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Since I personally experienced the power and beauty of meditation, I fell totally in love with this ancient practice. No wonder, it had people hooked for thousands of years. Seriously I would never have imagined that it could be life changing. I came across it before, but I always had those common misconceptions about meditation in my mind and that didn’t sound too appealing for me back then. So it is very important to understand what meditation is and what not!
Here are some of the most common misunderstanding about meditation, don’t let them keep you away from something so important like meditation. I actually believe now that meditation needs to become a normal practice as brushing your teeth. It simply is lifechanging.
Misconception #1: You must empty your mind; that seems impossible
Contrary to what others think, meditation is not all about fully emptying your mind. If this has been stopping you from even trying, now is the best time to take a different look at it. Meditation is actually cored on focusing on one thing. When I was just starting I used some guided meditations and they turned out to be quite fun and helpful than just sitting there and watching your thoughts pass by.
Through it, I was guided to focus my attention on my breathing only. Initially, I struggled for thoughts would still swim around my mind, but I just let it all go and focused on my breathing. Psychologist Mike Brooks shared, “People think the goal of meditation is to empty the mind. It’s not about clearing the mind; it’s about focusing on one thing. When the mind wanders, the meditation isn’t a failure. Our brain is like a wayward puppy, out of control. Catching it and putting it back to the object of focus is the meditation.”
Misconception #2: You have to be religious in order to meditate
When I told some of my friends that I have been meditating, they found it a bit intimidating in a funny way. “So you’re going to be so holy now?” one of them even put it that way. They thought I am going all spiritual now and into the Buddhism world. But lets not care what anybody else thinks …
Another micsonception about meditation is that you have to be religious in order for you to be able to do it. But the Dalai Lama himself has expressed, “Though the concept originates in ancient Buddhist, Hindu and Chinese traditions, when it comes to experimental psychology, mindfulness is less about spirituality and more about concentration: the ability to quiet your mind, focus your attention on the present, and dismiss any distractions that come your way.” This only shows that meditation does not have any religious requirement. You can be anyone and enjoy the fruits of its magic.
Misconception #3: You will only reap the benefits of meditation after so many years
When we think of meditation, the common understanding is that it’s only for those monks who have spent years and years of quietness and seclusion or that it takes years to experience its benefits. That’s so not the case. According to studies, those who have practiced simple meditation consistently for 8 months have showed tremendous improvement in their brain. What I noticed is that, as the time asses by, I am able to achieve that sense of peace and calmness much easier than when I was just beginning. I can actually snap in and out of it fairly easy and get my mind into the Alpha State. I also noticed that my mind feels clear and refreshed after it, even after only 10 minutes doing it. I am also much happier and joyful when I do it regularly. The real magic showed up in my life after around 6 months of regular meditation practice, but that is probably different for everyone.
Imagine your brain being an antenna and with meditation you are polishing it, receiving and sending more information into the zero point field. You will be getting more ideas, boost your creativity, deepen your intuition, strengthen telepathic connections, calm down and have more control over your inner chatter and so much more 😉
Misconception #4: You will only feel its effect while doing it
Though you may just be practicing meditation for 15 minutes a day, this does not mean that you can only experience its wonderful effects for 15 minutes only. As you do it, you are also investing more days of mindfulness. It’s like when I meditate really well today, the next days would bring me more joy, happiness, gratitude, and a deeper connection to my surroundings and most importantly, to who I really am. You will be able to live life very much in the moment with a clearer perception of everything.
Misconception #5: You need ritualistic stuff like incense, candles, and quiet space
One of my regrets now is that I haven’t started meditation earlier in life. The reason why I did not start younger was quite ridiculous when I think about it now. I thought I needed all the ritualistic stuff like a special space, some candles, and incenses. You can actually be anywhere and just be with yourself to meditate. I have meditated while sitting at the lake or walking through the woods, breathed deeper in and out while stuck in traffic, focused on something beautiful and positive while brushing my teeth. Meditation and mindfulness exercises are a lot about being present in the moment and enjoying this very moment, being fully aware of whats going on with all your senses. So any moment of mindfulness can help you be in the moment. Whatever your means is, you can do it as long as you sincerely intend to focus and feel the stillness for a while.