For three years I’ve more or less worked on how to calm my brain.
Seems to work.
This is my methodology.
The starter-pack is this video by Wim Hof.
You can put this on and follow it quite basically.
3×30 breaths and then 3x breath holds, takes 8 minutes or so.
Relax to tha deepest.
Once I found that I could do that quite easily, I then moved onto this brey. Takes double the time, and taxes your lungs five times more, but once you can handle it, it’s incredible. He sells it with a possible secretion of DMT, the spirit molecule, which I’ve yet to be convinced of.
Does leave me feeling amazing though.
While I do it I stick on the beginning of this album by East Forest and Ram Dass. The first three tracks usually cover the breathwork in its entirety, it’s a marvel and puts you in a headspace that’s on the money.
Once you’re done with that.
Boiler goes off, even in the dead of winter.
Two minutes. I had to work up to it. My mate Jules’s babymoma calls it the monkey shower, cos all she does is hear him bouncing up and down in the cold doing his best chimp impression.
It kills you.
But that’s the point.
The feeling after is other-worldly.
It can shake you out of any mood. Caffeine ceases to have any effect on you, it just becomes something smooth to be seen enjoying in the early morning as the mist swirls in the dawn-early light.
This is called the WIM HOF method.
I’ve been doing it for three years and any day I don’t I’m worse off.
There are many different ways to meditate.
You could sit on a sofa and think about your ex.
Personally I spring for TM.
It is a mantra-based meditation, which means you repeat a two-syllable mantra which can be given to you by a teacher, over the course of twenty minutes. It encourages you to go off onto journeys of thought, and as soon as you are aware you are thinking you merely go back to the mantra. It’s phenomenally simple and easy to adopt. David Lynch the Twin Peaks guy, is obsessed with it.
This video is a beautiful explanation of why we need it.
I did a course on it a few years back, with a slightly dodgy guy called Neil from Tufnell Park.
I’d say if you can, do a course, best money you’ll ever spend. The practice encourages you to do 2x blocks of twenty minutes every day, once in the morning as soon as you wake up, and then once in the afternoon. I only really ever do one.
This is the guy who popularised it in the West, Maharishi.
And this is good, a short introduction to it all.
The 20 minutes more or less go like this:
i) Sit in the chair, close your eyes, repeat the mantra in your mind’s ear.
ii) Start thinking about Spurs (insert other nonsense).
iii) Realise you’re thinking about Spurs. Go back to the mantra.
iv) Start thinking of the time your mother busted you with some sordid stash of something when you were twelve, die inside a little. Realise you’re not on the mantra.
v) Go back to the mantra.
vi) Continue in this vein until 20m has elapsed.
vii) 3 minute wind-down, sat in the chair.
viii) Here, during the wind-down, the magic happens. Your mind clears of all thought, and for three minutes you inhabit a state of peace that is totally unfamiliar to anyone who has never meditated.
ix) Rest repeat. Try to find that state of peace all over again.
TM taught me something I never really thought possible. That I could exist in a place of unthought, where I have zero, like zero, thoughts going through my brain. Just silence, quiet, and stillness.
Simple as a buddhist monk
In a temple practicing stillness
Real still til you realise its realness
And the thing that makes the biggest difference, now, when bad days do their best to drown me, is the knowledge, through practice, that at any time, I can access that place of unthought. And dwell in it. As if no bad thought can touch me. I have power over my mind. Take a breath. Look at the sky. Feel grateful for the miracle. It won’t last forever.
It’s not unlike a super-power.
I’m no guru, but these three things over the last years have helped my peace of mind unending amounts.
I think I’d be a different person without doing this stuff as close to everyday as I can. No doubt.