We are busy Americans and pride ourselves on how much we can get done. We live in a country
where a little more hard work can lead to a different situation for our lives. Self-made people are held in high regard. We are so very fortunate to live in a society where we have all this potential. However, it can lead us to feeling that no matter how much we do, it's never enough.
A popular myth about meditation is that it's just something to do for stress relief or to gain a higher spiritual connection, but few people actually realize that meditating can actually change your brain. There is an emerging new field of brain science in fact called “Contemplative Neuroscience,” or the study of meditation's effect on the brain.
Many people that I talk to say they can't meditate because they can't clear their mind. They say that their minds keep going from thought to thought when they try to sit still. The biggest myth about mediation is that to be good at meditation, thinking will stop. The truth is that no matter who you talk to, everyone has thoughts, all the time. Meditation helps to tame the mind but it doesn't stop thoughts from coming up. Ask a teacher who has been meditating for 30 years what their biggest challenge is in meditating and you will get the same answer: distraction.
Meditation is a great place to learn how to manage discomfort and pain. By sitting through discomfort, we find a way to separate the feeling from the emotion that surrounds the physical signal. It can create quite a sense of accomplishment to watch that itch come and finally go away without responding.
When someone is meditating, it looks like they aren't doing anything. If they are just sitting there,isn't it boring? And if it is boring, isn't that a bad thing to be bored? Sitting still can be foreign to most people before they start meditating. While it might look like someone who is meditating is not doing anything, they are actually very active.