Can you meditate?

Sarah asked 12 months ago


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Meditation has been recommended to me by a variety of health professionals. I’ve read about it and honestly given it my best effort, but I don’t “get” it; I don’t enjoy it, it doesn’t relax me, and I don’t seem to have the benefits all the various studies say should come with regular meditation. If you have aphantasia, what is your experience with meditation? Do you have a particular source that worked for you more than others?

Rachel C September 30, 2019 11:19 pm

I’ve tried meditation on a few occassions, and I feel that too. Most sources say to just let “thoughts and images” wash over you and to view them objectively as they pass you by. However… I could never get “thoughts and images” to wash over me; when I was meditating, I was not actively thinking of anything. No visuals “washed” over me, and I would just go quiet mentally. Thing is, I also don’t have an internal voice, so it also made meditation harder for me. Or that I thought I wasn’t doing it correctly. Because of this, I just found meditation to be boring; I’d sit in complete mental silence and darkness for thirty seconds, and then give up and stop because I was bored.

However, I do have a coworker that does visualize, and constantly has music “playing in his head” tell me how much meditation helps him. How he can essentially “step out of his mind” and view his thoughts objectively. However, he told me he needed to get into a physical state to view his thoughts objectively like that, and commented I was pretty much already in that state, even while awake and not meditating. I’m always in the present, never in the past or future. So aphants… might not even really need to meditate, if they’re already in the present this much? I suppose it would vary from person to person, but I’ve seen a lot of aphants admit that meditation just doesn’t work for them.

The only type of meditation I find somewhat helpful is (silent) mental chanting before I go to bed. I usually focus on one word or phrase and repeat it to myself to keep my mind from wandering before I go to bed. Sometimes it works in making me fall asleep, sometimes it doesn’t help my racing thoughts. Maybe that isn’t the type of meditation you were thinking of, but that’s what I’ve been doing for a few years now.

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