Bored by Meditation? This Will Change How You Feel
There’s a lot of talk about meditation being “the next big thing.” It’s practiced by more than 10 million Americans, and it graced the cover of Time magazine last year. By this point most of us have gotten the memo: Meditation is good for you! But it’s so slow, so difficult, so “traditional.”
But what if meditation could be exciting, even thrilling… like climbing Everest or surfing Mavericks? What if, instead of dimming the lights, closing your eyes, and fighting off the urge to nap, meditation was a matter of pushing off and sticking your paddle into surging rapids?
From Backyards to Bear Country
Growing up a Jewish kid in L.A., my idea of “the wilderness” was playing amongst the trees in a large backyard with someone’s mom bringing us a “protein boost” every 20 minutes. So a few years ago when my brother suggested a trip to Alaska, I was in! A real wilderness experience would surely give me lots to write about, plus embolden my masculinity. Picture the stereotypical rugged outdoorsman—a cross between a lumberjack and the Old Spice guy. That’s the transformation I thought awaited me.
After the four-hour flight from L.A. to Alaska, I set out with bear bells jingling on my belt, bear spray in my left hand, survival snacks in both pockets, 125 SPF sunscreen slathered on my face… and this was just to walk from our hotel to the rental car during on first day in Anchorage. Hey, when you hear about the regular bear maulings that take place in Alaska, even in urban areas, I was not about to take any risks.
I soon discovered Alaska is Colorado on steroids. Everything is bigger, stronger, more beautiful, and more dangerous.
The highlight came midway through the week when we went whitewater rafting. Dressed in our full-body wetsuits (lest we fall overboard and go into shock from the freezing water), we paddled in water so cold, any contact felt like a million needles penetrating our fingers and palms. Despite that, it was gorgeous. We enjoyed the brilliant July sunshine, drank crisp Pale Ales, felt the surging rapids, and celebrated an absolutely spectacular afternoon.
The guide pushed ashore and said, “Thank you very much. Great to meet you, and enjoy the rest of your time in Alaska… unless you want to stay on for the class-five rapids.”
No thank you! I started to disembark when my brother said, “Dude! We didn’t come all the way to Alaska to wuss out!”
Facing the Rapids
The guide warned us, “Class-five rapids are very dangerous. If you fall out of the raft, it won’t be long until you go into hyperthermia. And it’s a pain in the butt to get you back in the raft. Not …read more