‘If Meditation Is Too Easy, You’re Doing Something Wrong’

‘If Meditation Is Too Easy, You’re Doing Something Wrong’

We’ve talked about the benefits of meditation and showed you how to get started. The process is really simple, but perhaps deceptively so. Meditation is mental training that isn’t necessarily easy or even pleasant.

Picture: Relaxing Music

In a great post on Reddit, a user named wouldbebuddhist clearly describes the meditative process and why it’s not easy when you first start meditating:

[As] you meditate, your mind wants to grab onto the thoughts and not your breath. The course of least resistance is away from your breath and back into whatever thoughts are vying for your attention. Every time you go back to the breath, you train or teach yourself even, to take the opposite of the path of least resistance. This is coupled with the fact that half the time when you meditate, your mind says, “I’m tired. Stop concentrating on the breath and just kick back and let a guided meditation do most of the work.” But every time this comes up you learn to drop it by returning to the breath and not listening to the thought no matter how loud and powerful it can get.


After doing this hour after hour, you gain a skill. One day you realise that you don’t have to be sitting on a cushion to use this skill. I can’t really explain how it’s done, but it’s just something you learn from continually focusing, coming back to, and holding your attention on the breath. It’s like if you ever do a lot of push-ups, eventually you will realise, “I can flex my pecs.” You couldn’t flex them before, and you don’t really know how you learned to do it, but now you can just do it.

In other words, meditation is a skill you have to learn. If you’re struggling while learning to meditate, don’t worry — that’s normal. On the other hand, if all you’re feeling is relaxed while meditating, consider trying to focus a bit more during your practice.

What, exactly, will meditation do for you? [Reddit via Ben Casnocha]


  • There is no ‘wrong’ in learning to meditate, there is only remembering to bring your attention back to the object of your focus. Equally, there is no ‘too easy’ either. Some people find it easier to focus their attention than others. Thinking in terms or ‘easy’, ‘difficult’, ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ doesn’t help.

    • I wouldn’t say defeats, but it’s only going part of the way, I guess?

      It does depend on your goal, too. If you’re seeking a Buddhist-style enlightenment you will probably need to push harder towards a feeling of empty neutrality. But if all you want is to calm yourself, or temporarily increase your focus, then you’re probably going to get there as you are.

    • No, it doesn’t defeat the purpose, not initially if you’re doing it to help bring your attention back to your breath. Remember that you are learning, and the more you practice the easier it will become. It is entirely up to you how you bring your attention back to the object of your focus.

  • When a person has the means to find it in himself,
    Even under a tall tree or in an empty cave,
    His real nature will be able to find satisfaction.

    If he does not have the means to find it in himself,
    Even if he has the empire as his personal possession
    And the myriad people as his subjects,
    This will not be sufficient to give his vitality substance.

    — Huainanzi

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!