In 2012, there were over 18 million people or 4% of Americans who meditate. Today that number has surged to 14 percent. Meditation is different for everyone, and everyone starts for different reasons.
Some people have very stressful lives and need an outlet to relieve some of that pressure.
Some people feel that meditation allows them to get more “in touch” with themselves and with the universe.
Many health benefits can come from meditation, but according to The Buddhist Center, meditation is a means of transforming the mind.
Meditation is a way to make the world come to a stand-still and create some time to focus on yourself and the current moment.
There are many health benefits that come from mediation as well. Healthline wrote a wonderful article titled 12 Benefits Of Meditation which reveals many reasons why people tend to turn to meditation for relief with some of these common problems.
But with this said, don’t just jump into meditation and think that it will be easy and it will solve all of your problems. Today I want to discuss some of the common things about meditation that instructors fail to tell you.
1. Your Teacher’s Way Is Not The Only Way
Many meditation instructors try and convince you that there is a “right” way to meditate.
And of course, their way is going to be the correct way, and they may do everything they can to convince you of that to get your money.
In reality, there are many different ways to meditate, and some may be better than others for people.
Medical News Today posted an article titled 7 Types of Meditation, which shares some of the different ways that you can mediate.
- Loving-Kindness Meditation
- Body scan or progressive relaxation
- Mindfulness meditation
- Breath-Awareness Meditation
- Kundalini Yoga
- Zen Meditation
- Transcendental Meditation
As you can see, these are some of the more popular forms of meditation that people practice. Besides this, yoga exercises that relieve pain are extremely popular. Peacefully conducting these exercises means focusing on the feeling of pain release. And that’s what make these a wonderful art of meditation.
So always do your research before you decide to stick to one instructor. You may find something else that works better for you and your goals.
2. Meditation May Cause Emotional Difficulties With Some People
If you can believe it, there can also be a “dark side” to mindful meditation according to Spectator Health.
You have to remember that many people begin meditation because something is troubling them. It could be something minor, but it also could be something major.
It’s the major emotional problems that can prove to be risky when engaging in meditation because it can dig deep into the roots of the emotional problems and bring out negative emotions.
Spectator Health mentions in their article that one hypothesis says that meditation amplifies emotional problems that are lying hidden under the surface.
Think about the person who has gone through some type of traumatic experience in their childhood or adult life. Also, think about men and women who have served in the military.
These people should be seeking professional help, not meditation as a source of help.
The problem with meditation and its effectiveness is that there isn’t enough research to support benefit claims as well as helping people who may have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
3. Meditation May Not Work For Everyone
Though people understand stress is harmful however they don’t know how badly it can affect their health if it continues for long. There is so much hype around meditation these days that everyone has flocked to it to solve problems from stress, anxiety, high blood pressure, etc.
The reality however, is different. Just because you try a meditation class for a while doesn’t mean that it will work the way you want it to.
We all are unique individuals with unique minds and abilities to process things around us. You may not have the ability to sit on a cushion and keep your mind still for more than five minutes no matter how hard you try.
And according to Charles Raison, MD, the worst part is that as meditation became more and more popular, it became more of a fad than a way to truly quiet the mind.
And this was worrisome to him because like all fads, once people discover it isn’t the cure for all ailments, they may abandon it altogether.
4. Meditation May Be Difficult
I’m sure you’ve read many articles online that meditation is easy and anyone can do it. These statements simply aren’t true.
Yes. It’s easy to sit on a cushion in the middle of the floor. But the hard part is keeping your mind still and present in the current moment for over 60 seconds.
Everyone will experience meditation in a different way. If you’re used to letting your mind run all over the place all day long, it will be difficult to settle down and focus on one particular moment in time.
Many people have such difficulty with this that they simply give up in the end.
5. Do Not Expect A Spiritual Experience
Some people believe that by meditating they will have an out-of-body experience in the process. You may even begin your quest to meditate for this simple hope that you have some sort of spiritual experience while meditating.
The Chopra Center believes there are only four things that will happen to you during meditation:
- You have awareness of your mantra or the focus of your meditation.
- You experience thoughts or sensations.
- You fall asleep.
- You enter the stillness between thoughts, commonly referred to as “the gap.”
Meditation is a wonderful practice that millions of people swear by and enjoy doing. There is even a Harvard Research Study done recently on the benefits of meditation.
Not only can it improve your mental health, but it can also make you a much happier person in the meantime.
Joining a new community and getting involved with meditating can be one of the best things you do for yourself.
Just make sure you do your research first and talk to people as well to find out what their experiences have been.
As mentioned above, there are so many different meditation schools and teachers out there so make sure you choose the one that fits your needs and lifestyle.
Trust your instincts and decide on the guru who feels right for you.
Jenny Travens –
Jenny is a creative writer who has many passions and interests. Health and wellness is one area where she likes to contribute as much as she can. She is currently contributing to Meddentsafety & other top blogs.