One of the most common difficulties that people face when they sit to meditate is feeling uncomfortable. We are told time and time again to sit with a straight back, upright but relaxed. Sitting on a chair is an excellent way for most people to start meditating. However simple it sounds we all know that as soon as you sit still some sensation in your body starts to pull for your attention.
For me this week I have been drawn to an ache in my right eye. I got something in my eye the other day, I think it was a husk of a seed. It went in when I was out running and by the time it came out my eye felt quite sore and bruised. So each time I have sat still to meditate I have been very aware of how my eye is feeling.
When we sit to meditate it is probably the only time in the day where we sit still without distraction. It is perfectly normal that with nothing else to focus on our minds become hyper aware of any feelings of discomfort in the body. It is not that new aches and pains arise because we are sitting still, it is that we notice them more because we are siting still. So my eye was uncomfortable to some extent all day but I only paid attention to it when I tried to sit still.
So when you start to feel agitated and restless don’t feel that you are failing. Try to notice how often you feel this sense of restlessness. Is it every time or just sometimes? Noticing whether you resist the feelings of restlessness is also really important. If you are resisting then this simply creates more tension and agitation in the mind and the body.
Rather than fighting the feelings of restlessness and agitation take a different view point. Simply watch the feelings that you are experiencing and wait for them to pass. Accept that it is just a natural stage that you go through as you sit to meditate. Taking away the pressure of fighting these feelings will make a massive difference.
To get more tips on common meditation problems and how to overcome them book onto a Revitalise Day. On our day retreats there is plenty of opportunity to talk through problems that you experience and to get your practise going better.