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5 Common Myths About Meditation That Are Totally Untrue

By Sharee James

Meditation is a simple practice that has the potential to change your whole life - from the inside out. Science has proven the many benefits of meditation - from better mental health to happier relationships and improved work performance. Many potential new students are deterred, however, by a few persistent - but wholly untrue! - myths and misconception about meditation - so let's debunk them one by one.

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

Maybe you have tried meditation once or twice before and felt disappointed with the results. It's not uncommon for newbies to embark on a new practice expecting immediate peace and bliss only to discover that their minds seem crazier than a bunch of monkeyson speed. This is a completely normal experience - the problem lies in making the assuming after this one experience that meditation simply doesn't work for you. Meditation is a practiceit's something that needs to be done consistently and it can take a while before you begin to experience some of the deeper states of meditation, so patience is crucial.

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"

You don't need to sit on your meditation cushion for hours each day in order to experience its benefits. Even just dedicating 5 to 20 minutes of meditation per day can be life-changing. The keys is to practice regularly and to make time to meditate - we are all busier than ever these days and we must consciously schedule in time for our priorities, so it's simply a matter of making our own happiness and wellbeing a priority.

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

I know it would be wonderful to be able to meditate in an exotic monastery, on a mountain-top or on a serene beach. But it's not essential - all you need is somewhere fairly quiet where you can sit up straight 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 peaceful spot 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 post has cleared up some misconceptions that may have been stopping you from embarking on your own meditation practice. Meditation is truly for everyone and with patience and perseverance, it can change your life in many profound and unexpected ways.

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