Meditation: Not Just for Mommies and Swamis

When we discuss the ways in which men can work toward discovering and building our best selves, the word “meditation” gets dropped fairly often. However, not much ink has been spilled discussing how to use it effectively as part of a modern man’s routine. In fact, the idea of meditation is most likely to conjure up images of mommies in yoga pants sitting in the lotus position (contemplating the foam on their lattes) and swamis in orange robes sitting on a hilltop in Southern Asia (or Southern California). What has that got to do with the neomasculine man? And more importantly, how do you do it?

What is Meditation?

Meditation is best thought of as a series of techniques used to clean the debris from the mechanisms of your mind. Imagine your brain as a machine, filled with intricate, interlocking gears. Exposure to the gritty conditions of life causes those gears to build up dirt and grime, and inhibits their ability to work at their best. Too much grit in the machine, and the functioning of the mind can become downright painful. Meditation (when practiced with discipline) allows you to pull the cover off that mental machine, to let the debris fall out. As with any other machine, you may be amazed just how much junk is stuck to the works once you get the hood open.

It is this emptying of mental debris that attracts spiritual seekers and Eastern religions to the practice—after all, a clean mental machine is better suited to touching the infinite than one that is cluttered with minutiae. However, meditation itself is a technique, rather than an expression of faith. It is of equal utility to all thinking people, regardless of tradition or spiritual orientation.

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Gain Control Over What You Think About and For How Long

In my early 20s, I became something of a religious tourist, exploring different faiths before ultimately crashing back into embracing my Catholic heritage. The most meaningful stop on my journey was with a Buddhist congregation in my city. I could never accept the dogma of Buddhism (for me, attachment is not suffering—it’s the power source of my life). Yet, having attended those services has been of lasting value to me. The services mostly consisted of different forms of guided and unguided meditations. I didn’t find my dharma. But I did discover that meditation allowed me to push past meaningless mental distraction, access my emotions free of doubt or lack of clarity, and consciously prioritize the activities of thinking. It became easier to recognize where to put mental energy and effort versus where such mental effort was wasted. As a result, the brain works more efficiently, with less stress and anxiety—because the various tasks of the inner life develop a hierarchy of priority and importance that simply can’t happen without de-gunking the gears of the mind. Less energy is wasted on the things we should let slide; more energy becomes available for the things that warrant focus and mental engagement.

How To Do It

What follows is my own take on the guidance I learned from the time I spent with Buddhists, and my own unguided regular meditation practice.

Body position: Find somewhere quiet, private, and reasonably free from distraction. Being safe and comfortable is definitely helpful. A good body position is to kneel on your shins (seiza-style), or sit Indian style.

You are going to sit still (ideally unmoving) for a span of time here, so you’ll need to set your back in a stable position. Imagine your vertebrae as toy stacking blocks. Arrange them within your body, stacking one on top of the other, into a stable tower. Take your time, feel the balance and functioning of your body. Once you have got it, squeeze your abs and glutes hard to lock your back into position… then release your muscles down to a 20-30% hold, to maintain posture without transferring undue stress to your spine.

Let your hands fall into your lap, so that your shoulders are balanced at the top of the spine tower. Don’t let your shoulders pull you in one direction or another. Figuring out what to do with your hands can seem crazily daunting and confusing when you are getting started, but you will figure out your own groove with time. Just remember that what you do with your hands is really about keeping balance with your shoulders.

Breathing: Next, turn your mind toward awareness of your breathing. Breathe in and out only through your nose. Exhale as deeply as possible, squeezing your belly and diagram to (slowly) force out the reserve air from your lungs—you want them emptied to wind-knocked-out-of-you levels. Immediately after, the temptation will be to breathe in hard: don’t! Slowly, draw breathe in through your nose using even control. Fill your lungs as full as possible (I like to imagine filling myself with air flowing all the way to my toes), but with strict control.

From here, we begin the count. One to ten. Odd numbers breathing out, even numbers breathing in. Consciously think of nothing but the count. If you lose count, start over from one, breathing everything out again as you do.

This is where things get challenging. While you kneel (or sit) and breathe, every trivial little thought lodged in your short-term memory will begin to burble out and scream for your mental attention. Do not attempt to fight this. Let the thoughts come. Let the distractions come. But do not engage them. Visualize those thoughts (or emotions, or environmental sounds/stimuli) as objects or people that you see walking toward you on the road. Acknowledge them. Recognize them. Then allow them to pass you by. See them moving past you, out of your line of sight, out of your peripheral vision, and gone. Do not engage with them. Simply recognize, acknowledge, and let them go.

This is the debris clearing itself from the gears of your mind.

Attend to your breathing, keeping it in control, and keeping the count. Slow breaths, even tempo, strict count. These should be the only thoughts to which you give mental effort: breathe in all the way, deep as you can; breathe out all that you can without losing control. When you lose count, start over.

Note, this is not easy… and the learning curve is very steep at the beginning. Don’t quit. Acknowledge your frustration, as you would an object or person at the side of the road. Recognize it, then let it go. Do not engage it, as it moves from your line of sight, past your peripheral vision, and gone.

How long to meditate: Always use a timer.

Shoot for 5-minute sessions when you begin. Once your breath control becomes good, move up to 10min sessions. When you do achieve 10min, you will begin to notice a change in the character of the thoughts that arise. They become less trivial, and more integral and vital. This time, as you recognize them, you will begin to see unexpected wisdom in them. However, you will also feel a strong urge to stop the meditation session, as it can be mentally uncomfortable to shake out larger sized chunks of cerebral debris. I’ve felt panic-stricken to get out of meditation sessions, not because of any freaky insights, but simply because of the mental ache associated with the cleaning process.

When you are able to achieve 20min, the nature of the thoughts that rise up will change again. These thoughts are mostly free of trivia. They come from the deeper gears, the more fundamental elements of your mind. Genuine insight is to be found here—the deep truths that are too fragile and too still to be heard beneath the regular noise of our heads. Nevertheless, treat these thoughts like any other: acknowledge them, and let them go. You can think about what they mean later, after the session. Do not engage them.

Maintaining this level of breathing and mental discipline, I have never been able to mediate longer than 25min.

Wrap-Up

Will mediation make you a serene, peaceful person? Maybe not. It certainly has not done that for me. But it will offer you a system to apply discipline and control over the fitness of your mind. Like lifting, nutrition, financial savvy, and Game, meditation is a means to exercise reasonable control over an area of life that should never be left to negligence or chance.

 

Author: ConsolationOfPhilosophy

ConsolationOfPhilosophy is a professional social researcher and educator in the American Midwest. Living and working among dogmatic Blue Pilled academic (female and male) feminists for years, he felt like the whole world had gone crazy until he discovered the “Manosphere” in 2015. He believes this community is genuine insurgency, and seeks to give back to it in the ways that he can.

  • Very cool article CoP!

    This is one area of the discipline and fitness world that I have almost totally neglected and as such your article here fills a very cool gap.

    Gratzi on your first one. Many more to follow I hope.

    • Consolation_of_Philosophy

      Much appreciated!

  • Jak

    I used to use a form of tai chi meditation quite a bit when I was younger. It was a bit more active than the meditation described but had similar results.

    Basically you sit or stand, whichever you prefer, and imagine you’re breathing in good energy up through your feet and breathing out bad energy out through your hands. While you’re doing this, you have your hands a few inches apart in front of your holding a tennis ball between your palms. If done “correctly,” you can feel the ball in your hands. From there, work on expanding the ball.

    • Consolation_of_Philosophy

      Chakra meditations are similar. You visualize energy pooling in places along your spine, each with a corresponding set of spiritual attributes and each with a corresponding color. In your mind’s eye, you are to see yourself breathing energy of the color you wish to focus on, and breathe out toxic (black) energy.

      I really got a lot out of looking at chakras (and out of Hinduism, which is very compelling and beautiful), but I wanted to keep the focus here more secular— just the basics.

  • cheeseburgercheeseburger

    I know pretty much nothing about buddhism, but I remember an anecdote about that religion from some site:
    Guy lived in SE Asian country(Vietnam? Thailand?) for a bit, become friends with a local. Dude got completely shitfaced at the bar one night, still was gonna ride his Vespa home. Guy said to local “why risk killing yourself? take a cab” local buddhist said “if I’m fated to die that night, so be it” or something to that effect.
    Is this what that religion is all about? No free will, everything is predetermined?

    • Consolation_of_Philosophy

      Fate is part of it, but the focus is suffering. The “Noble Truths” or fundamental beliefs of Buddhism can be summarized as:

      Life is suffering.
      We suffer because we crave things, and that craving can never be satisfied.
      But there is a way to learn not to crave: let go of everything.
      Once you let go of everything, you will crave nothing, and be immune from suffering.
      When you hit this point, you are now freed from the cycle of fate, and you may rest in oblivion upon your death, without fear of being reincarnated into a new life of suffering.

      • cheeseburgercheeseburger

        sounds awful; how can you live a good life w/o being attached to anything? no family or friends needed?

        • Consolation_of_Philosophy

          Hence, that faith is not for me.

        • bem

          That shit’s for jedis…..

          • cheeseburgercheeseburger

            reminds me of nick the lounge singer

        • Sir Lee

          I agree.
          I will be traveling to a couple of Buddhist countries soon. See how many little Buddhistettes I can accumulate without attachment.

        • Bart Manson ✓ᵂʰᶦᵗᵉ

          Dukkha doesn’t necessarily mean suffering like the way we think. It’s more subtle than that and from what I understand it’s difficult to translate properly.

          It can also mean transient, incomplete, dissatisfied, agitated, or any number of other similar things that are all tied together, in great part related to mental suffering or unhappiness.

          Life it Dukkha. Part of it is actual physical suffering. But part of it is just unhappiness. It’s being dissatisfied that you didn’t get what you want, or that things don’t work the way you think they should. It’s being jealous of things other people have that you want but can’t have. It’s thinking that you should have more than you have and that you’ve somehow failed. It’s being unhappy that the good situation you have right now, won’t last forever.

          For some, it is about giving everything up and living in a hut on a hill with a stick.

          But there’s some things to be taken from Buddhism without giving away everything you own and not talking to your friends or family.

      • Sir Lee

        2 anecdotes from Alexander the greats time in India.
        a yogi asked “why does Alexander have such an obsession with accumulating land? when he’s dead he will occupy as much land as every other man”
        another yogi, when asked to clear the road for Alexander – “why, whats so special about Alexander?
        His officer replied: “Alexander has conquered the known world, what have you done?”
        “I have conquered the need to conquer the world”

        • Consolation_of_Philosophy

          “I have conquered the need to conquer the world.”

          For my 2-cents, I encourage everybody to become more like Alexander, in that regard. All the misery that life can muster does not negate the beauty. And conquering your own ambition is a pointless victory if it renders you a bitchy sophist that is of no value to himself or others.

  • AutomaticSlim

    Very nice article.
    I have tried the breathing stuff in the past to help with sleeping — I am a terrible sleeper. Would like to give this a shot to see if could further help with my sleeping issues. But my “mental debris” is what you would call “heavy duty”.

    • cheeseburgercheeseburger

      maybe spend less money on the who-herz, and invest in a new mattress? get a My Pillow?

      • AutomaticSlim

        “maybe spend less money on the who-herz”
        – That’s where a good chunk of the mental debris derives from. Other stuff too, but that is part of it.

        I do like a cold pillow though. Nothing like resting on a cold pillow.
        Is a “My Pillow” cold?

        • cheeseburgercheeseburger

          dont know. dont they still make chillows? they stay cool

        • Sir Lee

          I asked you this before.
          Never had honest ho in NYC – I think its time I tried.
          Many of the other non-ho hos are more time consuming, unreliable, and expensive anyway…
          whats a good place to go – for an 8ish quality.?

          • AutomaticSlim

            As I said last time, it depends on how much you want to spend.

            260-300/hr = Chinese AMPs (really brothels). Girls are usually 7s but sometimes you can get stuck with a 6. They treat you very well, though. You can get 8s there too, but they may be a little higher (350) and you will have to book in advance.

            400/hr = Upscale Korean AMPs (once again, really brothels). These have become much rarer the past couple of years. The Chinese are taking over their business due to the lower prices, and quite frankly the wildness and agressivenes of the Chinese girls. But the Koreans are noticeably more pretty and elegant. 8s and 9s are common, and once in a while you will see a 10.

            320-400/hr= American and Russian/Euro escort agencies. The ones in North Jersey are in the 320/350 range. NYC is 400. 7/8/9 are common, and you will get some young 10s here too. These girls stay in hotels, and the agencies pick up half the tab.

            500+/hr= American/Euro independents. Lots of guys LOVE the indies. Me not so much. Yes, they can be very attractive, but they are almost always over 27/28 and use to work at agencies. Many are over 30 and even 35. I just don’t see the point of paying an older woman MORE than when she was young. To me, a females worth is youth and beauty, not experience. But loads of betas in the “game” love these women. They’ll sometimes hang out and not clock watch. The only indy I really thought was worth it was a 23 yo from LA. She was awesome. 800hr and worth every penny. She’s retired now (at 24!) & getting married to a very rich idiot. Good for her.

            • Sir Lee

              thanks.
              I go to AMP – for real massage – with muscular Asian grandmas – don’t touch my dick.
              where are the ones with hotties? Korea Town?

              $800 per hour! wow.
              and some rich guy marries her. you just never know.

              • AutomaticSlim

                That girl was a legitimate 10 and smart as a whip. We stay in touch with emails once in a while.

                There are some in Korea town, but the hot ones are in the better neighborhoods. East side, Murray Hill, places like that. There are a few Chinese places in the Hell’s Ktichen area. There are loads of websites, including backpage. Many of the asians advertise on backpage. Also check out Eros.com, cityvibe, myproviderguide, etc..

                If you want more specific info you can email me at:

                [email protected]

            • Iattacku

              does amp stand for a massage parlour

              • AutomaticSlim

                Asian Massage Parlor.

                • Iattacku

                  What do you think is the percentage of amp that give happy endings

                  • AutomaticSlim

                    Well, for the ones I go to its 100%.
                    The places I mentioned above are really brothels, so you go there for full service. The massage they give is really just a warmup for the main event.

                    The true “massage parlors” I go to are “rub ‘n tug” joints.
                    $60 to the house when you come in. Then a table shower and back to the room for a good to great massage, then towards the end the HJ & you leave a nice tip ($60 min, but I leave a little more to be a “good guy”). The women who work these joints are not stunners, like at the brothels.

        • Nope, it’s just a normal foam-piece pillow. It has a good marketing campaign though.

      • My Pillows are a load of marketing bunk. Just get a nice memory foam pillow.

  • bem

    Well done, Con!

    • Consolation_of_Philosophy

      Thankya, bem!

      • Jim Johnson

        Yeah it looks like I have competition for the weekend slot

        • Consolation_of_Philosophy

          High five.

  • Bart Manson ✓ᵂʰᶦᵗᵉ

    Excellent article.

    I started meditating a few years ago. I do it for a few months, then stop for a while for some reason.

    It’s really amazing how once you get past the initial hurdle it helps your mind calm down.

    When you start, the five and ten minute sessions seem so long. And it’s easy to become frustrated when you realize how easily your mind is distracted from one thing to another. A lot of people get annoyed with themselves and give up, thinking they just can’t do it.

    Don’t give up. When you lose the focus on your breath, just acknowledge what happened, put the thought aside and go back to focusing on your breath. Keep doing this over and over as many times as necessary. Acknowledge it and go back to focusing on your breath.

    Your mind has been conditioned for your entire life to flit from one thought to the next. Over and over for months and years at a time. It’ll take a little practice to get your brain to stop and sit down quietly for a bit.

    But anyone can do it i and with a little practice it becomes much easier. Eventually, you’ll get to a point where you’re doing 20, 25 or 30 minutes without much trouble. It’ll become your mental oasis for the day, where everything else just falls away and you give your brain a chance to just be.

    • Consolation_of_Philosophy

      Well said.

  • Sir Lee

    thanks. this is a succinct and reasonably easy starting point.
    It took me several attempts to read it though – as if something (ego?) is fighting to prevent me learning meditation.
    So many people from all areas have advised me to try meditation…

  • Good article CoP, I’ll be using it ASAP. I’ve had a lot of mental baggage accumulating the past few months, and I’ve tried to cope by dropping several things I was focusing on. I’m going to try meditation as well to see if that helps.

  • William Adams

    Terrific contribution, CoP. I have much theoretical knowledge about Asian cultures and religiosity, including meditation, but my practical knowledge is mainly related to a number of simple breathing exercises and meditation, although not far from the outlines in this article. You have inspired me to improve and do it even more regularly.