Meditation Myths Exposed: Get To Know The Practice

When it comes to just about anything related to the body and mind, there are a number of misconceptions that are associated with the different practices that claim to provide relief; this is never truer than for the practice of meditation. There are so many stigmas and nay-sayers when it comes to meditation, even though the proof of its worth is evident in both scientific studies, as well as the fact that it has stood the test of time.

Many of the misconceptions surrounding meditation come from those who have not experienced the practice before, and much of that is out of fear of the unknown. Many people feel that it does nothing for their health, but in fact it has been shown to actually reduce stress and enhance overall well-being.

So, for all of those who would like to test the waters and get to know a little more about meditation, here are some of the more common myths associated with the practice.

Myth #1: Meditation Is the Same As Doing Nothing

It may appear that meditation is just sitting cross-legged, with your eyes closed, while doing absolutely nothing; but there are plenty of people who would beg to differ. In actuality, meditation requires mental strength, focus and proper application of awareness: these things cannot be achieved simply by sitting and doing nothing.

You may think it looks as though meditation is just another way to kill some time, relax and sit around; but I would bet that when you’re just sitting, you’re not cultivating mindfulness, or giving full attention to your thoughts with little effort. Because of these things that meditation allows you to do, this practice sets itself apart from just loafing around. 

Myth #2: Meditation Is a Religious Activity

This is one of the bigger misconceptions surrounding meditation, probably due in part to the fact that monks have practiced meditation in temples for centuries. Although derived from spiritual practices, meditation can be performed by anyone, anywhere. Meditation, as it is used by the mainstream, is really just a way to get in touch with yourself, without endorsing any one religion or spiritual practice.

Myth #3: Meditation Requires Concentrated Focus At All Times

Yes, the principles behind meditation are to free your mind, and try to take all thoughts out in order to relax; that being said, the mind is a powerful thing, and thinking about the dinner you’re going to prepare tonight, or the television episode you’re dying to watch on Netflix, isn’t abnormal. Nobody can block their mind of everything, no matter how hard they try.

Meditation isn’t for everyone, and so if it doesn’t jive with your personality, don’t force it! There are countless ways to get more in touch with yourself, whether that means communing with nature, or finally using those saved up vacation days. Find what works for you, and stress should start to melt away. 


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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Tim Pierce

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