October 5, 2023
Ask Deepak

Why is my meditation so difficult?.


When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.


“Hi Deepak, I am a 22-year-old living in Canada. 

I started meditating around 14 years of age.

From that time until around age 18, I used to meditate a lot, I found it very enjoyable and rewarding, it used to help me get in touch with myself, understand the world, help me love more, and live a well-balanced life. 

It was almost always easy, relaxing, and never too mystical or intense. 

However, at 18 I went to a University and was encouraged to study a program at a place that was not right for me. 

I was always naturally inclined towards poetry and philosophy, but having Indian parents, I was pushed hard into business and math. 

I hated my life, I slipped into amphetamine pills in order to motivate myself, and didn’t really relate to anyone there and eventually had a nervous breakdown. 

The effects of this breakdown lasted around 2 years and I could not meditate or do any meaningful activity. 

I ended up changing my life, traveling a bit, moving home, and dedicating my life to recovery. 

Eventually, through sheer perseverance, I was able to breakthrough into meditation after many months. 

My first transcendence after this depression was exceptionally powerful, it left like the light a thousand times brighter than the sun had burst into me, and that was the event that ended my two-year depression. 

However, since then my meditations have taken on a far different tone than they did when I was younger. 

The most obvious difference is that they are far, far more difficult.

I have to sit down with full attention for many hours until I am fully ready for transcendence. 

This sometimes takes up to 3 hours but on a good day maybe less than one hour. 

When the transcendence does come, it is extremely powerful and I would easily sit there for weeks on end just for a glimpse of that experience. 

There have been many times when I have been brought to tears by the enormity of the experience. 

The difficult days are when it doesn’t come, maybe 40% of the time. 

I will sit there for hours waiting, the experience does not satisfy but I am too deep into it to leave. 

Usually after around 3 hours I have to force myself to get up and try later. 

I find this an immensely disheartening experience. 

My questions are basically, Why has mediation gone from being a gentle mild experience as a child to being an experience that starts in darkness and frustration but ends in extreme bliss? 

Is there a way to make achieving that transcendent state faster or easier? 

Meditation for me has become such an energy-consuming activity that I can maybe do it two or three times a week because that’s all I have time and mental energy for. 

Is there any value to those days where transcendence (those breakthroughs when you are essentially conquered by the light and there is a timelessness, weightlessness, singularity and bliss) does not occur? 

I find that pre-transcendent state as being the purifying stage, where you cleanse yourself in order to receive “the gift”. 

The gift is really the whole point, and I feel 100% of the value of meditation is in those final few seconds of supreme bliss. 

But when it does not come, are those hours wasted or is it just part of the process? 

Are those ‘dry experiences’ actually furthering you in any way? 

P.S: One special question, I don’t of course expect you to know the symbolism behind this, because I don’t myself. 

One time, when I was deep into my depression, I tried hypnotherapy as a potential cure. 

I went extremely deep in that session, and the last thing I saw was a road. 

A very long road in a desert on which I was traveling at lightning speed. 

At that moment, my session ended. 

I tried going for another session to experience that again but it failed miserably and actually made me upset. 

I entirely forgot about it, but recently, when I am deep in meditation that road comes to me again—in fleeting glimpses. 

Do you have any idea what this could be?”


Meditation should never be an arduous, difficult experience. 

If the emotions and the body are going through a release and purification process that is temporarily uncomfortable, that is one thing. 

But the actual movement of the mind from the surface level of awareness to the quieter, more abstract levels can only happen through effortless ease. 

Otherwise, the experience is not really transcending, but another form of mental strain and tension. 

If there is transcending afterward, it is because the straining has led to mental exhaustion and once the mind shuts down it can slip into or collapse into transcendence. 

But that is not correct meditation which should be using the nature of the mind to effortlessly settle down and experience its essential nature. 

Furthermore,  the kind of mental strain you described creates more stress. 

I recommend you stop doing your version of meditation, and simply think the mantra effortlessly, without trying to keep it distinct or clear. 

When it slips away, let it go. 

When it comes back, don’t assume you need to repeat it precisely, or at a certain rhythm. 

If the mind wanders off on thoughts for a few minutes, that’s fine, don’t mentally berate yourself and think you messed up. 

Any and all thoughts are an integral part of successful meditation. 

Don’t expect any particular experience of silence, bliss or expansiveness in your meditation. 

That subtle expectation inhibits the natural and most effective experience you actually need. 

The entire meditation experience should be innocent, easy, and natural.

That is correct, effective meditation.



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