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Deepak Quotes

We can either allow our past to keep interfering with our optimal expression of love and happiness, or we can move beyond our past with renewed passion for life.

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Books

Joyful Wisdom

Joyful Wisdom
ABOUT THEBOOK: Yongey Mingyur is one of the most celebrated among the new generation of Tibetan meditation masters, whose teachings have touched people of all faiths around the world. His first...

GOD: A Story of Revelation (Hardcover)

GOD: A Story of Revelation (Hardcover)
“God is an empty term except through the revelations of all the saints, prophets, and mystics of history. They exist to plant the seeds of spirituality as a direct experience rather than a...

NEW Spiritual Solutions by Deepak Chopra(Hardcover)

NEW Spiritual Solutions by Deepak Chopra(Hardcover)
Spiritual Solutions: Answers to Life's Greatest Challenges ( AUDIOBOOK Available )  "Great advice directly from the master on virtually any subject, it just doesn't get any better...

Ten Poems to Change Your Life

Ten Poems to Change Your Life
ABOUT THE BOOK: This is a dangerous book. Great poetry calls into question not less than everything. It dares us to break free from the safe strategies of the cautious mind. It opens us to pain...

Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui

Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui
ABOUT THE BOOK: Feng Shui is the ancient oriental art of enhancing and harmonizing the flow of energy in your surroundings.  Over the last twenty years, Karen Kingston has pioneered the study...

Brotherhood - by Deepak & Sanjiv Chopra (Hardcover)

Brotherhood - by Deepak & Sanjiv Chopra (Hardcover)
BROTHERHOOD Dharma, Destiny, and the American Dream DEEPAK & SANJIV CHOPRA   “BROTHERHOOD is an uplifting account of sibling affection and success, and of the promise and infinite...

Soul of Leadership (Hardcover)

Soul of Leadership (Hardcover)
ABOUT THIS BOOK Leadership is the most crucial choice one can make—it is the decision to step out of darkness into the light.      Bestselling author and spiritual guide Deepak Chopra invites...

Book Of Secrets

Book Of Secrets
2005 Nautilus Book Award Grand Prize Winner! New York Times Best Seller! Every life is a book of secrets, ready to be opened. The secret of perfect love is found there, along with the secrets...

Super Brain by Deepak Chopra, MD & Rudy Tanzi, MD (Hardcover)

Super Brain by Deepak Chopra, MD & Rudy Tanzi, MD (Hardcover)
Learn about Deepak Chopra and the Chopra Center's Super Brain dietary supplement - Ayurvedic Brain Support NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Super Brain by Deepak Chopra, MD & Rudy...

Events

 
 
 
July 13 2013

Seven Myths of Meditation

Category:  Meditation

Deepak Chopra, MD is the author of more than 70 books with twenty-one New York Times bestsellers and and the founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing.

Learn practical steps for beginning or enriching your meditation practice by joining Oprah and Deepak for their next FREE 21-Day Meditation Challenge.
In the past forty years, meditation has entered the mainstream of modern Western culture, prescribed by physicians and practiced by everyone from business executives, artists, and scientists to students, teachers, military personnel, and – on a promising note – politicians. Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan meditates every morning and has become a major advocate of mindfulness and meditation, as he describes in his book, A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit.

Despite the growing popularity of meditation, prevailing misconceptions about the practice are a barrier that prevents many people from trying meditation and receiving its profound benefits for the body, mind, and spirit. Here are seven of the most common meditation myths dispelled.

Myth #1: Meditation is difficult.

Truth: This myth is rooted in the image of meditation as an esoteric practice reserved only for saints, holy men, and spiritual adepts. In reality, when you receive instruction from an experienced, knowledgeable teacher, meditation is easy and fun to learn. The techniques can be as simple as focusing on the breath or silently repeating a mantra. One reason why meditation may seem difficult is that we try too hard to concentrate, we’re overly attached to results, or we’re not sure we are doing it right. In our experience at the Chopra Center, learning meditation from a qualified teacher is the best way to ensure that the process is enjoyable and you get the most from your practice. A teacher will help you understand what you’re experiencing, move past common roadblocks, and create a nourishing daily practice.

Myth #2: You have to quiet your mind in order to have a successful meditation practice.

Truth: This may be the number one myth about meditation and is the cause of many people giving up in frustration. Meditation isn’t about stopping our thoughts or trying to empty our mind – both of these approaches only create stress and more noisy internal chatter. We can’t stop or control our thoughts, but we can decide how much attention to give them. Although we can’t impose quiet on our mind, through meditation we can find the quiet that already exists in the space between our thoughts. Sometimes referred to as “the gap,” this space between thoughts is pure consciousness, pure silence, and pure peace.

When we meditate, we use an object of attention, such as our breath, an image, or a mantra, which allows our mind to relax into this silent stream of awareness. When thoughts arise, as they inevitably will, we don’t need to judge them or try to push them away. Instead, we gently return our attention to our object of attention. In every meditation, there are moments, even if only microseconds, when the mind dips into the gap and experiences the refreshment of pure awareness. As you meditate on a regular basis, you will spend more and more time in this state of expanded awareness and silence.

Be assured that even if it feels like you have been thinking throughout your entire meditation, you are still receiving the benefits of your practice. You haven’t failed or wasted your time. When my friend and colleague David Simon taught meditation, he would often tell students, “The thought I’m having thoughts may be the most important thought you have ever thought, because before you had that thought, you may not have even known you were having thoughts. You probably thought you were your thoughts.” Simply noticing that you are having thoughts is a breakthrough because it begins to shift your internal reference point from ego mind to witnessing awareness. As you become less identified with your thoughts and stories, you experience greater peace and open to new possibilities.

Myth #3: It takes years of dedicated practice to receive any benefits from meditation.

Truth: The benefits of meditation are both immediate and long-term. You can begin to experience benefits the first time you sit down to meditate and in the first few days of daily practice. Many scientific studies provide evidence that meditation has profound effects on the mind-body physiology within just weeks of practice. For example, a landmark study led by Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital found that as little as eight weeks of meditation not only helped people experience decreased anxiety and greater feelings of calm; it also produced growth in the areas of the brain associated with memory, empathy, sense of self, and stress regulation.

At the Chopra Center, we commonly hear from new meditators who are able to sleep soundly for the first time in years after just a few days of daily meditation practice. Other common benefits of meditation include improved concentration, decreased blood pressure, reduced stress and anxiety, and enhanced immune function. You can learn more about the benefits of meditation in a recent post, Why Meditate? on the Chopra Center blog.

Myth #4: Meditation is escapism.

Truth: The real purpose of meditation isn’t to tune out and get away from it all but to tune in and get in touch with your true Self – that eternal aspect of yourself that goes beyond all the ever-changing, external circumstances of your life. In meditation you dive below the mind’s churning surface, which tends to be filled with repetitive thoughts about the past and worries about the future, into the still point of pure consciousness. In this state of transcendent awareness, you let go of all the stories you’ve been telling yourself about who you are, what is limiting you, and where you fall short – and you experience the truth that your deepest Self is infinite and unbounded.

As you practice on a regular basis, you cleanse the windows of perception and your clarity expands. While some people do try to use meditation as a form of escape – as a way to bypass unresolved emotional issues – this approach runs counter to all of the wisdom teachings about meditation and mindfulness. In fact, there are a variety of meditation techniques specifically developed to identify, mobilize and release stored emotional toxicity. If you are coping with emotional upset or trauma, I recommend that you work with a therapist who can help you safely explore and heal the pain of the past, allowing you to return to your natural state of wholeness and love.

Myth #5: I don’t have enough time to meditate.

Truth: There are busy, productive executives who have not missed a meditation in twenty-five years, and if you make meditation a priority, you will do it. If you feel like your schedule is too full, remember that even just a few minutes of meditation is better than none. We encourage you not to talk yourself out of meditating just because it’s a bit late or you feel too sleepy.
In life’s paradoxical way, when we spend time meditating on a regular basis, we actually have more time. When we meditate, we dip in and out of the timeless, spaceless realm of consciousness . . . the state of pure awareness that is the source of everything that manifests in the universe. Our breathing and heart rate slow down, our blood pressure lowers, and our body decreases the production of stress hormones and other chemicals that speed up the aging process and give us the subjective feeling that we are “running out of time.”

In meditation, we are in a state of restful alertness that is extremely refreshing for the body and mind. As people stick with their meditation ritual, they notice that they are able to accomplish more while doing less. Instead of struggling so hard to achieve goals, they spend more and more time “in the flow” – aligned with universal intelligence that orchestrates everything.

Myth #6: Meditation requires spiritual or religious beliefs.

Truth: Meditation is a practice that takes us beyond the noisy chatter of the mind into stillness and silence. It doesn’t require a specific spiritual belief, and many people of many different religions practice meditation without any conflict with their current religious beliefs. Some meditators have no particular religious beliefs or are atheist or agnostic. They meditate in order to experience inner quiet and the numerous physical and mental health benefits of the practice – including lowered blood pressure, stress reduction, and restful sleep. The original reason that I started meditating was to help myself stop smoking. Meditation helps us to enrich our lives. It enables us to enjoy whatever we do in our lives more fully and happily – whether that is playing sports, taking care of our children, or advancing in our career.

Myth #7: I’m supposed to have transcendent experiences in meditation.

Truth: Some people are disappointed when they don’t experience visions, see colors, levitate, hear a choir of angels, or glimpse enlightenment when they meditate. Although we can have a variety of wonderful experiences when we meditate, including feelings of bliss and oneness, these aren’t the purpose of the practice. The real benefits of meditation are what happens in the other hours of the day when we’re going about our daily lives. When we emerge from our meditation session, we carry some of the stillness and silence of our practice with us, allowing us to be more creative, compassionate, centered, and loving to ourselves and everyone we encounter.

Learn more about the 21-Day Meditation Challenge.


As you begin or continue your meditation journey, here are some other guidelines that may help you on your way:

• Have no expectations. Sometimes the mind is too active to settle down. Sometimes it settles down immediately. Sometimes it goes quiet, but the person doesn't notice. Anything can happen.
• Be easy with yourself. Meditation isn't about getting it right or wrong. It's about letting your mind find its true nature.
• Don't stick with meditation techniques that aren't leading to inner silence. Find a technique that resonates with you. There are many kinds of mantra meditation, including the Primordial Sound Meditation practice taught at the Chopra Center.. Or simply follow the in and out of your breathing, not paying attention to your thoughts at all. The mind wants to find its source in silence. Give it a chance by letting go.
• Make sure you are alone in a quiet place to meditate. Unplug the phone. Make sure no one is going to disturb you.
• Really be there. If your attention is somewhere else, thinking about your next appointment, errand or meal, of course you won't find silence. To meditate, your intention must be clear and free of other obligations.

Join our free meditation challenge Miraculous Relationships at www.chopracentermeditation.com

Top comments

  • Thanks Deepak. You and your teaching make a big difference in my life.

    Alberto Kreimerman // 2013-03-11 07:46:38 // //
  • Thank you...

    Shaheen Shahen // 2013-03-10 13:30:43 // //

 

 

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  • Very interesting, I will take this on board, thanks

    Najjah // 2013-09-26 03:25:20 // //
  • ¿Estás en busca de un préstamo legítimo? ¿Cansado de búsqueda de préstamos e hipotecas? ¿Ha sido rechazado por sus bancos? ¿Necesita un préstamo para borrar sus deudas / facturas? Luego, su trauma financiero ha terminado. Ofrecemos préstamos de € 5,000.00 a € 100,000.00, con tasa de interés del 4.5%. Estamos certificados y digno de confianza. nosotros le podemos ayudar con la asistencia financiera. Si está interesado no volver a nosotros por correo electrónico: saresh_vinod@live.com gracias Sir Saresh Vinod.

    Saresh Vinod // 2013-07-31 03:02:51 // //
  • very true!

    Manisha W // 2013-07-15 20:50:59 // //
  • I'm looking forward to starting the 21 day Meditation Challenge !!

    Abundance Through Awareness // 2013-07-15 18:33:37 // //
  • BLESS YOU !

    Veronica Bielitsa // 2013-07-15 11:00:54 // //
  • Beautifuuulllll!! Was waiting for this to know how to evolve in mymeditating...

    Jay K Menon // 2013-07-14 20:54:38 // //
  • May God bless you Mr. Deepak!

    Suresh Ketwaroe // 2013-07-14 18:32:41 // //
  • Suresh Ketwaroe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bDAFRIdHHE Hi everyone, I am an emerging artist (entertainer) from New York. Please watch this video in which I tried to sing in my 4th, 5th and 6th languages. Please share it if you like it. Thanks. English-Hindi-Spanish by Suresh www.youtube.com Lyrics, composed and sung by Suresh Ketwaroe Like · Reply · Remove Previe

    Suresh Ketwaroe // 2013-07-14 18:32:16 // //
  • I would share more of the wisdom posted by this source, were they not so opportunistic plastering their name on the pictures

    Cayce Marie // 2013-07-14 14:38:32 // //
  • James Lewis

    Daniel Cumber // 2013-07-14 13:30:58 // //
  • I find the best way for me to silence the mind is deep muscle relaxation. Where u tense a muscle for 10 seconds and release. All the while focusing on the tensing of muscle then the feeling of the release, relaxed state. Is this considered meditation? I do it because it works for me.

    Gina LeBlanc // 2013-07-14 11:24:05 // //
  • And everything is a choice.

    Patricia Buffington Bradley // 2013-07-14 09:09:04 // //
  • I just signed up :-) See you guys there (virtually) on Aug 5th. Can't wait! xox

    The Lifestylista // 2013-07-14 03:11:48 // //
  • faker Deepak

    George Sawaya // 2013-07-14 01:53:17 // //
  • Sit tight close meditation is wasting time or at least loosing time

    Amarjit S Duggal // 2013-07-13 23:18:36 // //
  • Deepak, may your wisdom live on for generations, soothing the souls of millions. :)

    Derek Dery // 2013-07-13 22:58:54 // //
  • Ditto<3

    Belinda Smithson // 2013-07-13 21:36:36 // //
  • Tenho uma historia que gostaria de compartilhar com o autor mas de maneira particular, gostaria de saber a sua opinião por que se trata de uma conexão que não consigo entender.Isto é possível?

    Eunice Auer // 2013-07-13 21:34:14 // //
  • thanks dear Deepak <3

    Wancharat Thongupakarn // 2013-07-13 21:19:55 // //
  • Ripple effect...

    Universal Intuition // 2013-07-13 21:11:14 // //
  • We are shaping and constructing our quality life with the help of our quality of thought. We are bombarded with countless number of thought in our thought manufacturing bank zone and mostly are unwanted negative thought. Higher level of quietness and relaxation of your mind can be best state to align with your inner world for manifestation of your dream purpose with ease. As valid truth says we can hold life prospering positive thought in our miracle creating mind through powerful self positive affirmation regarding your dream goals which can impress and convince your subconscious mind as subconscious can drives you with full passion, enthusiasm with winning attitude to accomplish any battle of life encountering countless number of obstacles encountered in the highway of life and success. Actually subconscious mind never rectify either positive or negative thought so you yourself is script writer, director and controller of your thought bank. The universe also responds to the thought played vividly in your mental video as universe never rectify whether you hold negative thought or positive thought and there is no any favorism for any specific people whoever be universe never cares. You are responsible in charge to discover your quality of life and you are best architect of your destiny. so success and quality of future is matter of choice not the matter of accident.

    Dhiraj Kumar Raj // 2013-07-13 21:10:18 // //
  • Boy did I mess up the present and future.

    Peter A. Gaunt // 2013-07-13 21:07:58 // //
  • Yes, I agree.

    Marisa Muslera // 2013-07-13 21:03:03 // //
  • I particularly appreciate the myth about not having enough time to meditate. It’s interesting that administrators in education spend so much time and energy on things that they deem will produce successful citizens. So much time is devoted to these subjects in school. Not enough time is spent learning about how to really cultivate ones inner self.

    etaps // 2013-06-26 22:49:41 // //
  • I sure it`s an individual thing, but -- What is the optimal time (duration) of a meditation session? What is the recommended time of day for meditation? PJ

    PJ // 2013-03-13 05:15:49 // //
  • Deepak Sir, Thanks ,it`s an extraordinary article. Meditation is most popular word now a day`s ,and i am glad to know something new and more about it.

    Shilpa Yajurvedi // 2013-03-13 02:24:08 // //
  • I will peruse the free meditation site. Thanks for the great offering.

    Denise Kraus // 2013-03-11 20:08:11 // //
  • "A king who understands humility and flowers this into practice to all of his creations is the greatest king over all beings and spheres in all realms of manifestation ." Mr. Deepack i really do not understand u afraid a bout me . and block me . ~Rey The more you meditate, the smaller the universe seems to be, the more alive it gets for you. ~REY http://www.SpiritShared.com

    ~Rey // 2013-03-11 14:13:39 // //
  • It`s nice to read some truths about meditation at last. Having some rudimentary experience myself, I totally agree

    Dr.Balaji Rao // 2013-03-11 12:52:44 // //
  • I am a big "fan" of Deepak Chopra. I have read many, many of his books. And I have participated in several of Deepak Chopra`s meditation series. However, I am choosing not to do so this time. The reason? Thanks, in part, to his books and those past meditation experiences, I now have established a regular meditation practice of my own, 20 minutes twice a day. Thank you, Deepak, for helping me open up to my possibilities.

    Lin Taylor // 2013-03-11 12:44:18 // //
  • I agree with all of your points! I also think that people(myself)should know more about the difference between meditating, prayer, a "zone", and thinking(calculating)! Wondering how many others I missed!!! Rick Burnette

    Richard E. Burnette // 2013-03-11 12:22:56 // //
  • I'm in!

    Candy Candy Detusojos // 2013-03-11 11:07:35 // //
  • Thanks Deepak. You and your teaching make a big difference in my life.

    Alberto Kreimerman // 2013-03-11 07:46:38 // //
  • Do we have a subject for each day or do we just do our own thing for meditation

    Yoga Kate Bywaters // 2013-03-11 02:23:51 // //
  • ~.~))

    Women Vote for Obama 2012 ~ Like my page // 2013-03-10 23:54:45 // //
  • Estoy lista para empezar

    Alicia Acuna // 2013-03-10 19:52:35 // //
  • Thank you Vida, I will try it.

    Lydia Arbizo // 2013-03-10 19:32:33 // //
  • <3

    LA Vida ES Bella // 2013-03-10 18:58:03 // //
  • Deepak, did you see Life of Pi? What did you think of it if you did? I thought it was so incredible!!!!!!!!!! I lllllllllloved that movie! So great for philosophers and spiritual people too.

    Mary Haas // 2013-03-10 18:44:32 // //
  • Ready....thank you.

    Roselia Martin // 2013-03-10 18:14:54 // //
  • Ready.

    Anne Faure Paris // 2013-03-10 16:59:54 // //
  • Also look "Itam".

    Albert Sauvage // 2013-03-10 15:20:47 // //
  • I can't wait to get started! I love to meditate. I have some of Deepak's meditation tapes.

    Juanita Cogswell // 2013-03-10 15:15:44 // //
  • I'm so looking forward to tomorrow!

    Ursula Jizba // 2013-03-10 15:02:48 // //
  • Dear Deepak—really looking forward to March 11 and the newest Meditation Challenge! Namasté...

    Jan Ebling // 2013-03-10 14:13:29 // //
  • I'm excited!!!

    Irma Perez // 2013-03-10 13:45:17 // //
  • We are thankful to maharishi ji for TM in our life

    Virender Sharma // 2013-03-10 13:37:13 // //
  • Thank you...

    Shaheen Shahen // 2013-03-10 13:30:43 // //
  • YES!!!!!

    Yohanka Jayasuriya // 2013-03-10 13:24:50 // //
  • Every choice is a chance to begin again!

    Terri Maloy // 2013-03-10 13:23:09 // //
  • Like.

    Jose Angel Rivera // 2013-03-10 13:19:42 // //
  • <3

    Negest Tegest Agonafer // 2013-03-10 13:19:11 // //
  • verissimo

    Alessandra Barbero // 2013-03-10 13:12:11 // //
  • What's the excuse when it's FREE? I love this idea and bless you for doing it!

    Karen Hicks // 2013-03-10 13:04:30 // //
  • I am proud of you Deepak...

    Nazik Ghazarian // 2013-03-10 12:59:00 // //
  • When you are steady following a guiding movement of the Divine Energy, then you are best to create their own future :)

    Игорь Нечитайлов // 2013-03-10 12:58:23 // //
  • the future thank you so much

    Ardan Rodrigue // 2013-03-10 12:54:15 // //
  • Thank you, Deepak...

    Jane Davis // 2013-03-10 12:48:19 // //
  • agreed! We change the future by allowing the change to take place..

    Kiran Bashir // 2013-03-10 12:47:48 // //
  • I can't believe this is starting on my birthday! I couldn't have wished for a better present. Thank you Deepak Chopra. : )

    Gill Webb // 2013-03-10 12:39:04 // //
  • SO VERY TRUE !!!!

    Michael Alexander // 2013-03-10 12:34:58 // //
  • Thank you Dear DEEPAK.Information.

    Mariann Boda Toth // 2013-03-10 12:32:41 // //
  • I'm really looking forward to this!

    Lorri Ratzlaff // 2013-03-10 12:32:30 // //
  • Truly I am spotless and at peace, the awareness beyond natural causality. All this time I have been afflicted by delusion..

    Jawahar Gupta // 2013-03-10 12:32:29 // //
  • Where is the article?

    Janet Savage Valadez // 2013-03-10 12:32:03 // //
  • hello deepak!!!! thanks,from buenos aires -argentina

    Graciela Kries // 2013-03-10 12:31:59 // //
  • I signed up!

    Penny Peddie // 2013-03-10 12:30:59 // //