The Essential Guide to Meditation
This guide to
meditation will take the mystery out of the word "meditation." For many
people, meditation conjures up images of monks in a monastery, draped
flowing garments as they sit around in silence seeking that
of enlightenment. But, really, that’s not what it is at all.
It might surprise you
to learn that you can practice meditation anywhere and at any time. In fact, if
you weren’t busy reading this article, you could do it right now. All it takes
is a few minutes of your time and the ability to focus on something. So why do
so many people struggle with the concept?
You probably know that
meditation began thousands of years ago as a spiritual practice. But we’re in
the 21st century now, things have moved on a lot since then, and
it’s time to get rid of the myths and old wives’ tales surrounding meditation
and muddying the waters once and for all.
SPECIAL NOTE: My friend, Mandy Bass, has laid out a wonderful guide to meditation! (It is a must-have for beginners.) You can learn more about it over HERE.
Guide to Meditation:
the Big Myths
Myth No. 1: You
need to clear your mind
If you’ve ever tried
it, you’ll know this is literally impossible. The idea is not to empty your
mind, but to slow it down so you can regain a bit of perspective.
Myth No. 2: You
need to sit still for hours on end
Who’s got that kind of
time? It’s better to meditate for 5 or 10 minutes every day than not at all.
Just sit somewhere and focus on your breathing. Simple, right?
Myth No. 3: You
need training to do it right
Basic meditation is
achievable by anyone. You can do it as you walk to the bus or tube station, or
when you’re soaking in the tub. Find something to focus on like your breathing
or your footsteps. Your mind will wander, but just bring it back to what you
were focusing on and… voila! That’s meditation.
Myth No. 4: You
need to be a bit of a geek
Geeks can meditate if
they want to, but so can everyone else. You don’t have to learn Sanskrit to do
it – just sit somewhere and breathe. You’ll be joining a group of more than 30
million Americans, including NFL players and US Marines. They can’t all be
geeks, can they?
Myth No. 5: It’s
No, it’s not difficult
at all. The only difficult part is getting started, finding the opportunity to
meditate that first time. And speaking of time…
Myth No. 6: It
takes too long
How long do you spend
checking messages on your phone? Reading updates on Facebook? Watching TV?
Sending Tweets? You’ve got plenty of time to spare – so take 5 or 10 minutes to
do something that will seriously benefit your physical and mental health.
The secret is to fit
meditation into your lifestyle. Spend a few minutes in the garden breathing in
the aromas around you. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds in your
neighborhood. Take 2 minutes before you get out of bed in the morning to think
about the people you love. They’re all examples of simple, practical methods of
meditation, and you don’t have to be a monk to achieve any of them.