I can’t stabilize my breathing or mind during meditation
It is unsettling. You seem to have learnt that during meditation you should sit still and breathe easily. In practice it does not always work that way. Sometimes your breathing is easy, sometimes labored, sometimes deep and sometimes shallow, sometimes quiet and sometimes anxious. That is natural.
Before worrying unduly about it, it is worth remembering that, ultimately, you live in your body. For example, have you checked that you are not suffering from a breathing issue such as asthma or bronchitis. We often forget these things, although they affect us.
There are many common misunderstandings about meditation. You may believe that correct meditation involves a certain state of mind or of breathing. But meditation is actually no more than your natural awareness of what is happening. Your breathing changes constantly. Your mental state also varies. Clearly it is not you that controls these, otherwise your mental and physical state would always match what you want. So all this, as everything, changes. Meditation is not beyond your natural presence, your awareness that all this happens from moment to moment.
One of the subtlest characteristics of meditation is that there is absolutely nothing special for you to do or not to do.
- Sit in a quiet comfortable place, at a time when you have no pressing demands on you.
- Notice what happens.
- That is all.