How do I deal with frustration during meditation?
by Mandy Penalver
It’s normal to experience a certain amount of frustration when you first start to meditate. This is extremely common and not a sign that there is something wrong with either you or the meditation. Frustration arises because we have been so conditioned in our culture to succeed and achieve through making an effort. Have you noticed how the more effort you make in meditation, the more frustration you encounter? It is the very activity of seeking peace or a particular mind state that gives rise to its apparent lack and the frustration. The peace we seek in meditation cannot be achieved through effort, but arises naturally when all the trying to attain it relaxes. This relaxation comes about when, rather than being completely caught up in the trying and frustration, we firstly observe and feel these energies without any judgement, as a fact of this moment. Notice the arising and movement of frustration with curiosity. How does it feel? Where is that feeling located in your body? Notice the story that accompanies the feeling, and the tendency to get involved in that story or to distract yourself in a myriad of other ways, rather than fully feel the raw sensation. Approach your meditation practice with no agenda to change, fix or get rid of these energies but with the willingness to meet them directly. Can you give full allowance to ‘frustration’? With practice we come to see that no matter how intense these energies may be, once divested of all the labels and stories and allowed to unfold naturally as pure sensation, they come to rest in awareness. We realise that ‘I’ am not these fleeting thoughts and feelings, but the unchanging aware-presence which knows and effortlessly allows them to come and go, remaining at once untouched, yet utterly at one with them. It is this realisation, and the repeated unhooking of our identity from a limited, separate body-mind to our true self of unlimited, ever-present awareness that ultimately relieves our frustration and opens the doorway to lasting peace and happiness in our lives.
The guidance I offer in my True Rest Meditation classes at Red Hot Yoga is designed to help you deal with this frustration that can arise. If you persevere with your practice, it will become easier. The benefits of meditation are well worth the perseverance! Over recent years substantial funding has gone into researching the benefits of meditation, and thousands of articles have now been published in top scientific journals. These studies are proving that meditation is good for us in so many ways. Setting aside just a few minutes a day for meditation can have lasting health and wellbeing benefits. Below are just a few of the proven benefits of meditation:
- Reduces stress & anxiety
- Improves mood & behaviour
- Decreases negative habits & emotional reactivity
- Boosts brain function & improves focus, energy & creativity
- Improves digestion & can help with weight control
- Decreases tension related pain
- Relieves sleep related problems
- Improves relationships & develops compassion
- Can help with depression, addictions & stress related illness
- Improves immune function
- Lowers blood pressure & decreases inflammation
- Promotes a sense of peace, happiness & wellbeing
Please join me on Sunday evenings at 7.30pm to experience these benefits for yourself. We make a comfortable nest so that your body is fully supported and lying down in our warm, cosy, candle-lit Orange studio.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday evenings! Love Mandy