Common Myths About Meditation

November 11, 2014
meditation, mindfulness, myths about meditation, how to do meditation,

We all know that meditation can help us relax, slow down and find an island of peace in our frantic days, yet, how many of us actually do it? We make up with all kind of excuses: that we don’t have time, we can’t sit still, it’s boring and it’s not for us. Most of these excuses come from misunderstanding what meditation is and what isn’t. Here are some of the most common myths we tell ourselves.

RELATED: “Meditation” Is Not A Dirty Word

Meditation requires time and a quiet space

Meditation is a technique for slowing down the mind through focusing on a single thing and letting go of everything else. While it can be easier to escape distractions if you have a dedicated time and place for meditation, the single thing you’re focusing on can be anything – your breath, the movements you make, a scene in nature, a sound, the present moment. For your meditation practice, you can easily use your daily commute, housework or anything else that’s already there in your day.

You need to sit still with your eyes closed when you meditate

That’s the first image that comes to mind when you hear the word “meditation”, isn’t it? Someone sitting still in lotus pose with their eyes closed. I can understand why it wouldn’t work for everyone and it’s not for me either. I can’t do a lotus pose and, more often than not, the moment I close my eyes in a mildly comfortable pose I drift off to sleep. Yet, as I already mentioned, there are many alternative ways to meditate, from jogging to knitting to watching the sunset (and you’ll have a hard time doing either of these activities with your eyes closed).

It takes a long time to see any benefits

You’ll start experiencing the benefits as soon as you start practicing meditation. They may not be mind-blowing at first. You’ll probably not experience a huge shift of consciousness, but your body and your mind will get a change to rest, let go of stress and heal.

Meditation is just relaxation

While meditation is relaxing, meditation and relaxation are not the same thing. Meditation is about becoming more aware of the present moment and relaxation can sometimes be about escaping it – imagine watching TV or reading a good book, where you enter an alternative reality. In comparison to relaxation, meditation offers additional benefits: self-knowledge, clarity of thought, focus and resilience in stressful situations.

When it comes to meditation what you do is far less important than how you do it. As you can see, with intention you can easily incorporate meditation into your day and reap the rewards.

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