Debunking 8 common myths about Meditation

Devika K By Devika K, 11th Jun 2018 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Mind & Spirit>Mental Health

De-bunk all the myths about meditation and use it for your benefit in life.

Develop a deeper understanding about meditation

Last four decades has witnessed a phenomenal increase of meditation entering the mainstream of modern western culture. It is being prescribed by physicians and practiced by everyone from business executives to artists, scientists to students, teachers, military personnel, and – on a promising note – politicians included.
The Art of Meditation is an ancient mind and body practice focusing on the interactions among the brain, mind, body, and behaviour through observation of breathing.
Scientists all over the world have found tremendous benefits of meditation from offering vision of greater clarity in mind to improved health and freedom from stress, tension and anxiety. Meditation changes the quality of life from poverty, emptiness and suffering to fulfilment and happiness.
Despite the growing popularity of meditation, prevailing misconceptions about the practice is serving as a barrier that prevents many people from trying meditation and receiving its profound benefits for the body, mind, and spirit.
Here are eight most common myths about meditation and the real truth behind them.

Myth 1 “Meditation belongs to a Spiritual or Religious Practice”

Truth : Meditation is a simple, natural, effortless technique that allows the mind to experience the subtler levels of thinking. It takes you beyond the noisy chatter of the mind to a place of absolute stillness. You can practice meditation without having to believe in anything.
It is beyond religious lines – A Christian or Muslim or even an atheist and agnostics can practice it. When I spoke to Sarah James, who has been practicing meditation for more than 10 years in Canada told me” I started because I wanted help to quit smoking”.
My Christian partner practices meditation twice a day for about 20 minutes because it calms the nerves. Practicing meditation will not make you religious or a yogi. Many people practice meditation exclusively for health and well- being benefits. Meditation enriches our lives enabling us to enjoy whatever we do in life more fully and happily – whether it is to play sports, taking care of children or advancing our careers.

Myth 2 “I need to follow rituals, wear specific clothes, burn incense.. etc”

Truth : As explained above meditation can be practised independent of religious contexts. Only those who meditate as an extension of their religious practice may use the above. I have practised Hindu religious texts and Zen Buddhism in the context of meditation and that required me to burn incense sticks.
Otherwise, it is perfectly fine to practice without them in a clean and comfortable environment. The only real prerequisite is to have bathed and be perfectly clean both in body and in mind. It is also vital to practice meditation in a place where people will not disturb you.

Myth 3 “It takes years to get any benefit”

Truth : Although the body and mind are intimately connected, for the sake of clarity lets divide the benefits into – mental benefits and physical benefits.
Research conducted by University of Leiden shows that meditation done twice a day for 20 minutes can greatly increase general fluid intelligence, which enables the mediator to respond to new situations with greater adaptability, creativity and comprehension as opposed to non-mediators.
Meditation develops creative intelligence and it will improve the overall performance of any activity you do thereby increases happiness quotient in life.
Laura Paul, resident of Melbourne, Australia was quoted saying “When I lost my son in a car accident, I took up meditation. Initially I was sceptical if it would really help me, but later I found that when I went to my special place during meditation I could think clearly, I developed the ability to trust my intuition and within 3 months I started coping with life again”
The benefits and the time taken to reap those benefits are misconstrued. A landmark study led by Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital found that even 8 weeks of meditation helped people experience decreased anxiety and greater feelings of calm; it has also been in the areas of memory, empathy, sense of self and stress regulation.

Myth 4: “If the body is rested at night, I don't need to meditate?”

Truth : Although a nightly sleep dissolves some fatigue and stress, the degree of rest is not complete enough to move more deep rooted stress.
A daily cycle of deep rest provided with meditation develops the ability of the nervous system to adjust to change with minimum consumption of energy; normalisation of weight and improved athletic performance.
On the psychological level, you will be capable of experiencing greater organization of memory; speed in solving problems accurately; increased innovation; creativity and energy levels. Laura was quoted saying ”I practiced meditation in the night, before bed time and when I woke up in the morning, I feel like a new person, the fatigue and stress from previous day all just seemed to have vanished”

Myth 5 “Meditation is for people not enjoying life”

Truth : It’s true that meditation deeply helps people who have some deficiency and problems that they weren’t able to cope otherwise. But it is incorrect to assume that meditation is only for them. It is not necessary to have a deficiency in order to practice meditation. No matter how energetic, intelligent and creative we are, we enjoy life only when we become more energetic; creative and intelligent.

Myth 6 “ I need a master to meditate”

Truth: If your goal with meditation is simply health improvement and relaxation, then you don’t need a teacher. Learning from a book, video course or workshop can be enough. Then go on by yourself.
However, if you wish to practice deeper and your goal is emotional healing, balance or spiritual growth, then meditating in a group or being in contact with other experienced mediators will support your practice. A teacher will be capable of helping you understand what you’re experiencing during the process and help overcome those roadblocks leading to a nourishing daily practice.
According to Neha Yadav, a busy entrepreneur who practices meditation in her busy day’s schedule says “today the knowledge of yoga and meditation is readily available everywhere be it in YouTube videos or books and I can learn from them whenever, wherever it is convenient for me”.

Myth 7 “I don’t have enough time to meditate”

Truth: If you feel that you are part of a hectic schedule, even a few minutes of meditation in a day is beneficial. In the morning, setting your alarm just a few minutes earlier than usual can make all the difference.
I have felt personally that when I spend time meditating, it has transformed the way in which my day turned out even on one of the most stressful and hectic days in my working life. Sticking to my usual meditation ritual made me feel that I was able to accomplish more while doing less, instead of struggling hard to achieve my goals.

Myth 8 “I am supposed to have transcendent experiences in meditation”

Truth: There are several benefits of meditation and some people have claimed to have experienced feelings of bliss and oneness. But the real benefits of meditation are what happens in the other hours of the day when during the daily chores of life. After meditation, the experience of stillness and silence in practice allows me to be more creative, compassionate, and loving myself and everyone around me more than ever. So, if you have a transcendent experience - excellent. Otherwise it is not compulsory but you will still be reaping several benefits when it is practised.


De-Stress, De-Stressing, Meditation, Meditation Techniques, Myths About Meditation, Myths And Facts, Recreation

Meet the author

author avatar Devika K
A care-free freelance journalist who doesn't like to be tied down.I would rather do nothing and be happy than do something I don't love.

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author avatar Lesa Cote
17th Jul 2018 (#)

I really appreciate your blog. It is a wonderful blog on meditation.

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