December 2, 2013

3 Common Misconceptions About Meditation. ~ Michael Hetherington

Gandhi once said, “I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one.”

1. The biggest misconception regarding meditation is that you have to “stop thinking.”

The mind is designed to think and think it will regardless of your willingness to try and change it or stop it. Meditation simply involves becoming the witness to the thinking and learning to disassociate with the thinking. The most important move initially is to come to view the mind as an “it” and not an “I.”

Practice stepping back into the one who is watching the mind. When this is done, a re-contextualization automatically begins to occur and over time the mind loses its power and intensity over you.

When you can view the thinking mind in this way, freedom from the madness is realized.

2. The second biggest misconception about meditation is that “I don’t have time”.

Clock time is a man-made mental construct that actually dissolves into little importance when you practice ongoing meditation. Meditation somehow creates more time, or more accurately speaking, it makes the waking state more concentrated and more efficient therefore enabling you to complete tasks in 1 hour instead of 3, for example.

Deep meditation is also more effective at resting the body and mind than sleeping. So when one meditates often, the need or desire for sleeping is reduced, which then naturally creates more time in your waking state.

And of course, it’s also about priorities, if it’s really important to you, you will find a time to practice, so the excuse “I don’t have time” is not completely true for anybody. Gandhi once said, “I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one.”

3. The third biggest misconception about meditation is that it is will only bring experiences of bliss, peace, happiness, positive thoughts and make life easier.

While some types of visualization meditation use our imagination to help us feel better on the surface, real meditation often brings up intense turbulence. Meditation is about facing ourselves without running away into our habitual vices. It’s about facing the madness of our own minds, facing our fears, facing our past memories and facing our past hurts that we have oppressed.

When we can sit and face ourselves in this way, we learn to see the mind, the fears and the memories for what they really are. When the storms pass and the clouds dissipate, what is left is clarity.

Meditation is not about feeling good, it’s about getting real.


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Editor: Paige Vignola


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Michael Hetherington