What Holds People Back from Being Able to Meditate?

By George A. Boyd ©2015

There are several issues that hold people back from being able to meditate. These include:

  1. Mental illness or severe physical illness – here you are unable to focus, and can’t think clearly.
  2. Demands of work and family – in this situation, you simply have no time for meditation.
  3. Cultural or religious prohibition – in this scenario, there are prohibitions on doing certain forms of meditation, or the cultural or religious group sees meditation as a pathway to madness or possession by evil spirits.
  4. Addiction – here you are obsessed with the object of your addiction, which largely takes over your life and thought.
  5. Rational or skeptical mindset – You do not enter an altered state of consciousness outside of the logical parameters of brain or physical universe; doubt and skepticism vitiates any inner experience and attributes it to an epiphenomenon of the nervous system or temporary psychosis.
  6. History of religious cultism or religious abuse – Your prior religious involvement has created sufficient personal dysfunction, so that you are frightened to again enter altered states of consciousness through meditation.
  7. Dysfunctional family background – In this case, you are dealing with the sequelae of abuse, trauma, and neglect, and until these issues are handled, it is hard for you to escape the psychological undertow of these issues.

Mental illness and physical illness clearly must be controlled to the point that you can meditate: these conditions must be professionally supervised, though some people can find methods that help them get to a point where they are able to meditate. Some actually get help with their physical or mental health condition using prayer and meditation, but they must attain the requisite ability to focus their attention and to think clearly to move beyond the rudiments of relaxation and mindfulness.

The demands of work and family are a lifestyle issue. Many do not see another option for their overwhelming days; clearly they must find a way to clear up some time through letting go of some commitments and delegating some tasks.

Cultural and religious prohibition is commonly seen in milieus where there is a dominant religious authority that dictates rules for living and social conduct. These fundamentalist and totalitarian societies attempt to enforce conformity of belief and behavior. You may see it in radical Muslim sects, and in authoritarian sects of Judaism and Christianity; it appears in cultic groups from all religious backgrounds; it is also evident in atheistic Communist regimes, which attempt to constrain religious activity.

Clearly, you must have access to an alternative way of thinking and living. Some escape these totalistic, repressive environments either through emigration or joining an underground group that encourages prayer and meditation.

Addiction can become life consuming, and meditation becomes impossible. You must get into recovery if you are to become free from the tenacious grasp of addiction. We plan to offer some support to this group of individuals through our Addiction Recovery Coaching Program, which is being developed. We encourage people dealing with an addiction to find a supportive group to assist them attain and maintain abstinence from their addictive substance or behavior.

To overcome the self-sabotage of a rational or skeptical mindset, you must have an experience that cannot be explained away with a brain-based axiom. You must verify that there is something outside the scientific worldview to begin to entertain the possibility that you can transcend the brain and visible physical universe, and move into the other dimensional worlds of the Great Continuum.

Those who have had prior involvement with a religious cult or have had a background in a religious authoritarian family will need to deal with the issues of betrayal and abuse. We provide these individuals a structured way to work through these issues in our Cult Recovery Coaching Program. This program is now available.

Like those dealing with addiction or cults, those growing up in a dysfunctional family must work through their issues before they are ready to meditate. Many of these will benefit from counseling, therapy, and support groups. We are developing a Dysfunctional Family Coaching Program to help them explore and work through these issues.

Those who can overcome these hindrances to practicing meditation can make progress in their inner development. Not everyone is able to overcome these challenges, so not everyone is able to meditate—but for those who can, the potential benefits are great.

Why Should I Learn to Meditate?

By George A. Boyd © 2017

Q: Why should I learn to meditate? How will it help me?

A: There are many benefits to meditation. Here is a list that we compiled in 2001:


Excerpted from “Meditation for Therapists Workbook, Third Edition” © 2001

As the effects of meditation range from mild to profound based on the depth of relative absorption, so do the benefits that meditators report. These benefits include:

  1. Improved ability to relax the body and relieve stress
  2. Enhanced clarity and mental concentration
  3. Deeper insight and self-knowledge, culminating in Enlightenment
  4. Stronger will power and greater ability to control behavior and habits
  5. Development of intuitive and psychic gifts
  6. Richer, more vivid dream life and sounder sleep
  7. Direct experience of the spirit and the Soul
  8. Higher frequency of peak performance and flow state experiences
  9. Spontaneous correction of character weakness and cultivation of virtue
  10. More enjoyment of life, beauty, and sexual pleasure
  11. Revelation of the Great Mysteries
  12. Mystic experiences with angels, spiritual guides, and God
  13. Unfolding the Soul into higher spiritual realms
  14. Channeling healing energy and the Divine Light to minister to others
  15. Feeling greater love for Nature, humanity, and God
  16. Increased altruism, promotion of the urge to help or serve others
  17. Better appreciation of religious teachings, living essential truths and values

Some people are content with their lives as they are, and have no desire to improve their inner life or experience their full human and spiritual potential. So for these people, meditation is probably not something they would consider doing.

For others of you, maybe as you read this list, you find yourself saying to yourself as you look at one or more of these benefits, “yeah, that is something I want, and I’d like to learn how to do that.”

And for you few of you, you want to have everything on this list—and more!

If you want to do just a few things on this list, we can develop a custom program for you to address that particular issue. This is called a meditation consultation. We can do one to as many sessions as you need to help you achieve this goal you desire.

If your aims are more practical—you just want to learn to live with less stress, have better concentration, and greater focus and clarity in your life—you may wish to take the Foundations of Practical Meditation, which our certified instructors can teach you.

If you’ve never meditated before, and you don’t have a clue as to how to do the most basic rudiments of meditation, you may want to start with the Introduction to Meditation program. You can take this one on-line—as a self-study program at your own pace, or you can augment it with group or individual coaching—or you can take this class in-person with one of our certified instructors.

If you have meditated before and you found yourself saying, “yes!” to most or all of these benefits as something you want, you will find the tools you need in our in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation or the by-mail or online Accelerated Meditation Program.

Q: Why should I learn meditation from Mudrashram®? Can’t I just take a class at my Yoga studio? Or practice the techniques I learn on the Internet?

A: Each meditation has a distinct effect on your mind. It focuses your attention on a different level of awareness on the Great Continuum of Consciousness. It produces different outcomes.

Many people learn very rudimentary meditations in Yoga classes and on the Internet. They learn mindfulness, which is collecting your attention, becoming present, and monitoring the content arising in the present time. They learn to watch their breath. They learn to chant AUM and other mantras, and temporarily lift their awareness into euphoric altered states of consciousness.

But they don’t understand the context of the meditation that they are doing.

  • They often don’t know why they are doing it, other than it releases stress and makes them feel more peaceful.
  • They don’t understand where each meditation takes them. They have no sense about what are the levels in the mind.
  • They don’t understand what the meditation they are doing is designed to do, and whether it is appropriate for the aims that they want to achieve.
  • They meditate and go into passive trance states, which are restful, but do nothing to affect their personal growth or spiritual development.
  • Worse, they may learn and practice powerful transformational techniques that produce spiritual imbalances that can affect their ability to function personally, or even generate Kundalini syndromes.

You need to know what you are doing. You need to be properly trained in meditation. For example:

  • You need to now why you are doing a meditation, and what effect it has on you.
  • You need to know where that meditation will take your attention and how it will affect your awareness.
  • You need to know the purpose of each meditation, when it is appropriate to use it, and when it is not.
  • You need to make each meditation count for something—your meditations should not just put you in a trance state—but you should do something useful and practical with each meditation. You should accomplish a specific meditation objective in each meditation session.
  • And because you are not just doing one thing with meditation, you need a different meditation tool to accomplish each meditation objective. So you are going to use a different meditation tool to relax your body and release stress than you will use to tune into your Soul’s intuition.

Mudrashram® teaches each of these things. It gives you multiple techniques, because you will need meditation for different purposes. It’s like getting a toolbox to help you gain all of the benefits of meditation.

We welcome you to look at our programs. They are complete trainings. They are one of the best investments you can make for your health, your career, your personal destiny, and spiritual development.

  • For your health, you will learn stress reduction.
  • For your career, you will gain the ability to powerfully focus your mind and intention to achieve your goals.
  • For your personal destiny, you will gain to connect with the Self and your will power to manifest your core life goals.
  • For your spiritual development, you will learn how to transform and actualize your spiritual potentials, tap into your Soul’s intuition, discover your Soul’s purpose, and rise to Liberation and Mastery.

Explore our website. Read the articles and watch the free videos in our Library. Obtain our books that appeal to you. Take webinars on topics of your interest. And when you’re ready to begin meditation, sign up for one of our classes.

It’s truly one of the best things you could ever do for yourself!