The most common obstacles for beginners in meditation and how to overcome them.

The most common obstacles for beginners in meditation and how to overcome them.


Just like any other thing we seek to do in life, there are chances that we can at one point or the other face certain challenges and obstacles that may hinder us from achieving what we want. Meditation has its own principles that comes with a lot of benefits when we follow such principles. However, there are some mistakes that we can make or challenges we can face while practicing meditation. Most of them will be discussed here with some solutions that can help.

Expect instant results

Many people are looking for a quick fix, but meditating is about working with our minds and it takes time. Over the years, we have built habits such as thinking too much, reacting, judging, among many others. We bring such habits into our practice of meditation, and we must, first and foremost, learn to identify those habits and then work them. It takes time to unlearn old habits. It takes time to develop new and constructive habits.

The solution:  Understand that meditating is like an exercise. You do not go to the gym and instantly get in shape. It is something that you need to do regularly to realize the results.


2) Realize that the mind is agitated


It is very common for us to sit down to meditate and realize that our mind is at an hourly rate and our thoughts do not stop. Sometimes we call it "monkey mind," in reference to the image of a monkey jumping from branch to branch. When we are beginning, it is often not only difficult to find some tranquility, it is indeed impossible.


The solution:  To clarify that the mind is agitated. Even people who have been meditating for years have occasionally moments when their minds are thinking almost non-stop. The difference is they do not bother about it. They do not see such a situation as a sign that something is wrong. They know how to accept that sometimes the mind is like that. So they are not frustrated when a number of thoughts arise. They simply let go of these thoughts, over and over, and return to the practice of meditation.


3) Physical discomfort


At first, we may not know how to sit comfortably to meditate. This can happen when we force ourselves to sit cross-legged and do not have enough flexibility to do so. Or it may be that we do not have the right material, and sit on soft cushions that do not support our weight. Or, even if we have good posture and good material, we may not be accustomed to sitting in that position for long. The discomfort we feel from sitting in a position that does not work for us can turn meditation into a torture session.


The solution:  Try different positions and different materials to find the one that is right for you. Some people need to use specific chairs or benches for meditation instead of trying to sit on cushions. When you have solved that part, your body will learn to relax and you will be able to sit for longer without discomfort.


4) Getting bored


Boredom is a common problem for those who are beginning the practice of meditation. Boredom comes when we begin to calm the mind, but we have not yet learned to appreciate the sheer beauty of this experience. Many of us are always immersed in our own thoughts: we spend so much time thinking that we forget to feel our body. So when our thoughts start to slow down, we do not have much left to do. And it's hard to stay motivated to do something that we find tedious, so we end up giving up.


The Solution:  In the long run, interoception (the ability to sense what is happening in our body) is something we have perfected with practice. As we continue meditating, we realize that our experience with our bodies becomes richer, more detailed and more pleasurable. Eventually, the body can be a source of pleasure in every moment that we wake up. If we just persist, it will happen.


On the way, it's helpful to let go of the thought of paying attention to the breath and instead be careful to breathe. This opens the way to a richer, more fulfilling and more enjoyable meditation experience. Breathing involves the whole body in a dance of intertwined sensations. When we begin to experience breathing in this way, we are no longer bored and realize that our capacity for interoception is rapidly improving so that we have a more complete and satisfying experience with our body.

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5) Not realizing progress


It is natural to want your meditation practice to give you something, to bring you benefits. And you wonder when this will start to happen. "Why is my mind still full of thoughts?" You may wonder. The problem is that being overly concerned about where you expect meditation to take you actually interferes with your ability to experience and enjoy the present moment.


Often people can not really see how much they are changing - others may notice that they are calmer and happier, but they do not realize it themselves. Because? Because we are so close to ourselves that we do not see ourselves clearly.


The solution: You will make more progress if you are not so concerned about progress. Just be present. It's like a family on a long drive: the kids in the back seat are constantly asking how much they miss before they get to the destination, while adults can relax more easily on the journey without the desire to be anywhere else.


6) Believing in your doubts


Relying too much on the thoughts that the mind creates is something that affects both those who are experienced in meditation practice and those who are beginning. These thoughts may be that little voice that tells us things like "you're not very good at it. Other people are, but not you. You were not made for meditation. In fact, you suck at it. It's better to give up anyway. " If we believe in these voices, it can be very laborious to continue our practice.


The solution:  It's hard to see that we do not have to believe our thoughts. Thoughts are just stories. Sometimes they are sensible and useful stories, but sometimes they are just rationalizations of our fears. There may be parts of us that are afraid to change positively. And these parts of us may try to divert us from our practice by telling us that we are bad at it. Then learn to stop for a moment and treat your inner narrator with skepticism. These kinds of inner monologues are what we call a lock of doubt. When we learn to identify this blockage, we are less likely to be dominated by it.

7) Establish regular practice


It can be really laborious to establish a daily meditation practice. This is true even when meditation practice is going well and we are enjoying it. We may be too busy or there may be resistance even if we have time to sit down. Sometimes this causes people to gradually give up on meditation. They do not sit to meditate for a few days, until a few weeks pass, and they forget even to try.


The solution:  First, commit to sitting down, even for just five minutes a day. It is better to meditate for a short period daily than sit for longer periods, but "skip" days. It is far better to do some meditation than none. Then try this mantra: "I meditate every day. That's what i do. It's a part of who I am. "


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