There’s a lot of information out there about meditation, and it can get very overwhelming and confusing, to say the least. Along the way, a lot of mistakes happen, even if you're an advanced meditator. If you ask me, knowing which mistakes are the most common can take your practice to the next level and stop you from giving up on your practice.
Here are the five most common mistakes people make while meditating:
1. Not truly understanding what meditation is.
You know it’s good for you, you understand that it raises your vibration and can help you to achieve a higher consciousness level. But there's more to it than that. When you're meditating, you are achieving spiritual awareness on a conscious level.
This means you are aware of your spiritual body and your physical body at the same time while you’re conscious (and by that I mean not sleeping). It’s very important to understand this because you’re accessing your spiritual tools when you’re in a meditative state. You quiet the mind when you achieve a relaxed state. This allows you to become more aware of your spiritual body.
While in a meditative state, you can access both bodies and the information they hold at the same time. When you consciously become aware of your spiritual and physical body at the same time, you have a lot more access to the spiritual tools you were born with. And these tools can be very helpful in everyday life.
2. Not knowing what it means to "achieve" a meditative state.
A common misconception is someone thinking that in order to achieve a meditative state you need to be in a quiet room, sitting in a certain position, controlling your breathing. Here's the thing: Most people are meditating every day without even knowing they're doing it.
A meditative state can happen when you’re staring at the TV, when you’re staring into space, when you’re daydreaming or relaxing in a chair, and even right before you fall asleep. When your body is relaxing and your mind is quiet, you naturally achieve a meditative state.
But this can actually create a problem. You don’t realize that when you’re relaxing, falling asleep, or driving home from work—that's when you're most likely to stress out about your day. What is happening then is that most people naturally achieve a meditative state on their own. They are usually going over all of their problems, so it’s a Catch-22. And when you get into a meditative state, it’s the most powerful time to visualize.
3. Not understanding what being in a meditative state feels like.
You can feel dizzy. You can feel vibrating inside your body or even like you’re vibrating outside your body. You can feel like your arms are shaking or your legs or your body. You can feel like you’re being pulled upward.
You can also feel as if your energy spills into the entire room, as if your spiritual body protrudes from you, almost like you can touch the walls with your body. There are a lot of different variables on how meditation might feel to you. It’s not cut and dried. Some people think you're supposed to feel a certain way or you didn't achieve a meditative state. That's simply not true.
If you release all expectations, then you’re going to take a nap or go to sleep. Then you allow yourself to approach the edge of falling asleep, and your body will naturally go limp and relax. And your whole body will relax. It’s more natural.
4. Thinking there are strict rules for how meditation has to happen.
You must be sitting up. You must meditate at a certain time of day, each day, and be consistent. You must be sitting in a chair. You can’t eat red meat. You can’t fall asleep!
Actually, none of that matters. It’s interesting how many rules people want to meditate by, but you're naturally a spiritual being. You access the spiritual part of yourself every single day. It’s not something you have to work to achieve, it just is. What you should work toward is being aware that it's happening.
It's happening whether or not you've ever consciously meditated a day in your life. It's happening, and you are spiritually achieving.
5. Thinking one type of meditation is better than another.
Meditation is being spiritually aware on a conscious level, so it doesn’t matter how you achieve that awareness. If it’s guided meditation, then do guided meditation. If you don’t like guided meditation and you find your mind wandering, maybe try being more aware of your meditative state before you fall asleep.
Everyone meditates for different reasons. Everyone has a different agenda. Someone might want to have a deeper spiritual connection, someone else might want to connect with spirits, while others want to learn how to relax and lower their blood pressure.
There are no rules when it comes to achieving a meditative state. The key is awareness. Be more aware of when you achieve this state, more aware of how often throughout the day you achieve this state, and become more conscious of what you are doing and what you are thinking about while in a meditative state. Then utilize this time to the best of your ability.