Why Aren’t I Getting Better at Meditating?

I’ve been meditating for over a year and I still can’t stay with my breath.  My mind calms a little, but I’m still distracted by thoughts and stuff happening around me.  Should I be doing something else?

It sounds like you have enough concentration to be mindful of what enters your awareness, like thinking or sensations.  At this point in your practice, just notice what’s going on, with acceptance and kindness toward yourself.  Investigate the way you feel as a result of whatever has taken you away from the serenity of watching your breath,  then return your attention to your breathing.

This is how we get to know our minds.  As we notice the kinds of thinking that lead to happiness or suffering, we can learn to encourage thoughts that support serene, positive states of mind, and avoid those that make us miserable.

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