A lot of people think that if they can’t calm their minds during meditation, it means they’re doing something wrong, or they’re “no good at meditating.”
They may wonder, “Is the only goal of meditation to calm my mind? What if I can’t do that?”
If that’s been on your mind, I have some good news: Meditation is a practice that includescalming your mind, but it is much more than that. And if you’re having trouble calming your mind, if your mind is really busy and will not quieten down, that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’re “bad at meditating” or that you should give up the practice.
Before we address the specific goals of meditation, and why we’re meditating in the first place, let’s take a step back and ask a broader question.
What exactly do we mean, when we talk about mindfulness?
This is an edited version of my article from Planet Mindful, Issue One (Winter 2018) and my guest post on welldoing.org
Mindfulness is becoming recognised as a powerful tool in psychotherapy, and there are a growing number of therapists who are trained in both modalities. Many people are seeing positive results when the two approaches are combined.
What are the advantages of integrating psychotherapy and mindfulness? How can a combined approach help you heal?
1. They complement each other well
Mindfulness and psychotherapy can be complementary practices. Psychotherapy primarily examines “self in relationship to other”, and mindfulness primarily examines “self in relationship to self.”
The term “mindfulness” is a translation of the Pali term “sati,” which originally meant "to remember" or "to recollect.”
Mindfulness can help develop a...
When I ask my clients what stops them from meditating — what the biggest obstacle is to meditating on a regular basis — the most common answer I get is, “I don’t have enough time.”
I agree wholeheartedly. I don’t have enough time, either — many of us (if not all of us) don’t have time to add a sitting practice to our already-packed schedules.
When your days are already overloaded with school, work, family responsibilities, meetings, and household chores, how can you possibly find the time to meditate?
I’ve created this short little guide for everyone who is having trouble making meditation a regular habit. These steps will help make sitting part of your regular routine, instead of feeling like one more thing you’ve got to squeeze into your already-packed days.
If you’re new to meditation, or you’ve been feeling bad because you just haven’t been able...
When people find out I’m a meditation teacher, one of the first questions they often ask me is, “How long should my meditation sessions be?”
Creating a practice of consistent meditation is important, so it’s critical that you set reasonable goals and try to meditate every day. So what is a “reasonable” goal, and how do you figure out how much sitting time you need to start seeing the benefits of meditation?
Ultimately, this is a question only YOU can answer, because the “right” amount of meditation time varies widely from person to person.
I can give you a few guidelines you can use to set your own meditation goals, though, and give you some things to consider before making your decision.
In a nutshell: When it comes to meditation, consistency is essential, but duration is a matter of personal choice.
If you’ve studied mindfulness-based...