For those of us that aspire to become a meditator, and meditate well, it can be easy to get caught in thoughts of how wonderful it would be to have flawless concentration. As most of us carry expectations into our meditation sessions, and yet as we sit with a mind that continues to wander, continues to play the uncontrollable buffoon, it is easy to become disheartened.
Successful meditators on the other hand—no strike that—successful people, embrace failure. That is, they embrace the possibility of failure for such people are not put off by long and difficult journeys. In fact, they are often inspired by such challenges. Great meditators have an innate ability to see through their everyday likes and dislikes, enabling them to offset short-term pleasure for long-term goals.
This ability sees restlessness as an enemy of meditation, and understands the benefits of disregarding short term hardships that may arise through meditation.
Be like a meditator, think like a meditator: embrace failure.
Meditating every morning—even for just 15 minutes—will help reduce restlessness. Moreover, being aware of your restlessness during normal daily activities will increase your ability to meditate when you hit the cushion. These two are mutually supporting and they arise together.
If you commit to at least 15 minutes of meditation each morning, this will help support your daily activities. And because you feel better through the day you are more likely to continue meditating each morning. Through committing to an ongoing program of morning meditation your ability to put aside the pleasure of an extra 15 minutes of sleep—for sitting on the floor with crossed legs, focusing on your personal object of meditation be it the breath or compassion—will increase your endurance and perseverance, attributes that are key to becoming a meditator.
However, every meditator at some point has to deal with the restlessness that arises from boredom. If you can make it through this point in your meditation career realizations will flow naturally.
Unfortunately few do. This is because the mind can play tricks as boredom manifests. For instance, as your meditation deepens and your creativity increases, new ideas for various projects can arise. New ways to do ‘this’ or ‘that’ dawn upon us, and we can get caught in the trap of forgetting the purpose of meditation or even forgetting that creative energy comes from a clear mind and this in turn comes from meditation.
So, meditate more. Meditate with confidence. And if you fail often, embrace it. Embrace it and start over.