11 Aug What people get wrong about meditation?
Meditation has gained massive popularity globally. A practice that originated centuries ago in India took over Asia soon and finally in the 21st century, is finding its strong presence in the western world too. With its ever increasing popularity, the misconceptions and misunderstandings about meditation are also increasing. Although it isn’t a very stringent practice but doing it the right way in the right mindset makes the practice more efficient. Therefore, here are a few basics of where people go wrong when it comes to meditation and how can they rectify it:
- Meditation is a religious practice.
Meditation has found favor with a majority of people all over the world in fostering inner peace and calming a conflicting mind. However, there is yet a section of people in the world who have some misconceptions about meditation. They feel by following this technique they are professing spirituality. It is true that meditation was practiced by yogis and sages in the bygone days. In fact, in Hinduism, sitting in a lotus position with eyes closed in deep contemplation or meditation is a part of their religious following. However, even Buddha sat beneath the Bodhi Tree in a meditation posture and had made a vow that he would not get up until he had achieved enlightenment, which he did receive. The great saint Mahavira also taught meditation to his followers and believed this practice is the soul of non-violence. Thus, meditation was core to Buddhism and Jainism too. Many other religions and faiths in the world also teach meditation. This brings to fore the inclusivity of meditation. It is a completely secular practice and should be seen only as a technique or an exercise that has nothing to do with any particular religion or faith but with the body and the mind only.
- Meditation can only be done in a temple or in a monastery.
The other misconception that individuals have towards meditation is that you have to dress for the occasion. You can dress in whatever way you like as far as you feel comfortable and connected with your energies. Some also feel that a temple or a monastery is the only venue where meditation can be done. Meditation is a practice to experience inner peace and what better way of exercising towards attaining inner peace than at a peaceful location. Be it your living room, bedroom or even your garden. Wherever it’s peaceful and you can hear your breathing, is an ideal location to mediate.
- Too long in showing results and forces to lead a monk’s life.
Usually, when it comes to mediation, the first perception in gaining successful results is that it will take years to see one. You can master this art within as little as even 6 to 8 weeks. It all depends on you and you alone. You have to be consistent to gain the level of benefits. It is even more powerful than medicines. If you have been a victim of stress for a long time and have been going through all sorts of complexities of life, yes, you will need to spend enough of your quality time with yourself daily to drain out all the negativity to invite positive energy through meditation. Meditation helps you to disconnect from all the unwanted thoughts and makes your life much peaceful and fulfilling. In no way will you have to give up on your normal life. This contemplative route is the only activity that will help you to change your life.
- Meditation is a selfish act.
Meditation is neither a selfish act nor is it a way to escape the reality as misunderstood by some individuals. It is an exercise where you don’t stop your thoughts but you learn to observe them non-judgmentally. It is more to do with letting it be than letting it go. It is all about living in the moment, accepting the reality rather than escaping from it. The practice can be done even while you’re doing your daily activities. All that meditation asks is that you be aware of the moment. This helps in managing all negative emotions and focus only on constructive ones.
- Meditation doesn’t really do anything.
The modern human brain is only 2 percent of our body weight, but it uses 20 percent of our resting energy. This is exhausting for your brain to be running at all times. Imagine if you exercised the rest of your body at the same pace as your brain? It’s not possible. At some point you would need to rest and recharge otherwise you would be experience some serious burnout. The same principle goes for your noodle. Aside from giving your mind a break from its daily grind, meditation and mindfulness has been proven to decrease chronic pain, anxiety/depression, cardiovascular disease, and insomnia.
Is meditation actually necessary? Maybe not, but if someone told you there was a skill you could learn that didn’t take much time, didn’t require any fancy tools, and could improve your health, relationships, and sleep…wouldn’t you try it?
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