It’s amazing how something so peaceful and stress reducing can anger people so quickly. Bring up meditation practice to such people and they immediately dismiss it. Meditation? Isn’t that spiritual. Anytime the idea of spirituality or religion comes into a conversation with someone who isn’t spiritual or religious conflict tends to arise. Meditation can actually help with that. Rooted in eastern religions, meditation is inherently a spiritual as well as religious practice. However, meditation can be more than its association with religion. For example, the very definition of meditation indicates it can be both. While meditation is defined as a “devout” spiritual or religious “introspection” it is also defined simply as “continued or extended thought; reflection; contemplation”. Books full of the thoughts of philosophers and theorists and great thinkers have been written titled meditations. Twelve step programs in recovery include the practice of meditation. Most treatment programs include meditation practices as well. Scientifically, meditation has been proven to increase brain health literally, as well as emotionally and in terms of wellbeing. Meditation is also a great stress reducer. People tend to jump to conclusions and judgments before getting a full understanding of what meditation really is.
Happify explains four of the biggest misconceptions about meditation.
People often imagine a monk sitting in solitary high up in the mountains, secluded in an ancient temple, meditating for hours on end. While this is one form of meditation, it isn’t the only form. Research has proven that you can reap the benefits of meditation from just five minutes.
You’d be surprised how many celebrities, politicians, and global leaders use meditation. Meditation isn’t reserved for any kind of person. Anyone can meditate.
That’s exactly why you need to meditate! Mediate is about letting go of control and judgments about perfection. Overtime, you can achieve a quiet state of mind which helps you focus more. You’re still meditating even if you think about cats the whole time you meditate. You’re just meditating on cats.
As a society, we are used to holding on to a little bit of toughness which helps us in the race for survival of the fittest. Unfortunately, in recovery and with practices like meditation, you do become a little more “soft”. Meditation is known to increase feelings of empathy and compassion, even kindness toward others.
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