Nowadays, more and more people practice meditation (mindfulness) in order to achieve tranquility.
Recently, I have organized a few meditation sessions geared for gay men.
Before I continue, I want to make it clear that:
- I am not a meditation guru.
- I have a hot temper, although practicing meditation has helped to keep it under control, it has not made it go away.
- I don’t routinely practice meditation. I only do it when I am irritated or when I can’t sleep.
Therefore, I am here to share my own personal experience in meditation, and do not intend to teach how to meditate like an expert.
I was introduced to meditation while living in Canada. I had attended yoga classes and towards the end of each class, the instructors would guide us to relax our bodies and minds. I enjoyed the experience immensely and started attending different meditation classes, ranging from an hour to a half day.
After I returned to Hong Kong, I made it my mission to promote holistic health among gay men (Enough said only about HIV), and have created opportunities for gay men to experience what meditation is.
Gay men in Hong Kong lead pretty busy lives, spending time on school/work, dating, friends/family, dining out, Grindr, gym, sports… Maybe we enjoy doing all these things or maybe we just want to keep up with the Joneses. Perhaps making ourselves so busy is a way to stop us from thinking too much or simply to prevent us from doing anything too “naughty.” However, sometimes this crazy schedule we set for ourselves has made us exhausted and worn out.
In my experience, meditation does not magically make one’s mind so calm and peaceful that we no longer feel annoyed or irritated during the day. In fact, meditation is mainly a simple exercise that allows us to pay attention to our breathing and our minor body movements. It gives us an opportunity to have a dialogue with our “monkey mind”; a moment to slow down to try to get along with our unsettled thoughts.
The purpose of meditation is to refresh and reset our minds, so that we are able to re-engage with all of our daily activities and responsibilities afterwards.
It is not easy to promote meditation amongst gay men. Some might say: ‘Meditation is not a “manly” activity’; and a picture of yourself practicing mediation on Grindr possibly won’t get you many hits! Putting “I do gym” or “I am sporty” on your profile certainly sounds more butch than saying you practice meditation. We gay men tend to label others and ourselves in far too many ways.
My aim is to promote meditation to the gay community so that we can explore a comfort zone that we might have never experienced before; and hopefully get to meet other like minded people outside of the computer or I-phone screen.
Meditation in February (in Cantonese)
17 Feb (Friday), 9:00pm
The first one or two generation of Hong Kong AIDS worker for gay men started in 2000. Always being mindful of himself not becoming an “old fart” in the field, and keeps updating both his hard- and softwares in thinking. He lived overseas in the latest few years and returned in 2015 with an aspiration to promote a more progressive approach for gay men’s holistic health. Actively looking for allies who share the same vision for HEvolution (HEalth for him).