Five Tips for Men to Make Meditation a Habit (part-1)
Are you a busy man who appreciates the value of meditation but finds it difficult to practice regularly?
Perhaps after a long day at the office, you just want to blob out in front of the TV? Or maybe you’re enjoying life in the fast lane and feel that regular meditation is definitely slow-lane stuff and not for you.
In case you’re open to another point of view, please read on.
Meditation is not just for ascetics, those with nothing much to do, bean-sprout-munching alternative lifestylers, or the elderly.
These days, companies like Target, General Mills, Google, Yahoo!, Time Warner, Nike, and Apple actively encourage their employees to meditate because they recognize the benefits.
If you feel “real men” don’t meditate, then consider that many prominent athletes can be found regularly sitting still with their eyes closed. They include NBA All-Star, Kobe Bryant; boxing champion Vijender Singh; members of the Sri Lankan cricket team; and lots of others.
The benefits of meditation are amazing. They include enhanced physical health, relief from anxiety and depression, more energy and creativity, better concentration, higher productivity, improved relationships, and increased self-actualization. In summary, regular meditators become healthier and happier.
Some people, including former Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, feel that exercise, such as walking, is their meditation. While exercise is necessary for a healthy body and does relieve stress, research shows that meditation has unique benefits, especially the deep rest that it gives, which is much deeper than sleep.
Why not convert the sporadic joy and peace that you experience through occasional meditation into a daily dose of bliss. If you’re open to joining the millions around the world who enjoy the life-changing benefits of meditating on a daily basis, here are some tips.
Tip#1: Choose your meditation technique
There are many guided meditation CDs available though the Art of Living Foundation, and online guidance about how to meditate is available on the Art of Living website. Of these guided meditations, we particularly recommend Hari Om meditation and Shanti meditation.
However, there is no substitute for learning meditation from a trained and experienced teacher. We strongly suggest you start your regular meditation journey with the Art of Meditation Course taught by teachers rigorously trained by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The traditional name for the technique imparted on this course is Sahaj Samadhi Meditation. “Sahaj” means effortless or natural and “Samadhi” is a state of total equanimity. This effortless technique uses a primordial sound or mantra to enable the mind to settle deeply. We recommend this practice because it is so profound in its effects and is accessible to anybody, including those who feel that their mind is too active to meditate.
Tip #2: Find a space in your day to practice and make it a habit to meditate at that time
We have found that people who meditate early in the day are more likely to do it regularly. One reason is that you feel the benefits very tangibly when you meditate in the morning—it sets you up for the whole day. Also, there is something magical about meditating early in the day before the world (or at least your part of it), wakes up. The atmosphere is still and very conducive to gliding within.
You may protest that you’re not a “morning person”. Okay, no problem. How about a regular spot at work during your lunch break, before you eat? Find a quiet place in your office or go to your car or a nearby park and unwind. You’ll be amazed at how you come back to work in the afternoon full of bounce and energy. Meditating before lunch can particularly help in dispelling that mid-afternoon low, when we tend to head for the coffee urn. Too busy you say? You often haven’t got enough time to eat, let alone meditate! Well maybe you should look into that, but that’s another story…
Here are some other options. Why not stealthily meditate on the bus or train to and from work? The public transport systems of many countries these days are filled with discreet meditators. Alternatively, before you have dinner, take twenty minutes to dissolve the stress of the day. You’ll enjoy dinner and your evening activities much more after a refreshing meditation break.
We are confident that after your Art of Meditation course, you’ll be inspired to make the time for regular meditation. Here are some more tips to apply once your journey has begun.