5 Tips for People Who Can’t Meditate

~by Shannon Modrell

Are you one of the MANY people who struggle with meditating?Meditation

Have you tried time and time again for the transformational tranquility that only meditation can bring only to give up in frustration?

I sing the praises of all the wonderful things meditation can do for us, but despite having meditated for years I can assure you I still don’t do it perfectly.  And here’s a secret: no one does!  I have, however, found many techniques that help make the process easier.  Here are just a few:

1.      Movement

Sometimes we just have too much energy bouncing around in us to sit still and still our thoughts. Engaging in some kind of brief physical activity before meditating can go a long way toward helping us access those sounds of silence.  That may seem ironic, but the reason it works is because it allows us to express (move out) built-up physical and emotional energy (they’re actually the same thing) that wants to come out. Exercise, walking, dancing, Tai Chi – all of these can help clear a space within that is primed for peace. Pick your favorite! The good news is that the movement doesn’t necessarily have to be intense unless that feels right to you.

2.      Writing

Getting thoughts and emotions down on paper is another very effective way to move energy out and create a space within for silence.  Just set the pen to the page and let yourself go.  Without editing, write whatever thoughts spring up – no one else ever has to see it so don’t worry about spelling, sentence structure or grammar. Side note: you wouldn’t believe how many songs, speech ideas, workshop ideas and articles have popped out of me from my doing this very thing!  In fact the article you are reading right now came about because I was trying to meditate this morning and struggled because I kept getting the urge to write (grin).

3.      Guided Imagery

Listening to a guided imagery CD can help focus the mind and prepare it for silent meditation. These were really popular in the 80’s but they are still a great tool. I’ve used them for years and I absolutely love them! If you can’t find them in your local big box bookstore, try metaphysical bookstores.  Unity churches and Centers For Spiritual Living often carry them too.

4.      Meditate BEFORE you Caffeinate!

We all know caffeine is a stimulant.  It stimulates not only the body but also the thoughts, which can make it really hard to quiet them.  I do know some people who seem to be exceptions to this rule.  They can slam down a cup of coffee and then go straight into a deep meditative state (or even to sleep).  But all the people I know who can do this and still meditate effectively have two things in common: 1. an extremely high tolerance to caffeine, AND 2. years of practice meditating! Perhaps you are one of these exceptions, but If you struggle with meditation, you may want to try doing it before the am cup of joe. Same goes for sodas and black or green tea.

5.      Let Go of Having to Do it Right

In other words, let go of the outcome.  It really helps to let go of the expectation that we will achieve some perfect state of silence – or bliss – or oneness – or whatever we think the goal of meditation is supposed to be and just allow ourselves the freedom to do it imperfectly. I’ve meditated for over 20 years to date yet there are times when my mind just never shuts up through the whole process.  Doesn’t matter.  The most important thing is that we show up and do it.  The Universe, the Divine, Spirit ALWAYS honors our intention.  And it helps to remember that a meditation practice is called a practice for a reason!

Do you have some favorite tips to help you meditate?  Please share them in the comment section below!

Love and Light,


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  Nationally known award winning vocalist, composer and speaker Shannon Modrell travels the US singing music to Encourage, Empower and Inspire. Her one-of-a-kind performances receive standing ovations on stages at international conferences and holistic events from coast to coast.
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