NOTE: If you do not meditate, do not read this article. You are already on the right path by not meditating, continue doing what you are doing.
From the desk of Victor Pride
Subj: It's all about, like, the alternative to meditation, man
Recently, a reader of B&D asked me about meditation. He said this:
“Vic, what's your thoughts on mediation?”
I have 2 thoughts on meditation:
- The benefits of meditation sound great
- Meditation does not actually provide those benefits
Meditation promises one thing but it delivers another thing, it promises you A but leaves you with B.
I'm not here to convince you that you're doing meditation wrong, I'm here to show you that you're doing it right and that meditation just doesn't work.
What does meditation promise?
Meditation promises that if you sit real still you will clear your mind, relax, and learn the secrets of the world. A few of the promises that meditation never delivers include increased confidence, increased concentration, and decreased stress.
What does meditation deliver?
Decreased confidence, increased anxiety, and a decreased ego (not a good thing). Meditation = giving yourself anxiety.
Why doesn't meditation work?
When you re sitting still doing nothing, with nothing distracting you or entertaining you, there is only one possible thing you can do: over-think.
- Meditation Google definition: think deeply or carefully about something; or focus one's mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation.
- Meditation Victor Pride definition: the nonsense art of sitting down, doing nothing, and being so bored you overthink everything.
Meditation does not relieve anxiety, meditation causes anxiety in the first place. You MUST be in motion for your brain to be calm.
Without a calm mind, you will be anxious. You cannot have a calm mind by sitting still. Sitting still and “clearing your mind” is not meditative. It's the opposite of meditative, it is weakening your body and your mind.
Meditation is overthinking. When you sit down to meditate you will start to think constantly about every little thing, you will have no choice but to over-analyze every decision you have ever made.
Meditation actually does kill the ego but ego death = soul death. You want and need a big ego to survive and thrive in the real world.
When you sit down and overthink it makes your brain feel so tired, even though you didn't actually do anything. You're left with physical energy but no mental energy. This is called ego death, commonly known as brain fog.
“But Victor, meditation produces mindfulness and that's a good thing, right?”
Chasing mindfulness is absolute nonsense, mindfulness is the worst state of mind to be in.
Mindfulness = extreme overthinking leading to extreme anxiety.
“So Vic, what's the real meditation?”
Sitting still is not meditative. The only thing that gives you the supposed benefits of meditation is by doing something physical.
To let your brain relax you need to make your hands busy enough and repetitive enough that the brain can go on auto-pilot.
Putting new guitar strings on your guitar is meditative, working in your garden is meditative, working out in your local gym is meditative, working on your car is meditative, slicing garlic in your kitchen is meditative.
People can do this work all day long and then have a smile on their face and say “I'm fine!” at the end of the day because, even though they worked all day, their brain was not overly focused on nonsense.
Your brain will think if it has time to think, your brain will not think if it does not have time to think. So make the body busy and let the brain rest.
Sleep and exercise actually provide the benefits that meditation promises.
They say you need to meditate to heal, turn off your brain and relax. I got news for you, that's called sleeping and we all do it naturally. No extreme over-thinking required.
“But Victor, you're just doing meditation wrong, man.”
When you tell the meditation guru that meditation doesn't work, they'll either say “you're doing it wrong” or they'll redefine the meaning of the word meditation (they'll do anything other than confront the fact that meditation does not work.)
Meditation is not complicated, there is nothing to it. Everyone is meditating correctly and producing no positive results. If you say sitting still and thinking about nothing is actually benefiting you then you are simply lying to yourself.
If the blueprint works, anyone can follow it. If the blueprint doesn't work, no one can follow it.
Exercise works, we know this because anyone can follow the blueprint: exercise = feel better. No matter who does it, exercise works. There is no trick to it because there is no trickery involved.
You have to be tricked into believing meditation actually works.
Sitting still with the goal of achieving enlightenment is how they con you into staying in the club. Enlightenment at the end of the meditation rainbow is a gift they promise but never deliver on.
If these meditation con men were busy sitting still, killing their ego, how come they're so busy telling you how to live your life? Don't you think it's a bit egotistical to tell other people how to live their lives?
I have a big ego, I do not pretend otherwise, this is why I show other people how to live well.
This is exactly how to get the benefits that mediation promises…
Use “meditation” as a code word for doing something physical that you actually enjoy.
If you love to play basketball, then always replace the word meditation with basketball and you will get every supposed benefit of meditation and it will help you build a good athletic physique.
If you love lifting weights, every time you see the word meditation, replace it with lifting weights and you will get the real benefits that meditation promises.
If you love to do garden work, then every time you hear meditation replace it with gardening.
So when the meditation morons say “just go meditate, man” it means “go lift weights and you will feel better” or “go play basketball and you will feel better.”
Meditation does not produce the chemical response your body needs, only physical exercise produces the feel-good chemicals. This is why sitting still and “meditating” can never work.
Your body yearns to move. Your mind yearns for a break from the constant over-analyzed thoughts.
Working Out and Lifting Weights is the Ultimate Meditation.
The only way to accomplish a calm mind is to do something physical, repeatedly, every-day. This is why I am a freak about lifting weights. I don't do it to build more biceps or lower lats, I do it to recharge, regenerate, and to heal the body/brain connection.
The body has to be busy enough that the brain is off and you're on auto-pilot, “in the zone.” So instead of being a dummy who sits down all day pretending to not think but actually over-thinking every little thing, you will be busy building a body.
Instead of letting your ego be killed by skinny-fat meditation gurus like Leo Blahblahblah from Zen Habits, you can be busy building your body and your brain at the same time by doing simple, every-day exercises like those found in Body of a Spartan.
This is how you actually increase confidence, increase concentration, and lower stress:
A Calm, Clear Mind is the Result of Training the Body, Not of Sitting Still.
Meditation is garbage that weakens your mind, your soul, and your body. Exercise is what strengthens your mind, your body, and your soul.
Next time you are feeling lazy and bored, instead of sitting down and doing nothing (making the problem worse), go do something physical and then tell me if you don't feel better immediately.
There is only one way forward and that way is with one foot in front of the other, doing something physical and doing it repeatedly.
Even if it's as simple and mindless as working in your garden or preparing food in your kitchen.
All you gotta do to free your mind is keep your hands busy.
That's the way of true peace and zen, man. ✌️
Until next time.
PS – There will be a lot of meditation hucksters in the comments below, promising you the great rewards of meditation if only you just “meditate harder.” You will notice one common trait all of them possess: they are as physically soft as they are deceitful. Do not listen to them unless you want to become them.