There are a lot of myths and mysticisms when it comes to meditation. At Flourish, we love having the opportunity to work face to face with our students to answer questions, hear about their experiences, and teach beyond the surface of what meditation offers. Here are a few of the most common misconceptions we hear:
Myth #1: You have to sit cross-legged, palms up and fingertips touching, and be completely still and silent to meditate.
Truth #1: We define meditation as what you can do with your mind, your body, and your breath. While that’s often seated and still, the physical form you take while you meditate isn’t what defines meditation. Eckhart Tole said, “One conscious breath in and out is a meditation.” That’s all it takes.
Myth #2: You have to quiet your mind and stop the thoughts to be good at meditation.
Truth #2: Your brain’s job is to have thoughts. It’s not going to stop doing its job just because you will it to. In fact, if you try to stop your thoughts from coming, you’re missing the point of meditation which is to know yourself more deeply. Rather than admonishing yourself for having thoughts, imagine taking a step away from your thoughts and observing them, letting them pass by like train cars. This is one of the most core elements of meditation.
Myth #3: You can learn to meditate entirely on your own just by doing it.
Truth #3: In truth you can, however that would be like learning to cook on your own without the aid of even a cookbook. There would be a lot of trial and error and discovery that’s already been done by others ahead of you, and it will benefit you immensely to learn from teachers, be it in person, in books, or online via reputable sources.
Myth #4: Meditation is for some people, and not for others.
Truth #4. Meditation is for every single one of us. We are made to meditate, just like we’re made to fall asleep. While some of us prefer certain types or forms of meditation over others, meditation is something we should all be practicing. Every one of us, from any walk of life, at any age, of any religious beliefs, with any personality types. It’s the rest that counteracts dynamism. It’s the processing of thoughts and feelings away from having the thoughts and feelings. It’s the pause between actions. It’s an essential part of living.
Myth #5: It takes a long time to benefit from meditation, or contrarily, I’ll reach a heightened state of zen every time I meditate.
Truth #5: Meditating is often like running in that every run on any given day can feel different depending on a countless number of factors. Some days you’ll feel the benefits right away or your meditation will come easily. Other days not so much. Just like a runner still gets those miles in, meditation requires dedicated moments. Easy or challenging, the importance is in the practice.
Questions about meditation and what it can do for you? Check out our class schedule at flourishmeditation.com, connect with us on instagram @flourishmeditation, and join our digital 10-Day Meditation Challenge launching January 6th.
By Kimberly Novosel Revereza, Founder of Flourish Meditation