Why does meditation seem so hard?

There's a common assumption that meditation requires great effort and mental discipline. People often say they've tried to meditate, but can't get anywhere. Thoughts keep coming in, they feel restless, or distracted by outside noises. Try as they may the mind just won't settle down.

I've felt the same at times. Meditation seems so hard, and the tendency then is to try and control the mind even more, or focus harder on the technique. But I've found that it is often the trying itself that is the problem.

While trying harder may help in many day-to-day tasks, when it comes to meditation, the harder we try, the more tense our minds become. And this defeats the entire purpose of meditation, which is learning how to allow the mind to settle down and become more relaxed.

You discover that once you stop all effort and striving, the mind settles down naturally. Nothing needs to be “done” to find inner quiet, we simply need to allow the thinking mind to relax. The beauty of his approach is that nothing needs to be changed or controlled. As our minds relax we begin to appreciate how effortless meditation can be, and find ourselves dropping more easily into an inner quiet.

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