30 Day Blogging Challenge (Day 3)
“To earn the trust of your meditation, you have to visit it every day. It’s like having a puppy.”
Have you heard meditation? Probably you’ve also heard about the many benefits of meditation practice. However, you haven’t tried it out yet, right?
You are not alone.
Most people have misconceptions about meditation that prevent them from trying it out. The most common misconceptions about meditation are:
1. Meditation is linked to a particular religion
You don’t have to be a Buddhist to practice mindfulness. The practice of mindfulness is independent of religious beliefs or practices. Mindfulness is a secular solution to the universal problem of human suffering. The practice of mindfulness will make you a happier and better human being, irrespective of your religion.
2. Meditation takes up a lot of time every day
One of the most enduring myths about mindfulness is that you have to sit for at least one hour if you want to benefit from it.
Regular mindfulness practice is more important than the duration of practice. You will gain many benefits even if you meditate for a few minutes every day. Indeed, you may be able to focus your attention better in a ten-minute sitting than in an hour-long sitting.
3. Meditation means going into a trance
Meditation does not mean achieving a blank mind. On the contrary, meditation helps you to increase your awareness in your daily life.
4. Meditation helps to develop extraordinary psychic powers
The main purpose of meditation is to strengthen and purify the mind. Though meditation is linked to the development of psychic powers in some individuals such as levitation or the ability to read the minds of others, such powers should not be given any importance. The Buddha forbade his disciples from demonstrating psychic powers to prevent the spread of this myth.
5. Meditation is meant only for saints and hermits
This attitude is common in India where people worship holy men and consider them to be extraordinarily pious. However, meditation is not a transcendental practice strictly for recluses and hermits; it is a practical skill that you can apply at home and at work.
6. Meditation is a form of escapism
Meditation does not mean you are running away from reality. Instead, it gives you the mental strength and clarity to successfully handle the challenges in your life.
For example, this is what Jerry Seinfeld has to say about his meditation practice: “With ‘Seinfeld’ I was doing a TV series in which I was the star of the show, the executive producer of the show, the head writer, in charge of casting and editing, for 24 episodes on network television, not cable — for nine years! And I’m just a normal guy. And that was not a normal situation to be in… So I meditated every day. And that’s how I survived the nine years.”
7. Meditation is selfish and self-indulgent
The purpose of meditation is to develop positive mental qualities like compassion, courage and equanimity and to get rid of negative mental qualities like anger, greed and fear. Meditation helps us to become genuinely selfless so that we can act in the highest interests of ourselves and others.
8. Mindfulness requires special preparation or skills
You can start mindfulness meditation right now, right here.
You don’t have to study philosophy or wait for perfect conditions before you start. You don’t need to join a meditation course at a meditation center or take instruction from a meditation teacher, unless you want to. You can start right here, right now.
Take a minute to reflect on which of these eight reasons have stopped you from trying out meditation.
Share with us in the comments below.