I don’t know about you, but being able to concentrate during meditation has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve had to face with this practice. I have been meditating for 19 years now, and it wasn’t always this way. In fact, at the beginning of my practice, my ability to concentrate was extraordinary. So it was my will to meditate no matter the time of the day or the circumstances in my life. Well, somewhere along the path I lost this blessing, and since then I have had to come up with a strategic plan (actually a few of them) to assist my meditation. And it doesn't always work, but I know this is the life I choose every day, and it is worth it to keep trying. I believe and have faith in it. Somehow, a Divine Force has always propelled me forward, giving me the reassurance that this path is the one that will ultimately lead me to find lasting happiness and fulfillment.
Now, because I lost my ability to concentrate, my practice has had many ups and downs, so I thought I’d share with you some of the things that have helped me energize and support my meditation. Despite the fact that most of us will have different meditation techniques and lineages of this practice, I think that there is a common principle or thread that can be applied to us all.
Here they are:
- I have looked for help: More often than not, meditating with others has saved me. Especially recently, I have found the tremendous benefit of meditating with others since their personal effort magnetizes my own. I have the opportunity to live in a spiritual community and be part of one of those “bubbles” where a few of us can gather with minimal restrictions. Now, I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but have you thought of joining an online meditation group or “buddy”?
- Keeping Inspired: I have to look for those things that will awaken my heart’s devotion and inspire me. It can be a book, a movie, a walk in nature. Especially during the day, these practices will help me at the time when I need to sit quietly to meditate.
- Take a Seclusion: from time to time, maybe once a year, I’d try to go on week-long seclusion to be alone with the Divine, and spend some time in introspection and journaling. And trying to meditate deeper, or for a longer period of time than I am used to.
- Praying for others: I have found it very helpful to pray for others that I know are in need. Like any kind of service that we offer others, praying helps me get out of my own little self to help someone who needs it. Prayer doesn’t have to be the only way of serving these souls, and if I can, I would try to offer some sort of physical help as well.
If you don’t mind sharing, we would love to read your experiences in this regard, and the things YOU have tried to support your practice.
May we all find the courage and strength to keep steadfast on this path of soul awakening.