As a Yoga and Meditation teacher, I hear some funny misconceptions about Meditation. I confess I believed a couple of them myself before I had any Meditation training. I suffer from busy brain syndrome (I’m sure none of you can relate).
I naively thought that I would just sit on a cushion, bring my fingers into an Ancient Mudra and presto, a deep Meditative state leading to enlightenment right?
Imagine my disappointment when I realized that it wasn’t quite that simple. Now, some years later, I wish I knew then what I know now about Meditation.
Here are some of the most common Meditation Myths:
Myth #1: I can’t Meditate! I can’t stop my mind from thinking.
The Truth: We all have a busy mind; racing thoughts, thinking, planning and mental list writing, are normal, everyone has this tendency. In Meditation, we are not trying to stop thinking. Instead, we are just focusing our thoughts on one thing.
Different styles of Meditation use different “things” to focus on but the point of all Meditation practices are the same – to concentrate our awareness on one thing for the duration of the Meditation time.
This can feel really challenging at times. This is why having a Meditation teacher is SO important so you learn the skills and get help and support along the way.
Myth #2: I Don’t have the time to Meditate. I am too busy and stressed!
The Truth: There is an old Zen saying: “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.” There are plenty of very busy and productive people that have a regular Meditation practice; I am one of them. Again a good Meditation teacher can help you carve out time in your busy schedule to sit in Meditation.
Once you experience the benefits of regular Meditation practice, you will more easily find windows of time to sit. We make time in life for what we value. When you learn to Meditate, you realize how much time you were unconsciously spending on things that you don’t value. Those little pockets of time = Meditation time.
Myth #3: Meditation isn’t for people like me. I’m not a “New Age”, Spiritual or Religious person.
The Truth: You Don’t have to be “New Age”, Spiritual or Religious person to Meditate. Although Meditation is a cornerstone of many Spiritual paths, Meditation itself is not Religious. There are so many practical, real-world benefits of Meditation that are not at all ‘woo woo’ or New Age.
Myth #4: It must take years to get good at Meditation and experience the benefits.
The Truth: Although some of the long-term benefits Meditations are cumulative, there are many benefits that you can experience right away. A couple of common ones are reduced stress, more restful sleep, a sense of calm and more patience and tolerance.
Myth #5: Meditation is for Yogi’s, Swami’s, Monks and Nuns.
The Truth: People from all walks of life Meditate including CEOs, Students, Athletes, Moms, and Dads. Pretty Much anyone who wants to improve their life can Meditate. My Meditation Practice has made me more calm, patient and tolerant of myself and others. I feel more energetic, clear and focused. I sleep better and really cherish my Meditation practice as a way to recharge and take much needed time for myself.
I only wish I knew earlier in life what a gift Meditation could be; I would have started years earlier.
If you are interested in learning how to Meditate, I encourage you to check out my Meditation page. I have taken many Meditation classes over the years, and although some were good, none of them had it all. I have made sure to include all the missing parts from other courses I took in my course and private meditation sessions.