The art of Meditation

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Meditation is an Art

Everyone has ten fingers. It is just a matter of learning how to use these ten fingers to create something so melodious. In the same way, we all have a mind, we all think, so we all can meditate. It is just a little skill to see how we can calm the mind and get in touch with the depth of energy, getting in touch with the source of energy that we are. The mind becomes calm and serene, it gets access to this enormous intelligence and energy that we possess within us. So it is a way to take that deep rest, at the same time being alert and conscious. It is just that skill to see how, just that skill to take deep rest, yet being alert and conscious.

Often people say – it is so difficult to focus the mind, so difficult to free it from thoughts and so difficult to relax! We should just do it – the art of meditation, learning meditation, 3-4 days – simple steps – you get the most profound experience in life. You don’t have to go to the Himalayas, you don’t have to become a recluse, change your lifestyle, and do a lot of penance to attain meditation!

You can begin meditation with the right instructor, a good instructor, and they can help you to calm the mind using a Mantra, using sound. And in the first sitting, you experience something so wonderful! And as you practice on a regular basis – once a day, twice a day, you feel there is a transformation, you will notice a big transformation within yourself! And not only you, people around you will also start recognizing the beautiful energy that you carry along with you. So everybody should meditate for a few minutes every day and make life free of stress and have more happiness in life.

The Manly History of Meditation

Meditation has a long and storied manly history, and it has been utilized by men from many different walks of life for thousands of years. It has of course famously been a tool used by adherents of many religions, from Buddhist monks to Jesuit priests. But philosophers of all stripes have always seen its value as well; the Stoics used meditation as a tool to develop their fortitude and self-control, for example. And warrior classes across cultures used meditation to instill in their soldiers a keen mind and a fearless heart. The ancient Samurai are perhaps the most famous warrior/meditator class. They meditated upon death daily so that they could fight without fear.

Many of history’s greatest thinkers also happened to be mediators. For example, Charles Darwin and Immanuel Kant unknowingly practiced what is called “active mediation.” They would take a daily walk where they would ponder some idea they’d been working on. Oftentimes it was during these walks that they had their biggest insights.

Fast-forward to today and you’ll find corporate leaders and star athletes using meditation to reach their full potential. Executives from companies such as Google, Target, and General Mills practice meditation. Many people in high-stress (and often testosterone-fueled) jobs such as stockbrokers and attorneys are starting to pick up the practice in order to find peace and calm, as well as regain focus.

Champion boxer Vijender Singh uses meditation as part of his per-fight training regimen. He explained, “Mental conditioning is very important as it keeps you focused during the bout. When you have a large crowd watching you, the pressure starts building on you, and it’s meditation that helps you at that time. I usually invest 15 to 20 minutes on it every day and it has helped me a lot.”

Phil Jackson, one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time, with 11 NBA titles to his name, is also a longtime meditator. Jackson not only practices meditation in his personal life, he also taught meditation techniques to his players to help them stay calm and collected under pressure, as well as more focused during games.

Even the U.S. Marine Corps is testing meditation as a way to increase soldiers’ mental performance and clarity under high stress conditions. Also, many groups and agencies are employing meditation techniques to help soldiers with PTSD and other psychological issues when they return home.

We could go on, but you get the picture. The takeaway here is that meditation isn’t just something for dudes who use crystal deodorant instead of Speed Stick. It’s a practice that is not only compatible with manliness, but can be a vital tool in developing it.

The Art of Meditation

Wherever he goes, Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard is asked to explain what meditation is, how it is done and what it can achieve. In this authoritative and inspiring book, he sets out to answer these questions. Matthieu Ricard shows that practising meditation can change our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. He talks us through its theory, spirituality and practical aspects of deep contemplation and illustrates each stage of his teaching with examples. Through his experience as a monk, his close reading of sacred texts and his deep knowledge of the Buddhist masters, Matthieu Ricard reveals the significant benefits that meditation – based on selfless love and compassion – can bring to each of us.

How the Art of Meditation Can Change Your Life and How to Do It!

By now we have all heard that regularly practicing meditation is one of the most effective ways to manage stress and take care of our emotions and mental state. It has become a popular, mainstream recommendation for the health of the body and mind.

When you fit meditation into your day, you bring much more of yourself to all the other hours of your day — you bring your whole self rather than your stressed-out self. — Jeff Kober

But what is meditation?

Mention meditation to someone and you might hear one, or many, of these responses:

“I’ve tried meditation, it doesn’t work for me. I can’t turn off my thoughts.”
“I’m not a yoga person.”
“That’s just woo-woo stuff — not for me.”
“I don’t have time for that, I am way too busy.”
“I’m religious, I don’t do that weird stuff, it isn’t part of my religion.” and many others…

Have you encountered any of these, or thought them yourself, when you hear the recommendation to meditate?

Many of us have these thoughts. Most people say or think at least one of these when they start or hear about meditation.

In rebuttal:

Meditation is not about the elimination of thoughts, as most of us commonly believe at first, but more about the awareness of your thoughts.

Meditation is part of the eight-limbs of yoga, yes, but you don’t need to do the physical practice to yoga to benefit from meditation.

Meditation can help us use our time more effectively, making it vital for the busiest of folks.

Meditation doesn’t have any weird “magic” or “channeling” or “woo-woo” involved. It is a science-based training of the mind.

If you belong to a religion and are scared that meditating is heretical, think of this. God asks you to pray. Meditation is taking the time to listen. All good conversations require this two-way street.

Most of us have what is commonly referred to as a “monkey mind”. What is a monkey mind? Think of a monkey, always darting here and there, never still, always curious, always looking.

This is a metaphor for our minds, always on, always thinking and searching for answers and asking those questions which our minds just never seems to stop generating.

Our thoughts are like these monkeys, running here and there, always on. Meditation is about learning to calm down our monkey minds.

Many meditation teachers speak about this wandering mind. We can think of our mind wandering as training, the more it wanders the more times we can practice bringing it back.

It is the act of bringing your mind back to the present moment that teaches and calms your mind.

The practice of meditation is simply becoming aware of our thoughts wandering and bringing them back (again and again) to your breath.

Over time you will find that your thoughts wander less. But they will always wander. You are human and that is the way the mind works.

Meditation brings attention to our thoughts. We can start to have more control over them, to a point, and thus over our emotional states.

Many books and articles have been written about meditation and I encourage you to read a few. These can help start and deepen your meditation practice.

Some books I recommend are:

  1. 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works — by Dan Harris
  2. Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life — by Jon Kawabata-Inn
  3. Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life — by Thigh Nhat Hanh
  4. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment — by Eckhart Toll
  5. Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha —
    by Tara Branch
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