How Hard Is It To Meditate?

How Hard Is It To Meditate?

Meditation can seem intimidating, since not everyone knows where to start, especially with how many meditations there are available to choose from. 

We worry about getting it right on our first try or fear we might be getting worse. That’s right, even those that have gone past the beginning stages can find it challenging, but it’s rare. 

Meditation needs to be simplified, as there’s the idea that it has to be done a certain way, which, at the surface, would seem like meditation is hard to do, but when broken down into pieces, it can be really simple. 

The act of meditating in itself is not hard, it’s what we experience during meditation that is and the act of sticking to it that’s hard. Anyone can keep their mind in the present moment and be in a meditative state, but not everyone can keep at it. 

Because we are constantly tested. There is always something that craves our attention. With that in mind, it’s no wonder meditation is so hard for many. 

Especially if we don’t set up an environment that favors meditation. Discipline and willpower alone work for many people to integrate meditation as a habit. 

But at times, we need additional assistance, which can be in the form of setting a comfortable environment for meditation, getting mentored, or doing it with someone else, as it could provide a sense of accountability. 

There’s a reason some monks choose some specific destinations to meditate, as the easier we make it for ourselves, the easier we make the meditation. 

Thought Management

It’s no secret that during meditation, our minds will put us to the test. Do you feel shaken by certain thoughts? If so, meditation is a way to reclaim your control over your emotional state. 

Many fall into the thinking of believing that each thought they get is theirs, but that’s not necessarily the case. That thinking leads people to try to flee with themselves rather than come to terms with themselves. 

Meditation is a form of time management, because while thoughts will always be there and while you can’t keep your mind completely devoid of thoughts, you can choose to not react to those thoughts.

By choosing not to react to a certain thought, you’re taking away any power from that thought. It’s like feeding that thought energy. 

Unpleasant thoughts will be present during many of the times you attempt to meditate, but it’s on you to decide whether it’s gonna get to you or not. Which is easier said than done. These thoughts can carry strong emotions that only you would be able to understand. 

And they will indeed make the meditation harder, but it’s no different than doing resistance training. Of course, it will be hard, and it may suck at first. But just like with training, ask yourself once the meditation is done if you regret it. 

Chances are you won’t if you get the slightest sensation of tranquility. It takes time to enter profound levels

On the other hand, if all you experience with meditation is dullness and thoughts antagonizing you, you may not stick with it long enough to notice any changes, and therefore, write off meditation as a useless practice and grow a dislike for the practice.

That’s quite common, but the first stage of meditation where you’re tasked to learn time management is the hardest stage. It’s the first step towards making bigger progress. 

The first time with everything will always be the hardest. But you may not experience unpleasant thoughts your first time meditating, it may, on the contrary, be a pleasing experience. 

Even then, it’s important to be ready for the fact that other experiences may not be the same.

Not Getting Attached To Thoughts: Good or Bad

Some have a tendency to categorize thoughts by good or bad and base the experience of meditation on that. Thoughts shouldn’t be categorized as good or bad but just have their existence acknowledged.

Thoughts are volatile, and while you might’ve had an amazing day on one occasion when you meditate, and thus, experience positive thoughts, it may be the opposite the next day. 

Meditation allows you to detach from your thoughts, but merely acknowledge their existence, as your observation coexists as its separate entity. 

This is liberating because following this path, you learn the skill of indifference. Something that proves useful in your day-to-day life to make fewer emotional decisions and look at an outcome from all angles. 

Many make decisions based on impulse, which they regret later down the line. In addition, learning indifference already removes 90% of what’s hard in meditation. 

It’s usually the beginning stage where we cultivate that detachment from thoughts and emotions that’s the hard part, since we are changing paradigms. On the surface, the idea of sitting in complete silence while thoughts exist doesn’t sound fun. 

The mind likes to have fun, but it helps to break out of a pattern that doesn’t serve us a purpose. 

But the idea becomes much more appealing when we look at the end goal, something we can’t be dependent on, but rather, let it happen with meditation, since attachment to outcomes leads to disappointments. 

Change tends to be gradual with meditation, but it can also be sudden, which is why you still hear success stories of meditators that have been in it for a short time. This leads me to the next point on why you should continue, even if it gets tough. 

Negative Thoughts Won’t Go Away On Their Own

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This is the major culprit in making meditation harder than it needs to be. But there can also be outside factors such as loud noises. 

But focusing on what’s within, these thoughts tend to remain and live rent-free in the subconscious. When we meditate, we get our rawest self, and that implies we get the desirable and less desirable thoughts within. 

When these are addressed and confronted is usually when we are tested on whether we will be able to bear with meditation for long or give up shortly after getting started. 

Let’s face it, no one loves the idea of facing ourselves, but the outcome is becoming an ally of ourselves and working with ourselves, independently of what state of mind we’re in, be it negative or positive, and having peace of mind no matter what. These thoughts need to first be approached with acceptance, and then addressed. 

It’s known as shadow work. Now, depending on what meditation you do, you may be more or less prone to shadow work, but not addressing a shadow only means it’s gonna grow and manifest in indirect ways throughout our lifespan later on. 

Therefore, learning indifference from meditation is crucial for not only meditation but anything else in life, if we want to have our peace remain intact, no matter which circumstance we’re put in. This would come as a result of practicing non-judgment. 

Letting Yourself Get Distracted

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Sitting quietly with thoughts is already hard enough, but assuming we’ve mastered these aspects, there are factors outside of our control that can affect how hard or how easy a certain meditation is. 

With meditation, we raise our sensitivity to sound and can better pick up anything around us. 

From a motorbike’s engine sound to a piece of cloth dropping on the ground in our rooms. With this, one would think there are some unnatural forces trying to prevent us from meditating, but in reality, it’s quite rare to be in complete silence while meditating. 

However, when we master inner peace by quieting our internal dialogue and making an active effort to sustain our attention on the now, we train ourselves to have prevailing peace within.


Meditation can be hard because we don’t see any progress when we’re doing it. One of the biggest motivators to continuing something is seeing progress in what we do. 

No one wants to waste their time on something they consider a meaningless practice. But we can have a goal with meditation, without such a goal necessarily defining whether we stay with meditation or not. 

Motivation is a great tool to get started, but it’s sticking with it where the true test of strength lies. Many don’t want to admit any weakness to themselves, but if we don’t accept a part of ourselves or deny it, it will be harder to change it. 

We have to approach everything with acceptance, even ourselves. The principles we learn during meditation are applicable to what we do outside of meditation. 

The best expectations we can have when meditating is none, which sounds demotivating, until we give it a try and find freedom in the absence of expectations. When we crave something specific to meditation, meditation becomes a transactional practice. 

That’s not to say you should get into meditation without the intent to have your life to change, but rather, feeling confident that it will happen, trusting the process, without depending on a specific timeline, even if you can set one, let it happen instead. 

If you don’t feel anything after 4 months, like nothing has changed, you can reconsider the meditation. It takes time for meditation to make changes in our brain. But sticking with it will often require a mindset shift.

You will, nonetheless, see that 9 out of 10 times, something will change and move in a positive direction. However, it’ll come as a result of letting go, rather than actively feeling like you need to chase an outcome for something to happen. 

The point is, don’t be outcome-dependent, as you’ll usually experience meditation according to what you need in your life, not necessarily what you want. 

Be used to the idea that progress may be slow, but as long as it’s there and you feel you’re moving in the right direction, you won’t need these expectations. Instead, meditation will positively surprise you, assuming you’ve reached a profound state of focus and you allow for anything to present itself.

Transitioning From Hard to Easy

Some sit still with the meditation until it becomes easy. They understand that meditation is a process and they have to get through the initial stages which supposes a challenge. 

But meditation can get easier not necessarily in the next sessions but in the same sessions, if one were to choose to stick with it long enough. 

It takes time for the mind to be at peace and be synchronized with the body. Here, it’s the same process of letting things happen and sticking through despite thoughts or outside factors making it harder than it should. 

Once you reach a state of peace, it will be hard for anything else to disrupt that state and you get an idea of what it feels like to reach that stage. Thus, it becomes easier to replicate in future meditation practices. 

Reaching this new height can be rewarding on its own, and something you’re more likely to reach once you let go of expectations and instead, allow for the meditation to show you what it can do for you.