5 Greatest Misconceptions about Meditation

We make meditation difficult by turning it an impossible feat and a near-superhuman ability. But in truth meditation can be so easy. Read on to find out about the five greatest misconceptions about meditation that prevent us from benefiting from this greatest method of self-healing!

Meditation is easy.

We make meditation difficult by turning it an impossible feat and a near-superhuman ability. But in truth meditation can be so easy. Here are the five greatest misconceptions about meditation that prevent us from benefiting from this greatest way of self-healing!

Meditation is Intense Concentration – Meditation is the relaxation of the mind, not the exercise of it. Trying to concentrate consciously is like stiffening your muscles for a body massage. It is counterproductive to meditation.

Concentration is actually a side-effect or benefit of good meditation. Most people, even many meditation teachers mistake it for meditation. It is not. Meditation is easy focus; like the way you would spend an evening at the beach with a book. You really don’t concentrate on anything. You just let your mind relax.

Meditation is Total Absence of Thoughts – It is not. Once again this is a by-product of meditation sometimes and it is mistaken to be meditation. Meditation is simple awareness of your thoughts. You know that if you try to stop your mind from thinking about something all the mind can then think of is that which you don’t want to think about. And a lot of beginners give up meditation because of this. They think they are simply unfit for meditation. As if someone can be unfit to relax!

In meditation you are training your mind to take your thoughts less seriously. This is done simply by letting your mind think and at the same time watching those thoughts with an attitude of a dispassionate bystander. As if your thoughts are some vehicles passing on the street below as you watch them from your balcony. Yes in the beginning you tend to get lost with the thinking easily. That is the bystander becomes the driver of the car. And all you do, as soon as you realize this, is to go back to watching your thoughts idly.

Meditation must be done only at a certain Place And Time – It is not a must, it just an option. In fact, as a beginner you are most likely setting up yourself for failure if think you must do it at a certain place and only at an appointed hour. Because, then, even if you miss it once you are likely to get frustrated and give your mind an opportunity to quit it altogether. Sure meditating at a certain place and at a regular hour will help with your practice. But there is another benefit to meditating at various hours and at various places every day.

Even simple sounds such as the patter of water can help you relax your mind and meditate.

That is gaining the ability to relax your mind anyplace and at anytime. Anything can help you do that. The sounds and sights around you, watching your thoughts, being aware of sensations on the body, literally anything! One of the best methods is to combine both techniques of meditation. Meditate at a regular spot and time for a slightly longer time like, say between 10 and 30 minutes, and then meditate just for a minute or two at various times of the day wherever you are. This is one of the best combinations that works for me always! Then even if I skip the longer meditation I am not so disappointed, and I also gain the capacity to relax and heal in midst of work and noise! Try it and see!

Meditation takes a long time to master – What do you want – mastery or benefits of mediation like peace of mind, and mental clarity? Of course, by ‘mastery’ most people assume staying in a particular posture for long hours with intense concentration and without any thoughts whatsoever! Even the most practiced of all meditators cannot claim such an achievement! In a yogic practice such a  state is called Samadhi, whereas meditation is called Dhyana – a state of continued awareness that can lead to Samadhi if the aspirant wishes it. So meditation is different from Samadhi.

The long-term benefits of meditation require sometime to pop up in your life. The immediate benefits of mediation are, however, quite readily apparent. And meditation by itself does not take months or years to master. How many seconds do you need to relax? Relaxing the mind is successful mediation! To be able to relax with such consistency takes regular practice but by no means more than a couple of months if you really go at it.

Meditation is simple awareness of thoughts!

Meditation is Difficult – Do you really think it is that difficult even after reading all of the points above? Meditation is easy! We are all programmed to believe that we cannot gain anything unless we work hard towards it. And then we translate that belief into mental work too. Mind works the opposite. The harder we try to control the mind, the more violent and chaotic it becomes. In fact, our efforts to control it are adding to the mental noise not easing it.

The trick with the mind is to relax it by letting it wander. And then simply watching it without much reaction. It is easy to do. With enough practice you learn to do it even when you are disturbed. What you need here is not hard work, but short and easy repetitions. Remember, meditation is easy!


Create your own happiness with Positive Manifestation

Positive Manifestation has four parts – belief, autosuggestion, imagination, and consistency of thoughts. Positive Manifestations can change your life forever!

I’ve discussed about the power of manifestation and how we use it to create our own troubles in life. Now let me give you the other side of the coin i.e., how we can use the same power of manifestation to generate positive outcome in our lives and also let us see how we can break old chains of negative manifestation.

There are four major parts to a successful manifestation – believe, give yourself autosuggestion, imagine, and maintain consistency of thought.

Believe: When we are manifesting a certain issue in our life, the first thing that we do is believe in the outcome so strongly that we are subconsciously preparing ourselves for the outcome. Similarly, belief plays a very strong role in creating positive manifestations also. But, how can we bring ourselves to believe in something when we are not certain of the outcome? How can we believe that we will hail an auto driver who would not demand extra fare? The truth is it is difficult or at times even impossible to believe. But a manifestation would not work without belief. Does that sound like a religious argument? You have to believe in God to realize him!

There is a simple alternative. Pretend you believe! Act as if you really believe that you are going to get into an Auto peacefully and pay a fair price. Pretend to believe you will have a pleasant chat with your boss. Slowly as the manifestations come true, you will find it easy to believe in creating situations of your choice.

Give Yourself Autosuggestion: Give yourself an appropriate autosuggestion. We always give ourselves autosuggestions during negative manifestations. They happen at the subconscious level and we are hardly even aware we are thinking negative thoughts. Later, as the manifestation has become a habit, these negative autosuggestions would become neuropathways. So give yourself a positive autosuggestion and repeat it as if you believe it.

Imagine: For the subconscious mind anything ‘known is pleasurable and the unknown is painful’. Which means it is reluctant to tread into the unknown. So make a positive manifestation ‘known’ to the subconscious mind through imagination. Imagine yourself going through the entire scenario in your mind. Combine positive autosuggestions with vivid imagination powerfully until it puts you in a positive frame of mind!

Maintain Consistency of Thought: This is important. You may find it difficult to maintain the same positive frame of mind at all times. But whenever that is happening go through the first three phases of belief (or pretense of it), autosuggestion and imagination. It is important that you maintain consistency of thought. During Negative Manifestations our belief, autosuggestion, and imagination are so consistent that it would be a miracle for the manifestation to fail!

Failure Manifestations: You CANNOT bend the will of others with manifestation. So if you are essentially trying to prevent your boss from giving you extra workload, you create a positive manifestation where your autosuggestion would be ‘I will move by my boss’s cabin peacefully and calmly. I will greet him cheerfully if he sees me.’ What you are doing here is influencing YOUR subconscious mind to take up the right mental expectancy and body language. This in turn will send the right message for your boss.

Give yourself positive sentences for Autosuggestions. If you don’t want to lose your temper at anyone, tell yourself ‘I will remain calm and understanding.’ A manifestation will fail if your autosuggestion is ‘I will not get angry.’

Similarly your imagination should involve mostly your actions and your frame of mind. If you feel somebody is trying to break the queue and go into the ATM machine unfairly, your autosuggestion should be ‘I will enter the ATM and withdraw the money peacefully and fairly.’

Start with smaller positive manifestations first. They are easier to believe and they will give you more confidence.