Q: Frustrated with meditation

Q: I keep getting frustrated with my inability to sit still and so I just give up meditating, what can I do?

A: Fantastic your meditation is working, congratulations, your restlessness is your reward. Or rather your awareness of the restlessness is your reward.

Mindful meditation exercises are essentially attention training. Mindfulness is all about paying attention, paying attention to the world around you and also paying attention to your inner world. Your thoughts, your actions, behaviours and also paying particular attention to your emotions. Your anger, your fear, your cravings, your desires and that restlessness which so plagues your meditation.

You kind of get what you get with meditation and what you get is what you need! Sometimes you might drop away into a blissful emptiness other times you might just sit and watch your head chatter incessantly and find that you experience intense restlessness.

Either is fine, it is as it is.

There’s nothing new about your restlessness, what is new is that you are becoming painfully aware of it. This is mindfulness. The art is paying attention to it, if you can bring mindfulness to the feeling it no longer drives your behaviour and creates your world.

Meditate on your restlessness, how does it feel? Experience it fully, use your restlessness as the focus of your meditation.

What fantastic training, with practice you find that you can feel restlessness without becoming restless, anger without becoming angry, anxiety without becoming anxious. That’s the training!

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