In this part of the interview we spoke about Mr. Maxwell's meditation practice, his views on meditation in general, and his morning routine.
In the first part of the interview we spoke about his minimalist lifestyle, and in the second part he told me his views on self-discipline. In the last part we spoke about spirituality.
KB: Do you meditate?
SM: Exercise for me is moving meditation. It enables me to get in touch with my higher self. You don’t have to sit in a cross-legged position to achieve higher levels of consciousness.
It can be done through movement.
The samurai transcended their fear of death through martial arts. They achieved a type of enlightenment through violence actually.
There are many paths to enlightenment, and that should be the true goal for all people.
You can make weight training a meditation. It's almost like Yoga. That’s if you do it properly with the right tension, with total concentration and form. Meditation is basically when you’re out of your sentient ego-mind and totally focused.
And it’s certainly great for your joints and bone density. You stimulate all the nerves in your body and all these nerves have corresponding organs that they’re attached to. So you’re training your internal organs when you’re weight training.
KB: I've heard you speak about Pranayama breathing. What is it exactly?
SM: It’s a term used for moving the life energy in your body. It’s done through manipulation of the breath, but it’s not through breathing itself. It’s what happens between the breaths.
It’s called Chi by the Chinese, Qi by the Japanese, and the life force by the Russians in their one martial art called Systema.
KB: What are your breathing practices?
SM: It's something that I learnt from my Russian teachers. Basically, the idea is to only inhale through the nose, in any activity. The Yogis also cultivate the tongue. By placing the tip of the tongue on the palette you increase the life force in your body as you inhale through your nose. You need to master diaphragmatic breathing and that can only happen through breathing through your nose.
Most people breathe through their mouths especially when they exercise. It only accesses a small portion of the lungs, mainly the upper lobes.
And in the upper lobes, there are panic receptors. This causes a lot of tension. On the other hand diaphragmatic nasal breathing creates calmness and serenity. If you can’t maintain the nasal breathing, then you’re working out too hard. You simply stop and restore yourself.
Mouth breathing creates an over adrenalized state that over stimulates you. It causes a whole cascade of stress hormones and makes it harder to recover. It increases fatigue. It’s no wonder people don’t like exercising.
These are prime times when your subconscious mind is most open to suggestion.
KB: Can you talk a bit about your morning routine?
SM: A great time to express gratitude is in the morning between wakefulness and sleep. It’s very important to be grateful for what you have. Until you’re satisfied and grateful for what you got, you’re never going to be able to change. I do the same thing at night, just as you’re drifting off to sleep. These are prime times when your subconscious mind is most open to suggestion. You can program your subconscious mind with affirmations.
A lot of the time I’ll do a little psychic scan of my body and release any tension I might have. I’ll make affirmations towards anything that’s bothering me. I do that on a daily basis, every day and every night.