Failing at Meditation

water-droplet I really want to be good at meditating. I would settle for being mediocre at it, even. To not be the worst at meditating would be acceptable. See, I’m used to being good at stuff, so failing at meditation has been hard on me.

I sit for many minutes and try to calm my mind. But as soon as I cross my legs, my mind senses that something is up, so it stubbornly starts drudging up every dumb thing that has floated through it in recent hours and days. No topics or images are off limits: Lists of things I need to do (accompanied by recriminations for not having already done them); irrelevant images or snippets of text from social media; the grocery list for what I will need to make dinner; wondering when the last time the plant in my office has been watered…there is just no end.

The sages call this Chitta Vritti, a busy mind, or mindless chatter. Perhaps I am looking at it all wrong – I am not a failure at meditation, but an expert at Chitta Vritti. Unfortunately, I know of no benefits associated with Chitta Vritti, and many associated with meditation. Of course, these benefits are only alleged, or reported, as I can’t speak to them personally, having never successfully meditated myself. I suppose that means I will have to just keep trying. I will light that candle in my mind and count my breaths and listen to my higher self repeatedly tell my lower self to shut up already and just be. Advice appreciated. Wish me luck. Namaste.


  1. Angie says:

    I had a hard time with meditation when I started yoga too. But the more I concentrated on my breath, counting as I inhale and exhale, trying to make the exhale one count longer than the inhale, I got better at being able to shut things out. Sometimes the Chitta Vritti would take over, but don’t stress about it. I don’t have any advise necessarily, but as my instructor always tells us, is not yoga perfect, it’s yoga practice. You could also repeat your mantra, if you have one?

    • Rashelle says:

      Thanks, Angie! I will try exhaling longer than the inhale and see if that helps. Also, I should probably think of a better mantra than “be quiet.”

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