Iregularly hear people say that they 'started' meditating, but stopped after a few attempts. They either resisted or failed. I will describe several aspects that I believe have an influence on this.
First, I want to tell you about the role of our ego. By ego I mean your personality with which you identify: your masks, appearance, education(s), work, social contacts, but also your thoughts and beliefs. Your ego thinks it IS all this and wants to keep it going. This is expressed in a lot of thinking, analysis, wanting to keep control, judge and compare.
Your ego doesn't want you to meditate at all! Your ego wants to be in control. Especially if you've been living from your head for a long time. As soon as you start meditating, you create space. Space within yourself. A space in which the ego (your thoughts) is no longer in continuous control. You distance yourself from your thinking and make contact with who you really are. And did you think your ego would just go along with that? Not really! He will try in all kinds of ways to get you to stop meditating. By continuously bombarding you with all kinds of thoughts, such as: What a nonsense is this, I better stop”, “I can't do this, it's way too vague”, or you suddenly start thinking about all the things you still have to do. Or you suddenly get pain in your back or neck and you no longer sit comfortably. You become restless and feel resistance. Recognizable?
The ego is afraid of 'death'. As I just said, you've come to identify with all sorts of things that you're actually not. This also means that all of these things can fall away. You can lose your job, your status, your contacts – and you can see through your thoughts and observe and realize that they are not true. In short: to your ego this feels like dying. He has a lot to lose in that regard.
If you meditate, and you do this more and more often, you end up in a silence. Then you will suddenly feel that you are not all those things at all. For example, you may suddenly "observe" your thoughts and realize that anything you can observe, you cannot BE at the same time. So that which you are is the one who observes. And that is your soul. That is Consciousness. That awareness will suddenly notice that all beliefs that you accept as truth are not necessarily true at all. In other words: it broadens your perspective. The more your perspective broadens, the less your ego comes to the front. Your ego divides everything dually: right or wrong. And has an opinion about everything. The more you expand, the less judgmental you become. The more peace there is in you.
In short: we are afraid of that silence. We are afraid of who we really are. For who we really are cannot cling to anything and doesn't search for control. Our soul is peaceful, still and flowing and wants to continuously create and gain new experiences.
Many of us know those moments. That our personality disappears for a while. For example, while listening to music that touches you deeply. Or completely immerse yourself in your passion. Then you are in the flow and you are in the moment. Everything flows. Then we are not afraid, because this is only a short moment. You know that you will always come back. With meditation it can feel like you are lost in it and that creates fear.
Meditation means being with yourself. It means you can be all alone and still be filled with happiness. Being able to keep yourself company. Being happy with yourself. This has nothing to do with loneliness. It's a kind of joy of being alone. And that is exactly what many of us find so difficult. How many of us fill our days with flight behavior? We run back and forth, throw ourselves into work, or do all sorts of activities (including watching TV or watching on our phone). Everything so as not to have to be with ourselves.
Why is this? When we are in silence with ourselves we are confronted with feelings and emotions that we would rather not feel. For example, feelings of uncertainty, sadness or loneliness. Feelings that we hid long ago. Even though you've tucked them away, somewhere your subconscious knows they're still there and you try to avoid this. With all the consequences that entails: the more you keep suppressing, the more these feelings become embedded in your system. Sooner or later they will reappear and/or affect your psychological or physical health. In addition, they continuously influence your life and the people you attract. Meditation is actually very good for you. By giving space to everything you feel, and accepting all these feelings, they can let go of you. Even if you first come across some layers that you would rather not feel, once you have gone through them you will experience how wonderful it is to just be with yourself!
The last hurdle people often describe: they don't know how to start. Behind this is the conviction that you have to do all kinds of things. As if it has to be an achievement. Meditation is not something you should "do". It is more of a state of 'being'. Just 'being' with yourself, in the moment. You can do this very easily by putting on some nice music (Spotify is full of it), and sitting quietly for 10 minutes. Focus on your breathing. Follow every inhale and exhale. Observe your thoughts and feel what you are feeling. Don't judge it. Just give it space. This also means: just feel all the resistance you encounter in the beginning and let it be. You do this simply by saying to yourself: “Gosh, I now see/feel all kinds of resistance coming up”, or “I notice that all kinds of thoughts are passing by”. Then slowly bring your focus back to your breathing.
Tip: don't make it too heavy. Approaching meditation in a light-hearted and playful way works best. Do you observe the resistance in yourself? See all those troublesome thoughts? Have a laugh! Smile towards all that bustle within yourself. It doesn't have to be so serious