Why is meditation so hard?

I sit, legs crossed on my fancy, brand new meditation pillow. It’s light blue with the figure of a person sitting in sukhasana (cross-legged, for my non-yogis).

I get comfortable and close my eyes, determined to meditate.

The breath becomes a slow, rhythmic motion.

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The tongue falls from the roof of the mouth.

Relaxation.

“I wonder what I should have for lunch later.”

Oops. Concentrate.

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“My hair is in my face. Should I fix it? Or is that non-meditation-like? I could do it fast and then get back into it. Oh, well, I guess just thinking about all of this is breaking my meditation.”

OK, OK, concentrate.

“Inhale; exhale; inhale; exhale. Ted told us during teacher training that one of the best ways to hone our meditation practice is by focusing on the breath. Look at me, I’m doing a really good job!”

Inhale; exhale; inhale; exhale.

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“I wonder what everyone is up to. I wonder how many people are teaching regularly. Why am I thinking about training?”

This isn’t working. I feel like I’m failing. Should I just stop?

“I could stop and plan how much it’ll cost me to renovate my kitchen. Should I order the appliances first or rip out the cabinets?”

I should really be meditating. OK, OK get back to it.

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I open my eyes, and 30 minutes have gone by.

I take a deep inhale, and a long exhale. Was any of that really meditation? Oh well, tomorrow is a new day.

I meditate twice a day — in the morning and at night — but I never said I was perfect at it. I believe that part of the practice is simply allowing yourself to have that time to sit and be still — and not beating yourself up if (or when) your mind happens to wander.

Because hey, it will. And it’s not a big deal.
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