top of page

Myths About Meditation and Mindfulness

Myth #1 Meditation is Too Hard

Truth: This myth is rooted in the image of meditation as a cryptic practice for gurus

and "holy people". In reality, when you learn from a knowledgeable teacher, meditation is not hard. The techniques can be as simple as focusing on the breath or focusing on your body sensations or sounds around you. One reason why meditation may seem difficult is that we try too hard to concentrate, or we're not sure we are doing it right

Myth #2: You have to quiet your mind in order to have a successful meditation practice.

Truth: This may be the number one myth about meditation and is the cause of many people giving up in frustration. Meditation isn't about stopping our thoughts or trying to empty our mind -- both of these approaches only create stress and more internal chatter. We can't stop or control our thoughts, but we can decide how much attention to give them. Although we can't impose quiet on our mind, through meditation we can find the quiet that already exists in the space between our thoughts.

When we meditate and thoughts arise, as they inevitably will, we don't need to judge them or try to push them away. Instead, we gently return our attention to our object of attention. As you become less identified with your thoughts and stories, you experience greater peace and open to new possibilities.

Myth #3: It takes years of practice to receive any benefits from meditation.

Truth: The benefits of meditation are both immediate and long-term. You can begin to experience benefits the first time you sit down to meditate and in the first few days of daily practice. Many scientific studies provide evidence that meditation has profound effects on the mind-body physiology within just weeks of practice.

Myth #4: Meditation is escapism.

Truth: The real purpose of meditation is the opposite of escapism or avoidance. You don’t tune out and get away from it all but to tune in and get in touch with your true self. In meditation, you notice below the mind's  surface, which tends to be filled with thoughts about the past and worries about the future, into awareness and stillness.

Myth #5: I don't have enough time to meditate.

Truth: If you make meditation a priority, you will do it. If you feel like your schedule is too full, remember that even just a few minutes of meditation is better than none. Don't talk yourself out of meditating just because it's a bit late or you feel too sleepy.

When we spend time meditating on a regular basis, we actually have more time. Our breathing and heart rate slow down, and our body decreases the production of stress hormones which make us less productive. 

Myth #6: Meditation requires spiritual or religious beliefs.

Truth: Meditation doesn't require a specific spiritual belief, and many people of many different religions practice meditation without any conflict with their current religious beliefs. Some meditators have no particular religious beliefs. People meditate for the many physical and mental health benefits of the practice.

bottom of page