You can say or believe anything about meditation, say for example that it is a flourishing and money harnessing industry, a growing cult or a brand-new gimmick. However, there’s no changing the fact that it has existed for thousands of years and is here to stay just like philosophy and medicine. I’d like to take upon the task of dispelling a few myths around it so that we understand it better, and hence, make an informed decision.
Misconception #1: Cool People Don’t Do Meditation
Well, I do relate to this point very much (mostly because I think I am too cool ;)). Millennials are defined by the internet age, exuberant traveling, demanding jobs, over the top experiences, and now artificial intelligence, and much more. Meditation feels regressive, boring and non-scientific. A lot of people in our generation have an image issue with Meditation and think it’s connected to religion, monks, and culture. We think it’s counter to free thinking and intelligent living.
Alternate View: Let’s put it this way, you don’t “believe” or “not believe” in a healthy diet. You know it’s healthy, and make a decision to either have it or not. Same is valid for meditation. It’s not a ritual or a belief, it’s de-cluttering of mind, which you either choose to do or not. It will definitely not make you uncool!
Misconception #2: Career Oriented People Don’t Do Meditation
I’m sure a lot of ambitious and career driven people will agree with this one. Most of us are too caught up in our jobs that we don’t have much time to spare and even if we do, we believe meditation is for people with nothing better and consequential to do in life. We may also hold a perception that meditation may slow down our drive and passion for growth and may dilute our focus on work.
Alternate View: Saying that Meditation makes you un-ambitious is as good as saying you are bad at French because you know Chinese. Pretty unrelated, right? Meditation is like having a good night sleep which invigorates you and fuels you for a busy work day. I guess it’s not wise to form perceptions which might make you miss out on something as game-changing for your career in the longer term as Meditation!
Misconception #3: Meditation Is Time Consuming
In this day and age, we are overly bogged down by never-ending engagements and ever-growing to-do lists that we think we don’t have sufficient time for meditation. Some of us feel Meditation is time-consuming and requires hours and hours of practice every day and hence, get intimidated by it.
Alternate View: But that’s an excuse. We make time for things that we deem necessary. With countless health benefits of Meditation, we would ultimately end up saving time and doing more work. To know about the health benefits of meditation, check out this link.
Misconception #4: Meditation Is Procedural
Meditation is believed to involve a technical process and demand a lot of hard work. People imagine meditators sitting in lotus position chanting mantras and following rituals of some kind.
Alternate View: Meditation is like going for a morning walk. You don’t need to get any prescription for it or follow any complicated procedure. There are certain obvious things that you need to keep in mind, but that’s it. It’s a simple process. Check out this link to learn more about the process.
Misconception #5: Meditation Is “Achieving a State of Fluidity” Or “Getting Enlightened” Or “Progressing to a Higher Dimension”
People tend to build expectations around meditation. They assign a certain image to Meditation and picture it solving all their obstacles and guiding them to nirvana or enlightenment or whichever fantasy they are seeking.
Alternate View: The Physical body has a visible process of discharging waste. Do you ever wonder how our mind is supposed to poop esp. in this age of information and media? Don’t approach meditation as a means of attaining “enlightenment”. Keep it simple. Treat it as a process of releasing and unloading the clutter inside your mind. And eventually, you might as well accomplish other nobler goals.
Misconception #6: Meditation Should Deliver Immediate Effects
All of us millennials are result oriented, and it’s a good thing to be. In the current startup culture, we look for shortcuts and quick successes. This is esp. true for meditation which people assume to be a quick fix and expect it to show the results right away.
Alternate View: If you have a wound, applying medicine to it doesn’t heal it immediately. Or if you have a vitamin or say calcium deficiency, eating fruits and tabs will not right away make matters sound.
Meditation ≠ Magic
Meditation = Wellness of Mind and Body(when done consistently)
Misconception #7: Meditation Is Successful Only If a State of Complete Calm Is Achieved
As newbies or people trying out meditation for the first time, we hold a notion that a session of meditation is successful only if we realize a particular state and undergo a certain experience(like making our self our objects around us fly?). However, since our mind doesn’t reach the quietude and our experience is not quite as vivid as we want it to be, we consider our meditation attempt as a failure.
Alternate View: When you are starting out to learn swimming or driving, doesn’t it take at least a few retakes and sessions before you become acquainted with the process and begin picking up the essentials? It’s the same for anything else, including meditation. Every time you meditate, you get closer to the state you desire, and no time when you meditate goes to waste.
Misconception #8: Meditation Is For a Specific Audience
Some of us believe that meditation is for specific sections of people. We associate it as an activity for people facing anxiety and stress disorders, or as a luxury of the upper class or even as an affair of the older people. One might as well feel that they are doing just fine without it, so why bother!
Alternate View: Sleeping, personal hygiene, proper diet, and meditation are all independent of where you were born, how you were raised, your current age and the number of zeroes in your paycheck. Meditation has health benefits for all of us and helps us lead better and fulfilling lives. To know about the benefits of meditation, you might as well refer to this.
I hope this post was successful in banishing at least a few misconceptions about Meditation.
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Keep Reading. Chao!