Our mind is the mechanism we use to perceive the world around us. It gives meaning to all that we experience. And for so long, our minds have been busy trying to make sense of our lives.
Through our thoughts, we determine what we like, don’t like, and what we will do and won’t do. Our mind is just doing its job- being active in assessing everything so that we can make decisions that (hopefully) work in our favor.
And then one day we decide…. Ohhhh, my mind is too busy. I think I’ll sit down, be still, and turn all those relentless thoughts off for 10 minutes or so. Let’s meditate!
Great idea! But, realistically do you think it’s going to be possible to change a lifetime’s habit in a moment???? It’s very unlikely!
Why?…… Because you have hardwired programs that your mind is very familiar with, and will keep returning to, by default, every moment you let your guard down.
But that does not mean that meditation will always be, or even needs to be hard for you……
Why Is Meditation So Hard?
Your mind is a tool to be programmed. And unless you program it to do what you want, it will be programmed for you by your environment. So, it’s taken years and years for ‘life’ to program your mind to be busy, easily distracted, and anxious. And when you suddenly decide to sit and be still, it’s just not going to happen! Why? Because you haven’t yet developed/cultivated a program for detachment or equanimity.
Some People Can Meditate Easily… Why Is Meditation So Hard For Me?
What you are is something that existed before the development of your mind. When you were born your mind was blank and open, with an insatiable appetite to absorb all the information it could.
Through your formative years, you began to build your unique personality which has culminated in the ego you now identify with as ‘I.’ However, this is not who you are…. it is just a collection of thoughts, ideas, and beliefs you now hold onto as ‘ME.’
For a moment, just imagine if you were born in a different culture or at a different time. It would be impossible for you to have become the same ‘ego/personality’ you now identify with.
You would have had different parents who taught you different morals and ideals. You would have played different sports with a different set of friends, all of who helped shape your different personality. And you may have been struggling to survive daily… or been born into an affluent family.
In effect, you would be like an actor playing a different character in a different play. And you would be different because of the information you were exposed to and accepted as ‘yours’ throughout your life.
And for us, meditation is so hard because our minds are conditioned to focus on the wants, needs, and beliefs that our egos have created for us….. Yes, our ego has desires… and the main one is to be heard, not silenced!
To make meditation easier, we have to drop our persona so we can remember what we were when we incarnated into these bodies….. that which we are prior to developing our ego minds…..
Our Mind Is Just Doing What It Has Been Programmed To Do!
If we have not developed the ability to quiet our mind, it will continue to inundate us with its opinions, irrespective if the information is true, false, beneficial, or just downright unhelpful. Why, because we haven’t been taught that we can actually train our magnificent minds to behave in any other way. Instead, we just assimilate all the chaos that happens around us and believe that this is ‘just normal!’
“Every facet, every department of your mind, is to be programmed by you. And unless you assume your rightful responsibility, and begin to program your own mind, the world will program it for you.”
– Jack Kornfield: The Roots of Buddhist Psychology
You have been subjected to constant streams of information for your entire life. You have been conditioned, programmed, and trained to become who you are now. And because you didn’t play a more active role in the development of your mind, you have ended up here, now… and for you, meditation is difficult.
This is because the information that makes meditation enjoyable and easy is not yet part of your programming. Your mind has not had sufficient experiences of self-awareness, the stillness of thoughts, and detachment from external stimuli to recognize these as beneficial and desirable programs…. yet!
But it’s ok because meditation is accessible to everyone… meaning we can all learn to meditate successfully.
And when you understand that it’s a journey that you are embarking on and not a destination that you are racing to get to, your mind can begin to relax and enjoy all the steps along the way…. Because all the beginning steps, including your current frustration, are part of the never-ending journey of self-awareness.
It takes time to learn anything new, and more time to integrate it into your psyche. And when beginning, your mind is confused. It’s so used to having to worry, decide, assess, imagine, and direct every aspect of your life…. and then the unthinkable happens…..
….. YOU WANT YOUR MIND TO CEASE DOING THE ONLY JOB IT HAS EVER HAD… THE ONLY THING THAT IT CURRENTLY KNOWS HOW TO DO!…..
So of course, your mind is confused and thinks you are making a mistake because, as yet, it doesn’t have any programming for ‘being still and just observing itself.’ It still believes that it is all that exists and that it is in control….
But hold on! What is the essence of that which is learning to witness the thoughts???
Meditation Is All About Evolution!
Our thoughts, created in our minds, help us understand and interact with the world around us. And this is ok. This is after all why we have incarnated in a human body on this planet at this time…. to have a human experience.
However, we are more than this collection of body parts, memories, thoughts, and emotions. Essentially, we are ‘what is experiencing this play/game of life.’
And, so far, your busy mind has prevented you from realizing that there is a much greater aspect of you that has been concealed behind your incessant busyness.
The mind is a tool that has evolved to keep us alive on this planet, alert us to danger, and help us succeed. Mind is here to ‘experience life’ and is adapted perfectly for this purpose. It keeps us thinking of what we want next and how we can get it. This is natural…..
Our mind may seem selfish, and it is….. but only because it does not yet understand that there is an experiencer…. Our soul self is beyond the capability of our mind to comprehend. Our minds never needed our higher self to survive in the past…..
But now, we are waking up, and we are beyond living with the need to struggle for survival. Our evolution is allowing us the time and energy to evolve into something more, something greater than we have ever been before….
Yes, we can finally escape our suffering, which is our mind being fully immersed in the constant survival-level thought processes. And we can become free or enlightened when we recognize the witness within.
How Can I Make Meditation Easier For Me?
Meditation is only going to work for you when you recognize the distinction between the ‘active’ thoughts in your mind and the ‘passive’ experiencer of (that which witnesses) those thoughts.
Any meditation you do for spiritual awareness is ultimately about recognizing this distinction. And once we get a glimpse of this, everything else will begin to easily fall into place.
Why? Because we can now understand that we are not our thoughts. And that they have instead been blocking us from coming to know the infinite intelligence that is our SOUL-SELF…..
So now, we can begin to separate ourselves from the torment that our mind may have been generating for us (in the belief that it is still necessary for our survival.) And with time, we can begin to identify more with the infinite consciousness that is experiencing this game of life with all its diverse sensations, thoughts, experiences, and emotions….. just for the fun of it.
Meditation should be the easiest thing in the world…. but we have worked very hard to complicate it……
All you need to do is let The Infinite Light, Love, and Wisdom of the Inner Experiencer shine through and participate in your life, NOW!….
….. The scary alternative is to continue to let the multitude of thoughts produced by your evolutionary mind, which is still focused on stress, worry, past, future, money, relationships, etc. continue to be the sum total of your current experience.
How do we get there?
– Stop trying so hard…..You cannot go in search of your higher self. It is already here, already an inseparable component of all that you are.
– Meditate to ‘let go!’ And soon you will begin to notice your thoughts, that you are separate from them…. This is meditating, yes, you are meditating successfully by being the observer of your thoughts.
– Allow whatever thoughts arise to arise without judgment…. Just be aware of them, allow them to be….
– Become aware of your breath if it helps. When “The Witness” remains present in this moment instead of becoming consumed by thoughts, your thoughts will eventually calm down.
– Meditation is only hard when you are ‘doing something.’ When you allow things to be as they are, you are not doing anything….. so being hard is not applicable….. remember, just allowing…..
You cannot DO something to silence the mind! You have to ALLOW the infinite space to BE…. And then, we witness it!