2 – Myths & Misconceptions About Meditation

Part 2: Introduction To Meditation

- Lesson #02

03-Myths-&-misconceptions-about-meditation

To many people, meditation is a mystical practice of which little is known. Because of this, many myths and misconceptions have arisen which can prevent people from giving meditation a go. In this section, I will address some of the key myths and misconceptions that are around. If you have a particular concern that isn’t addressed, the easiest thing to do is post in our private Facebook group and myself or one of our members will address the issue for you.

 

  • Meditation is a form of prayer to God

No, however prayer can be a form of meditation. Prayer is a way of focusing all of your attention on speaking with God. It is this focusing of attention that is meditation. The speaking with God part has nothing to do with meditation.

  • You need to be spiritual to meditate

Although many spiritual people use meditation as a way of deepening their spirituality, you do not need to be spiritual to meditate. Meditation is a technique of the mind and focusing your thoughts inwards. You can essentially meditate on anything you can think of. You could even meditate on your accounts if you felt so inclined.

  • You need to sit with your feet behind your head or some other weird position

This is most likely a form of yoga. Although meditation is an important part of yoga, the meditation is combined with postures, movement, breathing exercises and philosophies as a way of cultivating health and wellbeing. Meditation can be achieved by standing, walking, moving and possibly most importantly, by sitting comfortably in your favourite chair.

  • You have to be able to empty your mind completely

Meditation isn’t about emptying your mind completely, it is about quieting your mind and bringing your attention and focus to only one thing. Through regular practice, that one thing can be to observe your own thoughts, emotions and sensations as if you are disassociated from them. This can be an amazing skill to develop a greater self-awareness.

  • You fail if you think about anything else

Not true. Having your mind wander to other thoughts while meditating is perfectly normal, especially when first starting out. Over time and with regular practice, this will happen less and less.

  • Meditation is something you can either do or not

Meditation is a skill that anyone can learn. Like all skills, it takes time and practice to learn it and become good at it. If you put the effort in, you will learn how to meditate well.

  • You need to chant “Om” and say “Namaste” to meditate

There are meditations that use the voice to create sounds as a way of focusing the mind and creating a resonance that can heighten the experience. However, these are not necessary to be able to meditate.

  • It can take a long time to get any benefits from meditation

There is research that mental and physical benefits can be reached in as little as 8 weeks. From my personal experience teaching meditation, benefits can often be noticed after the first practice.

  • You need to live in a monastery, eat only rice and practice 8 hours a day to see real benefits

Yes. That is if you want to be a monk and dedicate your entire life to reaching ultimate enlightenment. However, for the rest of us, even ten minutes a day can generate positive effects on our lives by creating a more relaxed and greater focused state of mind. As with most skills, the more time you put in, the better the results will be.

  • Meditation is anti-christian and the devils work

It isn’t. Meditation is simply a skill to focus your attention which can lead to greater personal insight. There are many aspects of Christianity that incorporate meditation. Practices such as prayer and singing hymns.

  • Meditation is just relaxation

Although one of the many benefits of meditation is relaxation, meditation can also be used for deep introspection. By focusing inwards to our unconscious minds, we can observe and deal with our thoughts and emotions as well as gain a deeper understanding of self.

  • Meditation is hypnosis

Actually, the two are very similar. However, there are some subtle differences. Meditation is generally about pure thought while hypnosis can combine visualisation and metaphors. For someone starting out, hypnosis can be a lot easier to practice before transitioning into pure meditation. The guided meditations in this program contain hypnotic elements as a way to break through busy minds and reach that meditative state.

  • Eyes must be closed to meditate

Although it can greatly help in shutting out distractions, especially when starting out, meditation can be practised with eyes open. Some open eye meditations can allow you to see the world through altered states of consciousness.

  • Meditation is the same as sleep

Sleep and meditation are far from the same. While in sleep, you are completely unconscious. However, in a meditative state, you are not only conscious, but it is also possible to reach a state of super-consciousness and awareness.

Your Teacher

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James Cole

James is an author of the book Empowering Thoughts, a meditation educator, empowerment specialist, hypnotherapist, filmmaker, and photo-artist. He has had a passion for meditation since being introduced at high school. Since then he has studied various forms of meditation before discovering hypnosis and recognising the similarities. He now teaches hypnotic meditation, as well as creating and publishing guided meditations that people can use for personal development. his creative work can be found at JamesCole.com.au

I believe that education on personal development is such an integral part of human growth that I simply cannot justify making it unavailable to people by charging extreme amounts of money for it. In my opinion, this stuff should be taught freely at schools.

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Wishing you a most beautiful day,

James Cole

Empowering Meditations

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