Meditation has been one of the most useful tools for me in terms of concentration, focus, and bringing a sense of wellbeing to my life.
Whenever I share how useful meditation has been for me with a group, I inevitably hear, “but meditation is boring,” or “I can’t sit still and meditate for that long.”
Here’s why meditation is so useful. Follow my meditation advice to help you get your practice back on track.
If you find meditation boring, you must be bored with yourself.
After all, meditation distills our focus and concentration to the very essence of ourselves. There’s no other time when we are quite literally entirely in our own head. Often those who complain of “boredom” are really experiencing fear, and anger turned inward. When you’re inside your mind, are you afraid to face yourself? Are you angry at yourself because you aren’t doing meditation “right” or you don’t understand your aim?
When we explore these feelings, we realize boredom isn’t actually boredom.
I hear the same sentiment about soft addictions like TV, shopping, over-eating, and scrolling through Facebook. “I watch Netflix because I’m bored,” or “I go on social media to break up my day.” Once again, we’re often seeking a distraction to bring us back to our comfort zone.
As we remind our students, the most significant leaps in terms of growth and insight occur when we get OUT of our comfort zone. We have to stretch ourselves to explore areas that are challenging, uncomfortable, or even painful. Yet, it is through these growing pains that we make the most progress.
So the next time you complain of “boredom” or think “meditation is boring,” ask yourself what underlying emotions you’re really experiencing. People who are stretching to transform themselves, learning, growing, and breaking out of their comfort zones are rarely (if ever) bored!
For me, mantra meditation is my preferred method of meditation. I don’t subscribe to guided imagery. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done quite a bit of guided imagery meditation, and it’s been useful at certain points in my life. For example, I’ve used guided imagery when I was healing from surgery. But overall, it’s simply not part of my daily practice.
Mantra meditation works very well for me. I go to a quiet place and I repeat my mantra. Of course, my monkey mind (our distracting thoughts and self-talk) kicks in almost immediately, and I lose track of my mantra. Part of the beauty of meditation is learning how to get your thoughts back online—to quiet your monkey mind and bring your meditation back on track.
I love taking this mini-vacation from my regular thinking patterns. Meditation is truly wonderful for me. It helps me gain clarity, and it increases my focus and productivity. During the most productive time in my life, I was meditating for hours each day. It may sound counter-intuitive, but once you can clear the mental chatter, you’ll feel amazed at the results.
I hear a lot of people refer to mindfulness and meditation interchangeably. People may talk about their mindfulness practice or becoming more mindful in the context of meditation.
It’s important to note that mindfulness isn’t meditation. It’s a term that gained popularity from Buddhism. One of the biggest proponents of mindfulness is Eckhart Tolle. He sees mindfulness as a cosmic overview—a method of bringing peaceful, spiritual energy into our lives. Now, we can undoubtedly intertwine mindfulness with our meditation practice, but they are two distinct concepts.
For us at the Wright Foundation, mindfulness is a dynamic adventure of living a full life. One can be mindful without ever meditating, and one can regularly meditate but fail to live a mindful life. Mindfulness is a component of our aliveness and flow—the vibrancy and engagement we bring into each and every day.
So, if you are hoping to increase mindfulness in your life, meditation may or may not be part of your toolkit. Meditation IS, however, useful practice and something that can help us gain insight into ourselves and our emotions. Meditation—and particularly mantra meditation—shouldn’t feel like a chore, but rather an opportunity to explore your innermost self.
For more on personal growth, please visit the Wright Foundation. Don’t miss the exciting classes we have available online at Wright Now! These courses are designed to help you discover more about yourself as you move toward the life you want to lead!
The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.