I find it difficult to sit and meditate and cannot empty my mind. what can I try instead?
If you find sitting in meditation to be hard, unfulfilling or unhelpful then I suggest any kind of movement meditation can be more useful. Dance, yoga, walking, Tai Chi, etc all involve us moving awareness away from thinking into the body. This allow us to develop sensitivity in the body so that we learn to feel the effects that our thoughts have on our body
Meditation is ultimately not about emptying the mind (which is not possible for long periods of time) but rather about learning to love your thoughts and explore them. To find which thoughts are true and healthy and which are not true and cause pain. All forms of meditation are only temporary and without the use of self-enquiry we can often find ourselves back dealing with the same thoughts time and time again.
The process of self-enquiry occupies the mind in a very enjoyable and ultimately liberating way. There is always something to enquire about (even if the thought is 'I should be better at this meditation stuff!')...
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Mark Dunn lives in Bristol where he teaches Positive Meditation and Mindfulness skills to the wonderful people that live in that great city.