Discover more from The Daily Meditator
January 2021 TDM
A New Year issue
Welcome to the January 2021 “A New Year” issue of The Daily Meditator. This is your monthly resource for fun, quirky, interesting, and noteworthy happenings in and around the worldwide meditation community. 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 (even during a pandemic).
[ MEDITATION & NEWS ]
Meditating five-year-old saves Christmas
We should all be more like Bond Hill. When Bond Hill, a five-year-old daily meditator from Brooklyn, realized that some children don’t get toys like he does at Christmas, he was dismayed. He said to the NY Post, “It’s not fair that some kids get toys and other kids don’t.” He decided to do something about it.
With his parents help, he livestreamed himself meditating for 24 minutes, no small feat for one that young. His selflessness and compassion inspired people to donate to a GoFundMethat has, to date, raised $30,240. That money bought toys for 19,000 home-insecure children in NYC.
Bottom Line: The future is looking bright with kids like Bond in the next generation of leaders. Keep it up Bond!
[ MEDITATION & LIFESTYLE ]
Meditation Helps You Have Better Sex
Want to turn up the temperature in the bedroom? A few minutes of meditation every day is just what the doctor ordered.
You’re stressed. You’ve got other things on your mind even when your booty is between the sheets. Did I pay the gas bill? Is the car due for service? Sex therapist Megan Fleming has found that a lot of people are saying very unsexy things to themselves when they’re having sex, and it’s affecting performance. Mindfulness practice can help.
If you want to keep it hot and heavy, present-moment awareness is crucial. Meditation facilitates relaxation and blood flow, which lets you keep your head in the game, where it belongs.
Bottom Line: Find a regular habit that slows your brain down for at least 20 minutes a day. Your partner will notice!
[ MEDITATION & TECHNOLOGY ]
Is technology actually making us more depressed?
Four researchers were asked that question by Gizmodo. This is what they had to say:
Diana Winston – There are definitely correlations between technology use and depression, but no evidence of causation yet. Our attention is running on empty from constantly trying to multitask and from being distracted.
Matthew Lapierre – The amount of time on a phone isn’t the issue, it’s when someone feels an attachment to their device and has a hard time pulling away. This technological affection is predictive of depressive symptoms.
Erik Peper – It’s how the technology is used: sitting, slouching, heads tilted down, spines collapsed in a C-shape. The data shows that regularly holding this posture will lead to hopeless thoughts and memories.
Michael Mrazek – When technology interferes with daily life, this is when it can become an issue. When people start to spend too much time on their phone, or when the phone becomes more important than the person in front of you, this is where the misuse lies.
Bottom Line: Put the phone down and be present. Connect in real life and practice gratitude.
[ MEDITATION & POP CULTURE ]
Freestyling monk breaks Buddhist stereotypes
You can be a Buddhist and still drop sick beats. Yogestu Akasaka found a way to combine his love for beatboxing with his calling of being a Buddhist monk.
He was shocked when he first heard that people could make beatboxing sounds using only their mouths, and even more surprised that he was very good at it.
Yogestu became a monk in 2015 to follow in his father’s footsteps. As a way to merge these two parts of his life, Yogestu started to create chant-like music that can be used in meditation. He frequently uses Buddhist chants in his music, like the Heart Sutra.
Bottom Line: Beatboxing might not usually be associated with Buddhism, but Yogestu’s music exudes a special type of ‘zen’.
[ MEDITATION & TECHNIQUE ]
For meditators who can’t sit still, there’s Chi Running
Are you one of those people who says “running is my meditation”? If so, guess what? There’s a name for it: “Chi Running.” Chi Running is a concept that encourages bringing a mindful approach to running. In short, you notice everything from the feeling of your feet striking the ground, to the lengthening of your spine, to your breath. Sounds simple, but we imagine it takes practice to do it all simultaneously. And regular Chi Runners have reported many of the same benefits as seated practitioners, such as improved mental and emotional well-being, improved sleep, and fewer injuries.
Bottom line: If your new year’s resolution was to start exercising and meditating on a daily basis, but you’re unable to find time for both, this could be your jam.
[ REALITY CHECK ]
Believe it or not, your meditation practice is helping the world
Osho said the only revolution is that of the spirit. In other words, until we develop a relationship with our inner Self, we’ll keep bickering over surface aspects of life, like skin color, ideological differences, etc. This is why meditation practice is an act of revolution.
It brings you closer to your true nature, which allows you to gradually become a more mindful, aware, and compassion version of yourself. Do it every day for 10 years and your life becomes unrecognizable—not because things change dramatically on the outside, but because the way you view your life changes.
With expanded awareness, you discover that most of society’s problems aren’t going to be fixed by debating with people in social media comments. There are more creative ways to contribute, and your inner guidance has the answer. Tap into it, and you’ll know what the right thing to do.
Don’t discount the power of meditation in helping you become a better listener, communicator, and an overall more compassionate person. Having a new level of clarity and compassion uplifts not just you, but everyone you meet. And they uplift everyone they meet, and so on.
In that sense, every place you go and everything you do becomes an act of positive social change.
Bottom line: Meditation not only wakes you up to what’s going on in the world, but it also grants you the empathy and agency to do something about it.
[ READ. WATCH. LISTEN ]
Read: Real Change:
Mindfulness to Heal Ourselves and the World
Real Change is one of the most relevant books for our current times. Sharon Salzberg, a leading expert in lovingkindness meditation, guides readers through anger, grief, and pain to a place where we can take action. She says that meditation is not a replacement for action, but rather a technique to call upon our inner courage to break through boundaries and have the energy to stay action. Whether you are working on resolving conflicts with a neighbor or a large-scale social movement, Real Change can help develop clarity and confidence to take the next step. Read more
Watch: Headspace Guide to Meditation on Netflix
Netflix might not be the place people usually think of when they are on a mission to find videos to learn how to meditate. But it's 2021 and here we’re are. There are eight 20-minute episodes narrated by Andy Puddicombe, the co-founder of Headspace. Each episode is an animated visual adventure exploring a theme, learning specific techniques, and a culminating in a guided meditation to seal in the knowledge with a practice. Watch now
Listen: Yogestu Akasaka
Yogestu has proven the simultaneously push boundaries and bridge the gap of music and Buddhism. A monk by trade and a beatboxer by night, he uses his religion to fuel his mantra-reverberating loops. His music weaves the ancient with the modern, as evident in one of his latest Heart Sutra beatboxing loops inspired by Cyberpunk 2077’s recent release. Listen now
[ REPORT FROM THE FIELD ]
“I’ve gotten way more space in my spirit and psyche so I can respond to life rather than react.”
What have you gotten from meditation? I’ve gotten way more space in my spirit and psyche so I can respond to life rather than react.
Strangest meditation moment? The first time when I merged with the oneness consciousness. It lasted 1.5 seconds but I felt weightless, blissful, and part of something greater and eternal.
Most unexpected benefit of meditation? The most amazing synchronicities and magical moments that occur after a regular practice. It’s wild and so beautiful.
[ WHO TO FOLLOW ]
Two of our favorite Instagram accounts with a purpose
We're Not Really Strangers
WNRS is a brilliant card game and movement to facilitate building relationships. The creative mind behind the platform, Koreen, is a model and artist based in Los Angeles. She created the WNRS card game with the intention of empowering meaningful connections with others. As a photojournalist, her camera was a passport to people, allowing her to talk to anyone about anything. She built the WNRS platform to bring more meaningful connections to everyday life. See her original artwork and join the online community at @werenotreallystrangers.
Rich Roll, best-selling author (Finding Ultra) and host of the wildly popular Rich Roll Podcast, is a wellness and plant-based nutrition advocate. He is a vegan, ultra-endurance athlete, a public speaker, a husband and father of 4, and an inspiration to people worldwide as a transformative example of courageous and healthy living. His weekly conversations with creative thinkers across a wide range of backgrounds provoke, educate, and inspire us to discover and unleash our best and most authentic selves. See Rich’s profile.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.