Obstacles in Meditation and Ways of Overcoming Them


Meditation is communion with the inner self. Discovering oneself and expending our consciousness and becoming one with the infinite source of light and intelligence. To attain the actual state of meditation is not an easy job, it will take time may be in days, in months or in years.

No matter which system of meditation you follow there will be difficulties and obstacles. You may be discouraged and impatient with the process and the progress. Resistance of the body, bodily habits, deep rooted mental tendencies, and intellect may produce obstacles in the practice of meditation.

Mental, physical and emotional weaknesses will pull you away from the path, so you must be determined to continue in spite of any problem.

According to Patanjali the obstacles in meditation are:

· Disease
Sickness of the body is caused by impure and inefficient diet, uncontrolled urges, and lack of physical activities, mental stress and over work. Physical sickness is a great hindrance to the practice of meditation, because the body and the mind are related to each other.

Take a simple, light, nutritious and wholesome diet like milk, wheat, barley, fruits and vegetables, dry fruits, low sweet or salt diets etc. Regular exercise, breathing exercise, conservation of energy by controlling different mental and physical urges are necessary for the path of meditation.

· Doubt
Doubts are caused by the impurity of mind, which exert resistance from the subconscious mind. Doubts about the certainty of the result, about the impossibility of result and derogative thoughts are common doubts, may produce hindrance to the path of meditation.

Hearing or reading sacred texts, company of spiritual people, rigorous meditation technique and concentrating on one owns deity will remove all the doubts.

· Craving for Sense Enjoyment
Due to the resistance of subconscious mind craving for sense enjoyment arises in the mind. In meditation when the mind begins to raise the upper level of consciousness, the suppressed emotions, feelings and thoughts in the subconscious mind begin to start manifested and expressed in the conscious level.

These craving must be neutralise by sense- control and practices of discrimination and by devoting more time regularly in the practise of meditation.

· Failure in Concentration
As the person practises concentration the suppressed or hidden mental tendencies begin to appear on the surface and drag the mind down. When the mind craves sensual stimulation it become agitated and unable to concentrate.

The problem lies in a weak will. You must keep your interest alive. Uninterrupted and regular practice of meditation is the remedy to this problem.

· Falling Away From Concentration
Unpleasant and distasteful meditation technique may induce demotivation and fatigue at times. This may happen because of lack of efforts to progress in the path.

Remember that you can do almost anything in this world if you have strength of will, awareness and interest.

· False Perception or Psychic experiences
When you practise meditation, you can expect to come to face with many subtle thoughts and visions which have been stored away in the subconscious mind. Many people feel that because they are having psychic experiences they are progressing into spirituals life. But this is not true.

All psychic experiences are unreal they are not ultimate goal. They misguide our consciousness and make us forget our real path.

Do not become involved with psychic experiences and do not crave for them. With careful observation they will pass away and you may never have them again.

· Mental Inertia
Under mental inertia the mind tends to reject any idea, practice or technique which disturbs its original state.

Recreate the original motivation and establish meditations as part of your daily routine, proper diet, regulation of sleep are the factors necessary to break the mental inertia.

· Sloth
The mind is unable to stir, it is caused by weakness of the mind or low energy level of the mind.
Strong wills, mental exercises and breathing techniques can overcome the condition of sloth.

· Delusion
In the path of meditation the person may ignore the aspect of regularity; oversimplify few steps, impressed by unreal psychic impressions, forget the clarity of goal, hence may slip into the state of delusion.

Delusion is overcome by following rules of practice, stick to teaching and guidance of the efficient master or teacher.