Wednesday, May 24, 2017

5 Common Myths About Meditation That Are Totally Untrue

By Sharee James

The simple practice of meditation can improve your relationships; reduce stress, worry and anxiety and even improve your productivity, performance and focus at work. Unfortunately, however, many potential students are often deterred from starting their own meditation practice by a few widely-held misconceptions about meditation that are simply not true! In this post I'm going to set the record straight about just how simple meditation really is, once and for all

Misconception 1: "I Tried It Once And It Didn't Work"

Perhaps you have tried meditation once in a yoga class, meditation workshop or even at home with a guided audio and were disappointed with the results. You were most likely expecting peace and bliss but instead felt like your mind was crazier than a bunch of monkeyson speed. This is a totally normal experience - the problem lies in making the assumption based on this one experience that meditation simply doesn't work for you. Meditation is a practiceit's something that needs to be done regularly and it can take time before you get more accomplished at quieting the mind.

Misconception 2: "I Just Can't Stop My Thoughts"

One of the biggest meditation misconceptions out there is the erroneous belief that meditation should involve a perfectly blank mind with no thoughts at all. This belief causes many new meditators to start struggling against their thoughts or give up in resignation. Meditation does not require a state of no thinking, but simply to become aware of when the mind is distracted by thoughts and to refocus the awareness on the meditation object once moreagain and again.

Misconception 3: "I Don't Have Time to Meditate"

You don't have to sit on your meditation cushion for hours each day in order to experience its beneficial effects. Even just 5 to 20 minutes of meditation per day can be enough. The important thing is to practice often and to schedule time to meditate - we are all busy and we must selectively schedule in time for what is important, so it's simply a matter of making our own mental wellbeing a priority.

Misconception 4: "I Don't Have The Space To Meditate"

Sure, it would be lovely to be able to meditate in a Zen garden, on a mountain-top or on a tropical beach. But it's really not necessary - all you need is somewhere reasonably quiet where you can sit upright comfortably for a few minutes without being disturbed. You can meditate sitting up in bed, on a chair or a couch or even on a bus or a train - don't let wanting a perfectly tranquil venue stop you from just doing it.

Misconception 5: "But I'm Not A Buddhist"

While a lot of meditation practices originated from Buddhism, meditation is not inherently religious, and you don't have to subscribe to any particular set of beliefs to meditate. Everyone experiences mental stress, agitation or anxiety from time to time and meditation can be beneficial to everyone - regardless what religion they belong to or even if they are not religious at all. There are, however, many practical and informative meditation classes and retreats held at Buddhist centres in many countries, and they are available to the general public no matter whether one is Buddhist or not.

Hopefully this article has busted some myths that may have been preventing you from starting your own meditation practice. Meditation is truly for everyone and with practice and consistency can change your life in many profound and unexpected ways.

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