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Meditation: It's not what you think

Updated on June 19, 2014

What is Meditation?

The idea of meditation has been touted in the west as a relaxation technique. But that is not what it is.

Sure, you may experience relaxation as a side benefit of meditating, but it's purpose is far bigger than that. The purpose of meditation is to focus the mind and be in control of your own thoughts.

Have you ever felt frustrated that you couldn't let go of a nagging idea? Your brain just kept cycling it up over and over and over even though you kept trying to think about something else. Practicing meditation allows you to be in control and to decide what you will focus your energy on.

This page will explore some common myths about meditation:

*Isn't meditation a pagan ritual? I'm a Christian, so I can't do it (or, I'm a Christian so I "meditate" by praying)

*Who has the time to meditate?

*Why meditate when you can listen to music instead?

*Meditation is boring

(image from http://www.innerhealing.com/meditation-like-you-ha...

Isn't Meditation a Pagan Ritual?

http://www.dmc.tv
http://www.dmc.tv

No

It isn't a ritual at all. It is a practice and it can be done with a Christian focus or a focus on whatever religion you follow. Though the term may have come from an eastern practice, it does not belong only to eastern religions.

Eknath Eswaran developed a meditation called Passage Meditation which can use any passage that has spiritual significance for you. He recommends the Lord's Prayer for Christians, or the prayer of St. Francis.

I Don't Meditate, I Pray

It's not the same thing

Prayer and meditation are two different practices and they both have value. Doing both is a great idea because learning to meditate clears your mind in such a way that your prayers become more direct and focused. After practicing meditation for a little while, you will likely find a stronger feeling of connection when you pray.

Who Has Time To Meditate?

http://thespiritualityproject.com/
http://thespiritualityproject.com/

We make time for what matters

If meditation is valuable for your life, then you make time for it.

For many people, meditation is a key practice that is part of the very reason for human existence. So it matters more to them than watching TV, shopping at the mall, grabbing a coffee, or taking an art class.

Another possible side benefit of a regular meditation practice is an ability to use time for efficiently. Because you are not wasting your energy chasing random thoughts around your head all day, you are able to get more done and feel more at peace while doing it.

Why Meditate When You Can Listen To Music?

Definitely not the same thing

If you think meditation is purely about relaxation, then you might just listen to music you find soothing.

But it's not. Relaxation is a side effect of meditation, but not the heart of it.

When you meditate, you are focusing your mind to a point and you need to be free from distractions. You are focusing inward, not to outward sounds.

The only reason music and meditation might go together

would be to provide a white noise background to help you drown out the other distracting sounds of your environment. Once you get really good at meditation, you will cease to hear it or any outside sound.

Meditation Is Boring

It isn't easy and it isn't a game

Learning to get in control of our own minds is hard work.

It is a practice that is going to develop your muscle of discipline and self control so that you can handle situations where you might feel bored.

Do you want to be the kind of person who can't stand still for even a moment without some distraction?

Meditation will teach you to be able to handle stillness, to handle the ups and downs of life without feeling like you're being thrown back and forth like a ship in a storm. You will weather life in a more peaceful way.

But it's going to take work. It may be fun for some, but its purpose is not for fun. It is to enrich your life. Once you learn to do this, you'll be better able to do anything else in life you want to.

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    • RuthMadison profile image
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      RuthMadison 4 years ago

      @GeorgeneMBramlage: I'm not sure what you're referring to. If you notice particular typos, I can correct them.

      I don't usually ask friends to proofread, since I have a MA degree in professional writing myself.

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image

      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 4 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      Good lens; very well laid out. However, some rough edges. Get someoneyou know and trust to proofread your material to pick up the little things that most of us don't see for ourselves. See my answer to meditation above.

    • RuthMadison profile image
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      RuthMadison 4 years ago

      @anne mohanraj: I hope you give it a try! It can provide such great benefits.

    • anne mohanraj profile image

      anne mohanraj 4 years ago

      Great lens! I'd like to start on meditation!

    • RuthMadison profile image
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      RuthMadison 4 years ago

      @NickOct: Thanks!

    • RuthMadison profile image
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      RuthMadison 4 years ago

      @GetAcneFree: Wonderful! Thank you :)

    • RuthMadison profile image
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      RuthMadison 4 years ago

      @mechanicaleye: Thank you!

    • NickOct profile image

      NickOct 4 years ago

      Great Lens with helpful information.

    • mechanicaleye profile image

      Eda Ċ kulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      Great lens, very informative. In fact, I love seeing articles that clarify some prejudice people have. ~blessed~

    • profile image

      GetAcneFree 4 years ago

      I love the way you've organized this lens! It definitely clears some things up about meditation.