Intuitive, Lisa Turner busts some myths around meditation and why persistence is the key if you want to reap the benefits.
One of the most common problems people tell me in relation to meditating is this: “I’ve tried but my mind just won’t be still.” Some people even stop meditating because of this. OK (rubbing hands together with glee) let’s do some myth busting shall we?
Myth one: “If I’m thinking, I’m not going very deep”
WRONG! The experience of your mind ‘being still’ is entirely subjective. There is no correlation between the depth of your meditation and what you experience.
Researchers wired up meditators’ brains to measure how deep they went into alpha, delta, and theta states. They also asked the meditators to report on their experience. There was absolutely no relationship between the depth of meditation experienced and how far into alpha or delta they went.
Indeed, the opposite was sometimes true. Very often, a subject would ask to have their results scrapped as their mind was going all over the place and they thought they hadn’t reached a very deep state, when, in fact, the scans showed they had been right down in delta, the deepest state, all along. It actually makes perfect sense that you would have more thoughts, as you are going deeper into untapped places within your unconscious mind.
So, ignore what you experience. Just keep returning to the mantra, breath, counting, or whatever it is you’re focusing on in your meditation.
Myth two: “If my mind is racing, I’m doing it wrong”
WRONG! You’re accessing new parts of your mind and clearing them out. When thoughts come up, it’s a good thing, as you’re bringing into consciousness previously repressed material, which is what makes meditation so beneficial. Thoughts are good, just acknowledge them, let them go like clouds in the sky, and return to your focus.
Myth three: “If I can’t still my mind, I should give up”
WRONG! It’s the practice of meditation that brings the benefits, not the experience you have. Whether you are thinking, have a blank mind, or go into a really deep silent state is irrelevant. You get the most benefits from meditation just from doing it, period – not from what you experience throughout.
Also – deciding to give up meditating because you think you’re not good, is like giving up practicing the piano because you’re not a concert pianist within a few weeks! That’s why you should practice more, especially if you want to reap all the amazing benefits. Finally, if you’re still struggling, try chanting this mantra to help remove obstacles, especially to things like meditating. “Om Gum Gunapataye Namaha”