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"

Raise your hand if you thought that meditation meant achieving a totally blank state of mind with no thoughtsit's very common misconception that causes a lot of angst for new meditators! Getting into an internal battle with your ubiquitous thoughts is futile and often creates more stress. The nature of the mind is to think, and meditation does not require you to try and stop this natural process. All you need to do is notice when you have become distracted by thought and lost your focus - then you simply return your awareness back to your meditation objectover and over 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"

It would certainly be nice to be able to meditate in some extraordinary natural location or in a peaceful monastery - but that's hardly practical for most. It really doesn't matter where you do your meditation, as long as you just do it! Find somewhere reasonable quiet where you won't be disturbed for a few minutes, and where you can sit up straight comfortably - it could be sitting up in bed, on the floor, a cushion, a chair or even on a bus!

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 cleared up some misconceptions that may have been stopping you from starting your own meditation practice. Meditation is truly for everyone and with patience and consistency, it can change your life in many profound and unexpected ways.

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