We’ve all heard of the amazing benefits of meditating, but is there a wrong way to meditate?
And if so, how do I know if I’m doing it right?
In this article we’ll break down how to feel secure in your meditation practice and get it right for you.
The key to meditation is to be open to explore and keep an open mind and observe your mind, your feelings, emotions, and your breath.
Be present in the moment.
Try different ways.
And remember that you can transcend limitations by practising meditation, even if you think you can’t meditate.
Table of Contents
What is the Right Way to Meditate?
There is no one right way to meditate.
There are ways which are designed for particular practices, specific ways for groups or individuals, and ways which resonate more or less with you. But they aren’t right, so much as they’re productive.
And conducive to feeling at peace and training the mind to be still in times of turmoil.
Just because one person advocates (or a thousand people advocate) that you sit in a quiet room with the lights dimmed and you focus on your breath while you recite a mantra, that doesn’t make it the right way to meditate.
The fear of doing something wrong stops a lot of people from reaching their true potential and creates limiting beliefs such as, I can’t do that, I’m not X enough.
For example, can you learn mindfulness skills on your own? Sure you can!
Learning to meditate in a guided and specific way also has great potential of course because it’s time-tested and proven but you can also learn things in the way that’s right for you.
In fact, most people think of meditating with their eyes closed, but does that mean you can’t meditate with eyes open?
And maybe you normally sit in the early morning sunshine, and you’re wondering whether you should actually meditate in the dark?
What about the silence, is it possible to also meditate in a noisy environment? Yes, it is.
There’s no wrong way to meditate.
But, contradictorily to that, there actually is one of way to practise meditation wrong – and that’s when you believe you’re doing it right (your cup is full) or wrong.
When you put yourself under pressure that you have to do it in a certain way in order to pass some kind of doing-it-right-test. Then it becomes wrong lol.
I hope you’re getting the picture. Meditation isn’t wrong, until you believe it is, and then it is. hahaha, helpful right?
Meditation’s a tool and as with any tool, there are so many of them at your fingertips, and depending on so many circumstances, which one you will reach for.
Many roads lead to Rome and you can find the best way to meditate for you personally. Never again say I can’t meditate because almost everybody can meditate.
Some people prefer to meditate with music and others prefer without. On some occasions meditating with a timer can be a great way to release you from thinking about the time and on other occasions it can have the opposite effect.
So if you’re wondering what to do because you don’t understand mindfulness, know that you can use many ways to get enhanced peace, increase the release of natural endorphins, lower your blood pressure, strengthen your immune system, experience joy and many more benefits.
Meditation is a path that helps you to train you body-mind connection.
When starting out, you might like to research into several different types of meditations and deciding which one is for you will help you with what to focus on in your meditation practice.
And from there, you might practise a couple of styles until you know which one most resonates with you.
Maybe you don’t even want to investigate meditation deeper, you just want to be able to sit and empty your mind in the quiet of your own home each day and feel the benefits that come to you as you grow into your practice.
Or practise mindful meditation during your average day at work or while waiting in the queue at the grocery store. There are literally so many different ways to get into meditation, it would be impossible to call one of them wrong.
If you’re new to meditation, you may wonder how long it takes to learn mindfulness, but remember, you can get value out of whatever style you choose to explore.
It’s yours to choose.
But there are some things which aren’t conducive to positive meditation at all, so I guess they could be described as wrong. It all depends on your terminology.
Unproductive would be a more accurate term than wrong.
How do I know if I’m Meditating Wrong?
Well, I’ll repeat myself just to be absolutely sure you’re listening lol. There’s no such thing as meditating wrong.
You can meditate in the way that best suits you.
But what if you feel insecure about meditating? What if you feel like you’re doing it wrong, even though you know there’s no right or wrong way to meditate.
Well you’re not alone. Many many many people believe they aren’t good at meditation. But you can’t be good at meditation. It’s like saying you’re good and being happy. Good at being excited? How does that work? When you’re excited and I’m excited, who’s to say that one of us is doing it better than the other?
And meditation is a practice which flows and evolves. Your own practice can grow stiller over time as your mind adjusts and becomes more at one with the quiet time of meditation. But the goal of meditation isn’t to stop your mind from producing thoughts!
The goal is to become aware.
For the sake of this article, let’s say that the words unproductive or counterproductive equals the word wrong. So in this case, we can say that there are a few potholes you could fall into, which would be best avoided.
If you don’t have a meditation teacher to help you get started, or maybe you want to go it alone, it’s worth avoiding some of the pitfalls which you could fall into in your new quest for meditation.
Ways not to meditate because of being counterproductive to cultivating your inner peace and mindfulness of the moment. . .
- Thinking you have to be perfect (meditation isn’t about being perfect, it’s about being present and acceptance of the present moment).
- Believing that you need to stop your mind from producing thoughts (the shift is from identifying yourself as being the thought itself, to becoming an observer of your thoughts).
- Feeling like a failure because you experience resistance (if you feel fear/resistance, just observe and allow the emotion without judgment. Accept that it’s part of your journey right now).
- Trying to meditate to achieve a certain standard (wherever you are in your practice is the right place for you to be at this moment).
- Looking for specific results from your meditation (see it as a journey, not as a goal driven destination).
- Worrying about your meditation (recognise, then release any worry and let it be).
- Judging yourself as not being good enough at meditation (acceptance and self love are key).
What Am I Supposed to Think About While I Meditate?
There are many different ways to meditate. You can try various ways and find the ones which most resonate with you.
- Focus on your breath and allow other thoughts to take secondary place.
- Do a body scan, slowly covering each part of your body, from toes to the tip of your head.
- Silently count, and focus on your counting, in and out with each breath.
- Say ‘om’ as you inhale and exhale, and set your attention there.
- Imagine yourself in a beautiful garden. Picture the details around you, smell the flowers, hear the waves, feel the grass beneath your feet. Walk gently through the garden and allow images to spring to life within your imagination and listen to the sounds that come to you from within the mediation to your magic garden.
- Choose any of the above methods to practise. With time you’ll begin to notice that this isn’t ‘thinking’ but rather it’s coming from a different source.
- When thoughts spring up, just see them and then come back to your focus.
Can Meditation Make You Feel Worse?
I hope you release all thoughts of doing meditation wrong and instead start to reap the benefits of a daily mediation practise.
Remember, it’s YOUR practise. Explore and be open to change and to growth, and know that you are loved, just the way you are.