Let’s face it, it’s hard to do meditation wrong. The reason? Because there are as many ways to practice as there are meditators practicing. That said, when it comes to meditation for beginners, there are several myths that unless addressed might just hold you up from starting a practice.
In this recent Whole Living post from Kate Hanley, 3 leading meditation myths are debunked.
Top on the list is the belief that a solid meditation practice must be painful. According to Hanley, this couldn’t be further from the truth. When it comes to meditation there are no hard and fast rules about where you should sit or for how long. While meditation might not be the most enjoyable experience the first couple times around, it certainly doesn’t have to be torturous.
Myth 1: Meditation Must Be Mentally or Physically Painful
Myth 2: Meditation Is Only for Monks
I will admit that it can feel like not much is happening on the spiritual development front when you meditate—whether you’re sitting quietly or engaging in a simple task. My favorite meditation teacher, Sharon Salzberg, said it best, “Even when you think nothing is happening, it is.”
Whether you’re a beginner or an old hand, there will be days where it seems all you do is get off track and get caught up in some daydream or thought stream and you completely forget your chosen focus again and again. But even on those days, the act of recognizing that you’ve gotten waylaid and making the conscious choice to redirect your focus is teaching you one of the most important meditation and life skills there is—the ability to forgive yourself for any lapses and to simply start again. Being aware enough to notice when you’ve lost your way, kind enough not to beat yourself up about it, and trusting enough to get going again will help you in every single area of your life.
Myth 3: I Have to Stop Thinking In Order to Do It
Read more from Hanley on debunking meditation myths here.