I often hear people telling me, “Meditation is not for me; I am not the meditating type; I tried for 10 days and nothing happened.” To say “meditation is not for me” is like saying “good nutrition and exercise are not for me.”
A lot of potential meditators are still walking around with some preconceived notions about meditation. Let’s dispel some of these misconceptions.
Meditation is a state of profound, deep peace that occurs, when the mind is calm and silent, yet completely alert.
MRI scans show a decreases in brain cell volume in the amygdala, which is responsible for fear, anxiety, and stress. And these changes matched the participants’ self-reports of their stress levels, indicating that meditation not only changes the brain, but it changes our subjective perception and feelings as well!!
Truth: We all think of a saint sitting in stillness for hours. But, anyone can do it. The techniques can be as simple as focusing on the breath or silently repeating a mantra. Meditation comes naturally to us, just like breathing. It’s just that ours brains are too cluttered to practice silence.
Truth: Some meditators have no particular religious beliefs or are atheist or agnostic. They meditate in order to experience inner quiet. And the numerous physical and mental health benefits of the practice – including lowered blood pressure, stress reduction, and restful sleep. Just like we cleanse our intestines everyday, lets’ start cleansing our mind too!!
Truth: Meditation is not a magic wand. It is a practice that helps you broaden your perspective. And gives you a rare and intimate glimpse into your mind and your self. It is in silence that the best ideas are planted and nourished. Overtime, with practice, we become more resilient. Aso, we choose what to react to and what to ignore. Thus, it makes us more serene and we find joy in what we do. 🙂
Truth: We are an express, quick-fix generation. Some people are disappointed when they don’t get results. Such as ability to see visions, see colors, levitate or hear their inner voice. These aren’t the purpose of the practice.
The real benefits of meditation are what happens in the other hours of the day when we’re going about our daily lives. When we emerge from our meditation session, we carry some of the stillness and silence of our practice with us. Thus, allowing us to be more creative, compassionate, centered and loving to ourselves and everyone we encounter.
Truth: The benefits of meditation are both immediate and long-term. For example, a landmark study led by Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital found that as little as eight weeks of meditation, not only helped people experience decreased anxiety and greater feelings of calm; it also produced growth in the areas of the brain associated with memory, empathy, sense of self, and stress regulation.
You hear stories about people who wander off into the forest to meditate for 10 years. Or the “Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” who give away millions and went to meditate in the Himalayas. But you can start benefiting from meditation from Day 1. You don’t need to do it for years, or dedicate your life to it. It’s just like how you can benefit from running without years of practice, and without becoming a marathon runner. It doesn’t need to be a life path unless you want it to be!
Try it today and tell us how you feel!
Yogi. Blogger. Storyteller After, a decade of being a fitness enthusiast and various trial and errors with corporate jobs and teaching (post a PG degree in Management).