Why Do We Sometimes Have Bad Meditation Sessions?


For most of you that have been reading here for a while, you know that I love Qi Gong and am constantly looking for ways to explains its benefits in western terms.  But doing Qi Gong doesn’t always result in the calm bliss we are looking for.  Sometimes it’s hard, frustrating, and feels like a waste of time.  Rather than get mad about it, I wondered if it was a needed part of the process and began to ask:

Why Do We Sometimes Have Bad Meditation Sessions?

This is an important question because I think a lot of people abandon practicing Qi Gong right before it starts paying out its blissful dividends.   When I began truly thinking about my “bad sessions” and accepting them as part of the process rather than a roadblock to progress, I started making deeper progress again.

What am I experiencing?

Sometimes during my practice, the opposite of what I am hoping for happens.  When I try to ramp my energy down, I get ramped up.  As I slow my breathing and soften my movements, my pulse, tension, and anxiety increase.   I blew this off at the beginning but then there it was again the next day, and the next…

It just wouldn’t go away.  No health concerns and I felt great.  I just wanted to be calm and energized but I was basically told that I couldn’t.

“Nice try buddy!  Thank you for your time today, try back tomorrow.”

What was up!!!

During this time, things were really stressful in my life in a good way.  Busy house and busy life, but really good.  However, it was taking a lot of energy to accomplish what I needed to at work.  These “amazing opportunities” shouldn’t have needed so much discipline, time, and caffeine to get completed.

Have you ever been really frustrated by your lack of progress on something or lack of change? 

I mean really frustrated because despite a MOUNTAIN of effort, things just seem to stay the same?   You are a smart adult, right?  You probably know what you need to do to lose that weight or get that promotion.  Why is it so perpetual and so, so difficult?

Well, when I truly sat with my thoughts to try to figure out what was holding me back, do you know what was there?  The same sensations and feelings that show up during my unproductive Qi Gong sessions.

When I did some more digging to figure out what the issue was, I unearthed a limiting belief about myself that was not allowing me to accomplish my work tasks.  Something silly that I had been holding on to for a really long time.   Mine had to do with my limiting thoughts about myself but EVERYONE has them.

What is a Limiting Belief?

Basically, a limiting belief is a belief that served us at one point in time.  Maybe to protect us or help us get through a tough period.  A belief becomes LIMITING when it hangs around longer than it should.

Some of the most common limiting beliefs include:

  • I am not successful because of… (fill in the blank with any external situation that is outside of your control)
  • I’m stuck – I don’t know what I want (to do in MY LIFE)
  • I am not smart enough
  • My genes or family history have made me this way
  • I don’t have time to (fill in the blank)
  • I will be rejected
  • I need to be in control

Here’s the thing about limiting beliefs.

They are incredibly hard to identify, but once you do, you can work to get past them.   Some are related to past trauma and may take a lot of work. Most are just not true anymore and we only believe them because we always have.  This is where Qi Gong and meditation come in.

Qi Gong and meditation have the power to put us in a powerfully calm and strong place.  When we think about what is limiting us, our fears, or our frustrations, they stand out like a lightbulb against a dark backdrop.

Our job is to wake up to that what is scaring or limiting us so that we can replace it with a new, positive connection.   Can Qi Gong help us do this?

I think it can.

Too much to write in one essay so I am going to dedicate the next several posts to it.  Stay tuned!

Qi Gong and Limiting Beliefs

Qi Gong and Limiting Beliefs Part 1:  Using Qi Gong to Unearth Your Limiting Beliefs

Qi Gong and Limiting Beliefs Part 2:  What are limiting beliefs?

Qi Gong and Limiting Beliefs Part 3:  Where do limiting beliefs come from?

Qi Gong and Limiting Beliefs Part 4:  Why do we have limiting beliefs?

Qi Gong and Limiting Beliefs Part 5:  Why is it so hard to figure out if a limiting belief is affecting us?

Qi Gong and Limiting Beliefs Part 6:  Strategies to replace your limiting beliefs

Easily Learn Qi Gong

If you are interested in learning Qi Gong but don’t know where to begin or don’t have high level instruction in your area, we have great news for you:  The Good Morning – Good Evening Qi Gong Set is high-level training that is accessible to anyone-anywhere.  Click on the link to check out the course and, read more about why we think this is some of the best Qi Gong Training available in the West.

Scott Prath

Scott has been practicing and teaching tai chi and qigong since 2000. He is a lead instructor for the Austin Chen Tai Chi Association. His interest in the internal martial arts began after traveling in India and Nepal, and he has since traveled to China to train. Scott has published over 100 articles on tai chi with a focus on research showing the benefits of practicing.

3 thoughts on “Why Do We Sometimes Have Bad Meditation Sessions?

  1. Thank You, I too am guilty of limiting beliefs. I look forward to more on this in your future posts

  2. Thanks. For a long time now have been trying to meditate but stucked, but with your blog am looking forward to understand what is really keeping me that way.

    1. Hi Gasper,
      There really needs to be more written about how “sucking” at meditation does not mean we are idiots or not capable of it. I think what is advertised as meditation and what really happens when you try are two different things. Limiting Beliefs is one aspect and I hope you find value in the next several essays. It is really hard to wrap your mind around the idea that “sucking” might be your consciousness/mind/self telling you what your biggest thing to work on is. Learning how to quiet the mind is another huge topic too.

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