Along with meditation’s sudden rise in the West came a lack of information, a great deal of misinformation, and even some disinformation. Here I’ll expose 5 myths about meditation that are completely false.
Meditation Myth #1. Only Hindus, Buddhists and Atheists Can Meditate
Wrong! Meditation is a completely non-religious activity that requires no belief in anything. Meditation is like dinner. Anyone can eat it and it is nourishing for all, regardless of what you think of it.
The two most common types of meditation are mantra and breath meditation. Mantra involves repeating a sound or word silently to yourself. It’s no different than silently humming. The sounds are often either meaningless or they may mean something like peace or love.
Breath meditation is focusing on your breath. No God ever said that it’s a sin to spend a few minutes a day focusing on your breath. Quite the contrary. God prefers us to be present, observe and appreciate all of God’s creation. That includes focusing on our breath and marveling at the miracle of life itself.
Meditation Myth #2. You Have to Sit on the Floor in a Specific Posture
Quite the contrary. Every activity can be a meditation if you use it as an opportunity to be present. Brushing your teeth mindfully, feeling every little subtle sensation and being fully present with each brushstroke, is a meditation.
So, Doing the dishes, having conversations, literally everything can be a meditation practice just by being fully present, fully engaged.
Also, In Buddhism and Hinduism, they have a very specific walking meditation, eating meditation, and even sleeping meditation. For them, life is a meditation. Here is a great YouTube guided walking meditation video.
Meditation Myth #3. It will Either be a Magical Experience, or it’s Difficult Which Means You’re Doing It Wrong which Means You Just Simply Can’t Meditate
Nuh-uh. Especially when just starting out meditating, a lot of disturbing, repressed thoughts and emotions may bubble up to the surface. It may be uncomfortable, but thank goodness it’s no longer bubbling beneath the surface waiting to explode in rage or manifest as disease or chronic pain.
Sometimes, meditation may be like beautiful fireworks and light shows. Other times it will be grueling. It does not matter. Meditation isn’t about the meditation itself. It’s about how improves the rest of your day and your life.
Also, For people who have spent decades not meditating, always busy for most of their waking lives, suddenly shutting out the world and turning inward in meditation can be very jarring. You’re not used to it. We’ve grown impatient and entertainment-dependent since smartphones. But that’s all ok, because it gets easier over time. The experience of meditation may not always be magical, but the results always are.
Meditation Myth #4. Meditation is Just Sitting Down with Your Eyes Closed Doing Nothing
No way! Meditation is a very active practice. It may look like nothing, but inside, deep concentration and sustained focus are taking place. Patience and discipline are being exercised. It is a state of heightened alertness yet calm peacefulness. It rewires the brain, boosts our happiness chemicals, lowers stress, and trains the mind to be more present and intentional.
Meditation Myth #5. Meditation is Just Wishful Thinking
Yeah right! Hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific journals have shown that meditation literally changes the size and shape of the brain. Parts of the brain associated with fear become smaller. The regions associated with regulating emotions and learning become larger. Even overall gray matter increases!?
Also, A little meditation has shown measurable increases in happiness, gratitude, a sense of oneness and connectedness, peace and joy. Not to mention a decrease in stress, blood pressure, chronic pain, anxiety and depression.
In Conclusion About the 5 Myths of Meditation
So, clearly from exploring the 5 myths of meditation, we now know that meditation is easy, fun, and everyone can start getting benefits from it right away. To get started, check out this Guide for Beginners for all the resources you’ll need.
And be sure to destress your inbox with our newsletter.