Meditation: Misconceptions and The Truth

Natalie Vospette teaches the basics

Meditation%3A+Misconceptions+and+The+Truth

Natalie Vospette

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, meditation is “to engage in contemplation or reflection,” but I would say it is deeper than that. Meditation is about finding inner peace and connecting with who you truly are. Most people have a basic understanding of it, but I bet the majority of students have never truly practiced it. That is where I can help! 

First, I want to teach you the basics. There is a common misconception about meditating; oftentimes, it is believed that you should have no thoughts and be less than conscious. This is not only false but detrimental as well. The foundation of meditation is mindfulness! Meditating allows you to observe your thoughts without judgement, and hopefully understand them better as a result. There is no wrong or right way to meditate – learning to do this is like working a muscle at the gym. It takes practice to get comfortable, and it depends on what works for you. That being said, there are some techniques that can guide you.

learning to do this is like working a muscle at the gym. It takes practice to get comfortable, and it depends on what works for you.”

— Natalie Vospette

One of the first things I realized when I started to meditate is that it is difficult for someone who is not well-versed in it. Sitting still and giving your mind free rein is not always easy, especially for people whose mind never slows down. One of the best techniques I have come across to help me focus is concentration meditation; having a single focus to guide you into relaxation takes some pressure off. This includes listening to a meditation guide or hertz music, repeating a mantra, breath work, and more. My personal favorite is breath work. I bring my attention to my breathing, notice the way it happens naturally, and I stay present in that breathing. Do not hyperfocus on controlling your breathing, just be mindful of it! I usually breathe in for four seconds, exhale for 5, and keep that pattern going until I slip into a meditative state. For beginners, listening to guided meditations or hertz music on Youtube is my biggest recommendation. As you start to practice this more, you will become “better” at meditating and start to develop your own methods/routine. 

I have been reading articles and listening to podcasts, and I have noticed that experts often do not mention the way you feel physically during meditation. Meditating is a very personal practice, in my opinion, so what someone experiences and enjoys is unique to each individual. However, I do feel that everybody has physical reactions as they are meditating. A lot of the time, my arms and/or legs will tingle, and I almost feel as if my body is levitating off my bed.

Meditating is a very personal practice, in my opinion, so what someone experiences and enjoys is unique to each individual.”

— Natalie Vospette

To start meditating, you can either sit up straight or lay down. Begin by closing your eyes and starting with the top of your head, scan your body and be aware of any tension. When you pinpoint that tension, let the tenseness go – enable your body to feel heavy. I always find that meditation is even better when I incorporate crystals into it. You can place a crystal on its corresponding chakra, or hold some in your hands. If you have a hard time sinking into a meditative state on your own, like I do, focus on your breathing. Make sure not to push away your thoughts, or concentrate too hard on being empty-minded. That is not the main goal. 

Try not to get discouraged if meditating does not feel incredible the first few times you do it. I struggled with finding peace for the first few weeks, and could not get myself to engage for longer than ten minutes. If you can only handle five minutes of meditation the first time, that is okay. Try again the next day and shoot for seven minutes! I started off small, and worked my way up to being able to meditate for a long time. Now, I often meditate into sleep. 

Meditation is a simple practice that adds a lot to your life. Not only does it allow you to connect with yourself, balance your energy, and understand your thoughts better, but it also has several health benefits as well. The next time you’re feeling stressed, take a few minutes to be mindful, it goes a long way.