Question: when I try to do single pointed meditation, my mind guides me away. It feels like it is not skillful for me. Yet I remain interested, as so many people report that it is very healing. What do you suggest?
A to the Q:
I really encourage you to work within what feels skillful for your mind. Trust your practice! Some minds benefit more from single-pointed concentration on a fixed object than others.
That said, if you’re still curious, one option is to experiment with other objects that can be more hospitable. For some people, Mettā is the way in to a more spacious form of unification. For others, whole body breathing works well in this way.
It is also helpful to understand that some people’s minds are more naturally inclined to samadhi in general, and unification in particular, than others. One of my teachers talks about these differences of mind as like being left-handed or right-handed — Some minds are concentration oriented, unification oriented, and others naturally incline towards more open awareness, or other directions.
While unification around a single object can be very healing, so can the more flexible, fluid samadhi cultivated through open awareness. So, another completely valid option is to respect your intuition that single pointed concentration might not be for you, at least not right now. Different practices work for different people in different phases of their life. So, you may want to try other forms of practice for a while, and experiment with single-pointed concentration practice again after your meditation has matured in other areas.