"I'm Not Listening Unless You Drink"

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Recently I gave what turned out to be a curious talk on meditation -

I do hope I haven’t told you already.

I forget things sometimes.

But unlike my father who finds it a great aggravation, I think it’s somewhat funny.

It is what it is, right?

No point getting all excited about it.

Never mind - I was about to tell you a story.

Doing a talk - and everyone is sitting down, and before I can speak, this older gentleman pipes up and says:

“Do you drink?”

I confirmed that indeed I do, that ale and red wine and a good whisky are all fondly received if he wanted to express his gratitude for my presentation.

He - noticeably relieved actually - replies:

“Great, because I wasn’t going to listen to another word if you said you didn’t drink”.

I laughed, because I liked his style,

And we carried on with the whole evening proving to be slightly unusual

(in a good sense).

There’s a common perception that meditation involves doing certain things in a certain way.

And if you’ve tried, you may have been taught some things by people who have been taught some things by other people but never really asked why, or tried anything different.

I used to believe there was a “right” way of living - a certain diet or a certain belief or a certain thing that if I dialled in correctly, then I would have a quiet head.

The truth is much simpler.

Meditation, finding peace, calm, focus, happiness, more Zone action - all of this has little to do with what lifestyle choices you make.

When I teach the Army Bomb Disposal teams to meditate I love asking them their ideas of meditation:

“Tree hugging”, “Sitting around a campfire singing ‘kumbaya’”, “Sting - too much time and too much money” “Legs crossed, chanting OMMM in a cave” “Living in the country in a caravan eating nothing but your own homegrown veggies"

And then I give them a taste of the reality -

The practical “HOW TO” as opposed to the ideas about it:

They get to realise very quickly how very very useful it is to have a means to control your own head, as opposed to having it control you.

And how it all comes from simple mental exercises in awareness, not from lifestyle choices.

So I want to say to you is this:

You need give nothing up.

It’s helpful to want to give up limitation and stress and struggle, but even that’s not necessary cos the goodness comes and gets you anyway.

Meditation should be a supremely practical practice, the result being that you love everything you love now, but more so.

It makes you more you.

More authentic and more alive.

So if you find a meditation teacher and they start telling you that you have to stop doing this and give up that and be like that in order to be calm and focussed and happy and the boss of your own mind, then find someone else.


And if you’d like to learn to meditate with me (and I think you should because it's fun and simple and powerful), head here for how to get started and some more details:


Till next time! -Arjuna


Of course being aware of addictions is supremely useful.

Where you over rely or are dependent on something.

Like where a thought pattern essentially says “I need this in order to do/feel that”

But I’ve found for many people simply meditating takes a lot of the juice out of addiction.

With a little willpower, they come to a point where they realise they simply don’t want to any more.

So, combined with a little will power, they don’t.

No great drama.

I’ve met previously raging alcoholics and drug fiends who simply aren’t any more.

It’s not true that you’re an alcoholic for life IF you get rid of the root cause in the mind for the pattern of excess.

Isn’t that cool?

Every little bit helps, as they say.