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Common Meditation Myths Debunked

Updated: Dec 30, 2023

Meditation is such a wonderful and effective way to calm the mind, recover from stress, and enhance overall well-being.

However, there are many beliefs associated with meditation that can sometimes be harmful and might make meditating an unpleasant experience or even completely prevent starting it.

Let's go through and debunk some of the most common myths related to meditation.

A person meditating at home with their hand on their heart, looking calm and peaceful.
There are many myths and beliefs about meditation.

Meditation requires a completely quiet mind

It really doesn’t and the truth is that no one’s mind is ever completely quiet. Actually, it doesn’t really matter how much you have going on in your mind.

The thing, especially in mindfulness meditation, is learning to just observe your thoughts regardless if there are many or few.

Meditation is about achieving a specific state

There are various meditation styles, each with its own agenda. However, in the meditation styles we teach we are not trying to achieve any new state.

Instead, we are trying to return to our natural state of being by cultivating present-moment awareness.

You must sit in a lotus position and be still when meditating

Sitting still in a lotus position is one option for a meditation posture, but most certainly not the only one. There are many other postures and ways to meditate.

If the traditional ‘sitting still’-type of meditation just doesn’t work for you, try for example mindful movement, mindfulness walks, or laying down or standing up when meditating.

You need to meditate for hours to benefit from it

Some think that for meditation to be effective, you need to meditate for hours each day. However, even short sessions, like 5 or 10 minutes, have been scientifically proven to be beneficial.

There's a right and wrong way to meditate

There are countless meditation techniques and practices. What works for one person might not work for another. It's about finding what's best for you and your individual needs.

So please don't judge yourself if you try one type of meditation and it just doesn't work. 💚 Give yourself credit for trying it and move on to the next practice.

You can't meditate if you're restless

Many people believe they can't meditate because they can't sit still. This is somewhat similar to what I often hear from people saying they are too stiff to do yoga. Precisely because the more restless you are, the more you benefit from meditation, just as stiff people benefit from yoga. If you were already a Zen master, would you really even need to meditate?

So if you can't sit still to meditate for 5 minutes, start with 30 seconds and lengthen the time as it gets easier. And if sitting still doesn't work for you at all, try practicing for example mindful movement.

A person meditating on a white couch.
The most important thing is to find the way to meditate that suits your individual needs the best.

The Problem with Believing in These Meditation Myths

As you can see, there are many myths and beliefs about meditation and mindfulness. This isn't problematic in itself, but if these beliefs interfere with a meditation practice or even prevent it entirely, they should be critically examined.

Perhaps the most common beliefs relate to how meditation is done 'correctly' (or incorrectly). This can cause a lot of anxiety and uncertainty for beginner meditators, especially since instructions may vary a lot between different approaches.

We believe it's most important to find a meditation style that suits you personally and to understand that none of your characteristics or those of your mind are obstacles to meditation or practicing mindfulness.

The purpose is more to increase awareness of who we are in this very moment, rather than to start immediately blaming and changing ourselves 💚

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