January 2022 TDM
The Resolution Issue
Welcome to the January 2022 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 ]
Study: Being A Meditator May Not Good For Your Portfolio
Mindfulness practices could have negative financial consequences, a new study suggests. According to new research, individuals who meditate regularly report shorter financial planning horizons and allocate 9-14% less of their liquid assets to investment assets. In other words, meditators tend to spend more and focus on the needs of the now as opposed to looking into the future when it comes to their finances.
However, billionaire investor Ray Dalio is not convinced and is taking issue with the study’s methodology, according to marketwatch.com. He, along with other financial experts, noted that meditation reduces anxiety and helps to avoid the negative emotions and bad mistakes that many investors suffer from by creating a healthier relationship with money. And Dalio recently shared in this article how vital meditation has been to his success.
Bottom line: We’re not too worried about this if one of the most influential investors alive credits meditation with his success.
[ MEDITATION & RESEARCH ]
Do All Practitioners Of A Meditation Style Experience The Same Outcome?
The search for a one-size-fits-all meditation is underway. We know that different styles of meditation (Vipassana vs. Vedic, for example) produce distinct effects in populations. But do all practitioners of one technique experience the same outcome?
According to a group at the HSE Centre for Bioelectric Interfaces, the answer is no. Their study was broken up into experienced meditators (more than two years of practice) and new meditators.
Surprisingly, it was the group of experienced meditators that ended up being “split” by having a relaxation vs. concentration-response to the guided meditation provided. The new meditators fell somewhere in the middle, having no (statistically significant) response in either direction.
There are many factors that may be the cause of this, such as the participants’ previous experience with various techniques or their expectations with guided meditations.
Bottom line: In our humble opinion, the best meditation style is called “consistency.” In other words, be regular with whatever you practice and you will benefit.
The Manifesting Abundance Masterclass in The Happiness Insiders community is open for enrollment. If you’re ready to manifest more abundance, this course is for you (includes complimentary access to my 7-day Meditation Kickstart video course). This masterclass is a part of an ongoing curriculum of inner practices for cultivating happiness where it truly resides (from the inside-out). Other masterclasses include Finding Your Purpose, Overcoming Fear, and Manifesting Abundance. Click here to start your inner happiness journey.
[ MEDITATION & HEALTH ]
5 Free Life-Changing Resolutions for 2022
Still meditating on your New Year resolutions? In case you’re looking for simple and inexpensive ideas, we’ve rounded up 5 areas that will help you have the best year ever:
Eat healthy(er) - Aim for five servings of vegetables a day and work towards cutting out empty calories from your diet. Also, try cooking at home and avoid eating out whenever possible. This will allow you to keep track of what you’re putting into your body. Plus eating out is costly compared to home-cooked meals.
Daily exercise - Jog around the block, walk to the park, jump rope or play hopscotch, spin a hula hoop or go for a hike. You don’t need a $50/mo gym membership to get the blood flowing.
Drink more water - Staying hydrated is vital for maintaining good health and body function. Try to also stay away from alcohol, if possible.
Daily meditation - according to an article by sci-news.com, incorporating holistic disciplines such as meditation and yoga can help boost the immune system without activating inflammatory signals.
Daily gratitude - Cultivating gratitude might be one of the most overlooked tools to keep healthy. It improves both physical and psychological health and improves mental strength.
Bottom line: Not groundbreaking stuff, we know. But these are often overlooked ways to help you stay healthy.
[ MEDITATION & TECHNOLOGY ]
Wait, Now You Can Become Enlightened Without Meditation?
Tell us you meditate without actually meditating. Researchers at the University of Arizona have been stimulating the brain with transcranial ultrasound to induce meditative states, without the actual meditation.
What is it: The “zapping” procedure involves participants receiving transcranial ultrasound frequencies for 5-10 minutes, aimed directly at specific parts of the brain.
Who did it: The SEMA Lab (Sonication Enhanced Mindful Awareness) is made up of a team of about a dozen researchers, co-lead by Shinzen Young, who was ordained as a Shingon Buddhist monk in 1970.
What’s different about this meditation technology: Many meditation gadgets on the market seem to be run by tech entrepreneurs looking to create the snazziest enlightenment toys. We admire that the developers at the SEMA lab strive to give new meditators a taste of what’s to come with a regular practice. Their goal is that if beginners experience the positive effects more quickly, they will be more inclined to stick with a regular meditation practice.
Bottom line: We can keep looking for alternatives to meditation. Or, we could just sit down and meditate.
Meditation Teaching Tour: Spaces are limited for my upcoming Vedic Meditation teaching tour in LA, Atlanta, New York, and London starting January 2022. So don’t wait! Click here to book your spot.
[ MEDITATION & COMMUNITY ]
Naaya Leads The Way In Addressing BIPOC Mental Health
Sinikiwe Dhliwayo became the change she wanted to see in the world. After working for health magazines for years, Dhliwayo had enough of promoting green juices and organic salads to privileged folks. So she started Naaya (meaning "healing," in Shona, Zimbabwe's official language) in 2018 to offer culturally sensitive yoga and meditation to New York’s BIPOC community—eventually adding therapy as a way to help youth.
Dhliwayo’s endeavor for helping this population is a combination of providing youth mental health resources that she didn’t have and supporting the rising generation of activism and wellness.
Bottom line: With mental health as fragile as ever, we love that Naaya is providing youth with access to therapy and other tools to nurture their healing.
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 ]
Baby Steps Towards Change and Progress
I have been marinating with the idea of change and progress. It’s mostly been with “adulting” things like setting up retirement accounts, paying off student loans, or having new responsibilities.
Sometimes it feels like I’m at the bottom of a mountain with a desire to be at the summit. The thousands of feet in elevation and miles of trails are overwhelming. I want that end result but am frozen by the immensity of work it will take to get there.
Although the results of change can be extremely monumental, on a day-to-day level, it may feel extremely mundane.
Sometimes a 10-minute quick bodyweight workout during a boring work meeting (camera off…shhhh) beats that 70-minute full-body gym workout (that I’ll probably skip because I’m too tired after work and all the barbells are taken at Planet Fitness at 5 pm).
Similarly, a 60-second breathing exercise right when I’m craving more equanimity is much more potent compared to waiting until later in the day to (hopefully) roll out my yoga mat for a full-length class.
…see where I’m going with this?
It’s these teeny tiny wins that still put us in the net positive for the day, one step at a time.
These can be rather simple (practically unimpressive) additions to our lifestyles, whether that’s putting $10 in your retirement account each week (assuming you don’t already do so) or reading three pages in a book while waiting for coffee to brew or tea to steep.
If you want dramatic change down the line, sometimes it’s the simple, humdrum, yet consistent actions that will get you there the quickest.
[By regular TDM contributor Jordan Pletzer]
[ READ. WATCH. LISTEN. ]
Read: Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail
From billionaire investor, Ray Dalio, who has spent half a century studying global economies and markets, Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order examines history’s most turbulent economic and political periods to reveal why the times ahead will likely be radically different from those we’ve experienced in our lifetimes—and to offer practical advice on how to navigate them well. Read more
Watch: 14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible
14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible is a 2021 documentary film that follows Nepalese mountaineer Nirmal Purja and his team as they attempt to climb all 14 eight-thousander peaks within a record time of under 7 months (the previous record was over 7 years). Those of us who will never make it to the top of one of these peaks will get an opportunity to see what the top of the world looks like with images captured by Purja himself. Watch now
Listen: The Spiritually Sassy Show
The Spiritually Sassy Show is hosted by spiritual revolutionary and international best-selling author Sah D'Simone, for conversations that inspire and enlighten. Sah interviews a diverse set of thought leaders, disruptors, change-makers, and visionaries who pave the way for a limitless, deeply inclusive, radically joyful state of being in their own unique ways. Listen now
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. Start listening now.
[ REPORT FROM THE FIELD ]
Meditation has taught me how to regulate my emotions and rely on my breath any time I felt anxious or overly upset.
What have you gotten from Meditation? So much! I've always been a very anxious person. Sitting still in silence used to make me feel like my head would explode from the pressure of my thoughts. Meditation has helped me be calmer and less anxious. I still don't love sitting still (or silence), but I deal with both so much better than I did before. Meditation also taught me how to regulate my emotions and rely on my breath any time I felt anxious or overly upset. Having that space between stimulus and response feels like a superpower. I'm no longer controlled by my emotions and rarely get caught in the cycle of endless anxious rumination like I used to.
Strangest meditation moment? Probably the strangest experience I've had is when I feel completely disconnected from my body. Like I'm floating above; my mind completely separate. As someone who is very attuned to their body, this is a very weird experience.
Most unexpected benefit of meditation? I fidget much less than I used to. I have less anxious energy, and as a result, can actually sit still for a little while. Being able to chill out and rest has even helped my athletic recovery. While I've always logically known that rest is important for training progress, I could rarely get myself to do it. Now, I work hard in my workouts, and then I'm able to rest and recover better than before.
Two of Our Favorite Instagram Accounts with a Purpose
Nikki Walton (left) is a leading expert in inner and outer beauty and has been featured nationally and internationally in publications including The New York Times, Forbes, and People Mag to name a few. Nikki also launched CurlyNikki.com, which became the #1 natural haircare/beauty blog in the world, reaching millions of women in over 30 countries, and influencing the marketing and formulation of products for major beauty brands. Follow her @curlynikki
Baratunde Thurston (right) is an Emmy-nominated host who has worked for The Onion, produced for The Daily Show, advised the Obama White House, and wrote the New York Times bestseller How To Be Black. He’s the creator and host of How To Citizen with Baratunde which Apple named one of its favorite podcasts of 2020. Baratunde holds space for hard and complex conversations with his blend of humor, wisdom, and compassion. Follow him @baratunde
Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
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