We often speak to many first time meditators who encounter the problem of ‘concentrating’ while meditating. Read below for more information on common ‘problems’ that people experience when meditating as well as some practical advice on how to solve them.
- Their minds wander while meditating. Having learnt a form of meditation that requires focusing on a certain action or object (such as focusing on breathing or concentrating on an object in the near distance), the meditator often finds that their thoughts easily drift off to other things, such as events of the day. This causes some meditators to feel frustrated, agitated or bored and can unfortunately leave them with a negative experience.
- Not being able to get in ‘the zone’. Some forms of meditation require others to get in a certain ‘zone’ or ‘moment’ while meditating. This could include being ‘aware’ of sounds and scents in the environment, as well as being mindful of the sensations felt within oneself. Once again, this form of meditation requires a certain discipline that, if not practiced regularly, can lead to frustration to many who feel that their minds wander, or that their concentration lacks focus.
- It takes too much energy to ‘concentrate’ while meditating. Some people who we have spoken to state that it consumes too much energy to meditate. They feel that to meditate requires an exceptional amount of concentration and energy and that they sometimes feel worse off after the meditation.
- Feeling unproductive during meditation. Some people feel ‘bored’ while meditating and have the perception that meditation could be a waste of time. As we often advise people to meditate at least twice a day, some may feel that they could be doing something ‘better’ with this portion of time. (Although this is not a topic we will dive into entirely in this blog post, we would like to highlight that there is an ever-growing amount of scientific research that proves the numerous short and long term benefits meditation provides. Meditation is a practice encouraged by corporations such as Google, HBO and Procter & Gamble, and we personally believe that the busier you are, the more meditation should be a necessity in your life. Feel free to contact us for a deeper understanding of meditation.)
A simple solution
A core reason why others may feel the inability to ‘concentrate’ or ‘focus’ during meditation is incorrect guidance. There is a lot of free information online about meditation, and understandably, over time, its core principles have become burdened by layers, rules and misinterpretations. Unfortunately, this has led to confusion over the true power of meditation.
True meditation is about allowing your consciousness to take over. Unlike martial arts, true meditation is a state, not a technique. It is present within all of us and does not require years of training. While meditating, it is natural for your thoughts to take over. Forcing your thoughts away, or forcing your mind to concentrate on a specific object, the environment or your breathing leads to frustration. It anchors you to the surface of your consciousness – as a result, it may hinder you, or slow your progress.
When meditating, it is important to accept your thoughts and merely observe them for what they are. Do not meditate to expect a result. Accept each meditation as it comes; acceptance of every meditation as the perfect experience for that moment in time is the key to enjoying your practice.
What are your thoughts about the meditative ‘problem’ of having to focus or concentrate while meditating? We would love to hear your thoughts or discuss this further. Feel free to follow us on Facebook for a healthy discussion or contact us.
This post appeared originally on Troy Drake’s LinkedIn. Troy Drake is the meditation facilitator and business mentor at Streamline Meditation.