True or false ? 9 misconceptions about meditation

True or false ? 9 misconceptions about meditation

At a time when the practice continues to conquer new followers, let's go back to all the received ideas that surround it.

To meditate is to think of nothing and to empty yourself

False. Even though this idea persists in many minds, the goal of meditation is absolutely not to stop one's thoughts. “It's annoying because many beginners think they can't meditate because of this continuous flow of ideas. However, it is impossible to stop them. You have to give free rein to your thoughts, while trying, as much as possible, to concentrate on your bodily sensations and on your breath, ”recalls Marie-Laurence . So when your mind slips away and you think in order - tonight's meal, your little one's outing, or the new dress you've just bought - there's no point in blaming yourself. Rather, it is about refocusing on your bodily sensations while trying to be in a state of "full awareness", that is, being fully in the present moment.

You have to be a believer to meditate

False. “Certainly, the majority of meditation techniques are inspired by Tibetan Buddhism. But no one needs to adopt a philosophy of life or to be religious to meditate. This practice calls for intelligence and experience, and not beliefs, "says Marie-Laurence . So, whether you are an atheist or a religious person, you can completely indulge in this practice. Moreover, "the rise of meditation comes from a group of Americans (Jon Kabat-Zinn, Sharon Salzberg ...) who have completely 'secularized' the practice."

Meditation happens in the head, not in the body

False, since meditation is above all a bodily practice. "You shouldn't try to get 'inside your head' when the goal is to reconnect with your body, to inhabit your body. We also realize, quite quickly, how the body is "alive", "says Marie-Laurence. As a result, you will better feel the different reactions of your body (heartbeat, breathing, chills, etc.) and learn to reunite your body and your mind.

Meditation is a complex practice

True and false. “It is not complex, but it is demanding,” confirms Marie-Laurence . Indeed, in principle, meditating seems rather simple: you have to sit on the ground - on a cushion or on a chair - and not move for fifteen minutes. Except that in reality this position is anything but pleasant: “This is the main difficulty. Meditating will seem to you - particularly at the beginning - rather boring, disturbing and above all uncomfortable ”, specifies the current entrepreneur. So it's very easy to give up: “It's not an addictive activity from the start. On the other hand, one quickly understands his interest when one perceives the impacts in his daily life, by being more present mentally and physically. "

If you are naturally calm, no need to meditate

True and false. “The search for calm is not the main goal. The goal is rather to become more alive, more alert, and more open to the world around us. As a bonus, you will also learn to put things into perspective and find stability in your life ”, assures Marie-Laurence . Moreover, even if this method makes it possible to feel "a certain form of relief - as if one had" put down your suitcases "- one still does not obtain a true tranquilizing effect."

Meditation puts us in a daze

False. And yet, this idea has a hard tooth. “No, meditation does not get us 'high'. On the contrary, it seeks to make us invest more in our physical presence, because in reality, to be awake is to be more there ", testifies Marie-Laurence . Moreover, "the more we train to meditate, the more we learn to be present, and the more we listen to others." A good reason to concentrate in meetings, and finally not to think about anything else.

You have to be in a quiet place, and sit down to meditate

True. If you have dreamed of meditating in the metro, know that it is not the ideal place. The best is therefore to favor a quiet place - especially when you are just starting out - and where you must learn not to be distracted every two minutes. But being seated is also essential: "in a standing position one would not last very long without moving", assures Marie-Laurence.

You have to meditate for a long time to feel the benefits

True and false. “It's quite variable,” says Marie-Laurence. Thus, some will take six months to feel the benefits of this activity while others will understand the method in a few minutes. “On the other hand, feeling absolutely all the effects after three sessions is not possible. Meditation is indeed not a technique, but rather a path.Thus, the body must learn to rest, to find the right position. "

Meditation is a method of relaxation

False. “On the contrary, we can find it very uncomfortable, and have back pain or ants in the legs. It is therefore a practice that relieves but not particularly relaxing, ”warns Marie-Laurence. Lovers of comfort will therefore have to go their way. “If you ever have a neck pain during your session, hold on and tell yourself it's okay. Next time, this pain will surely disappear, you just have to be patient, ”continues the professional. The goal ? Stop reacting to pain, nervousness, stress, but rather let it go and then act for good, putting our energy into more important things.

Marie-Laurence, business manager, expert in meditation, and author of the book Vive la méditation

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