Meditation is for anyone - any age, any gender... it's for YOUMeditation is surrounded by myths. Here are a few common myths, and the reality.

Myth #1: Meditation is a religious practice.

Although meditation is part of nearly all religious practices, it also transcends religion. Meditation benefits everyone, whether they are religious, spiritual, agnostic or atheist. It’s about going within, not about worshiping anything.

Myth #2: You have to sit in the lotus position to meditate.

Not true! And, impossible for many people with physical limitations. It’s only important that you are comfortable, and steady – think “mountain.” You can sit however you like – in a chair or couch, on a meditation cushion – just remember to keep your spine erect and avoid slouching. You can sit cross-legged, or not! Sit however you like! You can also do moving meditations like Tai Chi, Yoga, Qi Gong or walking – no need to sit at all!

Myth #3: Meditation is for older people

Soooo not true! My kids started meditating when they were 4 years old as part of their Tae Kwon Do classes. Meditation at this age is very brief, of course, but the duration can grow with age and practice. Meditation is great for school kids to help them develop self-discipline, emotional self-control, focus and concentration, empathy and compassion, and inner peace.

Myth #4: Meditation means concentration and I can’t concentrate when my mind is busy

Meditation teachers talk about focusing on an object, mantra, sound, etc. but this is only to quiet the mental chatter. Concentration requires effort; meditation is the absence of effort. Concentration requires hanging on; meditation is about letting go. When the mind is relaxed and free of mental chatter, concentration comes easily and naturally!

Myth #5: Meditation is mind control

No outside force can control the thoughts in your mind. Thoughts come and thoughts go. Mediation is about witnessing – the simple act of observing thoughts, whether they are positive or negative, and not getting involved in them. Eventually, you transcend thought altogether (realizing that you are the observer, and you ARE not your thoughts) and the mind becomes silent.

Myth #6: Meditation is escapism

When you “sit and do nothing” you are not running away from your problems to some magical mental space where problems don’t exist. On the contrary, meditation gives you the self-esteem and essential life skills to face your problems confidently, optimistically and with energy and resolve. You’ll become stronger and more resilient through meditation, and will develop the ability to see your problems in a different light – instantly transforming problems into opportunities, blessings and lessons – and in this way, many “problems” will disappear on their own!

Brainwave entrainment helps anyone meditate!Myth #7: Meditation requires chanting mantras

False. While you can use Sanskrit or other mantras, don’t feel compelled to if you feel weird about it. You don’t have to chant mantras at all! And if you want to, any word or sound that resonates with you will do. One of my personal favorites is “Love.” What better mantra, in my own tongue, can there be, for me?

Myth #8: Meditation is self-hypnosis

It’s actually the opposite. In hypnosis, you are unaware of what you are doing. Meditation is perfect awareness. While you enter an altered state of consciousness in meditation, you remain alert and aware.

Myth #9: You should meditate at certain times of day.

Traditionally, meditation is done during the transitional hours of dawn and dusk – and that is still the ideal. But let’s face it, modern life isn’t always conducive to that! ANY time of day is good for meditation. Sneak in a quick one on your lunch hour; meditate late at night to give yourself a calmer mind when you go to sleep. The most important thing is consistency – a daily practice – for maximum benefit.

Myth #10: You need to meditate for many hours a day.

Wrong! Especially with brainwave entrainment, you can meditate for 30 minutes and get all the benefits. You can go very, very deep into a meditative state in a short time using entrainment.

Myth #11: Meditation is a New Age nonsense practice.

It’s actually been around for many thousands of years. It’s been studied extensively, and is seeing a resurgence in the modern era because of its tremendous benefits.

Myth #12: People who meditate belong to a cult.

Absolutely not true. Cults coerce people to join – meditation is a celebration of one-ness, love, individualism and freedom of thought and spirit. Anyone, anytime, can meditate.

Myth #13: Meditation is hard work

Beginners often get frustrated, but that doesn’t mean they’re “doing it wrong.” You can use your frustration as meditation – being aware of it, witnessing its effects, etc. – and voila, you are meditating! Meditation is about allowing and awareness – not “work.”

Myth #14: Meditation is just relaxation

It’s actually much more powerful than lying on the sofa. It promotes extremely deep physical and mental relaxation. Think about it: when you’re lying on the sofa, your mind is still racing on about your worries (unless you temporarily distract yourself); so your relaxation may not be all that relaxing at all! But in meditation, you step back from your “problems” and this allows for complete relaxation.

Myth #15: It takes years of intense daily practice to produce results

The benefits actually begin immediately, after the first session. However, they may be subtle and your awareness of self may not be great so you may notice nothing. The benefits will increase and amplify over time, so it may appear that it took years to get “here.”

Meditation offers so many benefits, it would be shame to miss out just because of these myths. They’re not true, so feel free to go within and experience the bliss!