Every prejudice, stereotype and every myth represents a barricade to the ultimate meditation experience. The bottom line is that prejudices prevent you from meditating properly.
The key to a true meditation session is an unbiased mind.
In order to learn how to meditate correctly, you have to overcome the prejudices first. So let’s clarify some of them right now.
Myth 1: Meditation Is Exhausting
Many people believe that meditation is exhausting, but the rules for a successful session are very simple. After all, what could be simpler than sitting (or lying) motionless in one place without any thoughts?
In the truest sense of the word, it doesn’t require any effort.
Especially at the beginning, it can seem unusual to you to just sit quietly and do nothing. Particularly if you are used to an active lifestyle.
Myth 2: You Must Silence Your Thoughts
Many people believe that stopping your thoughts and silencing your mind is the only way to proper meditation.
However, meditation is not about stopping your thoughts on demand.
This just leads to additional stress that stops you from a great meditation experience.
For the beginning, you can sit there and observe your thoughts consciously. The mere fact that you consciously perceive your thoughts is already a first-time success, which is super important to realize to stay motivated.
You can’t switch off your thoughts, but you can decide how much attention you give them.
Accordingly, you should not try to force turning off your thoughts. Much more important is to understand that you cannot be “thoughtless” at the push of a button.
Simply put, acknowledge your thoughts, but don’t engage them.
It’s important that you understand the difference.
The more often you meditate, the better you will master the ability to pay less attention to your thoughts. As your meditation journey progresses, you will eventually notice that it gets easier for you over time to turn off your thoughts and be present in the here and now.
We are often so absorbed by our thoughts that we forget that our world is much more complex than our current understanding and perception of it.
Here’s an example that gives this statement more clarity:
If you have a drivers license, you have probably experienced a tunnel vision already. This often occurs on the highway when you get a “dull feeling in your head” and your mind switches to autopilot. A few minutes later you get conscious and attentive again. You realized that you have driven unconsciously before.
That’s how it works in everyday life, too. If you meditate frequently, you will realize more often and consciously how often you actually switch to autopilot without realizing and living the moments.
Meditation is the art of focusing on the present moment without allowing yourself to be taken in by your thoughts.
Myth 3: Meditation Is Escape from Reality
Meditation and escapism (escape from reality) are often equated. Some people even believe that meditation is a selfish attempt to avoid responsibility in reality. In fact, quite the opposite is true.
When you meditate, you face reality and confront it, instead of avoiding it, by switching to autopilot. You become aware of what is happening around you and do not escape into your thoughts.
Myth 4: It Takes Years Until You Can Benefit from Meditation
This is simply wrong. The benefits of meditation, as we have described above, include both short-term and long-term improvements.
Long-term improvements such as increased brain capacity or better memory require long-term meditation practices. However, there are other benefits that can be noticed right after your first meditation session, such as better sleep or positive well-being.
Myth 5: Meditation Is Bound to Religion
Are you thinking of a Buddhist monk sitting in the same position, for many hours, in front of an Asian temple? Some believe that the Asian temples are the only places to learn about meditation. Others believe that you have to be a Buddhist or Hindu to feel the true experience of meditation.
This myth is nothing more than a myth. Meditation is completely detached from religion. Your religious beliefs are completely detached from your meditation success.
Meditation does not have to be interpreted spiritually either. Your goal does not have to be to open your “third eye chakra” or to balance your 7 chakras. You can simply meditate because you want to calm your thoughts or reduce stress.
Myth 6: Meditation Is Unproductive
This myth is poison for your daily meditation routine. Believing that meditation is unproductive will subconsciously prevent you from meditating regularly.
When you have a busy schedule, you jump from meeting to meeting and you’re stressed out then you need meditation more than ever.
A simple meditation of 15 to 20 minutes in the morning and in the evening would be more than enough to trigger a strong increase of your cognitive abilities and this with a time expenditure of less than one hour per day.
Meditation will help you to be more productive. After the morning meditation, you will be clear-minded and more organized throughout the day. This will make you more productive as you will make fewer mistakes and save time that you can invest in other tasks.
This effect will furthermore help you make decisions. You will feel more proactive and will be able to make well thought out decisions. These, in turn, save time and money.
That’s why meditation is one of the best ways to increase your productivity.