I think a major challenge for anyone starting to meditate is that it is not what you expect. This from Looking At Mindfulness:
“We expected – or hoped – to find calm and emptiness. We often find ourselves in a huge, rowdy, chaotic bazaar. We aspired to clarity, we find confusion. . . . It all looked so simple from the outside! We thought it would be enough just to sit down and close our eyes.”
I think this is a very real challenge for people to get started with meditating. It certainly was why I went at it in fits and starts for a year or more, never, ever feeling like I was doing it “right.” There is no right but we don’t know that at first. We are filled with expectations.
The path for me was through the yoga mat, where my teacher kept exposing me to the deeper aspects of yoga. That got me looking and reading and yes, longing – one of those qualities counseled against in yoga. But that longing had been there all along I know. My yoga just scratched it. And that led to a meditation series with my teacher in which I gained comfort with all the messiness that comes with meditation.
Then it just felt like I needed to do it. I began in earnest before our May trips to Italy this spring. And when I returned I began again. I’ve not missed a day since. And my meditating usually starts in a rowdy, chaotic bazaar. But it almost always settles down and I find myself not wanting to end. I am being counseled again by my teacher. Support helps. I am fortunate to have a truly gifted guide!