Meditation Frustration? Change Your Expectations

I remember a friend of mine getting upset when I was describing a vision I had during one of my meditations. “ARGH! I meditate all the time and I can’t make a vision happen.” I looked at her in surprise and asked “The purpose of meditation is to induce visions?” She looked at me like I had two heads and replied “Of course!”

Well, no wonder she was upset. She was going into meditation with an expectation that would rarely be met.

Daily meditation is extremely beneficial, not just mentally but physically as well. I find, however, many women find it a frustrating process. If you are one of these people, it could be that like my friend your expectations are not being met.

We have a lot of noise in our lives. Not just externally, but internally as well. Our ego is constantly nattering at us. “You are going to be late.” “The laundry is piling up.” “Really, you are going to wear that?” “Why did you say that? What on earth were you thinking?” “Geez, you said yes to her again. You know that is going come back to bite your butt.” You get the idea. Natter, natter, natter.

STRESSFUL! Wouldn’t it be nice to have an off switch on all that noise?

You do! That is exactly what meditation is for. It is the off switch.

By sitting quietly and focusing on a single thing — your breath, an image, a mantra — you block out the ego. Oh, sure, the ego will try to keep talking, but by immediately returning to your single focus you provide the ego a very clear Talk To The Hand message. Eventually, it gives up and shuts up.

It is amazing how much calmer you feel after even just ten minutes of blissful silence. In fact, with that wonderful respite, you have the energy to start saying Talk To The Hand to your ego outside of your meditations.

What about those really cool visions my friend was after? Once you become proficient at turning off all the noise and chatter, techniques can be employed to induce intuitive visions. However, this is an added bonus of meditation. It is not the purpose.

If you find meditation frustrating, have a look at what you are expecting from it. Then let those expectations go and simply enjoy the silence.


  1. I definitely agree that more women need to do this–especially women who are caregivers and part of the sandwich generation. Meditation has helped me a lot with stress issues related to my parents. A complementary suggestion I can offer to those who are dealing with the frustration of stubborn parents who shouldn’t be living alone is getting a medical alert device, Since setting it up, I have an easier time dealing with the worry about my parents living far from me and their medical issues. Yes, I still worry about them and wondering when I will get a call or if I’ll be away from my cellphone when it happens, but thats a part of the stress I need to deal with. I’m just glad there are ways to help me cope, espeically with resources like the one you’ve provided here. Thanks for posting and reminding us all why this practice is important.

    • Kara – stubborn parents … this made me smile. My dad launched himself off a ladder 15 years ago and lay on the ground with a broken hip for over 3 hours before my mother realized he had not come in for lunch. We then convinced the two of them to carry walkie-talkies to communicate with each other. My mother was good about carry hers, but my dad would set his down on the tractor and then walk 20 feet away to use the chain saw. Sigh. Great advice on the medical alert device. Thanks!


  1. [...] Daily meditation can be extremely beneficial, not just mentally but physically as well. However, many women find it a frustrating process. If you are one of these people, it could be that your expectations are not being met.   Eliza over at Silver and Grace has a solution:  Meditation Frustration? Change Your Expectations. [...]

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