace take me into that next place. Oneness.
    Do you have any suggestions ? Thank you.

  107. Mary on October 22nd, 2011 9:44 am

    Dennis, in general I can say that feeling tension in your body during meditation can be due to a heightened awareness of what is going on in your body. Most of us have areas of tension (in the muscles and so on) that we may become aware of as we meditate. Also, tension can be due to making an effort in meditation. What you do about those things in meditation depends on the style of meditation you are doing.I am not an expert in Centering Prayer and so am not really in a position to suggest what to do about this experience of tension in meditation. In the style of meditation I teach, the most important thing would be to not resist the tension or try to make it go away, simply allow it to be there. Also, if the tension is due to effort, then the advice would be to back off from “trying”. These suggestions may or may not be helpful with Centering Prayer, and you could undoubtedly get advice from someone who teaches that if this doesn’t help.

    Essentially Oneness is not being divided within ourselves — not resisting the natural flow of what is happening, not trying to be different than we are and so on.

  108. Dennis on October 23rd, 2011 5:43 pm

    Thank you Mary for your quick response. I find it helpful and I feel your suggestions are similar with what Centering Prayer teaches.

    Dennis

  109. Andrea on October 25th, 2011 2:10 pm

    Hello!
    its some years I feel a strong interest in meditation.
    I begun with a casual listening of Alan Watts and from that moment on I have red quite a lot.
    The problem is that I am completely unable to start a regular practice.
    its really a big resistance for me, like I really cannot do that daily, if onli for 10 minutes 2 times a day.
    I do it for some days with much enthusiasm and end up not doing it after some days.
    I just find other things to do, and find a way to not doing it.
    can you give me any advice on that please?

  110. Mary on October 26th, 2011 8:35 am

    Andrea, first consider if you really want to meditate regularly and are convinced it will benefit you, or whether you just feel that you SHOULD have a regular practice. It’s OK to not be regular if that’s what works for you. If, however, you feel strongly that regular meditation will be of value to you, try reading the post below.

    Why Do We Resist Meditation?

  111. Kashyap Thakkar on November 25th, 2011 9:07 pm

    I have been meditating since 6 months and i sit for 3 hours in one posture for prayers, pranayama and meditation but some how i feel there is tension in one part or the other and i can feel the movement of my body, it just doesnt settle down , can i have the remedy please, it is killing me, constant practise still not settling down, still no still ness , i cannot explore anything beyond, need help please, and if you ask me what kind of meditation i do, then I do the meditation on the eye brow, i just concentrate on the center , i need help

  112. Mary on November 26th, 2011 10:15 am

    Kashyap, we cannot help you with the meditation you are doing as it sounds very different from our approach. It seems trying to sit for 3 hours in one posture would be very hard on the body and mind and create tension. Perhaps you should try another form of meditation.

  113. Gene ( dreamitbig ) on December 18th, 2011 8:53 am

    i have been meditating for some time now and the question i have is how can i stop myself from leaning

  114. Mary on December 18th, 2011 10:42 am

    Gene, I don’t know what kind of meditation you are doing, but in our style you don’t need to stay sitting perfectly straight and still. If your body moves or leans, it’s OK, you don’t need to resist that. If you find you’re leaning too much for comfort, just easily bring your body upright again.

  115. How to meditate on a dream? – My 4-Hour Workweek as a Mom. Boss. Woman. on January 23rd, 2012 11:18 am

    […] Mary SueMeditation How ToThe trouble with meditationMeditation Help … Just in Time for Holidays!Difficulty MeditatingStudy Meditation – Your Online Resource for Meditation Study7 interesting meditation […]

  116. Gavin on January 30th, 2012 5:24 am

    Hi,

    I’ve been (experimenting) with meditation for some years now as a response to several years of depression / anxiety. I tend to try alternative approaches that seem right for me initially, but after 2-3 weeks result in deepended states of anxiety which remains until I switch methods (every 4-5 months).
    Since Summer 2011, I have been quite successful using the breathing approach – feeling the air move through the nostrils and over my top lip when exhailing. I could do this in any environment and already started to feel the benefits after a couple of weeks. I excepted any thoughts or feelings that wanted to intrude during the practise, and made “space” for them before reverting to sensation of the breath relatively easily. After a successful 6 months, the practise became more and more difficult to the point where I can not focus at all on the breath any longer – too many thoughts constantly circulating in my mind. There are too many thoughts and feelings to watch / notice which makes me feel like I am going mad!

    When I try to focus harder on the breath, it’s to the extent that I block other thoughts and emotions trying to surface, and this is of course the contrary to what meditation looks to achieve.

    I would appreciate any advice you can give me to help me overcome this….I really like to breath sensation approach because it has worked best for me consistently over a long period of time and I don’t feel ready to give it up and try something altogether new.

    Thank you!

  117. Mary on January 30th, 2012 12:13 pm

    Gavin, if you’d like to try a different approach to breath awareness, you can use the guided meditations in our podcast. Try the Breath Awareness meditation on the Listen to our Podcast page.

  118. laura on February 5th, 2012 10:34 pm

    I can meditate some times very easily, and other times I focus inwardly resulting in stress, worry, and fear builds up , instead of peace of mind. What should I do?

  119. Mary on February 6th, 2012 11:44 am

    Laura, I’m not in a position to be able to answer this as I don’t know what style of meditation you are doing and exactly what is going on. You can try meditating along with our free meditations in our podcast and see if that helps. Just go to the Listen to our Podcast page or search for Meditation Oasis on iTunes.

  120. surajhm on March 10th, 2012 11:04 am

    i sit for meditation , well lot of thoughts come into my mind then feel like going to bed !!! really depressed by pls give solution fast !!!! :'(

  121. Mary on March 11th, 2012 10:00 am

    surajhm, you can try meditating with our free podcast meditations — go to the Listen to Our Podcast page. If you are falling asleep, it’s probably because you need more rest.

  122. ankur simhal on April 10th, 2012 1:03 am

    question my body specially my hand starts trembling at a very fast speed whenever i try to meditate.is it paap karma of last birth or lack of concentration.

  123. Mary on April 10th, 2012 10:21 am

    Ankur, we aren’t able to answer a question like this because we have no information about you, what kind of meditation you are doing, etc. It’s possible, though, that our blog post on Body Movements in Meditation and the comments on that post could be helpful to you. Here’s the link — http://www.meditationoasis.com/2009/01/09/body-movements-in-meditation/

  124. Annie on April 12th, 2012 6:43 am

    Hi Mary,

    I have just started a beginners class and somehow I feel like that I somehow “expect something” to happen during meditation. I don’t know what exactly but I feel it is distracting me from concentration. Any tips?

    Thank you!

  125. Mary on April 12th, 2012 10:24 am

    Annie, expectations can certainly affect our experience in meditation. It would be good to bring this question to the teacher of your class. I don’t know what the approach is you are using and can’t give you tips on that.

  126. avinash on April 27th, 2012 6:56 am

    Hi Mary,

    while i am meditating slowly my breath is slowing down and after some time it is becoming so short that i can’t breath. i can’t control that but when i am taking long breath at that time. Due to this i am losing concentration what should i do??
    is this normal???

  127. Mary on April 27th, 2012 9:20 am

    Avinash, in the style of meditation on this website, it doesn’t matter if you “lose concentration”, because our meditation is not about concentrating and having to maintain a continuous focus. As for the breath slowing down, this can happen naturally in the deep relaxation of meditation. The breath can become very fine, and then the body may just spontaneously takes a deep breath. This is all normal for meditation.

  128. meditation music download on May 8th, 2012 3:48 pm

    This is such useful information. I have been practising motivation for over seven years and know the struggles of mediating. I personally listen to music which is helps a lot.

    Keep posting.

    Zoheb.

  129. Tiffany on May 13th, 2012 11:43 am

    Hi Mary,
    For years Ive wanted to meditate, but when ever I sat down to try nothing ever happened. Recently I had a dream with my animal guide who told me to try again. To my surprise it worked! I was mediating for the first time. I did visualization mediation so i could talk to my guide.
    At first all was good. I was mediating every night with no problems. The last couple of days I cant seem to do it. I sit there but I can no longer visualize anything. I get resistless and want to end the session early.
    I don’t know what happened since it was working just fine. I’m confused. Any suggestions?

  130. Mary on May 13th, 2012 5:35 pm

    Tiffany, one thing that’s true about meditation, just like life, is that things never happen the same way every time. Every time you sit to meditate, your mind, body and emotions are in a different state and the experience will be different. You can consider every meditation experience to be part of your process with meditation. You might want to try meditating along with the guided meditations on our Listen to Our Podcast page. It might help to smooth things out for you.

  131. Somnath on May 14th, 2012 9:01 pm

    Hello,

    What are the best to times to meditate. I know it is in morning but i cannot wake up. I have tried a lot but eventually failed.

    When i do my prayers and meditate for few minutes, i feel a little different. It is the same feeling i have felt before when long before i used to meditate.

    I used to feel my body is moving just as if it is swimming. Sometimes i felt i am falling towards left side or sometimes on my right and my body does shakes (light tremors).

    After these incidents i felt i am doing something wrong. so i stopped meditation. Can u pls guide me to it.

  132. Mary on May 15th, 2012 9:33 am

    Somnath, it is impossible to provide you with the guidance you want through a comment here. You can try listening to the guided meditations on our Listen to Our Podcast page, and read the information about how to meditate on the website. See if that helps. If you feel you want to learn more with us, we do have an Online Meditation Course (which is also available as an iPhone/iPad app called Learn to Meditation — Meditation without Borders).

  133. Nirmal on May 17th, 2012 3:49 am

    Hi Mary,
    Yesterday was my first day in meditation. I was doing breath awareness meditation, so-hum technique. I was sitting in a cross legged postion with both my hands on my lap palm up in Jnana mudra. After a while doing this slowly my legs and my lower portion got numbed. I lost my body feeling I was trying to feel the sensation of touch in the index and thumb but it was not there. Slowly I had a feeling that I am slightly swirling then after some time I had a strange feeling on my 3rd eye region as if my eyes are open I could feel that I am moving swiftly towards something.Color was black. But I was consciously aware of things happenng. Then after sometime I got scared whether my soul is going to go out of my body forever. I shook myself up and every thing become normal again. Is this a real experience of mediation? can I continue this without any inhibitions?.
    Thanks Mary,
    Nirmal

  134. Mary on May 18th, 2012 3:35 pm

    Nirmal, I invite you to read through our website to learn more about meditation and various experiences. You can do a search on various terms in the website, and check out the site map for various blog posts. Since you are having such strong experiences right from the start, it would be good to get guidance from an experienced teacher in your area.

  135. Nirmal on May 20th, 2012 8:43 pm

    Thanks Mary, Much appreciate your response.

  136. Nirmal on May 21st, 2012 4:27 am

    Mary, Eventhough I am new to this type of meditation I have had my fair share of involvements in spritual activities like I have done Reiki-I long back, done yoga and stuffs but got disconnected for a while… of late I am having a strong urge to do these all again… many of the readings have helped in that… and as I read somewhere the experience I had might be a “Beiginner’s Luck” which I read somewhere as I am not experiencing that in my later sessions.. thanks..

  137. Mary on May 21st, 2012 9:09 am

    Nirmal, experiences in meditation are always changing. We tend to feel some experiences are “good” and others not so good. It’s helpful to think about what your goal for meditation is, and whether it is the experiences in meditation which matter or the benefits you feel in daily life.

  138. Zac on May 30th, 2012 12:30 pm

    Hi Mary.
    I have problems sleeping, and when I do, somehow all I think about is meditating, but I know I need sleep, and it’s a vicious cycle. I feel the need to reach out to someone, but something stops me. I used to be able to meditate regularly, and journal, but I’m just too tired now, and it frustrates me. I take too much stock in when I need to get up, and what I need to get done by when, etc. It just continues the exhaustion, but I’m afraid to sleep at night, and I don’t know what to do.

  139. Mary on May 30th, 2012 5:19 pm

    Zac, we can offer you the guided meditations on our free podcast, and also have a special iPhone app for sleep, iSleep Easy (by Meditation Oasis). Possibly these could help you relax into sleep and break the cycle of insomnia. But you may very well need something more than that and it’s always advisable to check with your health care provider about insomnia, and if necessary seek some counseling to deal with the issues around it, such as the fear of sleeping. Best wishes.

  140. Tony on May 30th, 2012 9:07 pm

    I regularly use some of your apps on my ipod and I can usually relax or fall asleep. Today I was trying the deep rest exercise and I couldn’t focus on my breathing because my breathing was short and shallow. I also have a strong sensation in the center of my chest, right at the center of my ribcage. It feels like a ball of worry, that’s the best I can describe it. I tried to let it pass but it wouldn’t, it’s very strong. Because of the location it feels like something is wrong with my heart. The sensation never went away after the meditation was over. I usually feel so refreshed after doing a session on my ipod but this time I just feel that ball of worry coursing through me. Is there anything I can do to deal with this?

  141. Mary on May 31st, 2012 1:44 pm

    Tony, we recommend you check with a health care provider about chest pain, of course. It’s impossible in this context to say what the pain is from. If it’s from anxiety (you mention worry), then it’s just possible that some underlying anxiety started to come up in the relaxation of meditation. The only thing to do is to let it be there, not resisting it, and eventually it should pass. If it’s something that continues and distresses you, it would be good to get some support with it (such as counseling). You might be interested in this post — What you resist persists.

  142. Tony on May 31st, 2012 8:50 pm

    Oh I guess I should have elaborated a bit more. I’m a fairly young male and because of anxiety issues I have had test done to make sure nothing was wrong with my heart. I’m healthy, and the feeling isn’t in the left side of my chest, it’s in the center. That’s why I figured it was worry. I will look at the link and attempt to not fight the feeling that I get. I felt better after another meditation but it came back during my sleep last night. Thanks for the help.

  143. Mary on June 1st, 2012 11:58 am

    Tony, glad to hear you’ve checked everything out and you are already aware of issues with anxiety. We created a special program for anxiety called At Ease – Anxiety & Worry Relief. It’s available on our website, and as a smartphone app (more economical and probably easier to use). If your iPod is an iPod Touch, it would work on that. That might be really helpful to you. All the best to you.

  144. Daniel on June 7th, 2012 1:29 am

    Hi Everyone! Been reading the comment section for the last 20 minutes or so, & I’m so pleased that everyone here is so nice. It really encourages me to ask questions about meditation. I just started meditating (Been trying the breathing method) about a week a go (I found out it can VERY beneficial) & for the most part I’ve been able to quiet my mind with the exception of one thought always lingering. More than half of the time the thought has something to do with a song lyric or a specific melody. & It bothers me because It’s really easy for me to just go with the flow of the thought, but so hard not concentrate on it. & I’ve realized that I tend to repeat the same thought over and over. Call me hasty, but is this normal? Do you guys think I just need more time to meditate & after a couple of more sessions of meditating it’ll go away? Any advise would be really helpful & appreciated. Thanks!

  145. Mary on June 7th, 2012 9:02 am

    Daniel, in the style of meditating on this website, we don’t have a goal of having no thoughts or even of “not concentrating on thoughts”. Thoughts will come and go. At times we may feel removed from them and simply notice that they are coming and going. At other times, the mind may become complete caught up in a thought or train of thought. It doesn’t matter either way. You can simply bring you attention back to the breath when you noticed it has wandered. You can try meditating long with the Breath Awareness meditation in our free podcast (go to the Listen to Our Podcast page). This could help support you in learning to meditate with the breath.

  146. Why is it so hard to meditate | | Coach ComebackCoach Comeback on June 11th, 2012 11:25 am

    […] Difficulty Meditating — Solutions to common problems with … Difficulty Meditation — solutions to common problems with meditation, such as thoughts, restlessness, uncomfortable feelings, lack of … […]

  147. Samuel Ng Swee seng on June 16th, 2012 5:43 am

    When I try to observe the flow of Breath In & the flow of Breath Out in meditation, I find that my mind tends to control breath in & Breath out. This observe of Breath In & Breath Out made the mind tends to control it more & more. Ultimately, I find myself difficult to breath & I find myself fail in meditation. Can you advise me how to observe breath in & breath Out naturally without controlling Breath naturally?
    (Note: It is the mind tends to control breath automatically during observation of flow of breath.

  148. Constantine on June 16th, 2012 2:11 pm

    Hello Everyone,

    I have been meditating for one week now. I have to start out and say that I am a very obsessive, perfectionist, passionate person plagued by an impossibility to relax due to restlessness.

    However, practicing something called paradoxical relaxation allowed me to realize that acceptance is the most important part of it. It has allowed me to be in tune with my body. And I have really began to the first steps of meditation and relaxation.

    But this is the main obstacle I cannot get past: the superficial restlessness subsides, BUT a deeper aching begins to knot around my lower back/spine. It is almost like a cramp. Sometimes it is very painful and I have to stop. I have been practicing yoga stretching prior and it helps a little. But when I meditate lately, the aching persists around my lower back sometimes for more than an hour.

    Should I continue accepting this aching? Is there anything I am doing wrong? How can I overcome this painful aching as my relaxation deepens?

  149. Mary on June 17th, 2012 12:37 pm

    Samuel, please try meditating along with the Breath Awareness Meditation in the podcast. It’s on the Listen to Our Podcast page and see if that helps.

  150. Mary on June 17th, 2012 12:43 pm

    Constantine, it’s hard to answer this question without knowing what kind of meditation you are doing, how you are trying to do it, etc. There is one obvious possibility, though, and that is that the ache could be coming from how you are sitting in meditation. It’s possible you are straining too hard to maintain a particular posture.

  151. Baye S. on June 20th, 2012 9:42 pm

    Hello, I have started meditating just yesterday. I know that good meditation will take time, but what I don’t understand is that for some reason I don’t find this relaxing at all. Any position I try to meditate in, is incredibly uncomfortable. I find it extremely hard to keep my eyes closed, I usually have to concentrate real hard to keep them closed. And with all that concentration on keeping my eyes closed, I find it exhausting. I just don’t know what to do. I want to practice meditation because I feel that I have a lot of tension and anxiety and I was hoping meditation would work for me as it has for others. I have been trying all the advice from your website as well as others, but I just can’t keep my eyes closed or “relax” my body and mind. Any further advice would be appreciated.

    BTW: I am practicing visualization meditation.

  152. Mary on June 21st, 2012 4:24 pm

    Baye, try meditating along with one of our free guided meditations on the podcast (go to Listen to Our Podcast page). You may be trying too hard, or perhaps you are just restless. You can try the Breath Awareness meditation or Simply Being. Visualization can actually be difficult!

  153. siddharth on June 27th, 2012 7:01 am

    whenever i meditate i see colors and patterns .. sometimes i feel that my physical dorm has diminished in size… many a times i feel pain in the point between my eyebrows…. at times i feel i can not come out of the meditation state….should i continue meditating or stop …. is it normal for all this to occur ?????

  154. Mary on June 29th, 2012 2:31 pm

    siddarth, We are unable to advise you. We can answer peoples’ questions about our podcast meditations, but not their experiences with other meditation practices. Please seek the guidance of a qualified meditation teacher in your area.

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