I don’t have time
It doesn’t work for me
I am not getting anywhere in the meditations
I find it frustrating
I am not seeing results
Rebuttals… with a little tender love.
I don’t have time:
I debate this with people often. And my first question is really? More often than not comes some bumbling statements, “well you know, I am just so busy and then get home, and have to make dinner, and you know kids, or partners or gym or something.
Now I get it. Carving out two, twenty minute daily sessions can seem intrusive and a challenge. Especially in the early days. But if we are completely honest with ourselves we realise it’s an excuse 95% of the time. Yes there are periods of life when we are so stretched that we have zero free time. And new mums forget it (I encourage them to meditate while breastfeeding).
But at the simplest level of reality, it comes down to “Can I make it a priority” and if so, we find the 40 minutes out of the 1,440 we have each day. Get up 20 minutes earlier, tell your kids this is your time, do it before you get home in the afternoon. When we make it a priority we will do whatever it takes. And you will experience the benefits. I am 100% confident in that.
It doesn’t work:
Hmm, it does. A practice which has been around for over 5,000 years and been put through the rigours of contemporary science with so much endorsement on the neurological and physiological benefits. So it does work, it is irrefutable.
Put simply your brain, body, mind and spirit gain innumerable benefits from the practice, when you are using the technique correctly.
So why people feel this, is expectations. Which are the enemy of meditation and life in general.
And they are looking for experiences in meditation rather than the benefits it brings to our external life which is the real barometer of the practice.
If you commit to 90 days of twice daily meditation, I am 100% confident you will go, yep its working… Perhaps in ways you would not have expected.
I am not getting anywhere in my meditations:
Where were you expecting to go? Jokes aside I get it. We have these ideas and expectations (see above about them) about what we will experience in meditation and when we have those meditation experiences that are filled with a lot of thought it is natural in the early days of meditation to discount them as “not getting anywhere and not working”.
The question I ask with this is: “Did you want to learn meditation for the experience in meditation or to be better at some area in life?” 95% of the time answered with “To be better at life”.
Which leads to “Perfect, as we do not meditate for the closed eye experience, but to enhance our waking experience of life”
Often a point we forget, and yes you can have beautiful meditations, but remember all meditation is good, busy meditations are an indication of your body unstressing. Releasing the pressure valve. Which is perfect as we don’t want to keep that stuff trapped in the nervous system. And as Shrek said: “It’s better out than in donkey”.
So busy meditations are the perfect reminder, that it is working, you were just chasing bliss rather than to be better at life, which when we adopt that into our lives we apply neutral indifference to each and every mediation (sure some are more pleasant than others, but still no differences in benefits). So just remember to not resist and surrender to each meditation as perfect.
I find it frustrating
I get it. I have had many periods of my meditation practice being challenging. Feeling that when I sit I’d experience agitation, frustration, irritability or anger. And in hindsight the reason for those feelings was a lack of acceptance and surrender to the experience. And reflecting my current state of consciousness.
And potentially resisting what is.
Resisting the kinda obvious (in the rear view mirror…) that if I am releasing stress and agitation from my nervous system doesn’t it make sense that I will not be experiencing pleasant meditations? And in that resistance, hoping for a nice experience (see above 2 points).
Hmm well yeah. So with frustration and agitation it is just again experiences of agitation moving in the nervous system.
It is often a mirror to show us what is going on within our system. As within so without, yet we can busy ourselves and numb ourselves and direct our awareness away from these subtler realities. But this comes at a massive cost down the road to our wellbeing and happiness.
So keep meditating and apply neutral indifference. When frustration arises, give it permission, allow it to breathe, do nor resist in with “I should not be feeling this etc”, just give space and innocently favour your mantra. Keep everything soft. And at some point the frustration will abate, 20 minutes will pass and your nervous system will be incredibly grateful for you continually releasing the pressure valve. And over time that feeling will no longer dominate your meditations nor your life.
I am not seeing results:
This can be a hard one to quantify. But a lot of the time this comment comes from someone that is only a few weeks to maybe a few months into the practice.
Or this is by people who are just doing 10 minutes, once a day, or sporadically.
I rarely if ever hear this from people who are consistent with adopting this practice into their lives.
But that is a moot point for those that feel that way, so let’s unpack it a bit.
First up though, scientifically, I can assure you, if you meditate daily, you are getting benefit. There is a host of benefits that you are getting beneath the exterior threshold of your awareness. How? By daily dropping into the parasympathetic nervous system and allowing a massive drop in your metabolic rate and flooding your body with the ability to rest and digest. A cornerstone of the Vedic technique is we are giving our body a state of rest 2-5 times greater than that of sleep. And that is regardless of what our mind is experiencing (as long as we are not resisting or forcing our meditations). Too much benefits and science to go into in this email.
Also another common experience with meditators is they can feel very early on an initial benefit. “Oh wow I feel so much calmer, sleeping better etc etc”
But 6 months down the road, this is now the new norm and we forget what life was like prior to our meditation.
So we lose that contrast point. Therefore making the feeling that it is not working completely natural. This is where we can lean on the science to continue to plough ahead and trust in the fact it is well and truly stood the test of time, if it didn’t work, it wouldn’t be here.
A classic story I also share is with the individual that felt meditation was not working for them, they were an incredibly busy person so 40 minutes of their day was very valuable. They decided to just hit the “pause” button on the practice. Their family shortly thereafter encouraged them back into meditation as the person became so much more reactive and “bighty…”.
Also with this remember meditation is not a magic bullet. It is not going to miraculously change all things, as it is you who is in the drivers seat. Meditation just helps to start to see potentially negative patterns we get stuck in, and while our nervous system (along with mind and spirit) gain incredible benefits, we can often feel that “just not changing”.
I then normally ask: “are you watering the weeds or sowing new seeds and watering them”.
Meditation will help you to prune old pathways but we have to each and every day sow the seeds we want to grow and move in that direction and remind ourselves that we are the author, the editor and the publisher.