63 straight days of meditation and the false expectations of the art

Misconception #1: Meditation will ease your stress

I recently made a life-altering decision. One that changed my entire trajectory. It didn’t leave me without worries and stress. When people would open up to me about some stressful situation in their lives, I would normally just smile and give a non-empathetic comment like ‘awww poor you, you need to know how to meditate’. 50+ days of meditation switched on the lightbulb in my head! It was never the meditation. It was the proper understanding of what meditation is- which is just watching your emotions without judgment! I wish I could describe this realization better! Meditation will not take away the stress. The observation of what your mind is doing when it is stressed is what helps you manage stress. That is the real art of meditating. Sounds like a foolish statement but if you get it you get it!(This is just like when I found out your hunger level is not directly proportional to the time you stayed away from food. When you feel hungry it’s literally a hormone called ghrelin just marking register. Nothing more. But I digress).

Misconception #2: When you meditate your mind is blank

I look at pictures of people who meditate and just envy the peaceful state that I can see- after all, their mind is BLANK and mine is a minefield of detonating explosives(pun intended). Is it possible for you to have a totally blank mind- where you’re not thinking about anything? Technically, that’s bullshit. Technically. Technically!

Misconception #3: People and Monks who meditate are saint-like. They never get angry, sad etc.

Have you heard about the Buddhist monks in Myanmar and how they are currently persecuting the Rohingya minority and muslims? It’s one of the saddest happenings of this decade. This says a lot.

Conclusions

The art of meditation is the easiest form of self-mastery, yet the hardest. It’s the simplest way to rewiring your biology yet the most complex. It’s the most straight-forward way to read your mind, yet tricky!

Agile Thinker, Scrum Master, Sketchnoter & JavaScript Dev. I suck@being a Christian so I live in grace & write @highliferco. Author of the In Other Words series

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