Meditation has so many healing benefits which include boosting our immune system, lowering blood pressure, improving sleeping patterns and enhancing our focus and concentration. As meditation continues to empower and change people’s lives around the world however, there are a handful of myths that plague the peaceful practice:
You have to have a quiet mind. It’s a common misconception that to meditate ‘properly’ you have to clear your mind of all thought. Considering we can have over 50,000 thoughts per day, that doesn’t seem likely. It’s impossible to have no thoughts, but it is possible to ignore thoughts. We get to choose what we focus on and through meditation we learn how to quiet the mind, which in turn helps us get the most out of our meditation time.
Meditating is escapism. I don’t believe that there’s anything wrong with a little reprieve from our busy schedules, but meditation is not about running away. It’s a way to confront, to listen, to observe. Through meditation we tune in, not tune out. We give ourselves vital time to reconnect, to recharge, to pause and strengthen.
You have to be flexible. The infamous lotus position. You do not have to contort yourself to meditate. If you’re flexible, go for gold. If your focus is on how uncomfortable you are, you won’t get the benefits and will feel cheated of your time. A straight spine is the only requirement; we want the energy to travel from your root to your crown freely. Perch on a cushion, sit against a wall – find a position that won’t create added tension in your body.
You need lots of spare time. There is always time to meditate. In a perfect world I could carve out a comfortable half hour each day for myself but this is the most glorious of imperfect worlds. 5 minutes is all it takes. A few moments in the shower; in your car before you start your day; a quiet corner during your lunch break; a few minutes before you lay down to sleep.
It takes forever to see results. What results do you want to see? Do you want to feel calm and grounded and connected? That happens almost instantly. We are divine beings who are aching to awaken to our true potential. The moment we start tuning in to our higher power we feel lighter and more connected to our universe, and to ourselves.
Meditation is self-indulgent. My goodness I hope so. That time I take for myself is my favourite time of the day. I know that I am absolutely no use to anyone if I’m not feeling connected and loved and recharged. I take the time to nurture and care for myself so that I can do the same for others.
You have to be religious. While all five major religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam practice forms of meditation, you don’t need to be religious to meditate. Meditation doesn’t have to be an overly spiritual experience, either. You don’t have to subscribe to any particular belief system other than that you are a human who lives on this earth and is capable of unconditional love.
Meditation can cure illness. Meditation does not necessarily cure, but it can help heal. Through reflection and contemplation and by tuning in to ourselves we have the ability to really listen to our bodies, and to our souls. So much of our energy and focus is on the future, on what is happening next, that by dropping in to the present moment we can really become aware of who we are right now. We have the ability to heal ourselves, from the inside out.
So what are you waiting for?