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3 Common Pitfalls in Meditation for Beginners

Updated on August 18, 2010

Meditation can be a tricky thing. Many beginners seem to fall into the same traps again and again. However, you don't have to. Part of meditation involves being kind to yourself and accepting whatever may happen but that doesn't mean you have to experience every pitfall. With these few tips, you'll be able to avoid the major set backs for many beginners.

1. Not meditating somewhere quiet.

Remember back in college when it was nearly impossible to study in your dorm room? Your room mate was watching TV, you had friends dropping by wanting to know if you wanted to go to a party, and your significant other was calling what felt like constantly? The only you could escape from all of that and study in peace was the library. For many beginners in meditation, they suffer the exact same thing.

They attempt to meditate somewhere where they hear random, disturbing noises such as cars on a nearby street. The place they are meditating might not be secluded enough and so random people drop by to see how it's going. All of these are distractions that will interrupt your early progress.

2. Taking their failures out against themselves.

Sometimes you just can't complete the meditation. You're having a hard time quieting your mind. Other times it feels like no matter how hard you concentrate you can't become aware of your body and all you can pay attention to is the quiet hum of silence. Many beginners will become angry at themselves and stress about their failures.

Don't do that! The more you stress about previous failures the harder future successes will come. Remember that meditation is not a race and that however fast or slow you progress is fine. In fact, it's perfect for you. We each have our own hangs up and problems that we need to focus on.

3. Remember to breathe correctly.

Many beginners will not remember to breathe correctly. They may start out fine, but soon forget their breathing. Remember that meditation is best done with long, slow, deep breaths that become rhythmic. The exact count is whatever is comfortable for you, some says 5 seconds, others say 7, and even some have said 10 seconds per inhale and exhale. What is important is that you do not stress about the breathing, but be mindful of it.

Meditation is a life practice that is developed. The beginning is just the first couple of steps on a long path. Be patient with yourself and remember these common pitfalls.


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