Would you like to meditate but you’re not sure if you’ll be able to do it? Are you afraid you’re too restless, unfocused or simply not the ‘meditation type’?
Let’s dispell some of the most common myths about meditation so you can give it a go and start experiencing some of the benefits for yourself!
Myth 1. You can only meditate when you’re calm
You don’t need to feel calm before you meditate. All you need to do is sit down and observe whatever is there.
Perhaps you feel terribly restless. Perhaps you feel tense. Perhaps you feel like breaking something. Or perhaps you feel happy and bubbly. All perfect!
Meditation is just about learning to be with all this jumpy stuff, not to avoid or fix it.
Myth 2. Meditating is about having no thoughts
Often people think meditation is about clearing your mind of thoughts. But thoughts will come into your head no matter what… (try ‘not thinking’ for a moment and see what happens).
But you can learn not to invest in your thinking so much. Not to get attached to the thoughts coming into your mind and let them pass through. By focusing on the experience of this moment, you simply stop feeding your thoughts: you can’t concentrate on both at the same time. The more you practise this, the easier it gets to leave your thoughts alone.
Myth 3. Meditation is about controlling your emotions
Meditation is about getting to know your emotions, not about controlling them.
Control is fear: fearing your own depth, your deep feelings.
In true meditation, you open up to how things are, not how you want them to be! So every emotion is more than welcome to surface.
Myth 4. You have to sit crossed-legged to meditate properly
Not true. Lotus pose or sitting crossed-legged is not required for meditation, unless you believe in the ‘pure’, traditional practices. To me, meditation is not so much about form, it is about awareness.
You can meditate in a chair just as effectively if that works for you. Or sit up on cushions with your back against a wall if your back prefers it.
Myth 5. Meditation is difficult
It is only difficult if you have the wrong expectations. Like having to experience a deep inner stillness or a spiritual revelation. Let that go. Meditation is really about learning to embrace your messy, human nature…it is about getting to know yourself. You don’t need to change yourself to find out who you are!
Start your meditation practice with EkhartYoga
In this set of classes, Esther Ekhart will guide you through simple meditations, demystifying it further and helping you create an achievable daily practice.
Originally posted 29th April 2016 – updated July 2018