The beautiful thing about meditation is that it can be practiced anywhere and at any time. In every moment. All you need is yourself and a readiness to look inside. I recall a woman some years ago telling me that she didn’t want to attend my Yoga classes because she heard that I always incorporate long meditations. This perplexed me, because first of all I rarely incorporated meditation at all, and secondly, when I did it was for a maximum of five minutes at the end of class.
For many, it can be difficult to engage with meditation – but that’s not because they’re not capable of meditating. Often, the obstacles are distorted ideas of what a meditation practice should look like. Even many industrious Yoga students neglect meditation – even though it is meditation that helps us to become subtler in our being, that gives us light, focuses our awareness and keeps us grounded in the here and now.
The five most common misconceptions about meditation
We live in a world in which every bowel movement is shared and broadcast, so there’s a general fear of missing out or being left out. If you allow yourself the time to nurture a meditation practice, you will recognize that meditation does not isolate: it connects! No one needs to escape to the Himalayas to meditate: it’s possible right where you are.
Meditation is time consuming
This is the thing with time: we spend countless hours surfing the internet and social media, or get lost in the best of Netflix, and then complain that we can’t find the time to meditate. Even though just five minutes a day will leave us feeling rested, centered and clear.
Meditation is only for ascetics
No need to completely change your life just because you start to meditate. Don’t worry, that will happen all on its own in time. Those who meditate should continue to enjoy life in all its fullness, dance on tables, and occasionally bathe in (vegan) chocolate mousse. Meditation supports us in experiencing all of these things much more intensely and in being fully present in each and every glorious moment.
Meditation means stopping your thoughts
Sounds great! But honestly, the thoughts will always be there. Meditation simply helps us to achieve a more objective perspective on the acrobatics of our mind, and to create some space between the thoughts that come and go. We become an observer of our thoughts, and meditation helps us to steer our observation.
Meditation takes skill
Anyone can meditate. Really. You don’t have to be a Buddhist or a Yogi, you don’t have to master lotus pose or look great in the newest Yoga leggings, or have absolved special training in order to meditate. Anyone who can breathe, can meditate.
© Jamin Balasz