Will I ever enjoy meditation?

Kate Lila Wheeler answers one of the most frequently asked questions about challenges on the spiritual path: Will meditation ever become enjoyable?

Kate Lila Wheeler
15 February 2019
Woman sitting cross legged on the ground, looking into the distance.
Photo by Benjamin Griffiths.

Question: I’ve been meditating for a long time, but the truth is I don’t really like it. I meditate because I think I’m supposed to. It does help me in my life, but usually I find it boring and not enjoyable. Will I ever like meditating, or is that not the point?

Kate Lila Wheeler: Congratulations! Most people never feel like meditating. How great that you actually do it, and want to refine your abilities.

I bet you already have deeper motivations than “supposed to.” Before starting your meditation, try recalling a specific way you knew meditation has helped you (and others, no doubt) in life.

When you are meditating, grant yourself permission to be easy, simple, open for experiences. Feel your body. If you lack joy, let it be. Instead of fixing it, explore. What’s this like for your body? Check for attitudes. If there’s disliking or judging present, that’s OK. Don’t force yourself to be perfect. Breathe. Stay present and persist in gentle exploration. Bathe the whole mess in compassion or equanimity as needed. If you get overwhelmed, shift your attention or blink your eyes.

Finally, we all tend to import the obscurations of samsara into meditation. Samsara demands things to be a certain way. Can you know your own deepest heart, beyond techniques or measurements? Who’s that sweet being who persists, even though life gets hard? Can you rest with them?

Hope this helps.


This article is from a collection of advice on working with obstacles in meditation, from the November 2018 issue of Lion’s Roar. See more »

Kate Lila Wheeler

Kate Lila Wheeler, who lives in Boston, has been meditating since 1977 and brings an amazing life journey to her teaching. She grew up in South America, was ordained as a nun in Burma by her teacher U Pandita, became U Pandita’s editor and an award winning writer herself, and has received Dzogchen transmission as a lama in the Tibetan tradition, in addition to completing teacher training with Jack Kornfield.