“The more you relax and connect to your true nature, the more powerful you become”
We are really pleased to be interviewing Sam Morris, whom some of you will remember from our Newsletter ‘The Power of The Breath'. After being involved in a car accident that left him paralysed from the waist down, Sam learned and created a system of mental and physical training based on Zen philosophy, meditation and somatic disciplines that healed his mind and body. These disciplines are applicable to everyone and through his Zen Warrior Training program Sam has helped thousands of people to people reach their true potential.
Mindfulness and meditation have played a significant role in your life. How did you first become aware of these practices?
I became aware of meditation before I realised it was a practice. I grew up on a farm in Maine and just being in the outdoors and experiencing the silence of the forest, that level of quiet you don’t experience anywhere else in our culture really allowed me to feel the difference between the noise and chatter of the mind, to really understand the difference with what was out there in nature.
Do you feel there are any barriers to men’s participation in mindfulness and meditation?
The biggest barrier is men not understanding the value of meditation. If we don’t really understand the inherent value, there is no reason to do it in this busy world. I often see people that are stuck in their own thoughts assessing what is a valuable use of their time. Men often don’t realise that there’s a deeper level of relaxation that happens through meditation which makes you more highly functional and reduces the mental chatter that people are so accustomed to.
You have used your very unique experiences to develop a programme called Zen Warrior Training. Who could benefit most from this programme and what can they expect?
Zen Warrior Training is for people who really want to find their joyful, centred, peaceful mindset and be empowered to live the lives that they wish to be living. Anyone who feels like there is some form of limiting factor going on in their lives will benefit greatly. ZWT will give them more ownership of their entire existence and find a deeper, more centred joyful place from which empowerment can emerge.
Can you suggest a simple introductory meditation or mindfulness exercise for someone who has never tried it before and would like to give it a go?
Simply direct your attention inside your body and open up to what is already happening with your breath and with the sensations in your body. Find one direction for your mind, it could be anything like “I am feeling air entering my nostrils”. Focus on one simple task that is happening inside you. As you are continuing to meditate repeat that direction out loud periodically. By doing so you are actively training your mind not to pay attention to the chatter but to pay attention to what is actually happening in physical reality. This brings greater focus and peace of mind as a result. Start with just one minute a day, anyone can handle closing their eyes for a minute.
Finally, please can you leave us with some Sam Morris words of wisdom?
The thing I would like to share most is that ‘things don’t change we do’. My injury, took me through such intense trauma - I was in shock for a number of years and felt disconnected from myself. These days, in terms of sensation and motor function, nothing has changed, but I am very empowered by the work that I have done inside to gradually increase my own self-awareness despite my limitations, and including my limitations – rather than feeling like the circumstances of my life dictated who I am. That is the bottom line, things don’t change we do.