As meditation has become more popular, it has also become more confusing. There have never been so many articles, podcasts, videos, teachers and advice about what meditation is, how it works and how to practice well.
Here are four common myths that stop people making progress and experiencing the benefits of meditation. Avoid these traps!
1. You need to sit in full lotus posture, eyes closed, hands in special positions, preferably in a cave or monastery.
Not true! You can meditate sitting, standing, walking, or lying down. You can also meditate with your eyes open. There are lots of meditation techniques that are possible to practice during daily life. Being in nature, temples, or retreat centers can be nice but are not necessary to gain benefits from meditation. You don't need to withdraw from your life to practice meditation and experience the benefits of the practice.
2. Meditation is about leaving the body and connecting with the spirit world.
When you practice meditation you actively develop a closer connection with your body and the thoughts, sensations and emotions that you experience directly. This is like building a muscle at the gym, not disappearing into another realm. Typically meditators gain more connection with their physical bodies and become more grounded and present in everyday experiences. Meditation can make the mind and body a nicer place to be.
3. To meditate you need to clear your mind of thoughts.
In meditation practice, it doesn’t matter how many thoughts are present. Thoughts are not a problem. Most of the time it is impossible to simply clear the mind through an act of will. Through meditation you develop skills that will improve your focus and awareness of what is happening in your mind. It will give you more control so that you can choose to act rather than react to whatever thoughts you experience.
4. You will experience only bliss and happiness.
There may be moments of bliss and happiness that you experience through meditation but this is not the purpose of the practice. You will experience a wide range of feelings and emotions while meditating. Meditation will not fix your experiences to be a certain way. However, through meditation you can learn to recognize and improve the quality of your attention, regardless of what you experience.
Ultimately, all the value and benefits of meditation can only be directly experienced through practice. There is no other way. Just like going to the gym and lifting weights helps you build muscles, practicing meditation and developing your skills is the only way to experience the benefits.
Learning to meditate doesn't need to be complicated. The fundamentals are simple to learn. Anyone can do it.
The hardest thing about meditation is establishing a strong consistent practice and knowing how to guide your own journey forwards.
Over 6 weeks this training will help you develop a consistent, daily meditation practice.
We guide you through the fundamentals of meditation to develop 3 important skills: focus, observation and balance.
Most importantly, you'll learn through direct experience how to make meditation work for your life, and understand how to keep guiding your own journey forwards.
Our mission is to make meditation work for you.