Today we’ll talk about ways to move your meditation practice to the next level — whether you’re just starting out, or you’ve been doing it for years.

There are two methods that I’ve found useful that I’d like to discuss with you:

  1. Using the obstacle as your path.
  2. Expanding your idea of what meditation is.

Those both sound cryptic, but I promise, they’re worth your time.

Let’s take a look.

The Obstacle as the Path

If you’ve been struggling with anything as you’ve been meditating, this is the area to work with.

For example, you might be struggling with: thinking you’re doing it wrong, being confused, being frustrated at your mind wandering, distractions, frustrations with other people interrupting your meditation practice, boredom, thinking there should be more to this.

Each of those areas is an obstacle, and in each of those cases, you have an area to work with.

How do you work with one of those obstacles? See them as resistance. Use that feeling of resistance as the object of your meditation. Instead of focusing on the breath, focus on the feeling of resistance. See where it is in your body. What does the sensation feel like? What is its source? What is the quality of this feeling?

Once you’ve really explored this feeling, see if you can turn from it to your breath, other parts of your body, and other things that are surrounding you. Notice that despite this resistance, you are OK. Things are not as bad as all that.

Try moving back and forth slowly between the resistance and other things you can notice in the present moment. In this way, you are developing a choice, between focusing on this feeling of resistance, and being in other parts of the moment. Neither is better than the other, but you can choose what your reality is.

No matter what your resistance, you can work with it. And then another form of resistance will come up, and you can work with that.

Expand What Meditation Is

Most of us think of meditation as sitting and concentrating on something, and in some ways, that’s true.

But it can also be more than that: your entire life can be meditation practice.

For example, sitting and concentrating on the breath is one way to meditate, but what about walking and feeling your feet on the ground? What about talking with someone and trying to really concentrate on what they’re saying (instead of thinking of what you’re going to say)? What about washing dishes and really feeling the suds and warm water? What about writing and feeling the keyboard and seeing the words appear on the screen?

Every single moment of your life can be meditation. Sitting meditation is just practice for the rest of life, but what you do when you sit can be applied everywhere, all the time.

There doesn’t have to be a time when you’re not meditating.

If you’ve been meditating for years, I suggest you see if you can expand your practice to all of your life. This is challenging at first, because you forget. A lot. But keep remembering, keep trying, and soon you’ll find that you remember 20 percent of the time, then maybe 30, and then if you get good, maybe you’ll get to 50 percent. You don’t need to get to 100, but if you do, let me know. I’d like to know your secret!