Right, let's take a look at attitude because this is going to make all the difference between getting meditation established and into your life... or not.
"I can't meditate, I do try but I just can't do it"
Let's pull this apart. "I can't meditate" that assumes that there is a set you that can or cannot do something. For most people, the strongest sense of "I" is in their thoughts. Mindfulness, however, takes a person out of their thoughts and into their body... bit by little bit. So the initial assumption of "I can't" is based on one's current view of what "I" is.
I think therefore I am.... or am I?
"I am my thoughts" - “no you’re not”, mindfulness says! Ok, “I’m not”, err... isn’t this another thought saying “I'm not?” So a thought that defines a thought that says I'm not a thought?
Yep, it is common. A nice little mantra I stumbled across while in conversation with another meditator is: knowing is too simple for the thinking mind to cope with. The thinking mind just can’t work out knowing, that mindful bare awareness of being present.
So the best thing to do is just have a go at the mindfulness exercises. If you have tried before but just can't do it (as the sentence above might suggest) then well... have another go, maybe with a fresh attitude.
Before we go on though let’s take out a few words in the second sentence of this blog that are not helpful and focus on the ones that are.
"meditate, just do it"
That looks like a good starting point to me. Simply have a go and if at first you don’t succeed just try again and again maybe until you get fed up with trying to succeed. You might find that letting go of the “wish to succeed and be a certain way” is what allows the mind to settle. The persistence and wearing down of expectations by accepting how things are, is, what eventually helps the mind to settle into the now.
For some practical advice perhaps go through the four different basic mindfulness exercises; these will get you use to the postures of the body and add to (or start) your mindfulness toolkit.
1. How to Stand and Be More Present
2. How to Walk and Better Settle Thoughts
3. How to Sit and Start to Calm
4. How to Lie Down and Begin to Relax
Just have a go and see how you get on. Try not to get hung up on right or wrong, instead keep an open attitude something like "let's see what happens this time." And if you know of any motivational techniques then I'd love to hear about them and share them with others.