Busting 5 Meditation Myths of Sceptics & Beginners Alike!
Stressed? Anxious? Can’t sleep? Meditation can help! Mandy Penalver explains how…
Maybe you’ve heard about the benefits of meditation but you aren’t convinced. Perhaps you have some doubts or reservations. There is now considerable clinical evidence to prove that meditation is good for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. A 2014 study¹ showed that mindfulness-based practices were effective in supporting people suffering from depression and anxiety. In this post, we uncover some common myths about meditation that might surprise you and entice even the most hardened sceptic to give it a try!
Myth # 1 – Meditation is religious
Although almost all religions include some form of meditation as part of their practice, meditation itself is not religious, nor does it belong to any particular religion. Meditation is about simply stopping for a while to be still and doesn’t require any belief system. People of many different faiths practice meditation without any conflict with their religious beliefs. So don’t worry, you don’t have to chant mantras, burn incense, or wear special robes to enjoy the benefits of meditation!
Myth #2 – Meditation is uncomfortable
You don’t have to sit cross-legged on the floor for hours to practice meditation! Although some meditation traditions place a great emphasis on posture (and there are valid reasons for this), sitting meditations can be done in any kind of chair or on the floor using whatever props help you to feel supported. You may not know this but there are styles of meditation that are traditionally done lying down. When your body is comfortable, it’s much easier for your mind to relax! The attitude we bring to our practice is more important than any hard and fast rules about posture. Approaching meditation with sincerity and the willingness to meet experience in an open way is key!
Myth # 3 – Meditation is difficult
Meditation is actually very simple. To sit and just be is completely effortless! However, it doesn’t necessarily seem that way because we are so accustomed to doing in our culture. We think that meditation is yet another thing I have do, get right, or be perfect at. We put it off because we think it’s going to be difficult. Meditation is actually a surrendering of all effort to do something, get somewhere, or achieve something. When we relax back from these energies, we access a great resource of inner wisdom!
Myth # 4 – Meditation is self-indulgent
We often feel guilty about taking time out for self-care in our culture, placing other’s needs before our own. It is not selfish at all to dedicate time to meditation. Quite the opposite, as we begin to discover our own inner peace through meditation, it spills over into our daily life. It can be felt by our family, friends, and all those whom we come into contact with, helping to awaken the same peace within them. In fact, we do a great service to all those who we love and cherish when we commit to a meditation practice, so don’t feel guilty!
Myth # 5 – Meditation is about controlling the mind
Sadly we don’t have an on/off switch for our minds (or even a volume control)! Trying to control the mind is like trying to control the weather; impossible and endlessly frustrating! The good news is that meditation isn’t about controlling or making an enemy of our mind. In meditation, we simply observe the nature of the mind without judgement. When we quit trying to control the mind, it naturally relaxes in its own time. Ultimately meditation is about remembering who you are beyond your thoughts and feelings. It’s a reminder of the incredibly powerful, beautiful whole and complete being you already are!
© Rest & Be
Red Hot Yoga is delighted to be hosting Mandy Penalver for An Afternoon of True Rest on 16 September 2018 from 15:00-17:00. Places are limited – to secure your place on this workshop or find out more click here.