Meditation myths abound. They can make the landscape confusing, especially for those who are just beginning meditation. Myths are just misconceptions, opinions and misunderstandings that have propagated over time. But myths can also be self-serving promotions by marketers for a trendy sales pitch and this is noticeably prevalent when one searches the Internet. Who and what to believe? Let's have a look at some of these myths and see if we can clear the air.
- Meditating Means Your Mind Does Not Think.
- Meditation Makes You Happy all the Time.
- Meditation is Part of Religion.
- Meditation is Difficult.
- Meditation Will Solve all Your Problems.
- Meditation Requires Long Periods of Time.
We addressed this in the Meditation for Beginners Guide. But to reiterate (since this is an important point), most people who say that they are unable to meditate, usually give this as their reason. They cannot still the mind.
Meditation is about awareness ... being in the present moment ... being a witness to whatever is happening. When you meditate, you observe your mind, feel your body and hear noises in your environment. What we recommend for meditators (advanced or beginner) is to use balancing techniques to focus the mind into the present.
As your awareness expands, you will notice that you are able to watch the mind instead of being identified with it. When you are able to just watch the mind, you can drop the techniques and just be a witness. If your mind wanders, just use your focusing technique again.
As you advance in meditation, you become a detached observer of your thoughts, and your awareness increases into what is termed "witness consciousness". This is a very subtle level of being, wherein the mind still exists but is even further in the distance and less dominant. In this experience, you become identified with a subtler dimension of your multi-dimensional consciousness wherein you are no longer "identified with your mind" but rather are aware that "you have a mind".
This myth is also rampant and you can replace the word happy with many other words like stress-free, accepting, joyous, etc.
As indicated before, what meditation does is expand awareness and increase present moment wakefulness. What this means is that you are aware of "what is so". Through awareness expansion, you are able to watch your experience without attachment. But you still "see" the same things. To put it another way, being able to watch what's happening does not mean that the things that were there are not there anymore, only that you can watch with less attachment and identification.
But we need to go further. The expansion of awareness allows you to watch the external (objective) polarity, but the internal landscape progressively shifts and this affects your experience of your outer world.
For example, with less attachment and more ability to witness, you can allow things to be as they are, including things you don't like. You begin to experience more contentment, and what is termed authentic happiness. This does not mean that you will like everything; you may dislike it all the same. But the fact that you dislike it simply does not matter. You become less willing to forfeit your inner peace and bliss for the sake of a simple opinion or preference in the outer world around you.
A way we can understand this point is to look at a child. Children are so expressive and in the moment. Something may make them very joyous and in the next moment they are upset and crying. They are so free in their expression. What we are saying is: Be who you are. Be happy, sad, mad, glad, etc. ... allow it to flow like the clouds in the sky. Don't be afraid of what any cloud looks like, rather just watch them come and go.
As you progress in wakefulness through balance, your inner peace and bliss will increase and deliver a constant contentment no matter what happens on the outside.
Meditation is not religious at all. It does not belong to any religion. It is a simple balancing technique, a practice to develop wakefulness and holistic experience.
That being said, meditation is practiced by people of all religions. Meditation will enhance any focus you have in life. If you are a religious person, meditation will develop a stronger connection between you and your source and thereby strengthen your experience of the "divine" (by whatever name you call it).
At Synchronicity Foundation for Modern Spirituality, we teach a modern form of meditation—High-Tech Meditation -- that is scientifically-based and designed for our times. It was created by a living master spiritual teacher, Master Charles Cannon.
If you have read the Meditation for Beginners Guide, then this should already be clear, but to put it simply, meditation is just a balancing technique where you close your eyes and watch what's happening. It does not matter what happens, a busy mind, a twitchy body, etc... Just watch. This sounds easy and it really is.
But in the simple act of "just being"... with an internal focus... a lot of things will progressively unfold.
To make meditation even easier, we have developed High-Tech Meditation®, a modern meditation system that allows you to experience more advanced states of being and much more quickly than with traditional forms of meditation. High-Tech Meditation is not instant enlightenment. It requires practice and dedication. The use of modern technology simply makes it easier to experience advanced states of consciousness that would normally only be available to the most seasoned meditators.
Meditation is not a quick fix to life's problems. So this is a myth to immediately dispel. Truthfully, meditation is a practice that will allow you to progressively and appropriately unfold a more holistic and balanced experience of life.
There is no limit to the results. It depends on your intention and your commitment -- from being able to enjoy life more fully all the way to a full-blown enlightening experience -- and anything in between.
This is not true. Meditation can be very effective in short sessions. Even 15 minutes a day can have a profound impact on your life experience over time.
Indeed, it is true that if you are able to find the time to meditate longer, it will increase the effectiveness of the practice. Look at it this way... when you meditate, you are going within and connecting to your source. The center of your being has a lot of power; as you connect to it, you are engaging that part of yourself whether you are aware of it or not. The longer you can immerse yourself in this source energy, the better.
That being said, meditating for a few minutes a day is also very effective. On this page you will find our free online meditation room. Notice this is a 5-minute High-Tech Meditation. This is because taking even 5 minutes in your busy day, whenever you are able, can boost you experience on all levels. We also have a 10-Minute High-Tech Meditation Apple app that you can take anywhere with you and have a "Balance Break" meditation at any time.
Don't underestimate short meditations. If you take that short time and really focus, using whatever technique you feel most comfortable with, it can be very impactful.