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Meditation doesn't work for me

Posted: 09 Jul 2014 23:47
by The Hill Man

I've been meditating on and off for three months now (every day for two months, before giving up and recently starting again. The reason i gave up was because it didn't work for me, and i'll explain why):

Every time I try to meditate, nothing happens. There's been a few times where I felt a sense of relaxation like meditation is supposed to feel like for a couple of minutes, but it's never lasted. However, I've never achieved deep meditation. I've tried highly recommended binaural beats, none of them have done anything at all from me. Just now, I tried the brainsync beats recommended on this website for lucid dreaming... I played them, and just lied with my eyes closed for 30mins, standard meditation session. Every time I try, i never achieve relaxation, even though I try. The beats are meant to help you to relaxation, but they didn't do anything at all for me. When I try meditation, I'm literally fully conscious, just with my eyes closed, waiting for it to be over.

Anybody else been in a similar position? Do any of you have advice on meditation (i.e. how do you actually successfully meditate as opposed to laying there for half an hour?) I've tried meditating sitting down as well, doesn't help. And I've tried guided meditations, I thought they worked at the time cos the voice is there to take my mind off laying down for 20-30mins, but now I've realised they just did the same thing)

thank you

Re: Meditation doesn't work for me

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 01:27
by deschainXIX
The solution, to me, was immediately obvious. I'm not sure if you simply forgot to mention it or if you're not incorporating it into your routine.


Breathing is everything in meditation, literally everything (at least for me). Try this. Sit in a comfortable chair (lying down isn't very effective, I've found), and set your posture to one of total relaxation. This is different for everyone. For me, I just sit in the chair with a more or less straight back and cross my arms. Something about crossing my arms makes me feel secure, and also allows me to feel the rise and fall of my diaphragm as I conduct my breathing.

So, breathing. Inhale, deeply and slowly, through your nose; exhale, deeply and slowly, through your mouth. Focus your entire consciousness on breathing. In for a 5-count, out for a 6-count. Or whatever works for you. Doesn't matter. Feel yourself start to melt down into the comfortable chair. Gently allow your eyes to roll back in your head. Gradually start to relax your breathing and just breathe through your nose.

Also, try drinking herbal teas. And get some exercise.

Re: Meditation doesn't work for me

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 06:36
by The Hill Man
I've tried focusing on breathing, it doesn't seem to help much. I'll try again today though. Also, I don't know what you mean by get some exercise, but I'm a bodybuilder/powerlifter, so I exercise from at least 1h30mins daily

Re: Meditation doesn't work for me

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 15:06
by deschainXIX
Okay that's good

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Re: Meditation doesn't work for me

Posted: 12 Jul 2014 21:21
by Rotoscope
I initially had quite the issue with meditation, mainly because I either couldn't 'turn my brain off', so to speak, or kept focusing on distractions, for example itching. despite still having a looong way to go, I've finally broken through that barrier, partially by adding a bit of self-hypnosis. One day recently I got into as a relaxed state as possible, and, while actually having my eyes open and focused on a spot on the wall(sometimes works better for me the first few minutes of self-hypnosis or meditation), told myself that every second I'm in a hypnotic state it becomes easier to get into one, to stay in one, and to go deeper. Ever since then, I've had more and more success with it, like I've never had previously, both with hypnosis, and through carry over into meditation success(both require the ability to mentally 'let go', and tune out distractions)

To reference your description of how you feel, that you feel like you're just 'waiting for it to be over'. I get that. I've been through that myself. It's almost as if you're waiting for something to happen independent of yourself. Like the given file you're listening to or the state of having closed eyes in a certain position will 'automatically' put you in a meditative state, then you get frustrated when that alone doesn't do it. I get that. Then, as a result, consciously waiting and anticipating meditation and getting impatient with it, ironically might be the main thing preventing you from falling into that state.

It might help if you give more detail about exactly how you feel through these attempts, so it can be better addressed.

Meditation is like hypnosis(not the Hollywood version, but the real thing, which is firmly rooted in reality and not the least bit dangerous. I'd recommend reading up on it if you haven't.), in that pretty much anyone can do it, and have success, providing they find exactly why they're having difficulty and take effective steps to overcome whatever it is. (I say this from experiencing a recent breakthrough with my own difficulties, and the recent, yet still young, success I've had. I'm by no means an expert.)

Apart from that, a lot of others would be able to give better expertise-based advice than I can.

Re: Meditation doesn't work for me

Posted: 12 Jul 2014 21:51
by Karin
A couple ideas:

1. Have you tried sitting and looking at a candle or an object, and focusing your attention on it? Then each time you noticed your mind has been wandering off from the focus on the object, you gently bring your focus back on it? That's not the technique I use, but I heard some use that.

2. One possible add-on to the deep breathing suggestion above, is that when you inhale, imagine inhaling light into your body, and when you exhale, make a deep 'oooooooo' or 'aaaaaaa' sound (or whatever sound), making it last as long as possible, and really get into it, no holding anything back (it's preferable to be alone when you do that though, to avoid ridicule). Play around with the tone, finding one that feels good in your body. I find that terrific to relieve tension and relax.

3. Another thing to do while you are lying down, to occupy your mind and relax, is to focus your attention on one hand (with the eyes closed), until you start feeling it tingling/buzzing. Then move your focus up the arm, stay there and again, wait till you really feel your arm, until it tingles. Then move up, etc... You can do that with various body parts, and with some practice you can feel the whole body at once, and amplify the sensations. That mind help relax and 'get in the moment'.

Re: Meditation doesn't work for me

Posted: 12 Jul 2014 23:08
by JonSnowLD
20-30 minutes is quite a long time-you might find it easier to stay focused if you meditate for 10 minutes at a time. For me this is long enough to feel relaxed and feel the benefits but not so long I lose focus :)

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Re: Meditation doesn't work for me

Posted: 22 Jul 2014 08:30
by The Hill Man
Rotoscope wrote:It might help if you give more detail about exactly how you feel through these attempts, so it can be better addressed.

I can't really describe it any better, but you seem to completely understand - I kind of expect meditation to happen and anticipate a meditative state, and that's what stops me.

Thanks everybody for the advice, I'll take it on board and try again