3 mistakes you might be making in your meditation practice
Updated: Jul 15
Has meditation been on your to-do list for a while? Or you tried it but decided it wasn’t for you? Or you’d like to meditate more but struggle to establish a consistent practice? Wouldn’t it be nice to have more calm and clarity in your day? Today, let’s have a look at 3 common mistakes many people make in their meditation practice so you can establish consistent, sustainable practice.
1. Trying too hard
Sitting in a lotus pose with enormous discomfort and trying to sit for 20 minutes? Jaw clenched and face frowning. Every minute thinking “Am I there yet?” It’s very unlikely you will ever want to try meditating again this way! Let go of any expectation of how the practice “should” look like. Start small and make sure you’re comfortable in your chosen posture. Sitting on the floor isn’t for everyone, allow yourself to use a chair or even lie down on the floor in the posture of Savasana (corpse pose) Start with 5 or 10 minutes if you’re new so you will leave the practice wanting more. This motivates you to return to your practice, help you build consistency and eventually create longer meditation sessions when you feel ready.
2. Trying to stop thoughts
When you first start meditating, you realise it’s nothing blissful about the practice because all you notice is how busy and chaotic your mind is. And how easily your mind is distracted. You may feel unsure about what to do with constantly arising thoughts and it might be tempting to push them away, turn away from them or even try to hide them. Trying to stop thoughts is one of the most common mistakes new meditators make. What can you do instead? Can you be with your thoughts, gently let them go (without force) and bring your attention back to your breath? If you’re not caught up in a thought and can observe you’re having a thought, guess what! You’re making progress. There’s no need to forcefully push it away or try to hide or suppress each thought. It’s like trying to stop clouds from appearing in the sky. Let thoughts be. Let them just come and go. We don't hold on to each through nor keep dwelling in it. Keep bringing your attention back to the object of your meditation again and again.
3. Expecting quick outcome
Let go of expectation. If you show up expecting a particular outcome each time, you may keep disappointing yourself. Keep showing up and just do the practice. Allow yourself to be present with each breath the best you can in that moment and be willing to see what happens. Consistency is the key. Start small with daily short sessions of 5-10 minutes rather than trying to meditate for half an hour once a week. It’s like a baby trying to learn to walk. Or a child learning to ride a bicycle. It takes time. It takes time to train the mind just like when you’re trying to learn anything new so let this be the opportunity to be kind to yourself and cultivate patience.
There you have it! 3 things to avoid in your meditation practice. If you enjoyed reading this, you will enjoy joining me for Mindfulness Meditation for Busy Parents course. Make sure to sign up by 5pm Sydney time for 5:30pm start so you will receive a zoom link in time for the class.
Mindfulness Masterclass for Busy Parents
5:30-6pm on Thursday 23 & 30 April 2020
(delivered online via zoom)
For full details & bookings, please visit the link below: