Sadly, a few meditation myths have sneaked into our modern mindset. I don’t want you avoiding this 10,000-year-old art because you’ve fallen victim to one. Therefore, I’ll bust the main meditation myths you need to stop believing right away.
Researchers worldwide have scientifically validated the numerous benefits of meditation. Hence, the masses received the convincing they needed to at least try meditation, and appreciate how remarkable it is for their health and well-being.
Millions of skeptics, doubters, and disbelievers recognized the fact that meditation is, and always has been, an essential factor for regaining and maintaining control of the mind, body, and spirit.
Over the last few decades, countless folks grasped the concept, and they took meditation and plugged it into their daily routine; from business executives, scientists, military personnel, to students, schoolteachers, and even ‘iron-head’ politicians.
However, despite meditation’s growing popularity, many meditation myths still stop people from starting. I hope you’re not one of them, but if you are, I plan to help change that through this blog post.
Keep reading because I’ll expose the meditation myths that you, and even your friends and family, may have fallen victim to. I’ll open your eyes to the delightful world of meditation, so you can reap the countless benefits that millions of people already do.
Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what hold you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.
Read The 15 Meditation Myths You Should Stop Believing
Here’s the thing, I took special care to uncover as many meditation myths as possible. However, I undoubtedly missed a few. And so, after reading this post, if you have any more to add, then let me know in the comments section below.
Everyone should be meditating. Together we can make sure of it.
Meditation Myth 1: It’s Complicated, And Difficult To Learn
As you might guess, many people see meditation as a mysterious practice that’s only reserved for saints, holy men, and spiritual folks. If you believe you must be born into it and practice it for decades, you are greatly mistaken.
In reality, meditation techniques vary broadly. In fact, some are so easy that you can get started today, right now.
For example, let’s look at Zen meditation:
You can start by simply sitting in a noiseless and comfortable space. Your eyes should close lightly as you slowly count your deep diaphragmatic breaths… one… two… three…, and so on.
The key is to hold your attention on your breath. If you lose focus, just bring your attention back to your breathing. It’s that easy.
Naturally, you may find meditation difficult at the beginning. However, if you don’t expect miraculous results overnight or stress about getting it right the first time, then you’ll be fine.
Meditation Myth 2: Your Mind Must Be Quite To Meditate Effectively
This isn’t true. Meditation isn’t about stopping your thoughts or trying to empty your mind. In fact, both of these approaches only serve to create more stress, pressure, and worry.
I realize that sometimes it’s hard to gain control of your thoughts and mental chatter. Nevertheless, you have the option of limiting the attention you give them. Quietness already exists within your mind. It resides in the space between your thoughts, like the emptiness of space between the earth and the moon.
This “gap” of space is your consciousness, mindfulness, and peace in its purest form. When meditating, you can use an object to direct your attention towards, such as your breath, an image, a candle, or a mantra. These objects free your mind to relax into a stream of silent awareness.
When a thought creeps into your mind, simply observe it and let it be, like a sailor observing an unknown island from a distance. If you judge your thoughts or attempt to drive them away, you give them more energy, and the more energy they receive the stronger they become. Instead, your attention should return to the initial object of your attention.
Here’s the best part: Even if you’re a newbie, you will, if only microseconds, dip into the “gap” I mentioned above, where you experiences the nourishment, spiritual stimulation, inspiration of pure awareness. As you meditate on a regular basis, you spend more and more time in this state.
Know this; even if you feel as though your mind raced the entire time, you are still receiving some real benefits. You haven’t failed or wasted your time.
David Simon, a meditation master and colleague of Deepak Chopra, once told his students:
The thought I’m having thoughts may be the most important thought you have ever thought, because before you had that thought, you may not have even known you were having thoughts. You probably thought you were your thoughts.
Just by noticing your thoughts, you have made a breakthrough. Your internal reference points start to shift from the ego mind and its self-centered nature to experiencing awareness, inner peace, and greater possibilities.
Meditation Myth 3: It Takes Years To Receive Any Benefits
The benefits of meditation are both immediate and long-term. You can experience benefits from the first time you meditate. Many scientific studies provide evidence that meditation has profound effects on your mind-body physiology within just weeks of practice.
For example, a landmark study led by Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital found that as little as eight weeks of meditation not only helped people experience decreased anxiety and greater feelings of calm, but it also produced growth in the areas of the brain associated with memory, empathy, sense of self, and stress regulation.
People new to meditation frequently feel that they sleep better after just a few days of daily meditation. Other common benefits of meditation include improved concentration, decreased blood pressure, reduced stress and an enhanced immune system.
Meditation Myth 4: Meditation Is A Way Of Running Away From Your Problems
Uh, no. It’s quite the opposite actually. Meditation empowers you to face the problems that burden you and to do it with a smile. Meditation enables you to develop the skills you need to handle any situation in a pleasant and constructive manner.
You evolve the ability to accept situations as they are and to take conscious action, instead of worrying about the future or dwelling in the past. Meditation nurtures your inner strength, self-confidence, self-worth, and self-esteem.
The purpose of meditation isn’t to tune out and get away from it all, but to tune in and get in touch with your true self. You uncover the eternal aspect within you, which goes far beyond the external circumstances in your life and delves into the vast depths within your soul.
With meditation, you dive below your mind’s tumultuous surface, with its repetitive reflections about your past and future, and arrive in the stillness of the present moment where pure consciousness resides. In this state of transcendent awareness, you let go of the ideas you have of yourself, who you are, what your limitations are, and where you fall short. Instead, you experience the truth—you are infinite, limitless, and unbounded.
Meditation Myth 5: I’m Too Busy To Meditate, I Don’t Have Enough Time
There are busy and highly productive business executives who have not missed a session of meditation in over twenty-five years. If they can find the time to do it, so can you.
If you make meditation a priority—a non-negotiable bracket of time within your day— then will commit to it. If you feel like your schedule is too full, remember that even just a few minutes of meditation is better than not doing it at all.
The thing is, when you spend time meditating regularly, you seem to find even more time in your day because it feels like time slows down. When you meditate, you dip in and out of the timeless, space-less realm of consciousness—the state of pure awareness and the source of all things that manifests within the universe.
With meditation, your breathing and heart rate slow down. Your blood pressure lowers and you lessen the production of stress hormones and other chemicals, which speed up the aging process and give you the subjective feeling that you are “running out of time.”
Meditation Myth 6: Meditation Means Embracing Spiritual Or Religious Beliefs
Meditation is a practice that takes you beyond the noisy chatter within your mind and into a place of stillness and silence. You don’t need to adopt any specific spiritual or religious beliefs.
In reality, people with different religions and beliefs take part in meditation all around the world, and it doesn’t cause conflict with their current views and beliefs. In fact, some meditators are atheist or agnostic and have no particular religious beliefs at all.
Meditation Myth 7: I’m Supposed to Have Transcendent Experiences During Meditation
Some people get disappointed when they don’t experience visions, see colors, levitate, hear a choir of angels, or glimpse enlightenment when they meditate. Even though you can expect a range of delightful experiences through meditation, you shouldn’t anticipate anything too far fetched at the beginning.
The real benefits of meditation occur after meditation, when you go about your day-to-day life. When you emerge from your meditation session, you carry a piece the stillness and silence with you for hours to come. It allows you to remain creative, compassionate, focused, and loving to yourself and those around you.
Meditation Myth 8: Meditation Is All About Concentration
As it turns out, meditation is essentially de-concentration. Concentration and focus arrive through meditation, through the process of quieting your mind. Concentration requires effort, while meditation is absolute relaxation of the mind.
In other words, meditation is about letting go. When you accomplish that, you discover state of deep and fulfilling rest, peace, and harmony. Therefore, concentration is by product of meditation, not the other way round.
Meditation Myth 9: Meditation Is A Religious Practice
Yoga and meditation are ancient practices that transcend all religions. In fact, meditation has the ability to bring people of different religions and nations together. Just like the sun shines for everyone, and the wind blows for everyone, meditation benefits everyone just the same.
Global humanitarian and peace ambassador Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says,
We encourage people from all backgrounds, religions, and cultural traditions to come together and meditate in a spirit of celebration.
Meditation Myth 10: You Have To Sit In The Lotus Posture To Meditate
The admired sage Patanjali, explains that during meditation it’s essential that you remain comfortable and steady. This helps you fall into a deeper meditative experience.
You can sit cross-legged, on a chair, or on a couch. It doesn’t really matter where. What’s important is that when you start your meditation, you maintain a posture where your spine is erect and your head, neck, and shoulders are comfortable and relaxed.
Meditation Myth 11: Meditation Is For Old People And Buddhist Monks
This cannot be further than the truth, even though millions of people still think this way. Meditation is for everyone, as we’ve discussed already. It doesn’t matter what occupation you’re in, how old you are, what religion you believe in, or what identity you feel you fit.
With regular practice, meditation introduces the vital life skills in young and old minds alike. For instance, one essential skill is learning to be emotionally stable and strong, which meditation can do for you.
Meditation keeps your mind clean in the same way as the shower keeps your body clean.
Meditation Myth 12: Meditation Is Like Hypnotizing Yourself
Meditation is in fact an antidote for hypnosis. Hypnotism takes you through the same impressions that are in the hypnotist’s mind. In a state of hypnosis, you are not aware of what you’re going through. On the other hand, meditation is complete awareness of every moment.
Meditation frees you from these impressions so that your consciousness is clear and fresh. Hypnosis is likely to increase your metabolic activity, while meditation reduces it and provides deep rest of your mind.
Meditation Myth 13: Meditation Is Controlling Your Thoughts
Thoughts do not come to us by invitation. We become aware of them only after they have already arrived. Thoughts are like clouds in the sky. They come and go on their own. Trying to control thoughts is like trying to control the weather.
In meditation, you should neither look for good thoughts, nor seek to remove bad ones. Instead, you merely witness and eventually transcend thoughts and move into that deep inner silent space that we talked about.
Meditation Myth 14: To Meditate Deeply You Have To Do It For Hours
You do not have to sit for hours to have a profound experience with meditation. The connection with the fundamental core of your being can happen in a fraction of a second.
A 10-20 minute meditation session every morning and evening is sufficient to take you on a stunning inward journey towards your spiritual center. As you practice meditation daily, the quality of your meditation will improve, and you’ll notice yourself falling deeper and deeper into pure and blissful state.
Meditation Myth 15: If You Meditate, You Become A Monk Or Recluse
You do not have to give up any aspect of your current life in order to meditate, or even to progress on a spiritual path. With a relaxed and peaceful mind, you can live a happier, content, and gratified life, while making those around you feel happy and loved at the same time.
These are the most common meditation myths. If you were stuck on one of them in the past, then you should have some real clarity now. If you already meditate, then that’s great, keep it up.
And remember, sometimes your mind is too active to settle down. Sometimes it settles down immediately. Sometimes it goes quiet, and you don’t even notice. Anything can happen, relax and let it flow. When a thought makes its way into your mind, gradually acknowledge it and let it float past.
Now, you just need to identify which one of your friends believes these myths, and lead them to this blog post to straighten them out.
As always, thank you for reading. If you feel this post would be helpful and useful to your friends and family, then remember to share it with them too.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Have you encountered a meditation myth yourself? If so, let me know your thoughts, views, and opinions below because I’m always happy to hear from you.