Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters

Obstacles to Meditation Practice: A Time to Sit is a Time to Procrastinate

I’m thinking about the obstacles to practice and invite you to do the same. What gets in the way? What keeps you from the cushion. What pulls you off the cushion? What makes you forget you have a cushion to go to in the first place?

This entry begins a series exploring the obstacles to meditation practice. Please comment with your observations. We will then explore the solutions to these obstacles in future entries.

We know from years of research and our own personal experiences that meditation is beneficial. Yet, it can often be difficult to get ourselves on the cushion and to stay on it. We don’t have the time, inclination, or energy. We don’t remember. We don’t prioritize. Does your Storytelling Mind talk you of practicing? Does it bargain with you? What gets in the way of meditation?


A cursory reflection reveals the following list of potential obstacles:

  1. Time Management
  2. Discomfort, Pain, and Intensity
  3. Agendas, Expectation, and Striving
  4. Self-Sabotage
  5. Five Hindrances as taught by the Buddha (Sensual desire, Anger or ill-will, Sloth-torpor or boredom, Restlessness-worry, Doubt)
Are you going to practice today? I know that I will be because I have invited people to practice with me. We will support each other simply through presence in the same room at the same time. If no one showed up and I had to sit alone, I’d be more prone to obstacles. I might want to take a nap, a walk, or catch up on phone calls, paperwork, or reading. I thank the Exquisite Mind Studio meditation community for keeping me on the cushion!
  • Ellie

    I’m a social animal and need my kalyanamitras to take me by the hand and sit me down to meditate. I feel silly sitting alone doing nothing when the furniture needs dusting and I can be kneading dough for bread or baking granola, all of which seem like more productive endeavors than meditating. Why can’t I get the same benefits from engaging in activities in a meditative way?

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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Matt

    Usually my negative emotions can talk me out of sitting. I look forward to sitting when I’m happy or even keel, but i avoid it like the plague when I’m in a bad space.

  • Denise

    My story telling mind is always trying to steer me away from the pillow! The thing is, if I don’t meditate first thing in the morning, I won’t do it. I then notice my day feels a little more rushed, and I feel a little more on edge. What I can’t figure out is I see and feel the benefits of my morning meditation practice yet every morning the desire to ‘skip it’ still lingers?

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