My mind wonders so much when I meditate. Is this normal?
It is not uncommon that when we start to meditate it seems that our minds get more active. This may be that for the first time one is observing the mind. And thinking is what our minds do! An active mind is common and normal. It may take a little time for the mind to settle down when you start a meditation. Don’t expect that the mind is going to instantly be quieter. One needs to be patient. Don’t quit because it is not working. It is like when one learns to play a musical instrument or a new sport. It takes time and practice to accomplish this. Meditating is no different. Be kind to yourself.
Is there anything I can do to help focus my mind. It seems like I can’t stay with my breath for longer than a few seconds.
When the mind is very restless counting can be helpful to anchor your concentration. With the first in breath count 1. Then the out breath is 1. With the next in breath one counts 2. The next out breath is 2.
One continues to count in this way until you reach 10. Then start again from 1. The counting is not the dominant aspect and should be lightly in the background. Counting along with attention to the breath helps to support the concentration. One can continue counting until you feel more settled.
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