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:
- Sit down
- Set your phone timer for 2 minutes
- Close your eyes
- When the timer goes off, get up and go on with your day.
- 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.
- Eddies in the Stream, Rick Hanson
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.