Welcome to the 40th issue of The Daily Meditator. This is your monthly resource for fun, quirky, interesting, and noteworthy happenings in and around the worldwide meditation community, curated by Light Watkins and co. 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.
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[ MEDITATION & NEWS ]
When Meditation Infiltrates the House
What do Rite Aid and the U.S. House of Reps have in common? They both are providing meditation options for their employees.
Rite Aid’s new headquarters in Philadelphia comes with all the bells and whistles, including a new meditation and prayer space that corporate employees can utilize.
The House recently splurged $96k for a year-long contract with Calm app. They cited residual stress and trauma from the January 6, 2021 storming of the U.S. Capitol as the motivator for this.
Bottom line: Hopefully, the benefits of meditation trickle down to legislation.
[ MEDITATION & RESEARCH ]
With Meditation, Consistency Is A Must
Meditating irregularly is akin to eating a salad twice a year. According to YogaJournal.com, if you aren’t meditating daily, you are not going to experience the long-term and cumulative benefits of the practice. Surprise surprise. The article refers specifically to the MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) program, which is normally a 40-minute daily time commitment. And it states that sporadic meditation or meditating for less than the prescribed amount of time gives drastically diminishing returns.
Bottom line: Whenever you think about skipping meditation, just remember that stress isn’t taking any days off.
Join Light’s 108-Day Healthy Eating Challenge: This diet challenge is designed by people who despise diet challenges. In other words, it’s not extreme. It’s very GRADUAL. And it’s set up to help you WIN! WE WANT TO HELP YOU optimize your health by reducing those parts of your diet that have been out of control for WAY TOO LONG. And whether you realize it or not, a bad diet creates a major drag on your immune system, your energy levels, and your overall mood. Click here to join.
[ MEDITATION & RESEARCH ]
Kids Are Bored Of Mindfulness
Mindfulness meets a tough-to-please crowd. DailyMail.co.uk reported in the largest study of its kind that mindfulness has no impact on the wellbeing and mental health of students—according to the students. The secondary school kids felt bored while trying to be in the moment, and often skipped their mindfulness homework.
When we dug a little deeper, we found out why: the school teachers were the ones teaching mindfulness. Imagine that? Your social studies teacher showing you how to meditate. That would be like bringing in Light Watkins to teach the kids calculus. No wonder they found it boring.
Bottom line: Perhaps the school board should look into hiring meditation teacher that will make the practice fun and interesting the next time.
[ MEDITATION & TECHNOLOGY ]
Want to Find The Best Meditation App?
Well… So do we. According to PsychologyToday.com, here are 6 tips for finding a meditation app that works best for you:
Ask around - Ask what people in your network like about a particular app and see if it sounds like something you might find helpful as well.
See what people are saying - Getting opinions from outside of your network can be just as useful. So check out comments and reviews left for the app that you’re interested in.
Try it and stick with it...but not too long - You might experiment with using a new app just to have a point of reference.
Have reasonable expectations - While meditation apps are quick and accessible, results will not happen overnight.
Get live guidance and support - If you’re still feeling a bit overwhelmed after trying to first 4 steps, look for an app that will get you access to an experienced meditation teacher.
Try something else - There are lots of ways to better your mental health and it may not be through meditating using an app. So feel free to explore and try something else.
Join Light’s Double-Dose Meditation Challenge. This is where you commit to meditating TWICE a day for 108 straight days. If you have a practice that is intended to be done twice a day, or if you just want to double your dose of meditation, this is a way to hold yourself accountable to two meditations a day—one in the morning, and one in the afternoon or evening. Consistency comes down to accountability, support, and community, which is what you get with this challenge. And once you complete all 108 days, your entry fee will be credited back to you to use with another challenge or Masterclass in the Happiness Insiders community. Click here to join.
[ MEDITATION & POP-CULTURE ]
J-Lo Attributes Meditation With Helping Her Stay Calm
Looks like J-Lo has been hitting the cushion for the last few years. In a recent newsletter she put out, newly married Jennifer Lopez opened up about her meditation practice, according to an article by InsideNova.com, sharing:
“Whenever I am in high moments of stress and anxiety in my life, I always go back to this practice. It's been hard for me, I'm not going to lie.”
She learned about Transcendental Meditation through Russell Simmons, who has been a meditator for decades now.
Bottom line: If J-Lo can make time for two sits a day, so can we.
Enroll in Light’s new Masterclass: How To Move On After Breaking Up. The goal of this Masterclass to is help you navigate one of the hardest (and most treacherous) life situations which is moving on from a break-up—especially if you were blindsided. Everyone has advice on what you should do to move on but the truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. But, there are spiritual principles that, if understood and embodied, will help you successfully move through this mourning and rebuilding process as quickly and efficiently as possible. Click here to enroll now.
[ REALITY CHECK ]
Everyone is Talking About How Nobody is Talking About The Risks of Meditation
A few months ago, there was a surge of meditation articles talking about the “other” side of meditation. We hear often about the benefits of a regular sitting practice, but don’t really hear from those that don’t experience benefits, or even worse, have “adverse” meditation experiences.
If something is challenging, it doesn’t automatically make it not worthwhile. In fact, the opposite might be the case. When we are forced out of our comfort zone, we are forced to grow.
For example, I’m currently training for a half marathon. My body is still adjusting to the volume of running that I’m doing every week. My calves are often the first body part to give up. This resistance doesn’t mean that running is bad. It means that I’m doing something that my body isn’t used to, and it’s going to take time to adjust to this new activity.
In the case of meditation, it’s common to have uncomfortable experiences. It doesn’t mean that the process isn’t working progressing forward though.
Instead of running away from the discomfort, it’s important to find a trusted and experienced teacher that can walk you through what’s happening.
From here, you’ll learn over time that these “adverse” experiences weren’t you losing yourself, but rather you finding an edge, and expanding past that.
[By regular TDM contributor Jordan Pletzer]
[ READ. WATCH. LISTEN. ]
Read: Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants To Be
From War of Art author, Mr. Steven Pressfield, Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants To Be is geared toward artists, entrepreneurs, writers, or anyone who’s in business for themselves, to help defeat the tendency to procrastinate, self-doubt, fear, distraction, and perfectionism. This can include meditation as well. Read more
Watch: America Outdoors with Baratunde Thurston
The PBS docuseries follows bestselling author and podcaster, and daily meditator, Baratunde Thurston, as he explores the country’s diverse landscapes to see how they shape the way we work, play, and interact with the outdoors. From coal miners turned beekeepers in Appalachia to Black surfers catching waves in L.A., uncover a deeper understanding of our passionate and complex relationship with the natural world. Watch now
Listen: Against The Stream
Dharma talks and guided meditations at Against The Stream Meditation Center, hosted by Noah Levine, author of Dharma Punx, Against the Stream, Heart of the Revolution and Refuge Recovery. Listen now
Have you listened to Light’s podcast, The Light Watkins Show? If inspiration was a drop of water, The Light Watkins Show would be like an ocean. Each candid interview is sure to leave you uplifted, inspired, and motivated to follow your heart, take a leap of faith, and believe in yourself. Listen or watch now.
[ REPORT FROM THE FIELD ]
Meditation has taught me there is some big energetic pull that is rooting for me to use my energy for good.
What have you gotten from Meditation? Meditation has worked into my system how to be calm when things are simple and challenging alike. I'm so grateful for the practice and have no idea how chaotic I would feel and be without it. Maybe even more beneficial is the feeling of gratitude that somehow pours out of meditation practice and soaks into me like a big drink of water on a hot day. I know having a feeling of gratitude is beneficial for my overall well-being, and sense of purpose and affects everything, even little and big choices. Meditation has taught me there is some big energetic pull that is in a way rooting for me to use my energy for good. When I feel off, I know what to do, meditate.
Strangest meditation moment? This isn't something that happened during a meditation, but I'm guessing it is a result of it. I've had several strange experiences during times when I've been in nature or a calm environment and had opportunities to meditate, where I've seen things that aren't really there, but maybe they are, and we just don't see them when we are busy thinking so much. When I was a kid and did some self-taught meditation, I'd often see the sort of like a DNA roller coaster spiraling and quilt-like waves moving over black space. The colors were super bright neon but non-abrasive. I only put together that the visions looked exactly like things mapped out by science when I got older and saw some of them in my science books.
As a grown-up, I had a similarly strong experience seeing like a sticky, translucent, iridescent web connecting objects in a room. Eventually, the vision faded, but the strangeness of it has always felt like some mystery of the universe revealing itself for a moment as a result of meditation.
Most unexpected benefit of meditation? This might sound super corny, but I really feel a benefit of general awareness as a result of meditation, when it comes to staying safe and helping others the best I can. I know meditation has helped me notice myself and how I feel, while also noticing the people around me and what is happening. Being able to listen to my instincts and make good guesses at where to put myself in various situations, what to do, and notice where I can be helpful, I feel is a direct benefit of meditation.
[For more info about Tara and Strala Yoga, and to check out upcoming events, head on to stralayoga.com and tarastiles.com. ]
Two of Our Favorite Instagram Accounts with a Purpose
Kimberly Snyder (left) is a NY Times bestselling author, spiritual and meditation teacher, nutritionist, and wellness expert. She has authored 6 books, including Radical Beauty, which she co-authored with Deepak Chopra. Her 6th book, You Are More Than You Think You Are: Practical Enlightenment for Everyday Life just published earlier in 2022. Kimberly is also the founder of Solluna®, a holistic lifestyle brand, Practical Enlightenment Meditation™ Solluna Circle, and the host of the top-rated Feel Good Podcast. Follow her @_kimberlysnyder
Ryan Holiday (right) is an author, modern Stoic, public-relations strategist, bookstore owner, and host of the podcast The Daily Stoic. Holiday is the author of several books and has written for Forbes, Fast Company, The Huffington Post, to name a few. Books he has authored have sold more than three million copies combined. Follow him @ryanholiday
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
— Winston Churchill
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What a useful little compilation of stories and links. I am just beginning to teach children mindfulness, alongside readings of my book and it is so important to engage little ones. Lots of images, glitter jars, soft toys, posters and engaging them through asking questions is crucial or they won't feel part of it or interested. So yes, I completely agree with you - get mindfulness or meditation teachers in to teach little ones. 🙏🏻
Thank you for reminding me of the importance of consistency...