People may have heard of the good effects of meditation to one’s health and wellbeing, but that may not be enough to get them into the practice. What hinders some to try the exercise could be a misconception about meditation. Many people associate meditation with certain concepts that are not ordinary; therefore, they cannot identify with it.
What many imagine meditation to be is not really the actual. To get to the core of what is getting in the way, we need to look into the misconceptions about mindfulness meditation and debunk them.
It is Too Hard to Stop Thoughts
If you think that your busy mind is getting in the way of you meditating, then you are not alone. But it is a misconception that you need to stop your thoughts to meditate. Thoughts happen without your consent and they will not stop. The mind will always have something to think about, even when you are focused and meditating. During mindfulness meditation, what you do is focus on the present moment. Thoughts will come as they please, but you can always observe them and get back to the present moment.
Stopping thoughts is not part of the exercise. Every person who meditates experiences wandering thoughts. Mindfulness meditation teaches the individual to observe the thoughts and realise that they are thinking. That is it. Once you realise that you are thinking, bring back your attention to your breathing and focus.
Meditation is Sitting Still
If you ask someone to describe or define meditation, you will probably hear about sitting still in a quiet place. This is the picture that most of us are accustomed to. When we look for an image of meditation, this is what we get. But this is not always the case.
There are different types of meditation. You can practise meditation while walking or even while lying down. You can use imagery or focus on different parts of your body. What would help you is to try the different forms and use what works best for you. This will help you achieve the most out of meditation.
It is Religious, Therefore Not for Me
Meditation being religious is a widely spread misconception, mostly because of its association with Buddhism. But Buddhism being religious is also a big misconception. Meditation is part of religious practice, but it does not advocate a doctrine.
Another reason why people stay away from meditation is that they feel they are joining another religion and discarding their own. However, just as much as the practice does not conform to any doctrine, it also does not take anyone away from their religious belief.
It is Too Difficult
Perhaps the most common complaint and misconception about meditation is that it is way too hard to do. On the contrary, the practice is simple and easy. It involves quieting the mind and giving your thoughts a rest, so if you go into a quiet place and relax for a while, then that is meditating. The part about the body position comes in only to guide you toward a more relaxed meditative exercise.