Do you want to learn how to meditate but don't know where to start? Are you curious about what meditation is all about but don't know who to ask? Do you have unanswered questions holding you back from starting a meditation practice?
The most important question you can ask yourself is: why do I want to meditate? Once you know your reason for wanting to meditate, it will be easier to find the answers to all of your other questions. This question only you can answer, but the rest we will take care of in this article.
In this blog post, we will answer 33 of the most common questions people have about meditation. We'll dispel some myths, offer tips for getting started, and help you understand the benefits of this ancient practice.
So sit back, relax, and let us help you get started on your meditation practice and cast away any doubts.
1: What Is Meditation From An Etymological, Historical, And Spiritual Perspective?
Meditation comes from the Latin "meditari", which means “to think, contemplate, devise, ponder.” The root of this word is med-, which gives us the English words medical and medicine.
It comes from the Indo-European root "me-dhe-" meaning “to measure.” This is also where we get the meter and metric.
So meditation means to measure or think about something. And that something can be anything you want: a mantra, your breath, a sound, a visual object, or even nothing.
Meditation has been practiced for centuries by people of all different cultures and religions for its spiritual and psychological benefits. In the West, it has been mostly associated with Buddhism and Hinduism, but it is not limited to those traditions.
The essence of meditation, in short, is a way to connect with your higher self or God. It is a way to still the mind and focus on the present moment. When you meditate, you are training your mind to be quiet and focused.
There are many different meditation practices, but they all have one common goal: to guide you from the darkness into the light.
2: Why Should I Meditate?
There are countless reasons to meditate. People meditate for spiritual, physical, and psychological reasons.
Meditation can help you connect with your higher power or God. It can help you still your mind and focus on the present moment. When you meditate, you are training your mind to be quiet and focused.
Meditation can also help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It can improve sleep quality and concentration. Meditation has been shown to boost the immune system and increase lifespan.
Furthermore, meditation can help you become more self-aware and in tune with your emotions. It can also help you develop greater compassion for yourself and others.
In short, meditation has the power to improve your life in countless ways. And the best part is that anyone can do it!
3: How Does One Get Started With Meditation?
The best way to start meditating is to find a quiet place where you can sit or lie down comfortably. You may want to set a timer for yourself so that you don't have to worry about the time.
Start by closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths. Focus your attention on your breath and try to breathe slowly and evenly.
If your mind starts to wander, gently bring it back to focus on your breath. Continue meditating for as long as you like.
You can also try focusing on a mantra or visual object during your meditation practice. Pick something that has personal meaning for you.
Remember, there is no "right" way to meditate. The most important thing is to be patient and consistent with your practice.
Each approach to meditation has its underlying purpose and method. You will eventually find the approach that works best for you.
4: When Is the Best Time to Meditation During the Day?
There is no "right" time to meditate. You can meditate in the morning, afternoon, evening, or even at night.
The most important thing is to find a time that works for you and be consistent with your practice. If you are new to meditation, it may be helpful to start with shorter sessions and gradually increase the length of time you meditate.
You may also want to try meditating at different times of the day to see what works best for you. Some people find that they are more relaxed in the evening, while others prefer to meditate in the morning.
However, from an astrological Yogic perspective, the best time to meditate is during Sandhya Kala, which is the period between dusk and dawn. This is when the mind is naturally more calm and quiet.
If you cannot meditate during Sandhya Kala, the next best time to meditate is Brahma Muhurta, which is one hour before sunrise.
Keep in mind that these are only guidelines. The most important thing is to find a time that works for you and be consistent with your practice. Consistent is more critical than the time at which you meditate.
5: How to Make Meditation A Habit, Not A Chore?
The best way to make meditation a habit is to be consistent with your practice. Set aside a specific time each day for meditation and stick to it.
It may also be helpful to find a place in your home where you can meditate without distractions. If you have trouble sitting still, you can try walking meditation or yoga.
Another way to make meditation a habit is to join a local meditation group or class. This can provide accountability and support as you develop your practice.
Consistency in clothing, space, and mind is the key to making meditation a habit. If you can find what works for you and stick to it, you will eventually develop regular practice.
6: What Are the Greatest Misconceptions About Meditation?
One of the greatest misconceptions about meditation is its religious practice. Meditation can be used by people of any faith or no faith at all.
Another common misconception is that meditation is only for people who are "spiritual." In reality, anyone can benefit from meditation.
Meditation is not a quick fix; it takes time and practice to see results. However, the benefits of meditation are well worth the effort.
Finally, some people believe they must clear their minds of all thoughts to meditate effectively. This is not true! It's normal for your mind to wander during meditation.
The goal is not to achieve thoughtlessness but to reach and realize unity with the Divine.
7: How Does Meditation Differ From Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a form of meditation that can be practiced at any moment.
It involves being present and aware of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgment.
Mindfulness is about observation, not control. You are not trying to stop your thoughts from occurring; you are simply observing them as they arise.
Meditation (practice, not the state of being), on the other hand, is a specific practice you set aside time for. It usually involves focusing on your breath or a mantra and can be done at any time.
While mindfulness can be incorporated into meditation, they are two different practices.
You can be mindful at any moment, but you cannot meditate (practice, not the state of being) without setting aside specific time for it.
8: Can I Listen to Music Or Sounds When Meditation?
Yes, you can listen to music or sounds when meditating. Many people find it helpful to do so.
Some people prefer to meditate in silence, while others find that listening to calming music or nature sounds helps them focus and relax.
If you listen to music while meditating, make sure it is relaxing and without lyrics. Lyrics can be distracting and cause your mind to wander.
However, if you're following a specific experiential process with the body, music can be a distraction from experience. Great power comes from finding a quiet, undisturbed place to perform your meditation.
Moreover, music is not necessary for effective meditation. You can meditate without music or sounds if you prefer. It depends on your goals and your current progress in meditation.
9: How Long Should Meditation Take Time-Wise?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It depends on your goals, schedule, and level of experience.
If you're new to meditation, start with shorter sessions (five to ten minutes) and gradually increase the length of time as you become more comfortable with the practice.
Experienced meditators can meditate for more extended periods (up to an hour or more). It's essential to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard.
You should always feel relaxed and comfortable during meditation. If you feel anxious or uncomfortable, take a break or end the session early.
However, the ultimate purpose of meditation is to do it no longer but become it. You become the meditation, and it becomes you. There is no time or space in such a state; it is beyond the limitations of the mind.
Every moment of waking life becomes filled with the presence of the divine. This is the goal of meditation, to live in such a way.
10: Does Meditation Have to Involve Religion, Spirituality, Or Doctrine?
No, meditation does not have to involve religion, spirituality, or doctrine.
It is a practice that can benefit anyone, regardless of their beliefs. That said, many people who meditate find that it enhances their religious or spiritual practice.
Meditation can also be used to connect with your values and belief system. You can use meditation to focus on your intention for the practice and what you hope to gain from it.
Besides, many people who are not religious or spiritual find that meditation helps them connect with their own sense of inner peace and wisdom. It is up to you how you want to use meditation in your life. There is no right or wrong way to do it.
11: Do I Need to Be In A Specific Position Or Place to Meditate?
No, you need not be in a specific position or place to meditate. You can meditate anywhere, at any time.
That said, many people find it helpful to establish regular practice in a quiet place where they will not be interrupted. However, the most conducive posture and geometry for meditation is with an erect spine.
This can be done sitting on the ground with your legs crossed or in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. You can also meditate lying down, although this is generally not recommended as it is easy to fall asleep.
If you are comfortable with crossing your legs while seated, Ardha Siddhasana is an excellent position for meditation. This posture helps to keep the spine erect and the mind alert.
12: What Should I Wear When Meditating?
You can wear anything comfortable when meditating. Many people prefer loose, comfortable clothing that does not constrict their movement.
Some people like to meditate barefoot, while others find it more comfortable to wear socks or shoes. It is up to you what you want to wear during meditation.
If you wear the same clothing during meditation, you infuse it with the quality of meditation, enhancing your ability to meditate further and habituating the dress to the practice.
14: Should I Meditate With My Eyes Open Or Closed?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It is up to you whether you want to meditate with your eyes open or closed.
Some people find it helpful to focus on a specific object, such as a candle flame, during meditation. Others prefer to let their gaze soften and allow their vision to become unfocused.
Closing your eyes can help you focus inward and eliminate distractions from your surroundings. However, if you are new to meditation, you may find it helpful to keep your eyes open until you get used to the practice.
15: Should I Focus On My Breath?
Focusing on your breath is a common way to meditate, but it is not the only way. You can focus on any object or sensation you find helpful in anchoring your attention.
Some people prefer to focus on a mantra or sacred word during meditation. Others find it helpful to focus on the sensations of their body or the sounds around them.
The important thing is to find something that you can focus on without too much effort. Breath is often used because it is always with us, and we can control it to some extent.
Moreover, the breath is an excellent barometer of our state of mind. When we are anxious or stressed, our breathing becomes shallow and rapid.
Slowing down the breath and deepening it can help to calm the mind and bring us into the present moment. However, if focusing on your breath is not helpful for you, there are many other options available.
16: Can I Eat Before Meditation?
Yes, you can eat before meditation if you feel hungry. However, it is best to wait at least an hour and a half after eating before meditating.
This is because when we digest food, our bodies send blood to the stomach and intestines to aid digestion. If we meditate immediately after eating, this blood flow is diverted away from the brain, making it difficult to focus and concentrate.
If you're a committed practitioner of spiritual practice, you should try to avoid eating 4 hours before meditation. This gives the food time to digest and also prepares the body and mind for a more profound experience.
17: How to Prevent Falling Asleep During Meditation?
There are several things you can do to prevent falling asleep during meditation.
First, make sure that you are comfortable but not too comfortable. It should not be so easy that you could fall asleep in the position. Then, keep your spine straight to help you stay alert.
You can also try focusing on a specific object or sensation, such as your breath or a mantra. If you find your mind wandering, gently bring it back to the object of focus.
Finally, if you struggle to stay awake, try meditating in short bursts throughout the day instead of one long session.
18: Why Do I Feel So Emotional After Meditation?
There are several reasons why you might feel emotional after meditation.
First, meditation can help to bring repressed emotions to the surface. If you have been suppressing negative emotions, such as anger or sadness, they may come up during meditation.
Second, meditation can help to increase your self-awareness. As you become more aware of your thoughts and emotions, you may feel more emotionally charged.
Third, meditation can help to release toxins from the body. These toxins can cause physical and emotional symptoms, such as fatigue or irritability.
Finally, meditation can help to lower stress levels. When stressed, our bodies produce cortisol, leading to anxiety and depression.
19: How to Qualify the Efficacy Of Your Meditation Practice?
There are several ways to qualify the efficacy of your meditation practice.
First, you can track how often you meditate. If you find that you are meditating more frequently, your practice is likely adequate.
Second, you can track the quality of your meditation sessions. If you find that you can focus and concentrate for more extended periods, your practice is likely adequate.
Third, you can track your physical and emotional symptoms before and after meditation. If you find that your symptoms have improved after starting a regular practice, your practice is likely adequate.
20: How to Overcome Obstacles And Plateaus In Meditation?
There are several ways to overcome obstacles and plateaus in meditation.
First, you can try a different meditation technique. If you find that you are struggling with one particular method, there are many other options available.
Second, you can try changing your environment. If you find that distractions make it difficult to concentrate, try meditating in a quiet place where you will not be interrupted.
Finally, if you have been practicing regularly but still feel like you are not making progress, it is essential to be patient. Meditation is not the solution but a tool in your spiritual arsenal.
Problems you can identify and become aware of through meditation can be handled by other means, such as physical effort, mental action, self-improvement practices, philosophy, psychology, esotericism, etc.
21: Will Meditation Make Me Sensitive And More Aware Of the Immaterial?
Yes, meditation can make you more sensitive and aware of the immaterial. This occurs due to the increased self-awareness that meditation provides.
When you are more aware of your thoughts and emotions, you can better understand and interpret the world around you. This heightened awareness can lead to a greater understanding of the immaterial.
With some meditation processes, you can attain Siddhis or supernatural abilities. These abilities are not magic but a result of the increased awareness and understanding that meditation provides.
However, they should not be a goal but a simple benefit of the greater purpose of unity in meditation.
22: Is There Scientific Evidence Of Meditation Being Effective Or Working At All?
Yes, there is scientific evidence of meditation being effective. Meditation has been shown to provide numerous health benefits, such as reducing stress levels, improving sleep quality, and reducing pain perception.
Meditation has also been shown to improve cognitive function and increase brain activity in areas associated with memory, learning, and self-awareness.
In addition, meditation has been linked to increased grey matter density in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain responsible for memory and emotion regulation.
Also, long-term meditators have a more extensive cortical thickness, indicating that meditation can change the brain's structure.
24: What Is the Greatest Benefit Of Meditation?
The most significant benefit of meditation is the increased self-awareness that it provides.
This leads to the ability to set and lead by intention because you can become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and actions. In addition, self-awareness allows for a better understanding and acceptance of yourself.
With increased self-awareness also comes the ability to control your thoughts and emotions. This can lead to increased focus and productivity and improved mental and emotional health.
Finally, self-awareness provides the foundation for personal growth and transformation because it allows you to see clearly what needs to be changed to live a happier and more fulfilling life.
25: How to Overcome Self-Limiting Beliefs That Come to the Surface With Meditation?
There are several ways to overcome self-limiting beliefs:
First, you need to identify the belief. Second, question the validity of the belief. Does it hold in all situations? Is there evidence that contradicts the belief?
Third, challenge the belief by looking at it from different perspectives. What would happen if you let go of the idea? Would your life be worse off or better?
Fourth, experiment with new beliefs. If you don't believe that you can achieve something, try it and see what happens.
Finally, accept that change is a process and take one step at a time. Remember that old beliefs die hard but will eventually give way to new ones.
The most important thing is to have your desire to change exceed your desire to remain the same.
26: What Are Some Of the Different Types of Meditation?
There are many different types of meditation. Some common ones include:
Mindfulness meditation: focuses on being aware of the present moment without judgment.
Guided meditation: uses a guide, typically recorded, to walk you through the process.
Transcendental meditation: uses a mantra to focus your attention and help you reach a state of relaxation.
Movement meditation: combines mindfulness with physical movements, such as walking or yoga.
Lovingkindness meditation: focuses on developing compassion for yourself and others.
Visualization meditation: creates an image in your mind to focus on during the mediation process.
Body scan meditation: involves scanning your body from head to toe, noticing any sensations or emotions that arise.
This list is not meant to be exhaustive by any means.
27: Should I Join a Meditation Class or Course?
Joining a meditation class or course can be beneficial, especially if you're new to meditation.
Classes and courses provide structure and guidance that can be helpful initially. In addition, they offer an opportunity to meet other people who are interested in meditation and create a community of support.
Suppose you're not sure whether or not you want to commit to a class or course. In that case, there are many free resources available online, such as guided meditations, video tutorials, and articles like this one.
28: What Are Some Common Obstacles to Meditation?
There are many common obstacles to meditation:
Time: it can be challenging to find time to meditate when you have a busy schedule.
Distractions: it's easy to get distracted by thoughts, emotions, or physical sensations during meditation.
Not knowing how: if you don't know how to meditate, it can be difficult to get started.
Lack of motivation: it can be hard to motivate yourself to meditate when you're not sure what the benefits are or if it will even work for you.
The good news is that these obstacles are all surmountable with a little effort and perseverance.
30: How to Respond to Intrusive Thoughts During Meditation?
Intrusive thoughts are common during meditation, and there are several ways to deal with them:
Acknowledge the thought but don't engage with it. Let it pass through your mind like a cloud in the sky.
Refocus your attention on your breath or a mantra. Allow the thought to be there without judgment. Don't try to push it away or make it go away.
Notice the physical sensations associated with the thought and focus on those instead.
The most important thing is not to get caught up in the thoughts but to maintain your focus on meditation.
31: Should You Involve Affirmations During Meditation?
It's best to keep what is separate: meditation is about present-moment awareness, while affirmations are about changing your beliefs.
That said, there's no harm in using affirmations during meditation as long as you don't get caught up in them.
Simply let them be and focus on the present moment. Moreover, if you find that affirmations help you to relax and feel better, then, by all means, use them.
Besides all that, it is essential to understand that the goal of meditation is not to get rid of thoughts or achieve some specific state. The goal is simply to be aware of the present moment without judgment.
It is the process of returning to our natural state of being that is most important, not the destination.
32: Why Do You Feel Tired After Meditation?
It's common to feel tired after meditation, especially if you've been doing it for a while.
There are several reasons why this might be the case:
- It can be taxing to maintain focus for an extended period
- The relaxed state you reach during meditation can make you feel sleep
- Meditating can release tension from your body, which can lead to fatigue
- You may be more aware of how tired you actually are after meditating
Whatever the reason, it's nothing to worry about and is perfectly normal. Just listen to your body and take a nap if you need to.
33: Why Do You Feel Itchy During Meditation?
There are a few possible reasons why you might feel itchy during meditation:
- You may be allergic to something in your environment, such as dust or pollen
- The position you're sitting in may be causing irritation
- Stress can sometimes manifest as physical sensations, such as itchiness
- Itching is often a sign of detoxification, which can occur during meditation
If the itchiness is severe or persistent, it's best to consult with a doctor to rule out any medical conditions. Otherwise, simply try to focus on your breath and let the sensation pass.
Your Meditation Questions Answered
Meditation is a powerful tool for promoting peace and well-being, but it's not always easy. These 33 questions about meditation will help you to understand the practice better and make it a part of your life with ease.
If you're new to meditation, don't worry - just start with the basics and work your way up. The most important thing is to be patient, consistent, and curious.
With time and practice, you'll be able to reap all the benefits that meditation has to offer. To learn more about meditation and its effects on the brain and body, click here.