Discover more from The Daily Meditator
February 2023 TDM
The Make Meditation Great Again Issue
Welcome to the 46th 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 meditation teacher, 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 & RESEARCH ]
Researchers Discover Link Between Meditation And Stronger Gut Instincts
There is new scientific evidence for operating on gut instinct. According to The Jerusalem Post, a new comparative peer-reviewed study shows that a group of Tibetan monks developed a more refined gut microbiome for operating on instinct, after meditating long term. We know, sounds like a stretch.
For years, researchers have been suggesting that the real brain is located in the gut. So it makes sense why long-term meditators are being reported to have clearer gut instincts. If stress wreaks havoc on your gut microbiome, then releasing stress would naturally strengthen it.
We found a ton of other articles reporting this exciting new research, so it’s worth diving into for the next time you’re debating with friends at the dinner party about the real-world benefits of meditation, and why your functional-alcoholic friends should consider swapping wine (which destroys your gut microbiome) for meditation—that is, if they truly desire a long-lasting buzz with only positive side effects.
Bottom line: If you’ve already been meditating long-term, don’t ignore your gut, as it might be the universe trying to tell you something.
[ MEDITATION & NEWS ]
Where to Go For Spiritual Practices and Meditation
Many aspiring meditators are ditching the meditation apps and traveling to the source of the practice, like the aspirants of old used to do. But the question is, where to go to find legit spiritual practices and knowledge?
According to Travel Binger, if you’re a seeker of spiritual practices, then you definitely want to consider taking a trip to India. And one of the best places for the spiritually-curious to land is Rishikesh, which is nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas. There, you’ll find ashrams, the sacred Ganges River, men in orange robes, and monkeys—Rishikesh has it all.
Some of the other spots to make Travel Binger’s list include Assisi, Italy, the birth home of the famous Saint Francis of Assisi, Thailand; and then, of course, there’s Bali. So if you’re looking for the real deal, it may be time to renew your passport and book a flight. Click here for more information about these locations. Your mantra awaits.
Bottom line: Once you do find yourself a real-life guru, our guess is you won’t view meditation apps in the same way.
Light is gearing up for his next Vedic Meditation Teaching Tour. He will be hosting trainings in Los Angeles, New York, Austin, and Atlanta starting in March. BE AMONG THE FIRST 10 PEOPLE TO REGISTER, and receive $100 OFF of the training fee PLUS get complimentary access to a VIP meet & greet with Light on the evening before the training commences, PLUS a signed copy of his most recent book, Knowing Where to Look. Book your spot now.
[ MEDITATION & TECHNIQUE ]
When Sitting Still Just Doesn’t Feel Peaceful
So you've tried meditating, you've tried yoga, and you've even tried chanting 'Om' in the shower... But your inner work game is still feeling like a hot mess? Well, YourTango has you covered with a list of alternative methods for finding a moment of inner peace.
They suggest some meditation alternatives: such as deep breathing, just sitting with your eyes closed, going for a brief walk, you could mindfully drinking a glass of water, or make a gratitude list, and more.
We don’t suggest throwing in the towel on seated eyes-closed meditation. It could just be a matter of finding a technique that fits more into your current lifestyle (there are hundreds). But while you search for the right one, these simple practices will help you get through a stressful day. Click here to see the full list
Bottom line: What’s important at the end of the day is not how you meditate, but that you meditate, by any means necessary.
Could 13 Minutes Be All You Need To Find Bliss?
Have you heard of the new viral meditation challenge going around? Glamour Magazine reports that the "13 Minute Mind Challenge" is a new trend for the time-strapped meditator. The technique involves focusing on one point of your body for 13 minutes using a timer on your phone. And every time your mind becomes distracted, you refocus on the specific body part again.
Turns out, 13 minutes is the magic number because a New York University study showed that it takes just 13 minutes to decrease a negative mood state and enhance attention, working memory, and recognition memory.
And like anything else, the more you do it, the more effective it becomes. If you’re looking for a shorter meditation time, we suggest reading the article for more instructions.
Bottom line: Maybe this challenge can rebrand the number 13 from being seen as unlucky to the number of inner peace.
Kickstart your new year with an easy-to-do meditation, movement, and mindful eating challenge. Light’s 30-Day Mindfulness Triathlon is designed to help you forge the most important habits for your mental, physical, and spiritual health. If you’re finally ready to change just like you’ve been saying all year, then this is the challenge for you. Click here to join.
As a result of this challenge, I have prioritized my meditation time, look forward to walking every day, and have become much more mindful of what I'm eating. This has been an unexpectedly wonderful experience that has set me on a better course! — Judy W.
[ MEDITATION & POP CULTURE ]
Forrest Gump Discovers Meditation
Looks like Forrest Gump has Seinfeld to thank for introducing him to what he calls “an odd, easy, life-changing thing.” Of course, he was referring to meditation — and more specifically, Transcendental Meditation, which Seinfeld has been practicing for 20 minutes twice a day since college. Hanks went public about his love affair with meditation and thanked Jerry for hooking him up with a teacher.
Hanks is on a growing list of celebs who have been embracing meditation as a means of dealing with burnout and overwhelm, from Britney Spears to rapper Akon. And if you’re wondering why Tom Hanks would ever feel burnout, he admitted to host, Guy Raz, that he has experienced "self-doubt that is pure neurosis" over the course of his career, despite generally considering himself "not a neurotic guy."
Bottom line: Celebrity or not, stress and imposter syndrome affect us all, and perhaps the most powerful outlet for stress release is daily meditation.
The Happiness Insiders® is a diverse community of folks who are actively engaged in cultivating real, lasting happiness through daily inner work, created and facilitated by long-time meditation teacher and inspiration author, Light Watkins. The Happiness Insiders® is the world’s first secular online community for learning a variety of practical, real-world spiritual practices that are intended to help you create the lasting happiness you ultimately desire. Click here for more info
[ REALITY CHECK ]
The New Habit Rule
By Light Watkins
If you've taken up a healthy new habit this new year, I want to remind you of a couple of things that are now happening simultaneously:
You're starting your new habit (let's say it's meditating each day)
You're breaking an old habit (which would be the habit of not meditating daily)
If you've been habitually not meditating for decades, breaking that habit may feel harder than forging the new habit, at least initially—but the new habit is going to get the blame!
"Meditating is so hard!" or "Working out is so hard!" or "Not complaining is so hard!"
But they aren't hard at all. It's breaking the old habits that make them feel so hard to do.
On weaker days, when we're thinking about giving up, don't curse the new habit. Understand that the difficulty is actually progress, in the same way, that sore muscles after a workout is a sign of progress.
And once we finally break the old habit, the new habit will begin to feel like second nature.
[ READ. WATCH. LISTEN. ]
Read: The Creative Act: A Way of Being
The Creative Act: A Way of Being is written by Rick Rubin, a famous music producer. It's all about creativity and being an artist. Rubin thinks that being an artist is not just about making art, but it's more about our relationship with the world. He believes that creativity is something that everyone can have and make a larger part of their life. The book is a compilation of Rick's experiences and thoughts on the creative process. It's a beautiful and inspiring read that can help anyone who wants to tap into their own creativity and learn how to make the most of it. Whether you're an artist or not, this book will give you a new perspective on creativity and help you see that anyone can be an artist in their own way. Read more
Watch: Headspace Guide to Meditation
Headspace Guide to Meditation is all about teaching you how to meditate in a fun and easy way. The host, Andy Puddicombe, is a monk and bestselling author who knows a lot about meditation. He'll guide you through the process with his personal stories and tips, making it a relaxed and enjoyable experience. Whether you're new to meditation or looking to refresh your practice, this show has got you covered. And the best part? You can watch it as much as you want. Get ready to bring mindfulness and relaxation into your daily routine. Watch now
Listen: Huberman Lab: What Alcohol Does to Your Body, Brain & Health
Check out this amazing episode that's all about alcohol and its impact on our body and brain. It covers everything from genetic factors to binge drinking and the effects of different levels of alcohol consumption. You'll learn how alcohol is like a poison in your body and how it changes your behavior and thinking. This episode takes a deep dive into the impact of alcohol on things like inflammation, stress, gut health, brain thickness, hormones, mood, and motivation. This episode has science-backed strategies to help reduce the severity of hangovers. Whether you drink occasionally or just want to make informed decisions about alcohol, this episode is a must-listen for everyone who cares about their mental and physical health. 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 ]
Through meditation, I get to be in conversation with the divine which is so beautiful.
What have you gotten from meditation? Through meditation, I get to be in conversation with the divine which is so beautiful because I don’t have to write, send, share, or even intend or do anything. To me, that experience says a lot. It embodies a union. I love that gift from meditation the most.
Strangest meditation moment? Feeling a surprise visit from my dead dog, Blue. Strange? Yes. Precious and comforting, so much so. Soften surrender. Remember, you are safe.
Most unexpected benefit of meditation? When the sky parts and you realize that the time you take to meditate actually adds a feeling of more time and space to your day.
Two of Our Favorite Instagram Accounts with a Purpose
Dan Founder (left) is a personal trainer and entrepreneur who is all about transforming lives. He started out as a high school dropout working a dead-end job, but after losing his mom, he found solace in the gym and went on to become a successful personal trainer. He owned one of the top gyms in Toronto for 11 years but eventually made the shift to helping entrepreneurs transform their bodies and their lives. Dan believes that when you take care of your health, everything else falls into place - your business grows, your relationships thrive, and your life transforms for the better. If you're looking for inspiration and guidance on how to live a healthier, more fulfilling life, Dan is your guy. Follow him @danfounder
Lalah Delia (right) is a boss! She's a bestselling author, spiritual writer, and founder of Vibrate Higher Daily School. Lalah is all about empowering people and helping them live their best life by reaching their full potential. Her writing, teachings, and presence on social media are helping people around the world live a life filled with intuition, empowerment, purpose, and high vibrations. Lalah has been featured in major media outlets like VOGUE, Harper's Bazaar, and Good Morning America, and has even spoken at big events like SXSW and In Goop Health. Lalah is someone you should definitely keep an eye especially if you're looking to live your life to the fullest and elevate your vibration. Follow her @lalahdelia
Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.
— Marianne Williamson
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