Meditation is a vacation that wipes off impressions that cause stress and strain. It is like a holiday that doesn’t make holes in the pocket but rejuvenates the mind and body. Imagine a phase in life when your mind stops chattering about the things you don’t want to listen to. What if you begin to attract good vibes from people around you, when times don’t land you into bad weathers as you know everything comes with an expiry date so this too shall pass and life is just a melodious song.
Let’s meditate to become better. But before that let’s understand meditation by ruling out the myths that walk along.
Myth #1 Meditation is Concentration
Ah! Meditation is befriending one’s own self and becoming aware of the working of the mind. Once awareness comes in; meditation gives deep relaxation. Impressions come and go on their own. “I treat negative vibes or reminders as uninvited guests who are not beaten up but welcomed. They are also offered tea or snacks and finally they leave and go,” feels Malar, who is now a regular meditator. This shows that meditation is relaxation of the mind as we meet everyone on the same positive plane of tolerance. Concentration is the reward of meditation. Meditation helps us to let go to get deep rest and welcome silence.
Myth #2 Meditation is Religious in Nature
Another myth that needs to be shattered is that yoga and meditation are linked to religion. Practicing the same actually takes us away from our own religion. But the fact remains that just like breathing is intrinsic to life similarly Yoga and meditation are ancient practices that transcend all religions and are also intrinsic in nature. Observe an infant who breathes, does all yoga postures and reflects and respond positively with a smile as if in deep meditative knowledge. Meditation has the ability to bring religions, nations and faiths together under the roof of peace and wellness. Meditation makes life a celebration as we wash away negatives on a daily basis and connect to the divine self. “We encourage people from all backgrounds, religions and cultural traditions to come together and meditate in a spirit of celebration,” says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
Myth #3 The Lotus Posture is Must To Meditate
To meditate one must not worry about the posture needed to sit. Instead, try to feel comfortable to get a deeper experience in meditation. For this just sit comfortably on a sofa, a chair or a mat and cushions for support. In fact to begin with just remember to keep your spine straight, eyes closed, neck and shoulder relaxed and a smile on your face. “Sthirasukhamasanam,’’ a yoga sutra by Patanjali explains that while meditating, comfort is most important.
Myth #4 Meditation Is meant For The Old
Meditation is best described as a shower with best shower head that refreshes the mind and makes it calm. Then don’t we all need to meditate as all age groups need to be calm to lead a quality life. Tanya, a teenager who learned to meditate, finds that she is able to handle peer pressure, stress of performance, competition and emotions very well.
Myth #5 Meditation Is Nothing but Hypnotism
“Those who practice pranayama and meditation regularly cannot be hypnotized easily,” says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
Hypnotism is an unconscious state in which a subject can be influenced and is not aware of what he says or does. It even increases metabolic activity, whereas meditation reduces it. So Meditation is an antidote for hypnosis. Meditation brings about awareness and alertness as the chatter of the mind comes to a standstill. Hypnotism gives rise to a chatter that lacks control. “Oh! Meditation leads to concentration and better focus. Meditation erases negative impressions to make our consciousness clear and lucid. I’m much more fearless and dynamic because I’m positive”- exclaims Piyush, 24, an avid meditator.
Myth #6 Meditation Is the Effort to Control Thoughts
Meditation is effortless exercise as thoughts and patterns come and go. The same can be positive or negative. Both come and go. “In the beginning thoughts especially negative ones stay longer but nevertheless they too are treated as guests. But since they are not given much attention, the same leave…that’s it,” shrugs Anuj, 19, an engineering student. So this is how we first become aware of our thoughts and their quality. Slowly we transcend them and meet our inner self that is naturally calm. We witness the change and are motivated to meditate. This is how we get rid of thoughts to find the self.
Myth #7 Meditation Means Evading Problems
Meditation is the most powerful tool as eventually it grooms the mind that earlier oscillated between past and the future. Like this the present is lost. Meditation helps us to do our best by being in the present moment. Like this we get rid of past impressions and future anxieties. Our battle is won as we do our best by first accepting situations. This helps us to become part of the solution instead of problems. In the process we learn to smile as we look for solutions and find them. People who do not meditate listen to the chatter and look at problems and fail to find solutions. With regular practice meditation helps us with inner confidence and sense of self worth.
Myth #8 Good Meditation Benefits Ask For Long Hours
Just 20 minutes of meditation gives you the real benefits. It is a short journey to find our source. Daily practice helps us to first become aware then cleanse naturally with consciousness. Just a 20-minute session of Sahaj Samadhi meditation brings us to experience the inner journey to find the peaceful self. “Oh! It is so magnetic. Our inner self smiles at all times and gives us the strength to know the power of the present moment,” feels Satya Prakash. Daily meditation brings us closer to our natural self that possess great intuitive powers to guide and protect us.
Myth #9 Meditation Makes You a Boring Recluse
Meditation is the latest ‘in-thing.’… the new corporate mantra to beat stress. One doesn’t become a monk who escapes to the hills but he may be the next one with a Ferrari. Yes! you need not give up material way of life and become a recluse. But surely meditators learn to enjoy, celebrate, perform well and live life King size. Like true philanthropists they bring about positive changes in their environment and people around them. They vibe well with life and are received well in return.
Myth #10 Meditation calls for unearthly Morning Hours
Meditation happens well with daily practice. Choose a convenient hour instead of a rigid time table that adds to existing stress levels. The only tip is that a full stomach hampers a good experience. At the same time one shouldn’t be hungry. “Well! The practical tip is to have a light snack before a meditation session as hunger pangs spoil the experience,” shares Pramod. An early morning practice is popular with veterans as it helps them to keep energetic and fresh. Meditation at night helps to cleanse the negatives of the mind gathered during the day. In time as the goodness of meditation grows on us, we tend to meditate to enjoy the experience of this divine power with a smile.