5 Meditation Myths and 5 Meditation Facts
In the video and article below, you’re going to learn about five meditation myths and receive five meditation facts, just as the title suggests.
There are lots of myths and misconceptions about meditation because the practice has been a prominent feature in some of our societies for a very short time. There are also dogmas and teachings within various lineages that tend to complicate our understanding of what meditation is.
We’ll provide some fun and interesting facts about meditation here while dispelling the myths.
5 Meditation Myths & 5 Meditation Facts
Myth #1: Meditation is about quieting the mind and eliminating thought
Fact: There are forms of concentration meditation where you focus on one object and keep going back to it when you get distracted. However, most of the popular forms of meditation involve embracing thought instead of pushing it away.
Mindfulness is an essential ingredient for many techniques. It is about impartially observing thoughts that are both pleasant and unpleasant. This is what you do when your mind wanders from the meditation object. When you practice this, you are opening to life, moment by moment. You are becoming more alive.
Myth #2: Meditation is a way to run away from life
Fact: While some people use meditation to escape the complexities of life, the overall effect of meditation is much different. It is all about opening to life instead of running away from painful thoughts and emotions. It is about facing inner demons, and everything about ourselves our egos don’t want to face, and allowing resolution of the tension inside of us.
Meditation is the embodiment of courage, which is the opposite of cowardice.
On the other hand, there are some people who do withdraw. You may become more sensitive to other human beings when you meditate. Some get overwhelmed by this and limit their human interaction slightly. Others become more extraverted and more available and present for fellow human beings.
There are always a few people who can’t integrate this sensitivity with the social world and feel like they need to withdraw. This is a rare occurrence. There are ways to prevent it as well. Just ask.
Myth #3: There’s not enough time for meditation
Fact: This is balderdash. More accurately, this is hella-balderdash. Every day, we have elevator rides, traffic lights, grocery store lines, slow downloads and other down times. We can use that time to do something meditative.
Take those 20-30 seconds to focus on the breath, repeat a prayer, do a yoga pose, sing a spiritual song or repeat a mantra. It all adds up. Peaceful actions accumulate.
With some creativity, it’s not hard to devote a minute or so out of each hour to meditation.
Myth #4: Meditation is a religious practice
Fact: One of the major things that changes from technique to technique is the object of focus. Some people repeat the mantra “Shambho sada Shiva” (Lord Shiva, bless me and fill me with your eternal joy”). Others chant “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.” These are devotional chants.
Your meditation object does not have to be devotional or religious. Focus on the breath or on a word such as “peace”. Practice a movement meditation like Tai Chi which is based on sensation and movement. None of these are religious.
Many Buddhists in the west are Atheists. Meditation is one of the pillars of Buddhism. In their minds, the “religion” is just a set of teachings on how to be happier and more compassionate. When you put them into practice, you get real life results.
Myth #5: Meditation lowers motivation
Fact: This is a misconception that scares a lot of people away from meditation. Fortune 500 companies are now paying for, or at least encouraging, meditation and meditation classes for their employees. This is because it is proven to increase productivity. Google does it. IBM does it. Apple does it. Monsanto does it.
From an employer’s perspective, meditation leads to less sick time, less “blah” days, a greater ability to focus on work tasks, greater work efficiency and many other awesome things.
From an employee’s perspective, they are happier. They find it easier to focus on and achieve goals. They are less easily distracted.
When you meditate regularly, you are more in alignment with the flow of life. When you’re in the flow, it’s easier to tackle those to do lists. You will do so with a greater amount of energy as well.
Share your insights on meditation facts and myths in a comment below. Do you have more facts about meditation you want to share? Let’s hear them.
Tom Von Deck is a meditation trainer and speaker. Tom specializes in making meditation much much easier for busy and non-busy people from all backgrounds and paths. He is the Mackdaddy of The Deeper Meditation Video Zone and DeeperMeditation.net.