How to deal with distractions

Photo by Norbert Kundrak on

Do you find it difficult to focus on your meditation procedure? Do you often feel distracted by thoughts, sounds, or anything else that happens around you or inside you while you meditate? Does it sound like a reason for you to quit your meditation? If you feel like this, then this article is for you. Here is a simple tip you can use to continue your meditation, no matter how many or how often you experience distractions.

You experience problems with your concentration because you give more value to your distractions than you should. In other words, when a distraction comes to you, you put too much effort not to be distracted, which has, as a result, distracting you from your meditation. So, as you already guessed, it is not the distraction that makes you lose concentration but your reaction to it. In reality, you are distracted from your distraction to the distraction! Sounds confusing? Let me explain it.

First, you need to understand that distractions do not push you out of your meditation. They are part of the meditation. They help you train to stay focused on your meditation. So, the secret to not being distracted by the distraction is this:

When a distraction comes your way while you meditate, it is natural to catch your attention. Now, if you try to throw this distraction away and push yourself to concentrate again, you have already become distracted. You stop thinking about your meditation. You think about how to return to your meditation. So you use your mind to fight against your distraction. Now you don’t meditate. You argue with the distraction. It happens because you react to the distraction. If you let the distraction be, it will lose its power.

So, the next time you experience a distraction, whether it is a sound of the surroundings or a thought in your mind, do this: Welcome the distraction and embrace it. Act as if it is something natural. Act like you expected the distraction to come. Don’t react. Observe the distraction. Now the distraction becomes a meditation object. It doesn’t have the power to distract you anymore. Once you have watched the distraction and how you reacted to it, you can lead your distraction to be out of your mind and return to your meditation. Don’t try to fight it. Don’t pretend you are not distracted. Observe your distraction, and you will not lose the benefits of the meditation. Because, in reality, at that moment, you meditate on your distraction. After a while, another distraction will come. Do the same no matter how many or how often distractions will come.

The purpose of meditation is always to bring you back to the present, no matter how many distractions you experience. Meditation is not something that happens only in a perfect environment away from distractions. Meditation creates an ideal environment inside you no matter what happens in and out of your body. So, next time a distraction comes to you, remember this:

Distractions are your trainers! Trying to efficiently experience them without affecting you is actual meditation.

Fotis Tampas (De Tao).


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