How To Meditate In One Minute, Getting Over “Poser Syndrome,” Why Guys Like Porn, The 6 Phases Of Manhood & Much More With John Eldredge.

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wild at heart
Lifestyle, Podcast

John Eldredge is a bestselling author, counselor, and teacher. He is also president of Ransomed Heart, a ministry devoted to helping people discover the heart of God, recover their own hearts in God’s love, and learn to live in God’s kingdom. John and his wife, Stasi, live near Colorado Springs, Colorado.

John has written several books in the realm of fatherhood and family that I hold dear, including Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul, Fathered by God: Learning What Your Dad Could Never Teach You, Waking The Dead: The Secret to a Heart Fully Alive, and Love & War: Find Your Way to Something Beautiful in Your Marriage.

Lately, I've been taking a brief 1 to 10-minute “pause” during the day to connect with my breath, myself, and most importantly, God. The One Minute Pause app that I've been using is a simple way to reconnect with God in the midst of a busy day. John Eldredge is also the “voice” of this app, which invites you into the simple practice of releasing everything to God, restoring your union with God, and inviting Him into your heart. The length of time is perfect, and the music/breath pacing has been working very well for me. You can click here to give it a try!

During this discussion with John, you'll discover:

-How John became interested in meditation initially…7:05

-Benevolent detachment, and other simple practices for a world gone mad…12:00

  • Assuming the crazy, looking for simple things to do during the day
  • John’s latest book Get Your Life Back: Everyday Practices for a World Gone Mad
  • Healing power of beauty; beauty is free and is all around us
  • Minimize technology
  • The goal is a restorative experience
  • Research shows that people in hospitals recover faster, need less pain medication, and are released sooner if they have a window that looks out on nature; Healing power of beauty is wonderful

-A deeper dive into John's meditation practice…14:23

  • John was skeptical a 10-minute version of the One Minute Pause meditation app would be popular
    • 10-minute pause has become the second most popular feature in the app during the pandemic
  • The pandemic forced people into a state of solitude and silence
  • Morning routine consists of a walk in the sunshine
    • Meditation while walking is a game-changer; meditate while enjoying nature
    • Ben walks 5 to 7 miles a day; found walking to be as effective as breathwork, meditation, sauna, etc. for its grounding effects; integral to his daily routine
  • John was also a runner; stopped in order to slow everything down; life’s too fast, the world’s too fast
  • Average pace of human life for thousands of years was 3 miles an hour; that's how everybody moved because everybody walked (the human race moved 3 mph until very recently)

-How our “addiction to efficiency” may be causing fear, anxiety, depression, etc…18:00

  • Dr. Andrew Huberman, neuroscientist at Stanford, found that forward motion, anything that convinces your brain that you are progressing forward is a remedy for fear, stress, and anxiety
  • Forward movement causes the brain to release dopamine
  • Walking is counter to the madness of the world; the need to always be performing
  • Massive uncertainty in the world today
  • “Return to the breathing” when dealing with constant uncertainty

-The uniquely masculine question in the hearts of all boys and men…21:30

  • John's website Wild At Heart
  • Something deep in the heart of little boys; boys are not wired to sit still 8 hours a day; a good “wildness” within them
  • The world has stripped boys and men of this wildness
  • Always seeking validation from his father; “Do I have what it takes?”
  • If the question is not answered well, it shapes who the boy becomes as a man

-Rites of passage, ceremonies celebrating manhood, and answering the big question all boys ask…25:00

  • Initiation journey; most cultures embrace rites of passage
  • Blessing ceremonies
  • One is a process; the other is an event
  • A young man must discover for himself: “Do I have what it takes”
  • “Cowboy stage” of life (teenage years)
  • Hard work and adventure challenge the boy, build confidence in the ability to handle life

-The “poser” and the false self…27:15

  • The Poser – often the result of an absent father, be it emotional, physical, abusive, etc.
  • Two extremes: over the top masculinity, or withdrawal from manhood
  • A fear of others finding out they “don't have what it takes” is at the root
  • Wholehearted masculinity is the objective; both tender and strong

-How to overcome the poser syndrome…32:00

  • First become honest with how you're faking strength, involvement, etc.
  • Begin to choose otherwise
  • You still need an answer to the core question in a healthy way
  • Pornography has to do with the search for validation (feels alive for a moment)
  • We're not just bodies or souls; we are human beings; we have personalities, minds, hearts that goes beyond our neurochemistry
  • We do not want to reduce human beings to hormonal impulses
  • We do not want to take away what Pascal called the “dignity of causation”
  • Human beings are phenomenal creatures
  • William Blake: “The naked woman's body is too much of eternity for the eye of man to behold”
  • How your parents handle the wild heart shape you into the person you are today

-How to get over the “father wound piece”…36:45

-Six stages of manhood…43:00

  • 1. The beloved son (seen/loved for who they are)
    • Before the question of “Do I have what it takes?”, the core need of a boy is love
    • Sense of “I am the beloved son”
    • Builds a foundation of security
    • Does not feel like abandonment when the hardship, training/difficulty comes
  • 2. Cowboy stage (adolescence, need for hard work and high levels of adventure)
    • “Do I have what it takes” screams
    • Ways of initiating boys – out of your comfort zone, risk-taking
    • Discovering “I can handle that” – I can handle life, I have what it takes
    • Age 13 to about 18 – very physical
    • Do real things; dig a hole, fix the fence, paint the house; as well as digital things
  • 3. Warrior
    • A man needs a mission in life
    • The man needs to have a purpose – strength and validation
    • The reason men die after they retire is they feel like they have lost the purpose for their lives
    • Men are wired to do stuff; make a difference in the world
  • 4. Lover
    • Warrior training comes first; it takes enormous courage to love properly
    • Love is vulnerable; awakening of the heart
    • Learn to weave beauty into everyday life
  • 5. King entrusted with a kingdom (40s)
    • Has influence and power over others;
    • Key question: The whole question of all cultures all through history  – When can you trust a man with power?
    • A boy in a man's body given leadership: loads of money, or influence, is going to blow it up; ruin the people under him; only when a man has been initiated can you entrust him with power
    • You become a king to serve
    • The heartache of the earth – there are a lot of bad kings
  • 6. The sage
    • Turn the power over to a younger king
    • Move into a stage where you are the counselor, advisor, mentor; spending time investing in younger people
    • The stage in which influence is the greatest
  • Order of these phases is important

-Advice for couples to grow in grace together…1:01:45

-What it means for a woman to be “captivating”…1:09:45

  • Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul by John and Stasi Eldredge
    • Little girls' core needs are a little different:
      • Love/delight – want to be seen and delighted; gender identity is bestowed by the father
      • Will I be chosen; will anyone fight for me
    • Psychologically, the impact of the father on gender identity is “massive”
    • Girls learn the nature of femininity from their mother; learns the value of it from the father
  • Becoming a King by Morgan Snyder

-And much more!


Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

– John Eldredge:

– Other books and resources:

Episode sponsors:

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Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for John Eldredge or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

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2 thoughts on “How To Meditate In One Minute, Getting Over “Poser Syndrome,” Why Guys Like Porn, The 6 Phases Of Manhood & Much More With John Eldredge.

  1. Scott says:

    John’s work sounds beneficial and powerful. It resonated with me. So many of us are walking around without knowing how we got to be who we are, that we can be more (loving, fun, full) and what we can do to help our children be their True Selves. Thank you, Ben, for seeing that John’s voice can make a difference. Peace and love to you both.

  2. Peter says:

    Some of this is good stuff, but both you (Ben) and Eldredge need to read “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind.” Just sayin’.

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