Discover more from The Daily Meditator
April 2020 TDM
The Good Life issue
Welcome to the twelfth issue of The Daily Meditator ✌🏾This is your monthly resource for fun, quirky, interesting, and noteworthy happenings in and around the worldwide meditation community—created by author and meditator teacher, Light Watkins. Written and edited by Jordan Pletzer, Kristen Vandivier, Emerson Wolfe, and Light (see bios at the bottom).
Our mission is simple: to help broaden the horizon of what a daily meditator looks like while providing you with relevant information and timely inspiration for staying committed to your daily practice.
The good life issue: "Welcome to our new normal." In this issue, you’ll find meditative ways to pass the time, fire up your brain, plus info for paying your rent, oh, and meditating with Lizzo—in other words, let’s bring some of the good life into our new reality. Check it out, and be sure to let us know what you think.
[ MEDITATION & NEWS ]
Time for some “Self” stimulation?
Let’s just say there are all kinds of ways to release stress... Now that we’re in quarantine, some meditators are exploring *ahem* mindful self-love techniques.
According to Mashable, meditation masturbation goes by several different names, each with its own approach: erotic meditation, orgasmic meditation (OM), tantric masturbation. In meditation masturbation, you’re using both the sensation of your breath, as well as the sensation of pleasure, to facilitate a mindful experience.
Research has even shown that mindful masturbation helps to alleviate a number of sexual problems and enhance the overall experience of sex, including increased arousal and better orgasms. Just so you don’t think we’re making this up, here’s the Mashable article with all of the references and techniques. Now go and become one with the “Self.”
Bottom line: Gives new meaning to, “I have to go meditate...”
[ MEDITATION & TECHNOLOGY ]
Congratulations to Deepak for crashing the internet
It sounds more gnarly than it was: When famous author and consciousness expert Deepak Chopra logged into Vimeo to facilitate his live global meditation, which sought to bring together meditators from around the world for one mass meditation, the video cut out in the middle.
Shortly after, a cool and calm Deepak hopped onto Facebook Live to get things rolling again. He said, "we were hoping for a million people and indeed we think we had them.”
Vimeo later announced that apparently Deepak and crew had too many admin users logged in at one time which cut off the stream. Whoops!
If you missed it, no worries. The “Live Global Meditation” is still available on Chopra’s Facebook page, gathering almost 20 million views in the three weeks after it was posted.
Bottom line: Now Deepak and Teddy Riley have something to talk about should they ever cross paths.
[ MEDITATION & RESEARCH ]
How meditation keeps you focused when working from home
Move over Netflix, we're bringing in the big guns. The website Iverse reports three powerful ways, each from a different study, that meditation can help you keep reign in the house over distractions.
Improved concentration. Who’s tried to bust out the most productive day ever just to be sidetracked by a pet asking to go outside 14 times an hour or wanting to cuddle up with a partner? Luckily, just 10 minutes a day makes these disruptions less tantalizing.
Stronger mind. Regulating your breathing is an instant antidote to polishing your attention and heightening brain function.
Fewer mistakes. Do you know that the ability to catch errors is a neurological process that can be trained with meditation? Yep. And you don’t need any fancy device or a masterclass certificate. ‘Nuff said.
Bottom line: Even if you aren’t placed on house arrest by your boss, these are still applicable to anyone working on a personal or creative project.
[ MEDITATION & SPORTS ]
Coronavirus and Zoom turned competitive meditation into a global sport
On your mark. Get set. Be calm! So now there’s a worldwide meditation competition called March Mindfulness, created by daily meditator Chris Taylor.
A few years back, Chris devised a series of one-on-one meditation games that could be decided by using the meditation wearable Muse, which is apparently able to track a meditator’s calmness. And whoever is the calmest after each round advances to the next round, until a final winner is declared.
Originally intended to be an in-person competition, coronavirus happened, and Chris moved his completion over to Zoom, resulting in the first worldwide meditation competition. Although the 2020 competition already happened, Chris hosts it every year, in case you want to test the resiliency of your calmness.
Bottom line: Think meditation could eventually make it into the Olympics?
[ MEDITATION & POP CULTURE ]
Y’all, Lizzo is leading group meditations on Instagram
Bust out the crystals, light the Palo Santo, and gather round! Lizzo might not be someone we think of as a meditation guru, but her meditative flute playing on IG is definitely something we want to see more of. Recorded to help empower anyone listening, her “Because I Love You” stream embodies tranquil and uplifting feels.
In the video, she acknowledges and speaks to the insane amount of fear that is spreading, addressing that “fear can spread so much negative energy, and fear can spread the disease.”
Lizzo models an approach to switch away from a fear-based mindset into one that embraces healing, music, and love.
Bottom line: “There’s the disease, and then there is the fear of the disease.” – Lizzo
[ REALITY CHECK ]
Stress less. All the ways to get your stimulus money
Meditation is nice, but it won’t pay the bills! Of course meditation relieves stress, but worrying about rent would have even the strongest meditators flustered. With the unemployment rate the highest it's ever been in most countries, we wanted to offer something more than hopes and prayers. Here's a roundup of a few unexpected ways to get financial assistance.
You may have a forgotten bank account, a final check that went uncashed, or money from the government you don't know about. To find out if you have unclaimed money, check out the following links: United States / Canada / United Kingdom. If you live in a different country, do a keyword search for "unclaimed money" and your country—but be sure you're on a government website to avoid being scammed!
Stimulus or unemployment benefits
Many countries are doing coronavirus related stimulus packages and specialized unemployment benefits. In the United States, you can use the IRS tracking website to update your information, sign up for direct deposit, and track your payment. If you live in Canada, you can sign up for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit.
Relief for specialized workers
If you work in the restaurant industry in the United States and your employment has been impacted by COVID, there are grants for you. We've also seen grants for artists - try doing a keyword search in your area to find out what your local arts council is doing.
Yeah, you read that right. Fellow Vedic meditator Charlie Knoles turned us on to the idea of making money through Cash App. If you follow Cash App on twitter or instagram, you could enter to win one of their large cash giveaways. They'll even help you get your US Stimulus check faster.
Bottom line: Nothing cheeky here, folks. We're all going to get through this together.
[ READ. WATCH. LISTEN. ]
For all the unchallenged benefits of mindfulness, McMindfulness swoops in with another angle. The book argues how this $4 billion industry is another capitalistic expression that keeps people invested in “the system.” Purser argues that the modern mindfulness movement is disconnected from its ethical roots. McMindfulness shares the enticing perspective for us to continuously be cautious of why and how something is the next best thing. Read now
Watch: World Tour of Meditation
The World Tour of Meditation is a free interview series which requires your email address to register. But once you’re in, you’ll get access to two dozen in-depth interviews from well-known meditation experts from around the world. This project aims to de-bunk the various myths about meditation and introduce you to practical techniques for getting the most from meditation. Register here to Watch
Listen: Global Meditative Audio Tours
Virtual Vacations by Smarter Travel is a new guided meditation series that creates a five-minute scene of popular destinations and activities across the world. Each journey embarks with a simple one-minute breathing exercise before generating a simulated soundscape and voice describing what is happening around you. So far you can sail up the Mekong River in Vietnam, hike through Zion, or take a stroll in Paris. Listen now on Spotify
[ LOVE STORY FROM THE FIELD ]
When Johanna and Jeff Archipley met at a Vipassana silent retreat in New Mexico, it was love at first “sit.” Now they are married and living together in Los Angeles with their dog and two kids. Their meditation cushions still sit side by side.
What brought each of you to the retreat where you met?
Johanna: I was 26, living in Santa Fe, and dissatisfied with my life. I had been doing yoga for years, and thought that exploring meditation might offer me some much needed clarity.
Jeff: I was living in Venice and had been meditating for years under the direction of Trudy Goodman (founder of Insight LA) who advised me to deepen my practice by attending a 10-day silent retreat in Santa Fe.
Did you think it was possible to fall in love on a silent meditation retreat?
Johanna: Anything is possible, but I certainly wasn’t expecting it. I was living with a guy I had been with for 5 years, knowing in my heart it wasn’t right. When I first saw Jeff, he was with a woman who I assumed was his wife. Although I found him attractive, falling in love didn’t seem likely under the circumstances. Destiny thought otherwise.
Jeff: Though I was in a relationship with somebody back in L.A., I hoped the silence would answer the questions in my heart. But when I found myself noticing the beautiful woman three spots over, my heart was done. Unfortunately, it appeared she was with the guy sitting next to her (turns out she didn’t even know his name).
What was it like to talk to each other after 10 days of silence?
Johanna: It was surprisingly easy to talk to him! Hard to explain it, but he felt very familiar right away. We laughed A LOT. I liked him A LOT. A year and a half later, at the end of another silent meditation retreat, he got down on a knee and proposed to me. I was, fittingly, speechless.
Jeff: I was wildly curious about her and wanted to tell her everything about my life, so jokingly, I started at the beginning: “Hi. I’m Jeff. I was born on February 18th...” to which she replied, “You’re kidding... Prove it.” As fate would have it - after comparing IDs - we share the same birthday.
[ WHO TO FOLLOW ]
Two of our favorite wellness accounts for your home routine
The Holistic Psychologist
Dr. Nicole LePere is a Holistic Psychologist (that’s a thing?!) who took her more traditional training from Cornell and evolved it into a practice that works with the mind/body connection. She hosts the online SelfHealers Circle, a private community of self-healers to support each other and gain guidance from experiments and mentors. Her Instagram feed is filled with tangible, practice, digestible, and relevant life tips ranging from setting boundaries to inner child work. Find her on Instagram @the.holistic.psychologist.
Rising Woman, cofounded by Heather Pennell and Sheleana Aiyana, provides an abundance of inspiration and reminders about compassion, conscious relationships, shadow work, and feminine empowerment. They offer a wealth of resources across YouTube, their blog posts, podcasts, and programs. On Insta, they are @risingwoman
“I have lived with several Zen masters—all of them cats.”
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