"I Can't Meditate!" A Psychological Perspective on Meditation
"I can't meditate" That is the most common response that I hear when talking about the work that I do as mindfulness based psychotherapist. There are a few reasons that people have trouble and then give up.
The first concept is that many people believe that meditation is just having a still mind. That isn't the case, rather the work is to learn to ignore your mind more and more and focus on what you choose to focus on. You simply move it to the background, much like a t.v. in another room. Every time you catch yourself off track, you have succeeded because you are now present again.
The next big problem that impedes people is that fact that most of us have spent our whole life avoiding being still and trying to not feel too much. We were never taught how to deal with feelings, so we coopted a defense of letting our ego run the show. So when we sit still, anything we have not wanted to deal with, will bubble up. One remedy to this is to use meditation to focus on something, like the breath, a visualization, or a mantra to be connected to yourself. The harder, yet more thorough path, is to learn to sit with and be with your feelings in a productive way. There are steps to take to learn to do this that I will write about in future blogs, see keep your eye out for that!
At Chicago Holistic Counseling, we offer a group experience to learn this and individual session to deepen your meditation and psychological growth.