Meditation courses have recently been experiencing a surge in popularity. They are getting more and more attention from clinical researchers, as well as vast coverage nationally and in international publications. While the majority of the coverages are positive, many of the potential meditators still hear about meditation myths.
It's high time that we bust those myths once and for all regarding meditation and its courses.
Misconception 1: Meditation Takes Years of Practice
One must have heard multiple stories of how people abandoned their well-settled life and went into the woods. Or the monk who gave up his Ferrari and millions and moved to the Himalayas to meditate? The truth is that people can reap the benefits of meditation at the start of it. They don't have to do it for years or become an expert. If they don't want it to be a life path, it doesn't have to be.
Misconception 2: Not Good at Thinking about Nothing
Many people believe that meditation is all about emptying yourself from emotions, sentiments, and thoughts. They struggle with it continuously and believe they are bad at meditation as a result. Meditation is more like setting aside time to direct the mind. It's a quiet process but requires individuals to pay attention to the inner thought processes.
Misconception 3: Meditation is nothing more than a relaxation technique
Certainly, relaxation plays an important role in meditation but it is not everything. People can have the misconception because they see people training their focus and attention. There are some types of meditation that encourage the practitioner to focus on one object. For example, Focused Attention Meditation (FAM). No doubt, relaxation is a pleasurable state to be in. Technically, it is known as ‘Jhana’. Many other strategies of relaxation stop at relaxation. However, Jhana is different; it is defined as the highest level of inner peace and relaxation. When somebody reaches it, they are able to maintain the state forever.
Let’s compare it to Vipassana meditation. The big goal in Vipassana meditation is to develop awareness. Undoubtedly, focus and calm are necessary for enhancing awareness levels in oneself. Nevertheless, they are not the goal. What’s the ultimate goal? It is to grow insight and awareness. Moreover, it is a strictly religious exercise whose purpose is to transform the lives of practitioners.
Misconception 4: The Goal of Meditation courses Is To Reach The Dream-Like State
It can be true regarding some forms of meditation but it does not apply to all types. There is a form of meditation known as insight meditation which people mistake as hypnosis. In fact, it is not the case at all. Some people mistake it as a way to get rid of emotions and become a robot. Nothing can be far from the truth. In reality, meditation brings increased emotional awareness which boosts personal development.
Let’s understand the difference between hypnosis and extreme levels of concentration. In hypnosis, the individuals can be controlled by another person. However, in deep levels of concentration, the person is able to maintain their self-control. Therefore, meditation is not entirely about going into trance like states.
Misconception 5: Meditation courses have Nothing to Do With Logic
When we analyze the above statement, we see that it is not completely true. In reality, meditation consists of both aspects. It means that it connects with both the conscious mind and the unconscious mind. For instance, everybody knows how to walk but it is extremely difficult to describe the movement of body parts and muscles. In other words, it is easier to show than explain with words.
Similarly, meditation is something to be practiced. Some experts say that it is like an adventure because every meditation session reveals something new about the individual. If somebody perceives it as an experiment, it will be easier to do it. From this perception, it is easier to be curious and experience everything with an open mind.
Misconception 6: Meditation is only for Certain Kind of People
Surely, the saints and yogis meditate regularly and have grown comfortable with repeated practice. However, meditation is for everybody. When we look at the scientific evidence, it is clear that children, young men and adults can easily practice it. It means that researchers have asked every kind of participant to participate in their scientific studies.
There are some people who think that meditation is only for compassionate people. It is completely untrue. Compassion meditation not only enhances feelings of compassion in compassionate people but also boosts compassion in people struggling with it. Multiple types of research have supported the benefits of compassion meditation.
Misconception 7: Meditation courses are a Strategy for Selfish People
It is true that meditation exercises require time and personal effort. Some people also designate a specific place for it. All of it can look selfish on the surface. Let’s understand it by the example of a flight. We know that in a flight, the passengers are always instructed to wear their oxygen masks first and then help others. Similarly, meditation is a form of self-care which requires one to attend to their needs first and then help others. Thus, meditation exercises are not a form of selfishness.
Misconception 8: Meditation Eliminates all Worries From Life
It is wishful thinking and far from reality. Meditation exercises, in actuality, strengthen the person from inside. It is possible because the person is able to boost their self-awareness, self-confidence and resilience. In this way, the meditation practices internally mature the person and equip them with the tools to deal with the challenges of life.
Another powerful internal capacity that meditation nurtures is patience. It is commonly believed that patience develops with age but we know that meditation exercises are excellent ways to foster patience within. Patience is a strong capacity that enables a person to think clearly and make suitable decisions. Hence, it is not meditation that takes away all the life issues.
All in all, people can have various misconceptions about meditation and meditation courses. The purpose of the article is to help people tackle all the possible misconceptions. It can help in registering for a meditation course for personal development. Moreover, courses offered by Realisely are excellent for self-development and bring a positive change in life.Read More: “How Yoga Meditation Improves Brain Function and Energy Levels”