There are so many misconceptions around the notion of meditation. For some reason, most people think of it as an activity for more spiritually inclined ones. The picture that comes to mind when one thinks about meditation is someone sitting up with an extremely straight back and uncomfortably crossed legs. Continue reading and see if your excuse for not meditating is mentioned below.
I don’t know how to meditate
Wikipedia defines meditation as ‘a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.’ That could be summarized as calming your body, breath and heartbeat while keeping your mind as quiet as possible. It’s that simple.
And there is no one way of meditating, but as many ways of meditating as the number of meditators. You don’t have to follow someone else’s technique, instead, create your own.
When I first started meditating, I used to prefer guided meditations. Because it was easier to keep my mind focused when a relaxing voice told me what to do, when. But as I got more experienced, I moved toward sounds of nature and soothing music. So, it’s about finding what works best for you.
I don’t have time for meditating regularly.
If you think that you need to spend twenty minutes to an hour per day meditating, then you are right. But you don’t need to invest a long time to meditate. You can start with just one minute per day. Just for one minute
- find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed,
- close your eyes,
- focusing on your heart area; take a deep breath for a count of four,
- keep it in for a count of seven,
- exhale for a count of eight, and
- repeat a few times.
If you feel that one minute is not enough for you anymore, practice longer. Five minutes, ten. Only if you want to go longer. Even if you meditate for a few minutes when you wake up in the morning, or before you go to sleep at night, you will start to see its calming effects on you soon enough.
Every time I try meditating I fall asleep.
It’s okay to fall asleep while meditating. Meditation relaxes your body, which could summon sleep if that’s what your body needs. But if you keep meditating regularly every day, you will notice soon that you are not falling asleep anymore. Hence it is a temporary reaction to the relaxation that your body has been craving for a long time. And when that need is satisfied regularly, your body will not go to sleeping mode.
I cannot stop my mind from wandering.
That’s perfectly normal too. Especially at the beginning. But even after meditating every day for a couple of years now, I still catch my mind wandering many times during meditation. The difference now is that I notice and acknowledge my thoughts, and let them go while I bring back my focus to my breathing. Counting your breaths, visualizing yourself at the beach or in a flower field that gives you good feelings could help to keep your mind quieter.
People around me think I am weird if I tell them I meditate.
Meditating is much more common these days compared to ten years ago. Many people realize the benefits of meditating in their daily life through a healthier body, better sleep, happier mood. Even if they don’t practice meditation themselves, they see these positive effects on the ones who do. You don’t need to explain yourself to anyone for something that makes you feel better. Be proud of giving the well-deserved attention to your physical and mental health.
Meditation is becoming the norm rather than the exception in larger and larger parts of the population. Thus, no need to stay in the closet.
I may feel aches and pains from an unnatural position.
No rule that says to sit uncomfortably while meditating. If you are comfortable sitting up straight with crossed legs, by all means, keep doing it. I am envious of you if you can. But, this again is a personal choice. The idea here is to be as comfortable as possible. You can sit on the floor and use a pillow as support, or sit on a chair, or a couch. You can also lie down. Of course, lying down might raise the possibility of you falling asleep while meditating. But again, being comfortable is the main thing.
I am happy to answer all your questions that I didn’t cover this time.
As you see, these are all common complaints with equally common solutions. And I bet I could help you with any other question marks you might have about meditation. You can always read my earlier blog posts on the subject, contact me so that I can answer your questions or direct you to appropriate information sources. I am here for you. Now and always.
If you do a little bit of research, you would see that meditation helps to raise one’s vibration level, which in turn raises the collective consciousness across the planet. Goodness, love, compassion and oneness grow in the hearts of people who meditate. Meditation connects one to their inner child, subconscious mind, and real self. Hence my goal to have you better understand how easy and effortless meditation can be. I hope this helps to ease your mind and encourage you to meditate your way.
Namaste (“I bow to the divine in you”)
Photo by Patrick Schneider on Unsplash
4 thoughts on “Common Misconceptions About Meditation”
Hi Ipek. Thanks for sharing such a great article about meditating. As someone who has meditated for years, I could relate to “all” of the points you mentioned. I think that when persons first begin, they’re tempted to think they have to be an expert–not so. The benefits arise from just “going for it.” I strongly encourage readers who may be new to meditation to follow your gentle advice and give it a try!
Yes, Arthur, exactly. Starting with the intention of meditating and not going for the whole nine yards but for the exploration of different practices helps. The perfectionist in us needs to be sushed when it comes to meditation.Thank you for your kind feedback.
You’re welcome, Ipek. Keep up the great work!
Thank you, dear friend.