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5 Common Myths About Meditation That Are Totally Untrue

By Sharee James

Meditation has been lauded by scientists and spiritualists alike as a practice with countless benefits for body and mind - to improved immunity, reduced stress, more harmonious relationships and better work performance to name a few. Unfortunately though, there are quite a few myths and misconception around meditation that can be off-putting and downright confusing to new and wannabe meditators. In this article I'm going to bust these myths for you one by one..

Misconception 1: "I Tried It Once And It Didn't Work"

This misconception is akin to trying to ride a bike for the very first time and then giving up after falling off - meditation requires consistency and practice (that's why it is often referred to as a practice). If you are hoping to experience deep states of inner peace, relaxation or bliss the very first time you sit down to meditate then you may be disappointed by your unrealistic expectations. These states can definitely be experienced in meditation, but not usually on the very first day!

Misconception 2: "I Just Can't Stop My Thoughts"

A lot of novice meditators mistakenly believe that if they were meditating "successfully", they would be able to switch their thoughts off like a switch in order to experience peace and calm. When they can't seem to be able to stop their thoughts, they often get into an internal struggle trying to resist them or worse, giving up completely. Meditation is about developing enough focus and awareness to simply notice when the mind is wandering, and to keep bringing the mind back to the object of concentration - again and again. There is no need to try to stop thinking altogether!

Misconception 3: "I Don't Have Time To Meditate"

We are all busier than ever these days and it can be hard adding one more thing to our "to-do" list. Meditation doesn't require long periods of time to be beneficial, it simply requires consistency - even 5 to 10 minutes a day can work wonders. By making your own happiness and wellbeing a true priority, you will feel motivated to make time for your practice in your schedule.

Misconception 4: "I Don't Have The Space To Meditate"

Sure, it would be lovely to be able to meditate in a Zen garden, on a mountain-top or on a tropical beach. But it's really not necessary - all you need is somewhere reasonably quiet where you can sit upright comfortably for a few minutes without being disturbed. You can meditate sitting up in bed, on a chair or a couch or even on a bus or a train - don't let wanting a perfectly tranquil venue stop you from just doing it.

Misconception 5: "But I'm Not A Buddhist"

While many meditation techniques stem from Buddhist practices, meditation is a secular practice. All humans suffer from restless minds and times of stress or agitation, and meditation can benefit anyone - no matter what religion they belong to or even if they are not religious at all. There are, however, many excellent meditation classes and retreats held at Buddhist monasteries all over the world, and they are open to people from all denominations and walks of life.

Hopefully this article has cleared up some misconceptions that may have been stopping you from starting your own meditation practice. Meditation is truly for everyone and with patience and consistency, it can change your life in many profound and unexpected ways.

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