The word “dude” and “meditate” are not often heard in the same sentence. When many people think of meditation, they often equate it with Buddhism, hippie culture or new agers. While meditation has a long history with Buddhism and hippies, the practice does not belong to either group. There are no rules as to who can and can’t meditate. The practice can benefit anyone, even ordinary dudes.
Whether you’re the type who spends weekends dining out with friends, are a wine fanatic, or simply like to order pizza and watch a movie with your kids come Friday night, there is a place for meditation in your life, if you want it…
How to meditate comfortably
You may now be wondering, just how can an ordinary dude meditate? You’ve probably seen pictures of people cross-legged in meditation. Maybe you’ve even tried it. Either way, meditating like a monk isn’t comfortable for most. So let’s continue to open our minds about what meditation can and can’t be, and explore a few ways ordinary dudes can meditate.
Meditate lying down — this position can be both comfy and effective for meditation. There’s a catch though. One, you can’t fall asleep. So keep your eyes open. Two, you need to bend your knees when you’re lying down.
What happens if you don’t bend your knees? Well, you won’t die. But if you lie flat on your back whether in sleep or meditation, many doctors agree there is an increased pressure on your lower spine. This is why if you ever sleep flat on your back, you likely wake with some aches and pains.
So instead, simply bend your knees and keep the soles of your feet flat on the floor or bed (yes you can meditate on the bed, just don’t fall asleep!)
Meditate sitting in a chair — so you couldn’t help yourself and ended up nodding off while meditating on your bed. Well, it happens. For ordinary dudes who can’t keep their eyes open in meditation, there’s another way: sit in a chair.
Here again, spine alignment is also important. You want to ensure you’re not slouching or have a rounded back. Instead, you want to be in proper sitting posture. Cleveland Clinic explains how to do this with some simple instructions and pictures, but if you want some quick tips, here’s what you need to know. When sitting, the most common thing for people to forget (next to not slouching) is to maintain the small curve in your lower back. To do this, simply scooch your butt all the way to the back of your chair, or close to it. Then slightly shift your hips forward until there is a small curve under your back. Easy as pie.
Next, keep your shoulders upright and back, but also let them hang loose so they’re relaxed. As for your feet, keep them flat on the floor.
So you’re lying down or sitting in meditation. Now what?
You have a bunch of options here. You can count your breath, you can repeat a mantra, you can pay attention to the feeling in a specific body part, and more. But, “What’s the easiest way?” you ask. Well, it’s incredibly simple, and it can be summed up in one word: stillness. That’s right — just sit still. Either close your eyes or find a single spot (like a light switch, or mark or scratch on the wall) to focus on, and remain still. That’s it.
No matter what type of meditation you try, all of them have one thing in common: withdrawing attention from thought. When you repeat a mantra, you withdraw attention from your regular thoughts and focus on the mantra. When you follow your breath, you withdraw attention from thought and focus on your breath. When you just sit still, you withdraw attention from thought and focus on being still. See the pattern here?
Meditation is simpler than you think. It’s not just for monks, hippies or new agers, but also for ordinary dudes. Give it a try today.