Myths about mindful meditation

1. All meditation is pretty much the same. This was the biggest source of confusion for me when I was learning how to meditate. I didn’t realize that there were several different forms of meditation, such as Transcendental Meditation, guided imagery, and contemplative meditation. And each has different goals. What I did was try them all, and achieved little results. When I finally realized what I was doing, I picked one, mindfulness meditation, and committed myself to learning it well. That is when I began to make the greatest progress in my personal development.

2. Mindfulness meditation is of no practical use. The main purpose of mindfulness meditation is to train our mind to see ourselves and the world with greater clarity, so we can make better decisions in all our affairs, such as relationships, career, and social action. It also improves our mental abilities, such as memory, creativity, and abstract thinking, which makes us more effective in everything we do.

3. Mindfulness meditation is used to escape reality. On the contrary, mindfulness meditation enables us to see reality without our views being influenced by our emotions or preconceived ideas. In fact, the definition of mindfulness is awareness of reality. Meditation calms our emotions, and the excess chatter in our mind, so we can see the world more objectively.

4. Mindfulness meditation is self-absorption. It is quite the opposite. As we develop mindfulness, we begin to see how we are interconnected with the rest of the world. Over time we start to identify less with our ego, and more with the world at large. We begin to see how our actions affect others, and we learn how to focus our efforts, so that we have the greatest positive impact in the world.

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