It’s been a while since my last book review, so here’s another one: “Meditation for Warriors: Practical Meditation for Cops, Soldiers and Martial Artists” by Loren W. Christensen.
Some background first.
I’ve practiced mediation in one form of another for almost 25 years now. I started very young and practiced it on and off for long periods. Nowadays, it’s a part of my daily routine, even though it doesn’t take up much time anymore. I experimented with many different ways and have now arrived at a hybrid method that works well for me. It was interesting for me to read how “my” method was both similar and different to the ones presented in this book.
Let’s take a look at it now.
“Meditation for Warriors” starts with a brief introduction and some information on Loren’s background. This is the kind of thing most people gloss over but I think it’s critical. First, because then you know Loren was a soldier and cop for decades and practices martial arts to this day. So let’s just say he knows what he speaks of. Second, because he explains the purpose of his book clearly: giving you simple, practical, how-to information to help you meditate. So if you’re looking for a long, scientific treatise on meditation or the latest new-age fad, this book isn’t for you.
The next chapters tackle some of the common myths about meditation, why warriors need it and some nuts and bolts. If you have no experience meditating, or you just started, these chapters will definitely help you focus on the methods that yield results quickly.
The next section of “Meditation for Warriors” is the meat of the book. It covers different methods and ways of meditation, all for different goals and purposes related to the warrior life. These are:
- To calm yourself.
- To prepare for training.
- To prepare to fight.
- After the fight.
- Post traumatic incident meditation.
- To induce sleep.
- 3 one-minute meditations.
Loren explains each method step-by-step with simple, clear instruction on how to do it correctly. He also adds tips and pointers to avoid common errors and how to fix them.
“Meditation for Warriors” is a practical guide to help you get started with meditation. Like I wrote above, it’s not about the woo-woo stuff and if that’s the only kind of meditation you’ve encountered so far, get ready for some no-nonsense methods. Is this the ultimate book on meditation? No, but Loren says so in the very beginning that it isn’t meant to be that. Instead, it offers many practical, proven methods for a specific target group: soldiers, cops and martial artists. But you can include firefighters, EMTs, doormen, bouncers and several other high-intensity professions to that list. If that’s you, then I recommend you give this book a try. If it isn’t, but you have a stressful lifestyle and don’t want to waste your time with the flowery stuff, this book is also a match for you. There is no fluff, it’s all content you can use right away.
In a way, that’s the only flaw it has: it’s all straight to the point and for some people, this will not be enough. They want the mysticism of meditation and don’t understand that you need to get the mechanics down first. Warriors tend to view things differently: they want practical, “this shit better work right now” tools they can count on. In that regard, Meditation for Warriors gets it exactly right.
So my only caveat before buying would be to manage your expectations. If you want woo-woo stuff, go elsewhere. God knows there are more than enough books on that kind of meditation. If you want useful tools to help you manage your daily life, handle the adrenal stress of the job or become a better martial artist, then I highly recommend you get this book.