Some possible obstacles to meditation
Looking for bliss
Mindfulness meditation is sometimes misunderstood as a way to get rid of uncomfortable situations and emotions or run away from reality by creating bliss-like states or trances. To the contrary, this type of mindfulness practice actually brings us, very directly, into contact with our life.
We are getting curious about how we are, in our life, in this moment. Through this curiosity we are actually creating greater patience with our present circumstances, which include our outer life situations and our internal emotional states.
Striving toward a goal
The purpose of meditation practice can seem somewhat confusing. Some understanding of an activity’s benefits or the goal one is trying to achieve is often necessary to inspire motivation or effort for any activity. However, holding to a goal in mindfulness practice naturally takes us away from what is happening right now. We become oriented toward the future when we will attain our goal and often miss the experiences and successes that are happening right now.
Applying a lot of effort
If we start pushing ourselves really hard or judging ourselves for not doing enough, effort can become an obstacle to our mindfulness practice. Similarly to the challenges of having inspiration to practice while not holding too tightly to a goal, one must exert effort in his or her practice, while maintaining a gentle, friendly approach.
Because of the subtleties of the instruction, it is often helpful to have the support and guidance of a mindfulness instructor. Please reference my Resources page for further information.