Why Meditation Is a Must-Learn Skill

If you want to be a Fierce Gentleman (or Fierce Lady), I strongly recommend meditation.

Meditation has been shown by centuries of practice (and modern science) to include some or all of the following benefits:

  • Reduced stress
  • Slower aging
  • Increased brain size
  • Reduced need for sleep
  • Greater life satisfaction & sense of well-being
  • Attainment of enlightenment-on-earth or Nirvana

For the time-pressed, I’d recommend you watch this engaging 2.5 minute video on how meditation affects the rest of your life: 

Makes senses, doesn’t it?

If you’ve never meditated before, here’s your homework for today:

  1. Sit down
  2. Set your phone timer for 2 minutes
  3. Close your eyes
  4. When the timer goes off, get up and go on with your day.
  5. Repeat tomorrow at the same time, and every day until the end of the month.

For me, building the habit of meditation was a long path.

I started with good intentions (as we all do). I sat down to meditate maybe once a week. I wanted to do better.

It was hard.

I worked on it for 5 years. I had a supportive group of people around me, and they kept asking about my practice. I read this book.

The accountability helped me stick with it, and over time I worked up to meditating 10, then 15, then 20 minutes per day. I went on a Vipassana retreat and strengthened my practice.

Now let’s say you’ve done all this. What’s next?

At a certain point, you will reach a plateau. This is normal in any skill-based practice like piano, tennis, chess, or meditation.

To give you the motivation to take your meditation practice deeper, I highly recommend the following article, by Dr. Rick Hanson, author of Buddha’s Brain, Just One Thing, and Hardwiring Happiness. 

If you prefer a video version, here is an in-depth video interview-lecture in which Rick explains the article (30 min).

I found this article not just intellectually engaging, but also motivating. It made me want to attain the state of ‘fertile noise’ or Nirvana, Nibbana, that is discussed.

Is Nirvana attainable in a human lifetime? It must be. There are many documented cases of individuals who went through transformative mental and spiritual experiences that changed their experience of life forever.

If we ‘re honest with ourselves, most of us will realize that this is one of the main things we yearn for — to be changed, forever. (And preferably without much effort on our part).

The path of meditation is a path of effort — at first. Once the practical habit is established, the benefits from the practice provide the motive energy needed for deepening the practice.

You don’t have to aim for Nirvana. You can meditate for 5 minutes a day and still get benefit. You can meditate for 20 minutes a day and make your brain bigger. Or you can meditate for 2 hours a day and experience whatever it is you experience when you do that much meditation. (I’ve never done that much meditation).

Whatever you do, keep practicing. Keep sitting. Keep still. The benefits will far outweigh the costs. I promise.

For those of you who are ready to commit to building the meditation habit in their lives, we have a program for that. We’ve helped over 100 individuals attain their goal of building a rock-solid meditation habit. Click here to find out more and enroll.

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Also published on Medium.

10 Comments Why Meditation Is a Must-Learn Skill

  1. Julia Westbrooke

    Oh yeah! This one is a no-brainer. Everyone should learn how to meditate, or at least get some yoga in each week. The first time I did yoga, I could not believe how in tuned I was with my breathing. Great post!

    Reply
    1. Drew

      Thanks Julie! Yoga and meditation are actually sort of the same thing, when you get right down to what they are both doing – which is training your attention. I’ve personally had near-miraculous effects with coupling the two — meditation right after an intense yoga session. Thanks for the comment!

      Reply
  2. Jeffery M.

    I can definitely agree that meditation is something that you need to learn. At least some form of breathing exercise, right? Get the heart rate down, clear your mind and allow your body to relax in full. Great post!

    Reply
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  7. Kozo

    Love, this Andrew. I hope this inspires more men to take up the Path. I’ve found that one of the greatest side effects of a meditation practice is compassion, which Thich Nhat Hanh says protects you more than “guns, bombs, or money.” I am grateful for the internet because articles like this one and Eddies in the Stream will be available to anyone seeking wisdom, a teacher, or a Sangha. Thank you for all you are doing to make the world a better place. {{{{hugs]}}} Kozo

    Reply
    1. Andrew

      So glad to be able to provide another outlet for this great material Kozo :) Thank YOU for creating that fantastic interview with Rick, and for all that YOU do to make the world a better place. Deepest respect, Andrew

      Reply

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