Are you Doing Meditation Wrong?

If you’re new to meditation, this is a question you might have:

Am I doing it wrong?

“When I turn my attention to my breath, I can’t help but affect it. Am I doing it wrong?”

“My mind wanders all the time. I can’t seem to just relax. Am I doing it wrong?”

Here’s the Truth:

You can’t do it wrong, you can only judge it to be wrong.

Let me explain. Think of meditation as a time to set aside what could be, what should be, what might be, or what was, or what will be.

This is a time when you can experience what is.

That’s all. Just, what is.

And there are very specific things that you can notice about what is.

  1. God is. He is here, he is real, he is love. (Ex 3:14, 1 John 4:8)
  2. You are. Your breath is evidence that you exist in this moment and it is a gift of God to you, in this moment. (Acts 17:25, Is 42:5) Nothing else matters right now.
  3. You think. No matter what, you have emotions, thoughts, feelings, etc right now. Your job is not to stop them, silence them or prevent them in any way. You job is to….
  4. Choose to notice what is.

And here is the most powerful tool to do this: “Do not judge.” (Mt. 7:1)

Am I saying that you should never assess things, not stand against sin and evil, or not be discerning?

No, of course not. Jesus wasn’t saying that either when he said that in the Sermon on the Mount.

What was he saying? He was saying this: being judgmental does not help you or others around you. It simply clouds your vision and gets in the way.

So when you meditate, and you sit in God’s presence, leave your judgments about “how you’re doing” at the door. By practicing “do not judge” while you meditate, you will be able to see more clearly. You will see what is. And you can accept that it is.

Why is this important?

Judgments can be a form of denial. “Oh, I don’t like that thought, I reject it.”

Or judgments can be a form of holding onto something, keeping the disagreeable close, by pretending that we are rejecting it.

If you don’t judge a thought or feeling (emotional or physical), but simply turn your attention back to your breath, that thought disappears quickly (soon to be replaced by some other thought, no doubt!).

If you judge it, you feed it emotional and mental calories, sustaining it and growing it.

And, you miss out on this present moment because now you’re caught up and carried off by this thought or feeling.

Lastly, judging these distractions can be a way of avoiding or hiding from God’s presence. Before you know it you’ve forgotten entirely that God is with you and you’ve engaged with some random thought that seems oh-so-important. And you’ve missed out on what Jesus has for you, in the gift of his forgiveness, love, and peace.

When can we know God? Only right now.

There is no other time – we are bound to live in the present moment, stuck in the now. If we don’t acknowledge and submit ourselves to God in this moment we have missed out on truly and fully living.

That’s how to do meditation wrong: judging. And don’t forget, judging your judging is another trap. If you find yourself being judgmental during your meditation, just let that go as well. Turn your attention back to the meditation.

You are with God; nothing else matters.

In a few minutes you will get up and move on with your life, doing and feeling and thinking. There’s going to be plenty of that going on. But for now, you can relax in the arms of your loving Heavenly Father.

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  1. Thank you so much Dean!! I have referred yet another friend to Meditate on Christ. I am seeing a calmness about me I have never been able to sustain before. And you are so encouraging!! Thank you!!

    1. You’re most welcome Theresa! I’m so glad to hear that you are getting great results! And thanks so much for the referrals 🙂