Meditation Myth: Meditation Made Easy
By Maddalena Simms, CNP, RYT, PMI, CRM
There are so many people doing Yoga now than ever before, but there are not as many people practicing Meditation. There is much information, and perspectives, out there about Meditating that might make this practice seem way too difficult to achieve. Here are just a few myths that might be reasons why people choose not to Meditate regularly.
I have no time
This couldn't be further than the truth, Meditation can happen in one breath. In fact, a minute of deep breathing in and out of your nose can drastically improve your mood and perspective. It doesn't have to be a long practice, there are more benefits to a regular practice, consider quality over quantity! Over time, a regular meditation practice will re-wire the brain to react less to the stresses that occur in everyday life, this gives us more time for the things that matter.
Its uncomfortable (to sit like a Yogi)
I'm sure that the mental image of meditation in most minds is a person sitting lotus pose, chanting in some language sitting on a mountain top, or something! The truth is most people wouldn't be comfortable, and if your sitting in pain, you wont be able to relax! The first thing you need to do before starting your meditation is find a comfortable seat, this can be in a chair, or even a recliner, wherever you are, get comfortable. Avoid laying down, 9 out of 10 times you will fall asleep. Allow yourself to become comfortable while still being aware.
I'm not a spiritual/religious person
Although there are many religious and spiritual paths that incorporate meditation, there are more and more people that don't follow any spiritual/religious path are adopting a meditation practice. The fact is for many decades there have been a rise in scientific research proving the mental, emotional, and physical benefits of a regular practice. As long as you can breathe, you can meditate.
I cant silence my mind
We don't come to meditation because our minds are quiet and focused, we come to meditation because we want to practice quieting and focusing our minds. Its not so much that we are trying to shut off our thoughts, we are training ourselves to observe our thoughts without dwelling, angering, or forcing them away. Observe the thought, and let it go, and be ok if more thoughts pour in.
I have close my eyes
You don't have to close your eyes to be meditating, in fact, if your just starting keep your eyes at half mass, gazing at a spot on the ground in front of you. You want to limit eye movement as much as you can. Eventually, your gaze will pass the focus point into a relaxed stare. You can achieve the most peaceful meditation practice with your eyes open.
Meditation is difficult
Everything that is a new practice may be difficult at first, but with some practice it becomes easier, and desirable! Mindfulness meditation can take place anywhere, anytime! If your on a buss going to work or school, you can look down to the ground, or close your eyes (if your in a chair) and breath deeply and evenly through your nose for the duration of the trip - that is meditation! Cant get easier than that!
There must be silence to meditate
You can meditate in silence, there are many different ways to meditate and in silence is just one way. There are many meditations that involve listening to music, nature sounds, or recordings of guided meditations. Some people gain much benefit from meditating with music, and others need silence. The best thing to do is experiment with different variations, and go with what works for you!
If you don't follow the rules, your not actually meditating
There are some texts that date back 5000 years ago that have specific ways and rules to meditate, but the research shows that all kinds of meditation have the same results, and that is it re-wires the brain to react less to the stressors in everyday life. However you chose to organize your meditation practice, the most import thing to do is to practice regularly. Don't worry about seeing results immediately, just give yourself the chance to try, what do you have to lose? Or better yet, what will you have to gain?
The next step from here is to try!