'Achieving' mindfulness

'Achieving' mindfulness

by Headspace_HQ » Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:07 pm


This might sound silly. But I'm scared it won't work and I can't or won't be able to meditate. I read everywhere how important mindfulness is and I am worried I won't be able to achieve it. It worries me so much I am almost too afraid to commit to following the course properly.

Andy's answer:

There is no way of us knowing how something will be until we try it. Everything else is just thinking, just ideas or old patterns of behaviour which threaten to prevent us from ever trying anything new. It sounds as though you may have already thought quite far ahead about the possible outcomes or results, which will only add to the feeling of hope, fear, expectation and pressure.

The beauty of meditation is that it is without goal. That may sound contrary to all the stuff you read about in the papers about it being used to reduce stress, improve sleep and so on. But those things are just side effects, nothing more than that. Meditation itself is about letting go of any need to try and get somewhere or achieve something. So if we are approaching it in the right way, then there is no pressure whatsoever. In fact, it may just be the very first thing we have ever done in our entire life where there is no goal or result intended. This is quite a liberating feeling.

All that meditation asks of us is that we train the mind to be less distracted. To begin with of course we will be very distracted - after all, that’s why we need to learn meditation. But then over time, very slowly usually, we become less distracted and start to experience more of the benefits. But it happens just one moment at a time. We cannot be in the present moment, focused and undistracted and at the same time worrying about what our progress will be like in 3 months time and worrying whether we will meet our own expectations. In order to be present we have to let go of those things. And that’s really what the training is all about.

So forget about any result, any idea of failing - it’s impossible, and simply commit to Day1 to Take10. When you’ve done that, commit to Day2. Taking it just one day at a time and resisting the temptation to try and judge your progress in any way, will help you begin in the right way and to experience and enjoy the many benefits of meditation.
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