The latest guy thing to do--other than sport the “man bun”--is meditate. Just ask Kobe Bryant, Jerry Seinfeld, Phil Jackson, Sir Paul McCartney, Russell Simmons, Hugh Jackman or Howard Stern if you have any doubts. I checked out some YouTube videos to hear from these famous fellas why they’re so into it.
Howard: “I’m a new person. I don’t think I could live without it.”
Russell: “It basically is the core of my existence.”
Jerry: “Transcendental Meditation. It’s what I do.”
Sir Paul: “In moments of madness, meditation has helped me find moments of serenity.”
Maybe these guys are onto something bigger than big (since they are all Mr. Bigs in their fields). So I decided to join the club, and menditate. Yes, menditate. Men + meditate = menditate.
It turns out there are four major ways to menditate, according to the Institute for Noetic Science. First, there is Concentrative Meditation, which happens when you focus attention on one single object, or sound, like a candle or your breath. The most well-known method of Concentrative Meditation is Transcendental Meditation, or TM. The next meditation method is Open Awareness, which requires a person to open one’s mind into what is known as “panoramic awareness” while being in the present moment. This method is represented by the Zen sitting practice called zazen. The most popular meditation method in the West, the Institute says, is Mindfulness, which is a combo of concentration and open awareness. Also known as “insightful meditation,” it comes from the Theravadan Buddhist practice of vipassana. Finally there is Guided Meditation, which is led by a person, either in-person or by a recording, which focuses the participant on visualizing things and feelings.
Here’s the bottom line--when you menditate, do what works for you. My menditation is this: I sit on the floor, cross my legs, light a candle, stare at it, touch my index fingers to my thumbs, and breathe, in and out, for 20 minutes.
Jerry and Howard say that I should be doing this twice a day, once in the morning, and again at night, right before I go to bed. Jerry said in an interview with Howard, that if he had done a morning TM when he worked on Seinfeld, then the show would have been around a lot longer than it was. So the eternal question is this--if Jerry had menditated twice a day, would Seinfeld be the rival to The Simpsons--here today, and forever more? Only the Maharishi in the Sky knows the answer to that one.
But here’s something BIGGER that I know now, since practicing my menditation. It’s not only good, it’s great. I sleep better, eat better, smile more, I do everything better. Yes, everything.
So what’s the big idea here from our Big Menditators? Get ideas out of your head, completely, and just BE. That seems simple; in fact, too damn simple. But that’s really it, plain and simple.
There’s just one thing you must never forget when you menditate. This is from Kobe. Don’t overdue it. That’s because, as Kobe says, “There’s only but so much meditation a person can do all day.”