Most Common Difficulties of Meditation and How to Manage Them

Hi everyone, I wanted to share my humble insights on how the most common difficulties of meditation that affect many of our practice, and also highlight what has worked for me over the past 5 years.

Sometimes we have the motivation and good intention to practice meditation. But when we finally allocate some time to sit, we are dealt with some inconvenient challenges and obstacles that make it difficult to meditate.

In my experience, the four main difficulties are:

Pain and soreness Drowsiness and tiredness Lack of focus and a wandering mind No free time to meditate!

How To Manage:

Make a commitment to your body and keep it fit and healthy. I discovered what helped me most was getting adequate good quality sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and most importantly, stretching daily to keep the body nimble and flexible. Then on the meditation cushion, keeping the correct posture helped me deal with the pain a lot. Back straight, spine erect, shoulders slightly rolled back, legs in half or full lotus. Get enough rest and first acknowledge that sometimes, its better to just sleep over meditating. When we meditate, the body will let us know we are tired when we previously weren't mindful of it. Otherwise, sleeping well, keeping sessions short but high quality also helps a lot too. The main thing that helped me immensely was to settle the eye gaze immediately when I begin meditation. The flicking and darting eye gaze are associated with the thinking mind and by settling the eyes, we also settle the mind. Another one is to do counting meditation instead of observing the breath until we have enough focus to observe the breath. This is because counting is a more obvious object of focus than the breath which sometimes behind to disappear before the focus is there to keep up with it. Spread out short sessions throughout the day, maybe 5-10 minutes at a time. Also using waiting periods to meditate helped me immensely. We don't need to sit cross-legged to meditate. Just focusing the mind on one object and being aware of our environment is enough to ground the mind and return to the present moment.

For more details on the four difficulties and how to manage them, I made a video specifically for the meditation community here.

When we learn to deal with these four main difficulties, meditation becomes much more pleasant and enjoyable which helps us make faster and more meaningful progress. Best wishes to you on your meditation journey!

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