Today, I’ll give you the first two, of a half-dozen fundamental myths many people believe, especially those who say they cannot meditate. When I recently did a workshop on this, I promised participants I’d give them a tenner if they could honestly say they cannot meditate by the end of the 45 minutes. I didn’t have to pay out because once ALL the myths are busted (more coming soon), and under proper guidance, everyone is able to meditate.
Meditation Is To Stop Or Empty The Mind
Many people think the purpose of meditation is to either empty the mind or stop one’s incessant thinking. Both of these are incorrect.
OK, if emptying the mind or controlling one’s thoughts is NOT the purpose of meditation, what is?
There are many things you can use meditation to help with, so to say it is ONE thing is incorrect. To take control of the mind, or stop it completely at will, takes a huge amount of meditation time – of which 6 months will be in silent retreat – so this is NOT a viable purpose to begin your journey. You CAN gain calmness, peace and feelings of contentedness fairly quickly although possibly not within the first few times you practise. It depends on where you’re at when you begin.
I Cannot Meditate Cos My Mind Is Too Busy
Many people believe, due to having an abundance of thoughts that seem to never shut up, there is no way meditation will achieve – for them – the calmness that is reported. They may have tried – unsuccessfully – to subdue their thoughts with a meditation; proving they are unable to meditate.
If you have a busy mind, you will have to do a meditation designed to calm the mind (not all meditations are designed to do this – see my next blog-post). It is best to do this under competent guidance because although the instructions seem easy there are many nuances to navigate. A body relaxation then single-pointed-focus on the breath can calm your mind and get you into that deeply peaceful space… BUT, to expect your mind to become still is going to create a tension you do not need or want. This is where the nuances start: expecting or trying to stop your mind will add an additional stress therefore make it worse!
A busy mind can be a symptom of stress. I have a non-meditation process I use with clients to help them get beyond their ‘Busy Mind’ so they can quickly take advantage of meditation – without the harmful struggle. I’ll give this to you as soon as I have fully written the instructions so you can use it to Melt-Stress within minutes (watch out for the blog-post coming soon).
When you take away the emphasis on calming and stopping your thoughts, meditation becomes easier to do. It is a practice you can develop; so you end up with experiencing peace and calm without trying to make it happen. A better target is to work on sitting down to meditate, then focusing your attention (but not too rigidly), and exploring your experience… I’ll get into all that on future posts (and on my course).
I hope you enjoyed finding out about this myth. I have a slideshow which takes you through the 3 DNA components of meditation to further your understanding. Find it in the FREE course (link below). If you already meditate, feel free to share it. The next post is on another myth of meditation… By the way, one of the myths is about meditation postures, as illustrated by both images on this page :-)
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