Why can't I sit still while meditating?

Often times, we sit all day at work in front of a computer. 


We finally arrive home.  We are determined to spend a few minutes sitting down and meditating. We get in our quiet room, set up the chair or cushion, and we sit. 


After a few minutes,  we still feel fidgety.  Our mind can't stop....Our body doesn't want to sit....  What is going on here? 


Most likely, our body needs to release the trapped energy first.   If we sit all day, there's an abundant amount of energy waiting to be released.  Our body wants to move.  The heart and lungs are sluggish.  The muscles want to get moving.  


So the best advice is to go outside for a walk, a run, a hike or a bike ride.  Break a sweat if you can. You can even do a walking (instead of sitting) meditation if that feels best. 


After we have exercised, our energy has been released, and we are more likely to sit still.  Try sitting again after you have exercised.  Your energy will feel different.      


You may give this a try and see if it helps.  




Another possibility that it's difficult to sit still after a period of practice is the following: 


Often times, the initial calmness feeling of a sitting meditation practice can be replaced by increased emotional awareness or discomfort after you have meditated for a few weeks or months.  



The path of meditation is not always a linear path. I like to see it as  "2 steps forward, 1 step back."  Just like anywhere else you want to master, e.g.  sports or music, it is natural to feel frustrated when you're trying so hard to get good at something.  :)    Please allow yourself to feel frustrated, as it is really part of the journey.  


Things that we used to suppress, either knowingly or unknowingly, are likely to surface when we practice mindfulness.  They have always been there, we just didn't know it.   Mindfulness is to shine light in our inner world and to see the obstacles for the first time.  


We have reached a point where we are asked to go even further into the open acceptance of life, even into the unpleasant and uncertain feelings of our experience.   If we can let go of our resistance and explore what is,  we can go further.  This stage may take some time.  If you encounter this stage, do not be discouraged.  Know it is normal. Most of us will encounter or have encountered this.  


When you feel any uncomfortable sensations, give yourself lots of compassion and kindness, and space. Gently ask yourself, "Can I be with this, at this moment?" without any judgment.  Simply be with the experience from an objective observation point-of-view and allow whatever experience there is.    


If this discomfort is too much, you can take a break and find other ways to connect with yourself, e.g. taking a walk or hike in nature.  This break can be a day, a week, or a month.  It is okay to return to the practice when you are ready. This is not a sign of defeat or failure, but the "step back" which is part of the process.  Please give yourself lots of space and compassion.  


The way out is in.  


If you need additional assistance, please feel free to email belovenow.meditation@gmail.com for support and guidance.  


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