I have heard this so many times from people frustrated by their meditation efforts.
I have been learning meditation for over 20 years now, and I have tried many different kinds of meditation. My favourite time to meditate is in the early hours of the morning. It is such a beautiful quiet and gentle energy at that time of the day.
BUT…It wasn't always like that. For years I struggled with trying to have a regular meditation practice. In one Buddhist group I belonged to, I mentioned how difficult it was for me to do a morning practice to one of the instructors. She said she used to put her cushion right next to her bed so she would step on it when she got up, which would help her sit and practice. I thought, what an excellent idea. I couldn't possibly avoid that! Diligently, I set up my meditation cushion right next to my bed so I couldn't get up without landing on it and meditating. You guessed it…I became incredibly good at stepping over the meditation cushion. My resistance to sitting on the cushion was very confusing because when I did meditate, I really enjoyed it and the resulting calmness in my mind for the day.
I've noticed many different thoughts on what meditation really is. It can get quite confusing with all the varying points of view.
One of the most common misunderstandings about meditation is trying to stop thoughts. The mind's job is to think! If you attempt to stop the thoughts, you may have noticed they only get louder, stronger, and more frequent. The key is to increase the gap between thoughts, creating a longer and longer space before the next thought arises and not get caught up in any thoughts. Allow them to come and go like the waves rise, come onto the beach and fall back into the ocean. A kind of rhythm comes with imagining waves coming and going if you can align your thoughts with that.
What are you trying to achieve by meditating? I imagine you would be looking for some peace and quiet. "Peace comes from within." Our world is so busy and noisy - where do we have the chance to sit quietly and just be?
Here's a simple meditation practice you can try: