Meditation as a practice has been around for centuries. Though it dates back to the time of the Buddha, it's been used by people in almost every culture. Today, meditation is used to relax, focus the mind, and achieve mindfulness. To best cope with the travails of modern living, you need to have meditation in your toolbox.
Meditation practices can be traced back to the Vedic period in India, some 5,000 years ago. The Vedic people believed that the path to enlightenment was through the practice of meditation, and the Vedic culture was the beginning of modern day Hinduism. 'Meditation' is derived from the Latin word 'meditatio', which means 'to think, contemplate, or reflect on.
Recently meditation as a practice has fully shed some of the woo-woo reputation that it was initially plagued by. Like much of the "eastern knowledge" that was lightly ridiculed just decades ago (including acupuncture and Qi Gong), meditation has gained popularity in the west. Why? Because it works, and it's easy to do!
Why Should Men Meditate?
Meditation can help reduce stress and anxiety as we navigate the game of life. It can also help improve sleep, boost productivity, and increase focus and concentration. Meditation is a practice, but it's also a tool for better living.
It's no secret that for men and women, stress hits differently. Women may be more likely to ruminate over stressful events, while men seem more likely to ignore or bottle up their feelings. This is partly due to the different ways that each gender is socialized from a young age. Of course, we don't control this, but being aware of it can help us understand and be ok with finding positive solutions to stress.
Another reason why stress levels can be uniquely high for men is because of the different hormonal responses that each gender has to stress. For example, when men experience stress, they often release more of the hormone cortisol than women do. And while cortisol is helpful in short bursts, chronically high levels of cortisol can have harmful effects on the body, including causing accelerated aging.
"You are not the mind...you are the witness, a watcher."
There are several types of meditation that can be beneficial for men. Some popular types include mindfulness meditation, mantra meditation, and transcendental meditation. Each style has its own unique benefits that can help improve different areas of your life. Try out the different types to see which ones work best for you.
How To Meditate Comfortably
Meditation doesn't have to mean sitting in lotus position on a hardwood floor. You can meditate lying down, sitting in a chair, or even walking. Just make sure you're comfortable and won't be interrupted for a while.
Set a timer.
It's easy to get lost in thought when you're meditating, and before you know it, an hour has passed. If you don't want to be late for your next appointment, set a timer for the desired length of your meditation ahead of time.
Focus on your breath.
Once you're comfortable, close your eyes and focus on your breath. Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose, filling up your lungs. Then breathe out slowly through your mouth. Repeat this process for the duration of your meditation.
Don't worry about clearing your mind.
One of the biggest misconceptions about meditation is that you need to clear your mind of all thoughts. But it's normal for thoughts to arise during meditation; just let them come and go without judgment or attachment
Types of Meditation
There are many different types of meditation, each with its own benefits. While some types of meditation may be more helpful for certain individuals than others, ultimately the best type of meditation is the one that works best for you.
If you're new to meditation, it may be helpful to try out a few different types to see which one resonates with you the most.
Concentrative meditation is a popular type of meditation that involves focusing the mind on a specific object or thought. This can be anything from your breath to a mantra or affirmation. The idea is to keep your focus on the chosen object or thought while letting other thoughts come and go without getting caught up in them. This meditation type can also be effective when combined with the practice of creative visualization.
Nondirective meditation is another common type of meditation, which involves letting the mind wander freely. This is the opposite technique, without concentration on any particular thing. This type of meditation can be helpful for promoting creativity and allows you to get deep and explore different aspects of your consciousness. Open yourself to...yourself!
“The thing about meditation is you become more and more you.” – David Lynch
Mindfulness meditation is a type of meditation that encourages you to focus on the present moment and become aware of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgment.
Mindfulness meditation is thought to have originated in India around 2500 years ago. The practice was originally used as a tool for monks and other religious practitioners to achieve a state of heightened spiritual awareness.
In recent decades, mindfulness meditation has been adapted for use in secular settings and has become increasingly popular as a means of promoting relaxation and reducing stress.
Body Scan Meditation
Do you ever feel out of touch with your body? Body Scan meditations are a form of mindfulness meditation that focuses on fully feeling the body. During a body scan meditation, you focus on one part of your body at a time and pay attention to the sensations you feel in that area. This can help you to become more aware of your body, and can also be a way of relaxing your mind and relieving stress.
There are many different types of body scan meditations. One type of body scan meditation has the person focus on one area of their body at a time. They may start with their feet and work their way up to their head. They may also focus on specific areas such as the heart or lungs.
Another type of body scan meditation involves focusing on the entire body at once. This can be done by imagining the body as a whole or by focusing on the physical sensations that are occurring in the body.
Guided visualization is a type of meditation that involves using your imagination to visualize a desired outcome or goal.
The origins of guided visualization techniques can be traced back to the practices of ancient religions and spiritual traditions. In these practices, people would use visualization techniques to connect with their spirit guides or deities.
Over time, these techniques evolved into what we know today as a guided visualization. Guided visualization is a process where a person is guided by a facilitator to connect with their inner thoughts and feelings. This process can be used to achieve various goals, such as reducing stress, improving self-confidence, or achieving greater clarity and understanding.
Mantra meditations focus on a word, phrase, or sound that is repeated over and over again. This helps to focus the mind and create a calm and peaceful state. Mantras can be personalized to fit your needs, and there are many different mantras to choose from. It is important to find a mantra that resonates with you, and that you can connect with on a deep level.
When you first begin mantra meditation, it is best to keep your repetitions short. As you get more comfortable with the practice, you can gradually increase the amount of time you spend repeating the mantra.
You can also try different ways of chanting the mantra, such as singing or whispering it softly. The most important thing is to find a way that works for you and helps you to achieve a deep state of relaxation and peace.
The origins of transcendental meditation go back to India in the 1950s. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who created the practice, was hit by a lightning bolt of inspiration when reading the Vedic scriptures. These sacred texts laid out the use of mantra meditation as a way to get enlightened. So Yogi took the inspiration to create the foundations of TDM.
The goal of transcendental meditation is to achieve a state of complete relaxation and stillness that allows the mind to become calm and focused. Over time, the practice has been shown to be beneficial for reducing stress and improving mental health.
David Lynch and TDM
David Lynch is a singular movie director, but he's also a big proponent of TDM. In his book "Catching the Big Fish," Lynch drops personal stories about how meditation helped him enhance his sizable amount of creative juice. He's even started a foundation called the David Lynch Foundation to help promote meditation for men. Lynch believes that meditation can help men to connect with their true nature and that it's a powerful tool for creating peace and harmony in the world.
Tibetan Sky Gazing
If you're looking for a meditation practice that's out of this world, look no further than Tibetan sky gazing. This centuries-old tradition involves staring at the sky for extended periods of time, often in silence. While it may sound simple, Tibetan sky gazing can be a powerful form of meditation for men.
The act of staring at the sky forces you to focus your attention on the present moment, and the vastness of the sky can help to still the mind. In addition, the blue color of the sky is said to have calming effects on the nervous system. If you're looking for a meditation practice that will help you to relax and find inner peace, Tibetan sky gazing may be right for you.
This isn't all about sex. Tantric meditation can help men to connect with their masculine energy and to become more in tune with their bodies. Tantric meditation involves sitting in a comfortable position and focusing on the breath. The goal is to relax the mind and body and to focus on the present moment.
In addition, men are encouraged to visualize their breath moving through their bodies, from the base of the spine up to the crown of the head. By doing this, it is said that men can increase their awareness of their bodies and learn to control their sexual energy. Tantric meditation can be practiced alone or with a partner, and it can be done for any length of time.
Loving-kindness meditation is a form of mindfulness that cultivates feelings of warmth and goodwill towards oneself and others. The practice begins with focusing on the breath and then sending thoughts of kindness and love to oneself. After a few minutes of sending these thoughts inward, the focus shifts to sending them to someone who is challenging or difficult in one's life. This might be a family member, friend, or stranger. Finally, the practice concludes by sending thoughts of kindness and love out into the world, to all beings everywhere.
Loving-kindness meditation is a simple but powerful practice that can help us to feel more connected to ourselves and others. It can be especially helpful in situations where we feel anger, resentment, or fear. By sending thoughts of love and kindness to ourselves and others, we can create more peace and understanding in our lives.
Why Men Should Utilize Meditation
“Meditation is like a gym in which you develop the powerful mental muscles of calm and insight.”– Ajahn Brahm
Starting a meditation practice can offer a variety of benefits, including increased focus, decreased stress, and improved mental health. By taking just a few minutes out of your day to sit in silence and focus on your breath, you can begin to experience these benefits for yourself. Meditation is also a great way to connect with your inner self and learn to listen to your intuition.
No matter what type of meditation you choose to practice, the key is to be patient and consistent with your practice. Meditation takes time and effort to master, but the rewards are well worth it. With regular practice, you can learn to control your thoughts, increase your focus and concentration, and reduce stress and anxiety. So find a comfortable place to sit or lie down, close your eyes, and let the meditative journey begin!