Wildmind Buddhist Meditation

Meditation Background

Sit : Love : Give

Wildmind is ad-free, and it takes many hours each month to create and edit the posts you see here. If you benefit from what we do here, please support Wildmind with a monthly donation.


You can also become a one-time benefactor with a single donation of any amount:


Can anyone meditate?

Man meditatingThe short answer is “yes.”

Sex, age, nationality, religion, previous experience, social conditioning, genetic makeup — these are all unimportant. Anyone can learn to meditate. You don’t have to travel to the Himalayas, give up all your money, find a guru, or spend hours every day in an ashram in order to learn meditation.

Forget any ideas that you have to be really “spiritual” (whatever that means) to practice meditation. You don’t need any “innate ability” to be able to meditate, any more than you need special powers to be able to learn to ride a bike or to use a computer. Some people take more naturally to meditation than others, but anyone can do it and benefit from doing it.

All it takes is a little effort, and the conviction that some things are worth persevering with. Sometimes your meditation practice will be instantly rewarding — which fits with our “instant gratification” culture — but other times it will challenge you. At those times it’s best to remember that when you are growing flowers, there is some digging and weeding to be done as well.

This kind of work isn’t instantly rewarding, but it will repay your effort with interest. Of course there will be many times when doing your meditation practice is like slipping into a warm bath, and you’ll emerge feeling calmed, energized, and refreshed.

You will find that meditation benefits you even if you do as little as 10 or fifteen minutes a day (although if you do more, you’ll benefit more).

The most important thing is persistence — keeping at it despite the natural ups and downs you’ll experience.

Comments

avatar

Comment from Shanna
Time: October 13, 2009, 1:58 pm

Namaste.

Thank you for this. It couldn’t have come at a better time for me as your post has inspired me to have a go at meditation once more. Being bipolar and adult a.d.h.d. (I refuse to capitalize any of that), it is sometimes SO hard to quiet my “monkey mind” and meditate. I give up before I get anywhere nine times out of ten.

Yet, your article really spoke to me. Something in its simplicity and quiet, gentle urging reminded me that I must keep at this…for it is worthwhile. And, as a friend recently told me, nothing that is worthwhile is easy.

avatar

Comment from Bodhipaksa
Time: October 13, 2009, 2:02 pm

One of my favorite sayings is, “If a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing badly.” That our meditation is imperfect isn’t a reason for not doing it — it’s a reason why we need to stick at it.

avatar

Comment from Rohit Raj
Time: October 3, 2014, 11:41 pm

I read your eBook on meditation techniques, it was very nice and helpful. I am a 21 year old undergraduate. I had damaged my left eye during an accident in early childhood, due to which today I cannot see clearly with the left eye. The images i can see are almost ninety percent blur. As a consequence Whenever i sit down to meditate i never being able to concentrate with the center of my forehead , i feel that everything has been shifted to the right portion of my body. When I close my eyes i see huge darkness in half of my body portion (left side) rather it is quite bright on the other half . It can be felt more on my face it is like someone has painted half of my face with white color and half with the black one. This situation embarrasses me a lot. I cannot be able to imagine objects on left.
I need your help. Please tell me how i can overcome this problem. My other body parts are totally fit. How i could meditate. Please help.
Looking forward for your reply.
Have a nice day.

avatar

Comment from Bodhipaksa
Time: October 4, 2014, 3:43 pm

Hi, Rohit.

Many meditation practices, like mindfulness of breathing, involve the direct perception of physical sensations from within the body, and don’t involve our visual sense at all. Generally we don’t pay attention to the light we’re seeing through our closed eyelids, except perhaps to acknowledge those sensations as we begin the practice. So I don’t see any barrier to you meditating.

All the best,
Bodhipaksa

Leave a comment