When one is not able to chant the names of the Lord or not able to meditate; If one’s mind remains disturbed as one tries to meditate, it is a matter to be investigated upon. There could be several reasons for such lack of calm. One of the major reasons is to be exposed too much to negative environments or influences. More than 80% of the meditators remain disturbed as they go about their meditation or spiritual practices; as a routine, that lacks life.
Meditation or allied spiritual practices can be successfully carried out only if one adheres to pre-practice restrictions. It is to be understood that more than for the body, meditation is for the conscience which is the rudiment of consciousness. The way meditation works, is that before the body; it first attempts to clear the mental mess, it works on the conscience, purifies it and with the purified faculty, finally, it works on the body. Some people use meditation in the exercise regime, for their body. This approach shall not yield results in the longer run. It becomes essential for the practitioner to first purify one’s senses, one’s intentions and re-align life goals, if at all meditation is to be rendered useful to them as a life changing mechanism.
For all other hideous and shallow purposes, meditation cannot qualify as the right tool. If one is continuously exposed to material that promotes violence or indulgence in sensual pleasure, the mind becomes attached to these passionate mental experiences and shall throw up obnoxious thoughts everytime one sits down to chant or meditate. Other reasons for meditation, not to yield results, could be disturbed relationships or fights and also attachment to compulsive argumentation with hateful people. Another reason could be that of exerting the body with unnecessary exercise and tiring oneself unconsciously through body or mind. In all such cases one may become disinterested in chanting and meditation or become distracted easily. To tackle such instabilities of the mind one should make meditation and spiritual practice as one’s highest priorities. Meditation, it is to be understood, is for freeing oneself and not for “achieving” something of this world. This is the point. One should avoid anything that will agitate the mind, as one takes up meditation.
For the sake of entertaining the mind it will be foolish to expose it to unpleasant or passionate feelings, as also it is necessary to avoid any actions of unpleasantness or unnecessary turbulence or agitation; both via body as well as the mind. Over-exposing the mind to pleasurable feelings is also a great deterrant in its readiness to take up meditation or spiritual practices. One has to be resolute in training the mind to taking up sadhana (spiritual practice) and temper the mind through discipline. Meditation and Chanting should be considered as the single-most important practice of one’s life if at all one is interested towards leading a calm and peaceful life. These restrictions, if adhered to, as one meditates and chants can catapult one to heightened states of consciousness, as one builds the practice over a a protracted stretch of time. Meditation, it should be realized, can only blossom as a long-term practice. It is quite useless, if it is practiced with short term goals of attainment, in mind.
Sensual agitation will lead to failure in concentration. This is obviously detrimental to your ultimate goal. If one is serious with one’s meditational practices, then following the preliminary practices are a must. Avoidance of too much company with society people is mandatory, if meditation is to work for you. Only meet people if it is absolutely necessary. Keeping relationships transactional without attaching too many emotions to people is vital. Avoid watching too many movies or films. Listen to talks by elevated sages who base their talk on Vedic Scriptures. Avoid personal development lectures that promote achievement of worldly success, wealth, prosperity, fame and worldly gain. All these talks can cause high level of agitation and also pump undesirable hormones such as dopamine into your blood-stream, that cause anxiety. With these unnecessary habits, it is to be understood that one is pushed into the mode of passion, which does not support meditation. One shall ultimately lose one’s peace, influenced by such useless talks, rendered by unworthy management and motivational gurus who only end up stoking greed and desire in the hearts of innocent men.
By all means, one should refrain oneself from the rat race of competition and hiked up self-worth. Meditate quite often. Avoid too much association with the opposite sex. One should not get involved in gossip or back-biting. Even when one is involved with something specific, taking one’s attention consciously to one’s breathing and entering into the present moment, is a powerful practice. The most important of all suggestions is with regards to work. One should never focus attention on the result of work or actions. Work is to be performed in the light of the Vedic Scriptures, which encourage you to perform work as worship and inspires people to free themselves from getting attached to the results of work. One should be naturally inspired to work and enjoy the journey, that’s it. With these areas being taken care of, one shall automatically get inspired to chant and meditate without any concentration lapse.