Misconceptions of Meditation
There are a lot of misconceptions floating around about Meditation. So let's clarify a few shall we?
You must contort yourself by sitting in the lotus position in order to meditate
No! This is incorrect. In order for you mind to relax, your body must also relax. It is near impossible for your body to relax if it is uncomfortable. You can meditate in any position, pose, etc. that is comfortable. You can even lie down if you need to (just be careful of falling asleep). You can even do walking or standing meditation! So no, you do not have to sit in a position that is uncomfortable. Always be comfortable in meditation!
You can find more info on some sample meditation positions here.
Meditation is just conscious sleep
Meditation is similar to conscious sleep, with one exception. When you are sleeping, you are thinking of what happened that day, what is going to happen tomorrow, etc. You are thinking about the past and the future while you are lying in bed waiting for sleep to overtake you. In meditation, however, you focus on the present, not the past or future. You focus on your breath or your mantra; both of which have nothing to do in the past or future.
Another thing about sleep: Your mind is not at rest during sleep. You have dreams and have thoughts while you are sleeping. In meditation, your mind relaxes, and thoughts die down. That way you can fully relax both mind and body.
You need to be alone and be in a secluded area for meditation
You do not need to be alone in a cave, or deep in the jungle in order to meditate. You can meditate anywhere, at any time, with anyone. Meditating outside is a lot different from meditating inside. Also, meditating with a friend or a group can make the experience deeper, as everyone near you at that time is also searching for inner peace.
Meditation is only for religious reasons
Before we get a misconception about a misconception going, let me say that meditation CAN be used for religious reasons, such as prayer. It does not have to though. Meditation is not strictly for one religion, as all religions can have some kind of meditation done in some way, shape, or form. Meditation is for everyone, not just for people in one religion. So what are you waiting for? Its awesome :)
Learning meditation is hard
This is a huge misconception. Meditation is simple, anyone can learn how to do it. Just look at the techniques tab on this site, and you'll see several ways you can meditate right now if you wanted to! Keep meditation simple, just like it is supposed to be. Why complicate such an easy thing?
Meditation is boring
I will admit. When I started meditating, I kept thinking "My god this is boring!" The problem with doing this is that I would not let my body and mind relax. When I let my mind and body relax, meditating became enjoyable. Meditation is anything but boring if you allow it to happen. So let go, and let it happen, and peace will follow.
So if any of these things has kept you from meditating, then there is nothing holding you back!
Go ahead and meditate! It does become enjoyable, I promise :)