When we think of mindfulness and meditation, we often think of a silent room or an outdoor retreat. If we’re new to meditation and a little unsure, it’s human nature to find reasons not to do it. However in our hectic, everyday lives, we benefit enormously from just a few minutes of meditation. The good news is there’s no right and wrong way to meditate.
Let’s dispel those myths that might be holding us back:
1. It clears your mind of all thoughts
People often describe meditation as a way to clear your mind of all thoughts when in fact it simply allows you to take a step back from your thoughts.
The misconception that your mind completely empties can often lead to frustration in beginners and ultimately cause people to give up.
Meditation is about acknowledging your thoughts from a distance so you can understand what’s going on in your mind. If you can’t get rid of a thought, accept it, and follow that thought through its permutations until it is done so you can then let it go.
2. You can do it ‘wrong’
There is no right and wrong way to meditate. It can be done at any time of day, in any location (as long as you feel comfortable), and for any length of time. Meditating is not about being a perfectionist, it’s about letting go. If you find yourself stressing about doing it right, tell yourself it is your practice and you can do it how you want. Just relax and be gentle with yourself.
3. You need perfect posture
The ideal posture for meditating is to maintain a straight back as this helps energy flow better. However, you can still meditate without achieving a straight back as this is about calming your thoughts as well.
4. You must sit still
The most important thing about meditation is your breath, it’s not about how you sit or the position of your legs or your posture or if you are perfectly still. Controlled breathing will lead to calmness and improved energy flow in the rest of your body.
5. You have to meditate in silence
In the real world, there are distractions. Rather than letting them frustrate you, acknowledge it and let it go. Accept it as part of your practice and allow it to increase your focus. Once you can do this, you know that you are truly meditating.
Join a Jung Shim Class
At Jung Shim, we run classes to help with meditation. The classes are based on eastern principles that promote mindfulness and good health through a steady flow and healthy store of ‘human energy’ (Qi), which maintains the balance of mind, body and spirit.
Qi Classes last one hour and consist of chanting, gentle movements and meditation to help re-train our minds to be more mindful.