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If Meditation Isn’t Working, Try This

If Meditation Isn’t Working, Try This

There’s Another Way…

We’ve all heard the benefits of meditation: a calm mind, youthful appearance, less stress, better focus and manifesting one’s dreams.

Ahh… Bliss?

Not so fast…

Anyone who’s actually tried to sit quietly with their spine straight while putting their mind on pause is in for a rude awakening.

First off, enlightenment is not what happens when someone sits and tries to stop their thoughts. In fact, it’s quite the opposite…

Usually what proceeds is discomfort of the body, annoying thoughts of the mind and false expectations that meditation should already have you levitating 3 feet off the ground, glowing, with your third eye gazing into your past and future lives.

As someone who’s struggled with a short attention span my entire life (shiny objects/thoughts easily distract me) sitting still and doing nothing is more than a challenge, it’s a punishment.

I get bored fast, and boredom is one of the things I hate most in life. Sometimes I even choose drama and even pain over boredom. So, sitting there doing nothing waiting for the universe to reveal itself to me doesn’t really work … yet (more on “yet” later…).

The longer I sat doing nothing, the worst things became

Maybe meditation wasn’t for me.

Or maybe there’s another way…?

If the mind and the body want to play games with me while I try to find my center in silence and stillness, maybe there’s a distraction I can give them to quell their restlessness.

Turns out, there is. And it’s one of the most powerful practices on the planet (and free): focusing on your breath.

Inhale, and God approaches you.

Hold the inhalation, and God remains with you.

Exhale, and you approach God.

Hold the exhalation, and surrender to God.


This not only gives our mind something to do besides explore toxic thoughts, but it gently relaxes the body through each controlled inhale and exhale.

As I write in THE BREATH BOOK, everyone from Olympic athletes to Christian monks to yogis on Himalayan mountains use breathing exercises to reach altered states, to enhance performance, to pray, to calm the mind and body or to get fired up.

But I Still Needed Something Even More Than Focusing On The Breath

While focusing on my breath always puts me in a better state, I found I could still get easily distracted just watching that precious air come in and out.

It wasn’t until I found a guided meditation, as in a breathing exercise, that I really reached deeper levels of insight and intuition.

In our digital age, it’s easy to find guided meditations for all kinds of purposes, from de-stressing to cleansing toxic thoughts to warming up your mind for a day of work.

For me, having someone making sure I stay focused on my breath keeps me from getting distracted. My favorite guided meditations also offer insights and truths to ponder during the practice.

Like one will say:

Breathing in … I witness the disappearance of craving.
Hold for a second…
Breathing out … I witness the disappearance of craving.

The one that really deepened my practice was a breathing exercise from Deepak Chopra, it’s just over 8 minutes and combines breathwork with intentions and observations.

I usually have epiphanies as the guided breathing calms the “monkey mind.” Intuition speaks between the breaths.

It’s like having a meditation coach keeping you on the track, and for me led me faster to epiphanies that weren’t ready to arrive trying to acheive total stillness and silence.

Just search for “guided meditation” or “breathing exercise” on your favorite music or video service. And you can add any effects you want, like “guided meditation for intuition” or “breathing exercise for energy” etc. It’s that easy!

And You Never Know, After Having an Instructor, You Might Be Ready to Fly Solo

For me, traditional meditation is actually the advanced stuff, and I’ve then get getting better at it lately but only because I’ve been trained through the guided routines.

Just focusing on my breath though works in all situations, including outside of meditation when I just want to be calm or have more presence of mind.

So that’s it! If sitting there quietly doesn’t work, try focusing on your breath. If that’s still not enough, go find someone you like to do a breathwork routine and see if you don’t start to see things in a new light.