Meditations are known to provide immense benefits. A large number of us somehow manage anxiety, or keep trying to become more self-aware, or struggle sleep on time.
Although meditation rewires your brain to manage stress, increases productivity, enhances imagination and creativity, still less than 9% of Americans manage to use meditations (As per U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
"Nobody starts meditation because they think it's boring and requires patience. There is nothing beyond truth. Meditation helps you to become more driven and focused." says Aviral Pandey, founder of Aumhum.
If you have again and again failed trying meditation and still wondering why it did not work for you, then you might be making unnoticed mistakes that would have derailed your practice. These are the common mistakes that people make while practicing meditation:
JUDGING YOURSELF OR THE PRACTICE
A very common mistake that most individuals do while first beginning with meditation practice is to judge. Judging themselves or judging the mentor or even the meditation practice. Practitioners start questioning if they are meditating effectively and correctly, which eventually sets a hurdle that demotivates them to continue with their meditation practice in the future. It keeps your mind chatter unnecessarily, during the practice, with judging your mental states rather than being in the meditation state. You should practice active clearing of thoughts and bringing back your attention to your breath. Meditation is all about being mindful and judgement free.
A good number of beginners tend to look for an immediate feedback, a way of seeing meditation work for them. Any practitioner of meditation would tell you that you need to be with the practice. Which means, you have to continue to practice for at least sometime to be able to appreciate what it does to you. It is not about what you get to feel or infer from your physical sensations.
A good number of people confuse talking meditation with practicing meditation. Talking about meditation and different states one is going through has the potential of making one the talk of parties. It doesn't take much for one to be fooling oneself with these intellectual discourses. Meditation is a tool. It is a practice. Period. There is no need to intellectualize meditations. It can be extremely counter-productive.
Building meditation muscle takes time. It is like running. I have met so many runners on the circuit who just want to talk running and covert everyone to become a runner. Once somehow gets a taste of what meditation or running for that matter can do to them, it is tough to talk anything but that. It is understandable. Talking meditation will only take you away from your practice. It is alright to spend time contemplating. But talking doesn't help.
MEDITATION WHEN YOU ARE TIRED
When you are practicing in a passive state such as sleepy early morning or very late at night, difficulties in your meditation might arise. Most of the time we tend to sleep in such a state.
The best time to practice is when you are active, fully awake and energetic. It is highly recommended to combine with breathing strength and flexibility exercises.
If you are looking to relax and you end up meditating because of that, then you can try out a relaxation technique instead. A lot of relaxation techniques are marked as meditations on the Internet. Techniques that work well in such a scenario include, Guided Visualization, Journaling, Relaxing Sounds and Body Scan.
If you are looking to build a meditation practice, most of which require sitting for sometime on your own, waiting for the end of the day to do so doesn't work. Then it becomes a task. And meditation is anything but a task. It loses all its purpose if done like a daily chore. An easy way out is to do it right when you feel its time to take a moment. Just to do it. You won't get moment again soon. They come in rarity.
YOU ARE NOT CONSISTENT ENOUGH
The benefits of meditation are cumulative. Meditation is framed to practice daily and to produce desired results, consistency is must. So it's about consistency, just like brushing your teeth, imagine brushing them once a week. If your life and schedule don't permit to be consistent with the time and place, you will have to figure out other ways to be consistent.
You can simply start off by doing 5 minute meditation sessions twice a day.
A good way to to consistent with meditation is to anchor it to a significant event of the day. Something like: the first thing once you take the shower. Or, it could be one thing you do before you take your meal. Meditation is a flower that needs to bloom. Just keep regularly watering the roots.
GOING WITHOUT A MENTOR
On your commencement with meditation, practicing alone would be fine, but to deepen the practice one should find a mentor. You need to have awareness of the moment and work on what you are doing. This can be tricky if done solely by self. One needs guidance. One needs a mentor who could help open the meditation possibilities layer by layer in a controlled and safe manner. Here is what Sadhguru has to say regarding the role of a Guru (a realized mentor):
EXPECTING IMMEDIATE RESULTS
If you think you would meditate for 5 minutes and WOAH! You have attained the highest level of consciousness. I'm sorry to disappoint you, it doesn't work like this.
A single session won't make a noticeable difference. This can lead you to think that it isn't working for you but the fact is you just need to give more time.
And after giving sufficient time, if you still feel the same then you should consider reaching out to a mentor before giving up completely.
If you intend to meditate and keep feeling that you are not able to do so, I would recommend you setup a session with Aumhum support team here.