My Mind is Too Busy I can’t Meditate
Have you ever used the ‘my mind is too busy to meditate’ excuse? You’re not alone, many believe that there is no way that they could sit down, legs crossed and meditate for a single minute, nevermind 15 or 30 minutes.
Despite your best efforts, a peaceful mind eludes you whenever you try to meditate. You attempt to focus on your breath or follow the guided meditation of your instructor but thoughts continue to flood your mind.
What’s truly going on here? Are you broken?
When you have a difficult time quieting your mind, it’s not because you are incapable, or too stressed, or whatever excuse that you have. You simply have unrealistic expectations. You’re trying to get to the finish line without running the race.
Here’s the good news
If your mind is jumping around, solving problems, figuring out what’s for dinner, worrying about Susie’s grades, you’re fortunate. You have material to work with, unlike others who shut their mind down in an attempt to find peace.
Being mindful isn’t about quelling thoughts it’s about accepting what is there. Peace isn’t a goal of meditation it’s a byproduct.
When a meditation instructor tells you to continue to return to your breath when thoughts arise, that doesn’t mean stop thoughts from occurring. And when you return to your breath because you noticed that thoughts were flooding your mind, you didn’t fail, you succeeded. It was the awareness that you are trying to develop that let you know your mind had wandered.
It doesn’t matter if your mind has to call you back to your breathing a thousand times in a minute, your awareness is increasing. After a while, you will be less distracted during meditation, and in your life, that’s the point. Patience is the key. Don’t be upset that you noticed a thought, let your mind watch patiently and return you to your breath.
You don’t have to sit lotus to meditate effectively. A good straight posture is all that is really required whether you’re sitting on the floor, a zafu, or in a chair.