My Mind Won’t Let Me Meditate
We live in a modern world that conditions our brains to be in a constant state of worry. News and social media bombard us every minute with something new to be fearful of or outraged about. We walk glued to our mobile phones that constantly ping us with something new that needs our attention. And we convince ourselves that it needs our attention right now. No wonder so many of us find it difficult to meditate!
See if this sounds familiar…
You sit down to meditate with the best of intentions. You close your eyes and begin to take some deep breaths. Finally, you are ready for a few moments of peace out of your busy life. But your mind has other ideas.
You suddenly remember there is construction on the road to work that might make you late so you wonder if you got up early enough. You think about how your boss is going to be mad if you’re late again. And how you need more time to prepare for the meeting today. And how you forgot to thaw the chicken for dinner tonight. And how angry you are at your cousin for the political post he put on Facebook. And how that reminds you that the whole world is just going downhill!!! And…
Then you remember you’re supposed to be “meditating” so you furrow your brow, and get angry at yourself for “doing it wrong”. You get up an angry huff, decide you might as well use the extra time this morning to do something productive and you tell yourself you just can’t meditate!
If you find yourself in this situation when trying to meditate, do what I do… go to outer space!
In order to quiet our mind in meditation, we first have to get it out of the endless loop of worry about our day to day thoughts. Otherwise, it will keep worrying and trying to find solutions and then moving onto the next concern. So for me, there is no better way to break this pattern than to force my mind to confront some things it cannot fully comprehend – like outer space!
When you sit down to meditate, think about out space for a moment. What is it? What is the farthest point you can imagine? How far away is the farthest star you can see? Where does it end? Consider the following scientific facts:
- You are one of billions of people on Earth.
- The Earth orbits a star we call the Sun.
- The Sun is 93 million miles from Earth.
- The Sun is just one of billions of stars within the Milky Way Galaxy.
- The Milky Way Galaxy is one of trillions of galaxies in the Universe.
Our minds simply cannot fully comprehend the vastness of the Universe. But by trying, it can suddenly make our self-absorbed daily thoughts – which can seem so important to us that we can’t let them go even for a moment – seem absurdly distant and unimportant. And that detachment from your daily thoughts is exactly what meditation is all about!
If you want some inspiration to help your mind get a frame of reference, take a look at some pictures of outer space like those from the Hubble telescope.
You can also reverse this process and go from the macro to the micro, and going inward instead of outward. Consider the following scientific facts:
- You are made of stardust.
- This means every atom in your body is billions of years old.
- Your body contains 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms.
- Your body is 99.99% empty space.
Moving your awareness to these awe-inspiring places is guaranteed to break the pattern of anxious, day-to-day thoughts. You’ll find yourself automatically uplifted to a higher state of consciousness. That may, in itself, be enough for you. Or you can use that as a basis to continue other types of meditation now that you’ve quieted your “monkey mind“.
Go Forth & Meditate
The benefits of meditation are well-documented and I believe everyone can benefit from a regular practice. Even a few minutes a day is better than nothing.
I hope this process helps you in your meditation practice. I practice meditation every day and I still need some help getting out of my own head from time to time. If you find this article helpful, I’ve also written on some other meditation tips and tricks to help calm your mind.
Happy meditating, everyone!