The 4 Major Traps For Meditators...

And ...How to Avoid Them!

MazeOn this page we will look at a few of the top reasons why meditators get stuck in their journey, an experience that applies to beginners and advanced meditators alike.

Everyone gets stuck at one point or another and the result may be frustration and giving up on the practice. The question is, when this happens, what does it takes for you to start moving forward again?

Listed below are four common areas where meditators can get stuck. Often they don't realize it which is why it is helpful to work with an experienced teacher... someone who can help you recognize when you are stuck and assist you to move forward.

  1. Intellectual Enlightenment - Experience vs. Concept
  2. Goal Orientation
  3. The Acceptance Loop
  4. The Blame Game

Intellectual Enlightenment - Experience vs. Concept

There is a lot of information about meditation, spiritual experience and holistic states of consciousness. Anyone who has done any research on meditation and spirituality is familiar with the vast knowledge base that is available.

It is not uncommon, though, that people confuse the knowledge of something with the experience of it. For example, knowing about happiness and how it works is not synonymous with being happy. Even being an expert on how the brain changes when someone is happy is not a formula for happiness.

Likewise, knowing everything about meditation and how to meditate and even attending meditation seminars is not synonymous with experiencing balance, wakefulness and blissful consciousness. In fact this intellectual overload can sometimes cause the receptivity centers to close down impairing further progress on the path.

Similarly it is possible to learn how to meditate and progress on the meditative path, and having actualized a certain level of awareness or having experienced a glimpse of multi-dimensional consciousness, to be convinced that you have arrived. Once again, when this happens, the receptivity centers may close down impairing further progress on the path.

How can you avoid remaining stuck here?

The question is not "will this happen", but rather "how long will you remain stuck when it does?" The evolutionary process proceeds and forward momentum is always happening. There is always someone that is further along the path than you are.

It is during times when you feel stuck that it is critical to have a master spiritual teacher. Only an individual who has evolved far enough on the meditative path to have achieved constancy in unified states of consciousness can determine if you are stuck and guide you through it.

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Goal Orientation

Goal orientation is another pitfall along the spiritual journey.

It can manifest in short-term ways such as wanting your meditation sessions to happen a certain way - i.e. you want your mind to be still, you want to have a visionary experience, you want to experience bliss, etc. And if this does not happen, then you think your meditation did not work... or that you did it wrong... or that learning how to meditate correctly is beyond you.

It can also manifest in ways that involve your life long goals for the spiritual journey. For instance, you want to be enlightened in 5 years, or you no longer want to be reactive to situations in your life, or you want to be blissful all the time. When this does not happen as you think it is supposed to or as you wanted it to,discouragement may set in.

When this happens it takes you out of the moment and keeps you from fully experiencing and enjoying life, the life you have right now. Instead you're always chasing some other experience or wanting it to be other than it is, and the result is that further progress on the path is impaired.

How can you avoid remaining stuck here?

Well... what's the point of meditation? It is about balance and increasing awareness. You might ask, "The awareness of what?"

The answer is the awareness of what's so for you in the moment... whatever that is... whether you are meditating with your eyes closed, or just being in your daily experience with your eyes open. Just be as you are, acknowledge your experience and be grateful for the beauty and splendor that is your life... as it is... in the moment.

Flowing gratitude for what is and really feeling it will totally shift your experience and allow you to truthfully see how perfect things are in your life and on your meditation journey.

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The "Acceptance Loop"

Solution-compassThis is an interesting one. Many people on the meditative path have heard that they need to be "accepting." Do not judge or try to change, but rather just be as you are and accept yourself as you are.

But what usually happens is that when we "accept ourselves as we are," we wind up judging ourselves the moment we notice we are unable to accept what we don't like. To say it another way, we accept ourselves except when we are judgmental - i.e. we judge the judge!

But this is a "Catch 22"... because... guess what? We are human and the mind incessantly thinks, and is constantly assessing and judging everything.

So even though we are determined to accept ourselves and love ourselves as we are, we wind up constantly judging and not accepting, regardless. This is a subtle distinction, but it has a large impact on the meditative journey.

How can you avoid remaining stuck here?

In any moment that you notice that you are unable to accept something as it is ... great! Accept that you can't accept it. It's like agreeing to disagree, and it is perfectly appropriate.

The process of accepting even the part of you that does not accept will be like putting a stick in the spokes of a spinning wheel. You can totally transform your daily experience over time in big ways which can have a profound effect on your meditations. Simply because... it is okay the way it is, even when it's not. You are okay the way you are. Over time, this understanding will allow you relax more and more into who you are and into more self-acceptance and love.

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The Blame Game

All of these traps can be explained on different levels and this one is no different. In order for the understanding of this trap to be useful, we need to explain at least a little about the mechanics of consciousness. So we will get a bit philosophical for a moment. But stay with it because it will soon make sense.

We cover this in other places on this website in much greater detail, but to summarize, the Holistic Models of Reality truthfully tell us that there is only one. The one consciousness seemingly separates itself into the positive and negative polarities and then further densifies itself into form... and into us as human beings. But in this great diversity of the one unity - there is only one consciousness that's all and everything.

From the "normal" human level of consciousness, everything and everyone is separate. From the level of unified consciousness, the human experience is just a game, a play for the fun of it. It is a way for consciousness to experience itself, because a "one" cannot experience itself except in relation to its opposite since all experience is relative.

In our experience, the one consciousness has densified itself into us as individual forms of consciousness. We as "seemingly" separate beings that have an opportunity to experience wholeness, move from illusion back to truth in a most beautiful and blissful process whereby we evolve the experience that there is only one, and that "we" are that one.

Okay, are you still with us? Now to bring this home, one aspect of the meditative journey is that what lies in the unconscious mind needs to surface to be cleared. As we have all heard, our lives are dictated by our unconscious minds. To say it another way,our data(largely unconscious) dictates our experience. We do things and think things, and we don't know why. It's just the way we are.

Have you ever heard the saying that everyone sees things differently, or the world is as you see it? This is because each of us has a completely unique experience and perspective of life, and everything in it. We only assume that what we experience is the same as everyone else. Have you ever wondered why? It is because we are projecting our own minds, our history and experience onto everything in our life. We do this without realizing it and our experience of life results, or rather the perception of our life experience results.

What this means is that everywhere we look, we are seeing ourselves projected onto everything. It is not that "everyone is you as a reflection" as is often times said, but rather you are just seeing the world and everyone in it through a filter of your mind. This is why it is very important to always be attentive to what you are experiencing in relation to other people. Actually, you are really just seeing yourself.

Why is this happening? This is consciousness' way of ensuring that you will have to ultimately face your unconscious issues. Because as long as you are unaware of your unconscious data and are unable to watch and allow, your further progress on the path will always be impaired by the unconscious mind.

The question then becomes... what do you accept, what do you gravitate towards, what do you draw into yourself? Alternatively... what do you resist, what do you run from, what do you avoid? These questions can all indicate where your feet are from a diagnostic perspective.

Again, this is all about self-acceptance.If you are detached and allowing,you can just flow with what is happening,but if you are identified, then your reflection becomes your teacher and shows you where you are stuck.

The blame game is when you hit a block of some kind within yourself which reveals the lens through which you see your world. However, if instead of addressing the newly discovered unconscious issue, you convince yourself it is because of someone or something else, you are playing the blame game, and when you do this you impair further progress.

How can you avoid remaining stuck here?

If you are sincere about being on a path to wholeness, you must take responsibility for your own unique perception of your world which includes the unconscious data that comes up to be cleared as a result of your meditation practice, especially when it is not fun or flattering.

It could be said that to the degree to which you can accept yourself is the degree to which you can accept another person in your life. It really is just you that you are accepting.

If you unable to accept another person,it is some part of yourself that you are rejecting.

You even create the thing you detest within the people around you, so that you can accept it within yourself.

When we say "accept it" in this context, we don't mean that it goes away. Only that you are okay with it, the way it is. The unconscious mind never goes away.You are just able to watch it and not be identified with it. Thus it loses its power to dictate your life, throwing you around and giving you whiplash of sorts and not understanding why things are happening the way they are.

Always remember, when you point your finger, you have three pointing back at you. This is consciousnesses way to subtly remind us all that we are seeing ourselves in the reflections around us.

Just being aware of this is enough. Remain vigilant and maintain your meditative practice.

The next time it rains and someone says that the weather is bad today, remember it is simply their version of what is. What is your version?

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