Obstacles to Mindfulness and Mediation

There can seem to be common barriers between us and establishing a consistent meditation/mindfulness practice. I believe any obstacle can be overcome to bring you closer to a more relaxed and aware state of being. One main reason that gets in the way, is actually finding the time. We feel too busy to set aside time to stop and take care of ourselves. Mindfulness doesn’t have to look like sitting on a cushion for many hours to achieve stillness. You can integrate it throughout the day in small windows of time. A few minutes will grow into more awareness, more of the time with regular practice. Another hindrance is that we may feel that when we do finally sit down to meditate, we are unable to stop all of our thoughts and quiet the mind. Our thoughts remain relentless and rumination overpowers our ability to remain focused on the breath. Becoming lost in thought when meditating is completely normal. When the realization comes in that you are thinking again, label it “thinking, planning, worrying” and reorient back to the breath. Over time your ability to recognize thinking expands and will become less of a barrier. Sometimes the feeling that you must be meditating all wrong is another issue that comes up. In my experience there is not one right way to be mindful or meditate. Continually shifting your awareness and focus back to the anchor of the breath is the practice. Also, becoming more aware of the body and sensing into the feelings and experiences that reside there. Sensing your visual or auditory surroundings can be another object of awareness, that can improve your ability to become more still and restful. I believe the biggest difficulty in meditation is the simple act of just being ready to let go and finally stop doing! We are so habituated to keep moving until we drop. This pattern does not necessarily make us more productive. Mindfully slowing improves the ability to think more efficiently and actually can improve your productivity. Try to lean into the slowing down, get close to the sensation of stillness. Be gentle and patient with yourself. Actual quiet can be quite jarring at first, as you are so use to your busy fast paced mind. Overtime, practicing mindfulness and meditation will expand your ability to shift into spacious, clear relaxation. I believe it can bring you the freedom and respite that you so greatly desire,

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