Many people are put off by the idea of meditation because they have a misconception of what it is. How do you help people initially start with meditation?
Maybe those misconceptions are because people assume you have to be religious to meditate. But actually, you don’t. Many people practice it as a mind training tool, and of course these days they call it mindfulness. In fact, it is a highly effective life skill. Another misconception is that people think you have to empty your mind to meditate. That’s actually impossible and pointless, but many people struggle, thinking they have to do that. Actually, it is about focusing the mind and finding happiness. Rather than ‘emptying,’ it is about filling one’s mind with joy. The best way to start learning is to practice short moments of mindfulness many times a day, so that it becomes a habit. These are to be practiced even while busy, while moving, while working. Then a daily practice starts to emerge, and longer periods of sitting meditation become possible. These can be woven into a busy life where there isn’t much time, and the practice can still bring good results.