Why can't I meditate?
As part of my continuing efforts to heal myself from my TBI (traumatic brain injury), I now meditate for 20 minutes twice a day. I've been doing this for quite a while, and my latest trick is to listen to ambient music, in order to drown out distracting sounds of the city.
My method is simple: I get comfortable, close my eyes and breathe, paying special attention to how my breath feels going in and out and counting breaths to give my ever scattered brain something to help stay focused on. I learned this method from a person who was shot and paralyzed and now suffers phantom pain in his legs; he tried EVERYTHING to overcome the pain, finally trying meditation after speaking with a friend of the Dalai Lama's. It worked. And because he is a bit like me -- a little cynical, rational, science-minded -- I was very receptive to his point of view and ideas for making meditation work. He was adament that fancy techniques, teachers and elaborate mental games were all unnecessary. Just "watch your breath and notice how it feels" was pretty much the extent of his method. Oh, and do it every day at the same time, do it for at least 20 minutes and make sure you are not distracted by noise.
Well, all this I do, religiosly, and yet... I experience far more nada than nirvana. I even add my Brainport to the equation, using its electical pulses on my tongue to stay "inside myself". But I am committed and will keep at it. I truly think meditation -- even my not-so-meditative-meditation -- helps me be more relaxed and happier. And in time, I will get the hang of it. I'm positive.