Think you can’t meditate?

MeditationMany people say ‘I can’t meditate, I can’t sit still, I can’t quiet my mind.’

Without fail, as I ask questions about their experiences in how they came to that conclusion, I find these common issues that led to their attitude that they can’t meditate:

  • ‘I can’t blank out their mind’, or ‘my mind is so busy and my thoughts won’t stop.’
    • My response:  It’s important to know that blanking out your mind is not necessarily the goal of meditation. The focus of your meditation (whether it’s your breath, a silent mantra, etc) is what you concentrate on. Thoughts will naturally come to mind, and your job in meditation is to gently return to your focus.


  • ‘I’m too busy to meditate.’
    • My response:  Meditation does not need to be daily for an hour, as many people assume.  Even taking 10 minute breaks to meditate can produce huge benefits. Also, mindfulness practices during the day produces the same benefits as meditation.  I believe everyone can fit in 10 or 15 minutes per day. It’s a matter of priority.
  • ‘Meditation is not for me.’
    • My response:  It’s true, meditation is not for everyone. Meditation needs to come at the right time in one’s life, and there needs to be a curiosity and willingness to cultivate the practice.  Meditation does make you go ‘inward’, and sometimes people just don’t want to do that.
  • ‘I tried reading a meditation book and staring at a candle once, and it didn’t work.’
    • My response: It’s rather difficult to learn from a book.  I find that people’s success rate is very high when they are guided by a skilled instructor.  I, too, first tried to learn from a book and when I had numerous doubts about whether I was ‘doing it right’, I had no one to ask.

I heard someone say once:  If you can breathe, you can meditate. This is because probably the most common meditation technique is to focus on your breath. It’s as simple as that.  So I do believe everyone can meditate – it’s more a question of if they want to learn.


22 thoughts on “Think you can’t meditate?

  1. If people understood where happiness exists, meditation/mindfulness would be a staple.

    It’s power is hidden in the simplicity of the breath, our immediate life source.

    There are different ways to meditate also. Counting your breaths does not work for everyone. Counting engages the cognitive side.

    It helps if you seek out some support, some guidance.

    I agree ten minutes a day combined with some aware de and letting go during the day can alter your life.
    Nice post

  2. I am learning all of this right now after trying to meditate a while ago I had most of the usual problems. Most people who start meditation don’t know everything you stated above and it puts them off. I know it did me. Great post.

    • Hi there, Thank you for your comment. I appreciate what you shared about your having many of the typical problems when learning meditation. I very clearly remember the problems I had, so that’s why I write this blog in the hope it will help people dispel the all-too-common myths about the expectations of meditation.
      Have a wonderful day, and thank you for writing,

  3. A good place to start is with your breath. Try holding your focus on your breath for one slow, deep breath in and then a slow breath out. 3 seconds in, 3 seconds out. Start with little 6-second moments like this. Sprinkle them throughout your day. No one is so busy that they can’t focus on their breath for 6 seconds.

    • Hi Ken, yes, that’s a wonderful tip. It’s true, just doing this small practice can do wonders.
      Thanks for providing this!

  4. Meditation is for the brain like lifting weights is for muscles. It gets easier. Taking the first step forward is the most difficult in any self improvement program.

    But the data are accumulating that show on the most profound level the benefits of these self care practices. Check out my last 2 posts


  5. You are absolutely right, having a guide and the support of the group are a great learning tool to develop your skills and then be able to go it alone.

    • Hi Al, thanks for saying so. Guidance and in a group honestly makes all the difference in the world. Books on meditation are wonderful complementary tools too but can’t create the confidence as a teacher can.


    • Hi Tanner, well, what a wonderful goal! Meditation can bring so much peace into your life, build resiliency, and the list of benefits goes on and on. I hope you can find a good teacher. Please remember that there are many types of meditation out there, so if one type doesn’t work well for you, keep exploring and find others.

      I wish you all the best in your journey. Please explore my downloadable free recordings as they may help you get started.

      • You’re so welcome! Enjoy beginning your new journey. It’s fascinating. Write back anytime if you have questions or just want to share your experience.

        Have a wonderful day!

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