REAL MEN MEDITATE

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Jason Partington

Jason Partington

On the Northern Beaches, the issue of mental health is especially pertinent. In 2018, 30 people took their own lives according to statistics from the Northern Beaches Police Area Command. There’s no sugar coating it. The bitter truth is, we’re facing a mental health crisis and our little corner of the world is at the heart of this bleak dilemma.

Northern Beaches local Jason Partington attended Tom Harkin’s Tomorrowman event in Avalon in June 2018, following a spate of suicides occurring in the area. The event was to raise awareness around men’s mental health. A staggering 300 men turned up to the event; when asked who felt depressed, around 50 per cent of the men in the room raised their hand.

An alarming amount of men had thought about suicide or were affected by it in some way. The community was in crisis and Jason knew he had to do something to help. He left his career in property investment and the ‘Meditation for Men’ course was born.

‘Meditation for Men’ is a specifically designed four week course to teach men from all walks of life the practice of meditation. There is no chanting, incense, candles or lotus position: this course takes the fundamentals of many different meditation practices and tailors them to appeal to the typical Aussie bloke. It even includes a BBQ and beers celebration at the end of the course.

“There’s a stereotype around mental health and depression, but there’s an even bigger stigma around meditation. It’s not attractive to your average bloke, it’s seen as being highly religious and very spiritual. So I started to strip away everything that didn’t need to be there”, Jason says.

Men on the four week course are required to commit to meditation twice a day for twenty minutes, and complete the life elevation and weekly challenges set in the classes each week. The results being seen and felt are nothing short of transformational, as are the bonds formed within the group. Passionate about helping the youth in our community, Jason also offers two free spots to men aged 17-23 per four week course.

At the age of 28, founder Jason was dealing with depression and a lack of purpose in life: he was at the “lowest of the low”. A friend suggested that he try a local meditation course as an alternative to speaking to a psychologist. He threw himself into it wholeheartedly, the results of which would change his life. The course prompted him to visit India and study all different types of meditation which he’s come to rely on, as a core foundation, 20 years later.

“Whenever I feel lost, meditation has always been a way to get me back to a level of real happiness.”

Graduates of the course are now communicating to their mates about mental health and meditation, fostering a greater sense of community and mutual support. This, in a nutshell, is the best antidote to the mental health problem we face on the Northern Beaches. Talking about it is often the first step.

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How do you know if this is for you? Are you a man? Do you want to feel happier, more fulfilled, have better relationships or feel part of a community? If you answered yes, then enquire about joining the next Meditation for Men course. There, you will learn tools for life with like-minded men. As the saying goes, “real men meditate”.

Jason has also launched a new meditation movement called ‘Making Meditation Mainstream’. This movement is a FREE group meditation on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5.30am, and Saturdays at 6.30am. The aim of this movement is to have significant groups of people meditating together on beaches across Australia so that meditation becomes a more inclusive activity for everyone. The sessions are available currently on Avalon Beach, but will be spreading right down the Northern Beaches over the following months. Men, women, kids and beginners are all welcome.

For more information on Meditation for Men visit www.facebook.com/makingmeditationmainstream