I’ve been meditating for about seven and half years now, and in this time I have faced several obstacles in my meditation practice.
When I started meditating, it all seemed simple. I thought I only had to close my eyes, focus on my breath, and all the answers I wanted to know about myself would come automatically to me.
Turns out I was wrong.
I had to go through lot of suffering and pain to figure out the answers to my questions about life. And the answers didn’t come to me at once; it took me years to find them. And the reason it took me so much time is because I didn’t know then that I had to break few mental barriers before I could find the answers to my questions.
Once I broke these barriers, I was able to dive deeper and deeper into my meditation practice, and gain better understanding about myself.
If you are new to meditation, then you too will face several barriers in your path. Below three are the biggest of them.
Break these three barriers and you will speed up in your meditation practice, and you will start to understand yourself at a deeper level.
1. Your Mind
From the moment you were born, to the moment right now, you have formed so many thoughts, and have gained so much experience, that your mind has become conditioned with them. You have formed your own views on every thing. You no longer look at things with a fresh mind.
To advance in your meditation practice, you have to break this conditioning of your mind. You have to learn to empty your mind so that you can fill it again with newer and richer meditative thoughts.
Right now, your mind is so full of unwanted thoughts that it becomes difficult for you to focus on your meditation practice. As soon as you close your eyes, you are bombarded with tons of thoughts, and you keep running from one thought to another, until you realize that you are no longer meditating but only thinking.
Once you let go these thoughts in your mind, you will see that you are separate from your thoughts; you are separate from your mind. This understanding opens new doors for you in your meditation practice.
2. Your Desires
What causes so many thoughts in our mind? It’s our desires that cause all these thoughts. Without desires, thoughts will cease to exist.
When you desire an object, be it anything, your mind and heart keep telling you to fulfill that desire. And you feel a sense of incompleteness in yourself until you fulfill those desires.
But the nature of desires is such that they never end. One desire always leads to another and so on. If you don’t control your desires, your desires will control you, and then you will keep running from one thing to another for the rest of your life without finding lasting peace.
When you let go your desires, you see that your mind also starts to become quiet. The more desires you let go, the quieter your mind becomes. When there are zero desires left in you, your mind becomes totally quiet, and this makes it easier for you to go deep in meditation.
3. Your Ego
What causes desire? Our ego, our sense of I’ness causes desires. As long as you think everything in terms of ‘I’ or ‘Me’, your ego continues to thrive, and it keeps running after more and more desires to fulfill itself.
You need your ego to form your desires. Without your ego, your desires can’t exist. Your desires need something to hold to, and your ego is that something they hold in you.
When you learn to let go your ego, your thoughts and desires no longer matter to you. You no longer identify yourself with your thoughts and desires. And then you start to discover that you are separate from them.
Your ego, your habit of identifying everything in terms of ‘I’, has been the biggest barrier in your life till now. Once you identify it and overcome it, you see things as they are, and not as they appear to be.
You separate yourself from what you see, what you hear, what you feel, and this helps you to practice your meditation without any attachment to your body or mind. Then it becomes easier for you to practice meditation and find answers to all your questions.
Meditate Often to Overcome these Barriers
These three are the biggest barriers to your meditation. Learn to overcome them, and you will not only advance rapidly in your meditation practice, but you will see that your life has become more peaceful and beautiful.
And while these are the biggest barriers to your meditation, the only way you can overcome them is by practicing more and more meditation. With enough practice, you will start to see that these barriers are losing their hold over you, and you are moving ahead in your path of meditation.
Now, over to you.
What barriers have you faced in your meditation practice? Share them in the comments below. If you have any questions on meditation, I will be happy to answer them.
Rahul Singh guides others on the way of mindfulness, meditation, and simple living, to help them find inner peace, lasting happiness, and meaning in their lives. You can find more articles from him on his blog life beginner.