Advertisement

Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters

Meditation Made Simple: Seven Considerations to Get You Going :: Four: You Can’t Do It Wrong

One of the most frequent complaints I get from my meditation students is the concern that they can’t meditate because they can’t concentrate; can’t clear the thoughts, clutter, and commotion from their minds.

Relax. The goal of meditation is not clearing the mind of thoughts or making it a “blank slate” (at least not the way I teach meditation). The goal of meditation is not to relax. Imagine pressuring yourself to relax? How is that going to work out?

Relaxation is fairly reliable by-product of meditation, but it is not the primary goal. Just pay attention to what is happening now, without preconceptions, agendas, and conditions, and see how you feel. You just might feel relaxed.

Advertisement

Meditation is a process not a product. In fact, we ourselves are processes not products. And when we treat ourselves like products we’ll only be frustrated. Likewise, meditation is about paying attention to the process and since processes are neither good nor bad, whatever is happening now can be OK. There is a real opportunity here to “go with the flow” – the process of what is happening now.

If your thoughts are racing, notice racing thoughts. If you’re laden with regret or worry, notice regret or worry. You’re still meditating; you’re not doing it wrong! The difference is that you are aware of these things and with practice you can make choices about where your attention goes and get skilled at disentangling attention from stories that are distressing.

Meditation is not about attaining a special state; it’s about paying attention. It’s not about achievements or outcomes. Rather it’s about noticing whatever is happening without judging that as good or bad; without generating opinions about it. Relax the opinions and real relaxation may not be far behind.

 

Previous Posts

Life Interrupted
I've been thinking a lot about interruptions lately. When I meditate in the mornings, I prefer to do it at a time when I won't be interrupted by others. Yet, even in the most protected environment, interruptions are inevitable. My mind will ...

posted 4:50:31pm Jul. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Everything Essential Buddhism
I am pleased to announce the release of the Everything Essential Buddhism Book. This book is an abridgment of the popular Everything Guide to Buddhism, 2nd Edition. As the name implies, this book is a leaner, more essential, treatment of the ...

posted 5:38:17pm Jul. 18, 2015 | read full post »

I Forgot to Take a Selfie!
I was at Moss Glen Falls recently. These stunning little falls are on Route 100 in Warren, Vermont. I stopped and took photographs and video footage of them. When I was leaving and getting ready to get back onto my motorcycle, I saw a couple ...

posted 10:34:45am Jul. 13, 2015 | read full post »

Happy Birthday to His Holiness the Dalai Lama
July 6 will be the 80th birthday of His Holiness (HH) the Dalai Lama. I first encountered the Dalai Lama when he would have been ...

posted 2:06:43pm Jun. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Introverts and Extroverts at the Neuronal Level
Those of you who are familiar with my work know that I have a thing for metaphors. Those of you who have been to my workshops know that I have a thing for the brain. I have been delighted to read Giorgio Ascoli's book, Trees of the Brain, Roots ...

posted 12:11:28pm Jun. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.