What not to do in meditation

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Today I’m going to write down what not to do in meditation. Many of the points below have
womans face with abstracts smoke illustrationbeen mentioned in previous posts, yet I find it very useful to have them all concentrated in one place.

Another reason why I decided to write this article is because I have heard from many people that they gave up on meditation.

The mistakes in meditation can very easily lead to disappointment and eventually in giving up.
Paying attention to these simple points will not only prevent discouragement and giving up, but also help you develop your practice.


So, here we go:

1. Don’t pressure or force yourself to keep your attention on your meditation object.
This is one of the most common mistakes. Meditation is not about forcing our mind but about observing it and directing it.

2. Don’t force your distractions to go away.
When you meditate and you suddenly realize that you have been absorbed by a distraction don’t force it to go away. Actually, just the fact that you realized that you have been distracted, usually makes the distraction less intense and eventually it fades away.
Something that helps a lot is the labeling technique.

3. Don’t compare your experience with others’.
Comparing your experience with others’ makes you worry that you’re not doing it right and it also makes you have expectations. Having expectations leads to disappointment and to the statement: “I don’t think I can meditate. I have tried it but it doesn’t work for me.” These are negative feelings that can eventually lead to prevention and discouragement.

4. Don’t judge your session.
“Today I had a bad session. My mind was jumping from one distraction to another.” It doesn’t matter if you were able to focus or not. What matters is that you actually meditated. Meditation is an exercise for the mind. You have to think that the distractions give you the opportunity to train your mind in being still.

We create our reality with our thoughts. And we decide if a difficult achievement is a problem or an opportunity to grow and to learn.

5. Do not always meditate with the help of guided meditations or other additional tools.
Guided meditations, music or any other kind of tool can be used like a helper when you are a beginner (or not), and for relaxing and learning how to overcome stress and many other things.
When you are ready to deepen more, it’s better to do it alone. I believe that you start to gain some real effects and changes in your life when you learn how to meditate without any support.

6. Not developing your practice because of lack of knowledge or guidance.
When meditating on your own you should either strive continuously for knowledge or find guidance from somebody.

statue of buddha with teaching mudra hand pose

The ideal would be to meditate with the guidance of an instructor. To learn something new you always have to follow a guideline of somebody more experienced.
It’s important though, to find an instructor that really inspires you and gives you what you need.

On the other hand,there are many people that meditate on their own. In this case, you should strive for continuously learning about meditation and discussing with people with the same interest. Keep in mind though, that discussing with other people can sometimes lead to misinformation.
I believe that learning constantly about meditation is the best somebody can do.

For those that are meditating on their own, I suggest trying something new every now and then. This way, you can find new ways to meditate that will help you expand.

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2 thoughts on “What not to do in meditation

  1. FGS

    I got into the habit of doing 10 minutes of silence a day after reading Matthew Kelly’s bookbThe Rhythm of Life. and found it enormously helpful. When things got stressful at work I was able to tap back into the peace I had found in my silence. But then I got away from it.
    I need to get back into it again.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

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