So You Gave Meditation a Shot? Didn't Work Out? 5 Things to Try Next.


I get it. Even though I’m 20 years into my meditation journey, I have a pretty good idea of what you are going through. Here are a few things I wish I would have known when I started my meditation path. 

If you’ve tried to start a blissful meditation practice and it just isn’t sticking, here’s what’s next.

  1. Know that meditation (or attempting to meditate) is like flossing. Even if you do it once a leap year, it’s never a waste.

  2. Try to really focus on one thing when you’re working at work or doing things around the house. If you can sustain your attention on whatever you are doing for 15 minutes, you are essentially meditating. Not in the mind clearing sense, but that isn’t my idea of meditation. For me, meditation is the ability to focus on one thing and let distractions just come and go. So you aren’t focusing on your breath? That project due next week works too!

  3. The next time you are driving by yourself, see if you can just pay attention to driving for five minutes. If something takes your mind off driving, like the fb notification you just received or what you are going to do when you get home, bring your focus back to the feel of the steering wheel, the signs passing by, etc. The practice of bringing your attention back to what you are doing right now is as good as any five minutes on a cushion.

  4. Take a nice, slow deep belly breath at least twice a day, or as many times as you think about it. If you remember to do this multiple times a day you won’t have to sit on a tiny little cushion another day in your life.

  5. Keep the door open to all forms of meditation. Even the kind you tried that sucked. Keeping an open mind keeps us flexible and in and of itself is an offshoot of meditation. It is sort of like driving up to the top of Pikes Peak versus hiking up. The view at 14,114 ft. is the same either way.

Takeaway #1: Any attempts to pay attention to something without distraction is beneficial to our brains and can “count” as meditation.

Takeaway #2: By refraining to label ourselves as someone who “just can’t meditate” we avoid further entrenching that thought into our brains.

Do you have any other “next step” suggestions?