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Expert GuidanceLetting Go of Effort

Letting Go of Effort

We're often taught that success requires effort. But meditation requires quite a different approach.

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We're always taught the more effort we put in, the more we'll get out of life. But of course, this isn't always true. Take falling asleep, for example. You can prepare in the right way, put yourself in the right position, and get yourself comfortable. But after that, well, you can't force it to happen, right? In fact, it works exactly the other way around. The harder you try, the less sleepy you become. It's only when we stop trying that we finally let go and drift off. And before we know it, we're waking up the next morning feeling refreshed, relaxed after a good night's sleep. And it's a very similar story when we're training the mind. Think a nice metaphor for this is the idea of taming a wild horse. If you look at how a wild horse is tamed, rather than pinning it down in one place, the horse is led out on a very long rope and put in a big, open, spacious field. The horse runs around feeling like he's got all the space in the world. But very slowly, the rope's brought in, and the horse adjusts to this feeling until it comes to a natural place of rest. And we're looking to do just the same thing with the mind in meditation. Not trying to pin it down in one place, but bringing it to a natural place of rest. So let go of any idea of needing to achieve something or get somewhere and, instead, enjoy the opportunity to sit back, relax, and be present in the world....


TypeExpert Guidance
Duration2 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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