2. Meditation Myths

4 minutes
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I'd like to address some prevalent myths about meditation. It's hard. I can't stop my mind entirely. It takes too long. I have to sit on a pillow in the lotus position. I have no time.

I'm not coming off to meditate. I'm not spiritual enough to meditate. It will take years to reap benefits. It's a religious practice. None of the above is true. But let's address them one at a time.

It's hard. Well, if you believe it's hard it could be. There's a famous series of poems and pictures created in China in the 12th century known as the Zen ox herding pictures. When I was first introduced to them I actually found them annoying because the gist of the poems and pictures says that meditation is hard. And it just doesn't have to be. If you're trying it all, you can't do it wrong, and you will reap benefit.

Next myth, you have to stop your mind. Well, if you had that much mind control, you wouldn't need to meditate. In a 10 to 15 minute meditation, I may have only a few seconds of a truly still mind. And I consider that as success. As my meditation teacher said to me, it's normal to have thoughts such as wanting a grilled cheese sandwich passed through your mind. But if you start to visualize getting up, going to the kitchen, taking out the cheese, getting the bread and grill and starting to make the sandwich, you've gone too far.

Approach wandering thoughts like listening to the radio in the car. When a song comes on, you don't like just change the So when a thought comes in that you don't want, change the thought to whatever your meditation is focused on. To paraphrase a famous quote. thoughts will always come when you meditate, but you can stop them from nesting in your hair. Next myth, it takes too long. You can actually start with two minutes a day.

While you're cooking your morning egg, I'll show you how. Next, I have to sit in the lotus position. Nope. Any comfortable position is fine. Even in a chair. I have no time.

I'll teach you how to find the time. I'm not calm enough. Well, that's the point. Meditation will help to calm you I'm not spiritual enough. It's not spiritual or religious, unless you want it to be viewed as a stress reduction technique. It will take years to reap benefits.

Research shows you can begin to notice results within four to six weeks of regular meditation. It's a religious practice. It's not religious. Again, it's a stress reduction technique that you can practice and benefit from whether you're Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist, or you can make it the core of your spiritual practice depending on the technique you choose. It's your choice. Some of this misconception comes from the fact that meditation is often associated with Buddhism.

But here's the quote from Buddhist teacher, tick, not Han, which addresses this. And I think you could substitute the word meditation for Buddhism. There's a misconception that Buddhism is a religion, and that you worship Buddha. Buddhism is a practice like yoga, and you can be Christian and practice Buddhism. I met a Catholic priest who lives in a Buddhist monastery in France. He told me that Buddhism makes an A better Christian.

I love that. Let's move on to lesson three. The physical benefits of meditation.

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