Meena's Musings

Meditation Misconceptions

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As widespread as the practice of meditation is becoming, it still remains a mystery for many of us.  As I pondered upon the resistance that many of us have regarding meditation, it dawned on my that more than the fear of the unknown, there is a mental block due to many misconceptions about meditation.  Here they are:

  1. I am not stressed therefore  I don’t need to meditate.  90% of the stress is subconscious and it drives our behaviors and habit patterns. Since being perpetually stressed is the “norm” , there is a lack of reference as to what “being without stress” feels like.  Stress is a by-product of living, esp. in today’s world,  and it must be eliminated intentionally.  The fact that we can’t quantify stress or “see” it, makes it crucial that me eliminate it regularly, as we can get blind-sided by the effects of it.  Chronic stress pressurizes the nervous system and can show up in number of ways:  insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, depression to name a few.
  2. My anxiety is what gets me going.  If I get relaxed, I won’t be able to function.  This belief fuels our anxiety and keeps us stuck in this cycle, only to come to a halt when the nervous system crashes i.e. nervous break down.  As I thought more about the need for this thinking, I think it is coming from a need for validation, ” If I am always busy, and anxious about it, I am important, I matter, I exist and I have a life”  I can’t speak for everyone, but that has been my experience in working with many clients.  That need is then met by over-stimulating the nervous system  and not releasing the accumulated stress sufficiently.  If we shift our sense of  identification to our true self ( which without meditation, becomes only a word), not only we will accomplish more, we will do so anxiety free.  Feeling continuously anxious about “everything to do” is very different from actually doing everything.  A clear and calm mind accomplishes more!
  3. My mind is very active, therefore I can’t meditate.  The monkey nature of the mind is universal.  Calmer mind is a by-product of meditation.  In meditation, we let go of mind, the body, and contact the source of our being.  In that process, when the stress is released, not only the mind naturally quiets down, we shift our sense of identification to our true self…( which is beyond body, mind and beyond description, but not beyond experience)
  4. I can’t be still, so I can’t meditate.  Inability to stay still is a function of a an overstressed and overstimulated nervous system.  Not being able to sit still is not healthy and must be addressed.  Meditation provides us with the tools on how to still the body and the mind.
  5. I have too much to do, can’t take time to meditate. Always feeling like we have too much to do and not enough time to do it, is a state of feeling overwhelmed.  This experience is coming from not being able to clean up the unnecessary stress that has been accumulating over time.  There is no mental space left and the same thoughts continue to circle the mind, keeping us in a perpetual feeling of being overwhelmed.  This is a clue to stop!  There is a need to empty out the garbage bin, as it is overflowing!  Meditation is the way to do it!  We accomplish more when we are not feeling overwhelmed; we can organize and prioritize better letting go of unnecessary stuff or things to do.  This gives us an experience of feeling calm and relaxed.  When we stay calm, we accomplish more in a shorter amount of time, therefore we save time.  Imagine that!
  6. I don’t understand meditation.  Most of us don’t understand how electricity works, yet we use it and reap the benefits.  There is no need to understand how meditation works, there is only the need to practice it.  We are not what and how much we know, we are what we experience.  Don’t we all deserve to experience clarity and mental peace?