Frequently inferred beliefs.
Meditation has developed an interesting image. Some are accurate, while others are exaggerated or false. Frequently Inferred Beliefs (FIBs) are common conclusions, assumptions and self limitations that are held by many and are mostly untrue.
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Meditation is difficult.
Contrary to popular belief, meditation is easy. The process is actually straight forward, uncomplicated and simple. Unfortunately, our minds have difficulty accepting this principle and tend to overthink, over analyse and over judge the practice. This results in a tendency to believe there is some sort of wrong doing and that it is hard or difficult. In truth, sitting & closing the eyes is easy.
Meditation will not work for me.
The belief that you are in some way different than all other human beings and that you can’t meditate because your particular circumstance, situation or condition goes beyond meditation is simply incorrect. Anyone can be taught to meditate. “I can’t meditate because…” is simply an error of judgement. Consider it a mistake. The truth is mediation is a natural state, that is available to everyone. With the right technique and proper instruction everyone is able to benefit from meditation. As with all things, clarity comes with engagement. A little experience and practice will bring knowledge.
Meditation is uncomfortable, I can't sit still.
In this style of meditation, comfort is key. After all, comfort is the Western way of life. The only reason to sit (or stay) in an uncomfortable position, posture or pose in meditation is by consciously choosing to do so.
As for sitting for long periods of time, if you can sit for 1 second, you can sit for 1200 seconds, or 20 minutes. Start small and build on. 1 second is a great place to start. Go for progress, not perfection.
I am not good at meditating. I can't meditate.
The truth is everyone can meditate. People expect that they should automatically know how to meditate, but if no one ever taught you, then don’t expect to know how to do it. A simple set of instructions & deepening your understanding, along with guidance & support will quickly dispel this belief. If you have tried and failed don't blame yourself & think you somehow can't meditate. Instead, learn more about it and find a method that works for you.
I don't have the time to meditate.
This is the best reason to meditate. Of course you have time. The one thing that we all equally have is an abundance of is time. Time is infinite. You are simply choosing to ignore the truth. If you have time to binge anything (whether life enhancing or life diminishing) you have time to meditate.
You will have time to meditate when you choose to make it an important part of your life, and I guarantee it will be time well spent. When you make a conscious choice to prioritise meditation, you begin to realise that meditation actually saves you time. In fact, meditation gives you time. Time for yourself, time for others, and more time for life.
Meditation requires cultural, religious or spiritual beliefs.
While meditation is a part of many religious and spiritual traditions, in & of itself it is a simple process. Consider the familiar body process of exercise. Exercise is a practice that is done to improve the overall health & function of the body. The benefits are felt immediately & accrue with regular & repetitive practice. With exercise, there are no cultural, religious, or spiritual connotations or considerations.
Meditation is a mental process used to improve the overall health & function of the mind & body. Like exercise, the benefits are felt immediately & accrue with regular & repetitive practice.
Belief in cultural, religious or spiritual practices (or non practices) is not a requirement of meditation. However, if you have one you will likely notice a deeper connection to it.
I have too many thoughts, I can't stop my mind.
Stopping thoughts, controlling thoughts or shutting down the thinking process is not the aim of this meditation. The belief that our mind will in some way go blank or thoughts will stop is a mistake. Our mind was created to think, having thoughts is a part of being human. In this meditation, we learn to accept our thoughts and allow them to be there, and then we learn to go beyond them. Meditation allows us to change our relationship to our thoughts, not make them magically disappear. Although, this does sometimes happen in meditation.
Meditation is a form of brainwashing.
It is true, meditation cleanses the brain and the body of stress. However, meditation is no more hypnotic than a wind chime or a beautiful piece of music.
Meditation requires certain special external conditions.
There is a common belief that in order to be a meditator you have to hang out with certain people, listen to certain music, wear certain clothing, eat certain food, sit in certain ways, act certain ways and believe certain things. Candles, incense, shawls, beads, robes, alters, cushions … these are all external ornaments of meditation. They are like soft furnishings & mood making items. A nurturing environment might be nice & creating an identity or particular space might work best for you, but it certainly isn’t a necessity or requirement for meditation or to be a meditator. All that is required is your body, your will and a comfortable place to sit.
It takes years of dedicated practice to achieve results.
While benefits will accumulate over time, your mind and body will receive benefits the first time you meditate. Like everything, regular repetitive long term practice will result in profound, lasting benefits. It is important to remember that meditation is a practice. The more you do it, the better you get at it and the more powerful the results.
Not knowing where to begin.
Lack of awareness, information overload, myriad of choice and not knowing how to access the right teacher will definitely cause paralysis and put learning to meditate in the too hard basket. I get it. Begin by doing a bit of research and start where you are at. It is as simple as closing your eyes and allowing your breath to breathe you. There are various ways to meditate and learning more about it will help you know where to begin.
I feel strongly that everyone can meditate, and that learning more is the best way to know if, when & which type is right for you. I am happy to answer your personal questions, so that you have an accurate, complete and realistic view of meditation. There is no commitment to do a course.