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What if nothing’s happening when I meditate?

Image of zen enso“Oh, yeah, wow, now I get it, that was amazing!” After meditating a few times, you might have a session where you feel something special, or where you feel particularly good afterwards. Great!

And then… there are those inevitable “other” meditation sessions when it seems especially tedious, or boring, or like you can’t “get into it.” The good news is that important changes are happening then, too.

A helpful way to think about meditation is that even when it seems like nothing is happening, something is happening. Good stuff happens every time you take the time to meditate.

Each time you sit to meditate, your brain develops new connections in response to that experience. It’s what our brains are built to do: learn and develop in accordance with what we’re doing the most.

Practice mindfulness by meditating, and it is as if a long-neglected “road” (neural pathway) in your brain is now being traveled on a daily basis — it gets the funding for a new superhighway.

It doesn’t matter if you start traveling more on that road at top speed in a well-tuned Maserati, or bumble down it in a beat-up old pick-up truck that stalls and hesitates and never goes over 25 mph. Just hop in and drive on a regular basis.

Meditate regularly, even when it seems like “nothing” is happening, and over time, you’ll find your brain is traveling on that new, healthier superhighway with less and less conscious effort.

It really is the thought (or at least, the awareness of your thought) that counts.


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  2. I have been meditating daily for 2 and a half years. I practiced for about 6 months I would say before I actually had the experience of meditation. Now it happens more often, but not every time certainly. I see that as the point. Meditation is a practice…a process.

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