What do you think of when you hear the word meditation? There are endless meditation misconceptions out there that get in the way of people finding peace and happiness in their lives. Maybe some of these misconceptions are holding you back from establishing a regular meditation practice. You may think that meditators are spiritual gurus who sit cross-legged like a pretzel for endless hours having mystical experiences, or that you need to change your diet, or light candles or stop thoughts from happening.
The fact of the matter is that modern day meditation practices don’t need to involve any of those things. The only thing that is required is a willingness to sit for short periods every day and just be with yourself. If you’re like most people, you may cringe at the idea of just sitting quietly and being with yourself. Why is that? I believe it’s because most people really don’t like their own company. Many people have minds that are like bad neighborhoods where you wouldn’t want to go. Before I established a meditation practice, my mind was frequently a bad neighborhood.
Many people keep themselves so busy doing “things” so that they don’t have to enter the neighborhood of their own minds. There is no opportunity to become intimate with our minds, thoughts, and feelings and this enables the bad neighborhood to remain unchanged. The misconceptions then become excuses which give us reasons why we can’t/won’t/shouldn’t meditate.
The truth is that meditation is an invaluable tool for your mind and your soul and the only way to reap the benefits is to do it. If I’m being honest, meditation can be quite boring, which makes it hard to do it at first. But once you get past that and get the hang of it, you actually start to feel like you “need” it in your day to reset, refresh, recharge and then re-engage with life. Once you get to that point, you will look forward to your meditation time.
Perhaps the biggest misconception and also excuse for not meditating, is that many people believe they have to be able to stop the thoughts during meditation and since they can’t do that, they can’t meditate. Thoughts will always be part of meditation and when taught correctly you will learn how to deal with the thoughts that will happen during your practice.
Excuses and hanging on to misconceptions are red flags that something “deeper” is creating the barrier to establishing a practice that will improve your life in so many ways. Be honest with yourself and ask “what is getting in the way of learning to manage my mind?” Write down the barriers and then commit to taking a small step towards more peace and happiness in your life. Check out my Mind Candy page to explore different resources to get you started.