Meditation Helps "Iceman" Survive Subzero Conditions
Hof, 52, earned his nickname from feats such as remaining in a tank of ice in Hong Kong for almost 2 hours; swimming half the length of a football field under a sheet of ice in the Arctic; and making the Guinness record books for running a half-marathon barefoot in Finnish snow in deep subzero conditions.He tried to climb Mt. Everest in 2007 wearing only sandals and shorts, but suffered frostbite and turned back at 7,400 metres (24,300 feet) - he wants to test the limits of human potential, not die trying. He climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro instead the same way in 2009.
In one well-documented demonstration in 2008, Hof remained encased in a glass box filled with ice on a New York City street for 71 minutes, at that time a record. Doctors monitoring his vital signs said his body temperature descended gradually to 93.6 degrees as his heart rate rose slowly into the 120s. He didn't shiver.
This is where the power of meditation comes in for Hof:
Hof tells his students meditation in the cold strengthens mind and body.... Hof says he can endure cold so well because he has learned to activate parts of his mind beyond the reach of most people's conscious control, and crank up what he calls his "inner thermostat."Hof describes what he does as a kind of internal conversation, in which his mind and body send each other signals. During the Hong Kong stunt, he said he mentally directed warmth toward a specific part of his lower back when he sensed it was feeling too cold and starting to hurt.
Does Hof have a guru? Nope.
"I never had a teacher, and I never had lessons, other than hard Nature itself."
A bit crazy, maybe? But a great example of the power of meditation!