Overcome These Five Common Obstacles to Meditation

Working with the wandering mind is challenging. Here’s why you’re having trouble meditating and a practice to renew your motivation.

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It is absolutely normal to experience some challenges when practicing mindfulness meditation. Your mind will wander; this happens to everyone. Since you’ve begun practicing mindfulness, there’s no doubt that you’ve already experienced this. Your mind can be just like the weather often is—changing all the time. You’ve probably noticed that you tend to get lost in memories or thoughts about the future, even in everyday life. For example, when eating breakfast you might be planning the day ahead or remembering the past, whether marveling at how wonderful last weekend was or how painful that interaction was that you had with your spouse last night. It seems that most of our waking hours are spent thinking about the past or the future, and that we seldom live in the here and now. As you look closely at the workings of your mind during mindfulness practice, you’ll start to see how often you aren’t present.

If you find it difficult to resist criticizing yourself, consider this: If you weren’t mindful, you wouldn’t even know you’d wandered off.

Your job isn’t to berate yourself for this, but to simply acknowledge the wandering and come back to the meditation. If you find it…