Meditation – The Challenges Can Be Overcome

seattle meditation class

For those of us who are constantly in motion and juggling work, family, and a social life, the idea of sitting still can seem ridiculous. Many people try meditation and find themselves feeling like they’re wasting time, or like they can’t stop thinking about all of their responsibilities. Others think they’re doing it wrong because they don’t feel peaceful or enlightened, even after several attempts.

If you feel like you just don’t “get” meditation or can’t understand the value of sitting silently for an hour, don’t worry. These doubts make sense, and are actually quite common. Although it’s true that meditation comes easier to some, anyone can become a mediation master.

If you feel like meditation is a daunting task, check out some of our expert tips to better understand this ancient practice:

  • Don’t try to imitate Buddha. It’s important to remember that your meditation is solely to help you de-stress and focus on yourself, so make sure that your style of meditation works for you and your lifestyle.
  • Good posture is key. Listen to your body, and if it’s uncomfortable, don’t hurt yourself trying to fold your legs into the traditional meditation position. Sit with a straight back, crossing your legs or sitting in a chair. If this is uncomfortable, you can try lying down.
  • Bring it back to your breathing. Breathe normally and regularly, simply focusing on the rhythm of your breath rather than trying to control it. You can experiment with deep breathing as well, but many people are able to relax with normal breaths.
  • Find a focus point. Closed-eye meditation can be disorienting for beginners, so if you’re having trouble, try lighting a candle or picking one stationary point to focus on.
  • Make it short and sweet. Start by meditating for shorter periods of time, generally five to ten minutes. Increase the duration as you get more comfortable with the concept, adding five minutes every week.

The key is to take meditation in small steps and work your way up to a 45-minute session. But, remember, even if you’re experienced, meditation can still be difficult. Sometimes, you may feel relaxed and enlightened, while other times, it may take extra focus and attention to empty your mind. Make meditation a priority, and you’ll soon notice your practice and diligence paying off.

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Meditation 101: How to Start

meditation class seattle

There’s a learning curve in everything, from riding a bike to learning a new language. And the same goes with meditation. Even though it may not seem like it, everyone, including mediation masters, start off inexperienced.

Many people assume that because they don’t feel naturally spiritual, meditation is not for them. However, anyone can enjoy the soothing benefits of meditation. Like anything else, meditation takes time and diligence, and your success will be a reflection of the work you put in.

Here are some quick tips to help you get started with meditation:

  • Set a time and place. To get into the habit of regularly meditating, designate a specific time every day or every couple of days, and try to stick to that time. This will help integrate meditation into your life as simply another part of your routine. In addition, try to do your meditation in one quiet, peaceful room so that you create a calming atmosphere for yourself in the future.
  • Relax your senses. Pick up some candles, incense, or other soothing spiritual tokens to help relax your senses and clear your mind. You can also use a candle as a focus point if you’re having trouble emptying your mind.
  • Work through the frustration. It’s common for beginning meditators to feel like their mind is loud and full of unwanted thoughts. When this happens, don’t be discouraged! It’s normal to doubt yourself. Simply focus on your breathing or one neutral point, and let your frustration roll off of you.
  • Rise and shine. Your mind is usually most clear and least full in the mornings. So if you are able, try to get your meditation done first thing after you wake up.

With these ideas in mind, sit comfortably and begin to meditate:

  1. Find your calm, tranquil place and get into a position that is comfortable for you. Try experimenting with sitting, kneeling, or lying down.
  1. Close your eyes and breathe naturally. Don’t make an effort to slow or quicken your breathing; just let your lungs fill and compress.
  1. If you’re having trouble clearing your mind, always bring your focus back to a focal point, like your breathing or a candle.
  1. Start small and work your way up. Meditate for as long as you feel you need to. We recommend starting with a five-minute mediation and adding five minutes every week, until you are mediating for forty-five to fifty minutes each time.

As you begin to meditate, remember that you may not see results right away. Mediation requires regular practice and attention, so resist the urge to overanalyze your life to try and identify the effects of meditation. It won’t happen instantly, but the long-term benefits of this practice are completely worth the effort. Slowly but surely, meditation reduces stress and increases empathy, and helps us understand what we value and who we are.


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