February 2022 TDM
The Valentine’s Issue
Welcome to the 34th 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 ]
Neighbors Complain That New Silent Meditation Center Is… Too Loud
Who knew that a Buddhist meditation facility could be too loud? According to an article by thetimes.co.uk, some local residents and business owners in a suburb outside of Dublin, Ireland, are fighting to stop a silent meditation center from being opened because… it could be too noisy.
However, the Kagyu Buddhism Ireland (KBI) group tells everyone to chill the “f” out because they plan to soundproof the building. And that furthermore, most of their events will be held in silence.
Bottom line: Has there ever been a better time to say: if you can’t beat ‘em, you may want to join ‘em?
[ MEDITATION & FITNESS ]
The Secret To Running Better and Faster
Turns out, doing nothing is the trick to optimizing your running and recovery times. According to runnersworld.com, by adding a regular sitting meditation practice, you could indirectly support your running (and possibly other physical activities as well), without necessarily increasing volume.
A daily meditation practice can help you:
Manage pain and reduce inflammation during recovery.
Increase coordination and proprioception (a major plus for rocky trail running!)
Get, and more importantly, stay in the zone to optimize your workout.
If you’re a serious runner, it’s worth it to read the entire article for other tips and resources about meditation and running.
Bottom Line: From now on, when people ask you if running is your meditation, you can be like, “No, meditation is my meditation.”
Yoga For Real Life Masterclass in The Happiness Insiders community is open for enrollment. Yoga is a practice for embodiment. Through feeling, breathing, and awareness, we awaken the beauty of our body (our house) and we can be more present to our intuition. Yoga For Real Life teaches us that the answers are within us. This 6-week Masterclass includes daily practices that can help you connect to your body and prepare you to overcome real-life situations with present moment awareness.
[ MEDITATION & HEALTH ]
How To Combine Therapy and Meditation To Heal Your Trauma
No one reading this should be surprised to hear that therapy and meditation go together like peanut butter and jelly. In his recent GQ profile, Buddhist and Harvard-trained psychiatrist and author Mark Epstein discusses his latest book, The Zen of Therapy: Uncovering a Hidden Kindness in Life, which shows the fascinating connections between mindfulness and the psychodynamic process he’s experienced with his patients. What emerges, according to the article, is a compelling portrait of how these two independently therapeutic practices become all the more powerful when joined together.
Bottom line: If you’re in the market for a therapist, you may want to check out Dr. Epstein’s work to see all the incredible ways that therapy can benefit your meditation practice and vice versa.
[ MEDITATION & TECHNIQUE ]
Looking For “Other Ways” To Meditate?
In case you’re one of those people who likes to meditate without actually sitting in meditation… we came across two interesting alternatives that you might want to try:
Trataka, also known as “Candle Gazing” has roots in ancient Indian yoga practices. You can find early mentions of trataka as far back as a 15th-century Sanskrit manual on yoga, according to an article by healthline.com. The practice is pretty straightforward—gaze steadily at the flame until your eyes are filled with tears, according to a 2018 research article. Experts say that candle gazing helps improve and train focus, especially in people with constant eye movement, which is a sign of an unrested mind.
Zentangle is a method for drawing, which promotes concentration, creativity and at the same time increases personal well-being. It was invented by a monk named Rick Roberts and an artist named Maria Thomas. If you’re a fan of meditation and art, we highly recommend checking out artist Rose Wambsganss’s inspiring work with Zentagle.
Bottom line: We get it; not everyone is into seated, eyes-closed meditation. But as long as you have some sort of practice that keeps you in the present moment, you’re still meditating… sort of.
Meditation Teaching Tour: For the final stop of Light’s Vedic Meditation teaching tour, he’ll be in London from the 4th to the 7th and the 11th to 14th of February. To learn meditation with Light, click here. Space is limited.
[ MEDITATION & LIFESTYLE ]
Why Meditation Sucks Air
According to entrepreneur.com, there is a tool more potent for dealing with everyday stress than meditation. Any guesses what it could be? Drumroll, please…
The article then explains why meditation is not fit for current-day purpose, why the centuries-old, rich spiritual practice has not aged well in our hyper-connected society, and why doing breathwork is a more practical, real-world solution for coping with stress helping to manage our emotional state.
Interestingly, Google searches for “meditation” have trended down for the first time in a decade and was out-searched by… you guessed it: “breathwork.”
Bottom line: Sure, you could Wim Hoff your way to enlightenment. Or, you could just incorporate a little breathwork into your meditation and have the best of both worlds. It’s up to you.
Do you think you could meditate for 108 days in a row? Light Watkins has been facilitating this fun meditation challenge, which has an incredibly high rate of completion. It’s designed to make you a bonafide daily meditator and includes access to Light’s popular 7-Day Meditation Kickstart video course. Your $39 entry fee will be credited back to you once you complete all 108 days in a row. Click here if you’re up for the challenge?
[ REALITY CHECK ]
Wellness in the Workplace
In case you’ve been going full hermit (if so, I’m jelly), Americans are going through a major cultural shift with how we approach work.
Although it was/is terrifying to have unpredictable job security, there is a silver lining.
Over the last couple of years, it’s as if a bomb went off, exploding most of the dominant workplace paradigm, leaving some of us scattered, in ruins, and dusting off the ashes.
The silver lining here is that we are already starting to intentionally shift (or demand) that something new must occur.
Eighty percent of workers say that wellness should be an important part of the workday. This doesn’t just mean some biophilic architecture and ergonomic office furniture, though it could start there.
According to Work Design Magazine, the major pieces of this revolution are:
Positivity – celebrating milestones, individuality, laughter, and comfortable breakrooms
Mindfulness – supporting silence, quiet time, and personal space
Community – promoting inclusion of a variety of employee statuses and departments
Vibrancy – creating spaces that uplift mood and focus
Identity – openly expressing character, mission, and values
Purpose – working towards a shared goal or higher calling
Assuming we’re sleeping 8 hours a night, the amount of time we spend during a 40-hour workweek is almost a quarter of our waking time.
If you had to create a manifesto for the top 3 values that your workspace and culture should implement, what would they be? And how could you go a step further and inspire your company to incorporate them into the workplace?
[By regular TDM contributor Jordan Pletzer]
[ READ. WATCH. LISTEN. ]
Read: Letters to the Sons of Society
From the best-selling author, Shaka Senghor, Letters to the Sons of Society, is a collection of beautifully written letters to his sons, Jay and Sekou. Shaka traces his journey as a Black man in America and unpacks the toxic and misguided messages about masculinity, mental health, love, and success that boys learn from an early age. He issues a passionate call to all fathers and sons—fathers who don't know how to show their sons love, sons who are navigating a fatherless world, boys who have been forced to grow up before their time—to cultivate positive relationships with other men, seek healing, tend to mental health, grow from pain, and rewrite the story that has been told about them.
Cheer is a two-season docuseries that follows the life of a competitive co-ed cheer squad as they prepare for the NCAA championships in Daytona, Florida. Although they are from a small junior college in rural Texas, the team has consistently won national champions. Season two just aired, featuring another rival Texas junior college’s preparations for the same competition. Both seasons are filled with what it takes to be a high-stakes competitive athlete, both on and off the mat.
Don’t have time to sit down and read? Try out Libby, an app that allows you to check out audiobooks via your library card. All you need to get started is your library card number and password associated with your account and voilà! You can check out audiobooks for free, just like you would with physical copies from the library.
Have you listened to Light’s podcast At the End of the Tunnel? If inspiration was a drop of water, At the End of the Tunnel 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 ]
Prayer is like the fertilizer for the ground so that when you plant the seeds through meditation, they can blossom.
What’s the difference between prayer and meditation? Prayer is like the fertilizer for the ground so that when you plant the seeds through meditation, they can blossom. Think of prayer as opening the communication between the physical and mental parts of ourselves to the higher spiritual consciousness. So in prayer, we surrender the ego we ask to receive to be guided and touch on our souls and then how wonderful we meditate. But the meditation can be richer, inspirational, tapping into our source because we have opened the gate for the invisible deeper part of ourselves to enter.
Strangest meditation moment? I was 12 years old, and I had just been initiated in transcendental meditation in Athens, Greece. And I went and sat in our living room on a pink chair that we had and started to meditate. The next thing I went to visit my uncles at their offices in my imagination that lived in another city and I remember thinking this is fun; I can travel and visit all my friends while I’m sitting in my pink chair. So for me, meditation was a fun thing to do where I could let my imagination travel.
What’s been the most unexpected benefit of prayer? The most unexpected thing about prayer is when I have prayed for others. I saw things shift for them, and when others have prayed for me in moments where I needed support or help to boost my energy, I felt different after the prayer; more uplifted, clear, and felt a boost of energy, like a Vitamin D shot (divine infusion).
[Agapi’s book, Speaking with Spirit: 52 Prayers to Guide, Inspire, and Uplift, is out now. Click here to get your copy now.]
Two of Our Favorite Instagram Accounts with a Purpose
Elena Brower (left) is a teacher, artist, bestselling author, and host of the Practice You Podcast. Elena has taught yoga and meditation since 1999. Her first book, Art of Attention, has been translated into seven languages, and her second, Practice You, is a bestseller. Her third book, Being You, was released in early 2021. You can also catch Elena's yoga and meditation classes on Glo.com. Follow her @elenabrower
Humble The Poet (right) is a former school teacher turned creative. What began as reciting spoken word poetry in coffee shops to impress girls evolved into a creative adventure that has spanned the last 10 years; crossing genres, mediums, and oceans. Humble is now an author, hip-hop artist, speaker, designer, filmmaker, and creative consultant. Follow him @humblethepoet
Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents and ablities were used in a way that served others.
— Marianne Williamson
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