8 Reasons Why Meditate You Don’t

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.”
Chelsea Richer

mindfulness meditation myths

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.
False!
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.

Actionable Tip:

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.

 

 

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How to Practice Mindfulness Meditation Right Now

30 Day Blogging Challenge (Day 2)

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space.
In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our happiness.”
~Victor Frankl

mindfulness meditation

There is no longer any doubt about the benefits of meditation. Scores of research papers have documented the positive effects of meditation on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

However, among all diverse types of meditation practices, the most popular worldwide is mindfulness meditation.

 What is mindfulness meditation?

Oxford Dictionaries Online defines mindfulness as a mental state achieved by focusing your awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program, Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn defines it more simply: “Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”

So, being mindful means to be attentive to whatever is happening within you and around you.

How to practice mindfulness meditation

Imagine you’re sitting alone on the bank of a river, watching the river water flow past. All your attention is on the swiftly-flowing water without undue effort – your body and mind is relaxed and yet aware.

Sometimes, the flow of the water is fast; sometimes, it is sluggish. Sometimes, the river flow silently; sometimes, it rushes past noisily. And sometimes, it seems that the river isn’t flowing at all. And you witness all these different states of flow calmly, silently, effortlessly.

Similarly, during mindfulness meditation practice, we direct our attention to the flow of our incoming and outgoing breath.

Sometimes, the breath may be short or long or it may be rough or subtle or sometimes we cannot feel the breath at all. Our only work is to be a witness and to observe the breath as it passes in and out through our nostrils.

  • When we breathe in, we are aware: “This is incoming breath.”
  • When we breathe out, we are aware: “This is outgoing breath.”

This practice may seem simple and straightforward but, as you will discover, it’s the most difficult skill to develop. And the only way to understand mindfulness is to practice it yourself.

Don’t take my word for it. Try it yourself right now.

Actionable tip

Set your timer or smartphone alarm to ring after two minutes.

Sit upright, close your eyes and breathe deeply five times.

Now allow your breath to become normal and witness your incoming and outgoing breath.

Continue until the alarm goes off.

Do this right now.

Done?

Congratulations, you have just practiced mindfulness meditation.

Did you observe your breath for two minutes?

If yes, what was your experience?

If no, why didn’t you try it?

Share with us in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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