June 2019 TDM
It's All Evolution Issue
Welcome to the second 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 Bliss More author and daily meditator Light Watkins, along with Kelly Dye. Our intention is simply to provide you with more inspiration for committing to your daily practice. In this issue, we cover drugs, weird emotions, sports, no booze and meditation for black people. Enjoy, and if you feel charmed, please share with your circle. As always, sending you a big "Namaste," "Sat Nam," or "Jai Guru Deva" wherever you are in the world.
[ MEDITATION & NEWS ]
Take your daily "meds"
Medication vs. meditation. Did you know that over 100 million Americans are dealing with some form of chronic pain, and that 46 people die of opioid overdose in the U.S. each day? Well turns out, the effects of meditation can be as powerful as those of morphine, making your daily meditation practice a legit alternative to pain meds. In clinical trials, meditation has been shown to reduce chronic pain by up to 90% in some patients.
Morphine and methadone are among the most commonly prescribed opioids, but they also happen to be extremely addictive. And because use has skyrocketed over the past decade, some folks are suggesting that we’re in an "opioid epidemic."
Opioids work by flooding the brain with dopamine, yet clinical studies show that meditation can increase dopamine just as effectively, yet naturally, and without the nasty side effects like mood swings, feeling high or sedated, or insomnia and depression.
(Warning: This is not medical advice. Definitely do your own research and even if you’re a daily meditator, please consult your doctor before coming off any pain meds you’re taking).
Bottom Line: We prefer to be heavily meditated.
[ MEDITATION & RESEARCH ]
Meditation got you in your feelings?
The elephant in the room. Sure, we love to gush about all the things we love about meditation, but daily meditation can also cause emotional releases, which can come in the form of unexpected sadness, anger, and anxiety. In other words, meditation will sometimes get you into your feelings.
One recent study found that around 25% of regular meditators report occasional experiences of anger and anxiety in their meditation practice. This is usually indicative of something being released as a result of the daily practice.
If you've also been experiencing weird feelings or strong emotional releases, not to worry—your meditation practice isn’t broken. Meditation catalyzes a lot of positive changes within the psyche and physiology, and in our experience, an emotional release often leaves the practitioner feeling lighter and more adaptable.
Positive transformation is a long-game and doesn’t always feel like a cakewalk every time we sit—especially at the beginning of a daily meditation practice. That's why ongoing support from a teacher is important
If you're experiencing lots of releases, we highly recommend reaching out to your teacher for advice. If you don't have a teacher, Bliss More author Light Watkins offers a comprehensive meditation assessment here for a small fee.
Bottom Line: If meditation gets you into your feelings, remember that it’s just a part of the purification process and you’re not doing anything wrong.
[ MEDITATION & POP CULTURE ]
Look who's not afraid to meditate at work
LeBron is out of the closet. So many new meditators are afraid to get caught meditating at work—but not LeBron James. He leads a host of NBA stars who regularly and openly use the practice to focus while at work. Once, he famously meditated during a timeout to help him refocus on the game.
Below are a few other examples of NBA stars who are no stranger to the practice:
Former Laker Kobe Bryant still meditates every morning for at least 10-15 minutes no matter how busy his schedule is.
NBA star Stephen Curry says he uses visualization techniques to think ahead of his opponents in basketball games.
Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons says his meditation practice helps him live more in the moment and block out the things he has no control over in life.
Most recently, the other half of Golden State Warrior's "Splash Brothers," Klay Thompson, started meditating and claims his daily practice is what gives him his edge.
Bottom line: If they see the value of meditating on the job, should we?
[ MEDITATION & LIFESTYLE ]
Sober in the city
The latest buzz. Drinkers: no judgement here. We too appreciate a glass of rosé or cider on a fine summer’s day. But we’ve found that since starting our daily meditation practice, the natural buzz sticks around a lot longer, and therefore the alcohol buzz has lost a lot of its luster.
When given the choice, we just prefer to be more conscious in the world and in social situations (rather than wearing booze goggles). So we’re really digging this growing trend of sober social options in big cities. In New York City, the sober bar scene is taking off. Read about some great nightlife options here and cool spots for mocktails here.
Bottom Line: "Happy hour" is taking on a new meaning.
[ MEDITATION & TECHNOLOGY ]
Meditation for people of color
Heck yeah! We often feel like the world of wellness can appear very, well, white. It’s no secret that the meditation scene is extremely lacking when it comes to diversity. So it’s nice to see some progress being made in this area with the launch of Liberate Meditation: an app that describes itself as being specifically “for the black, indigenous and people of color community.”
The talks and meditations featured on the app cover topics like microaggressions, racism, ancestors and body confidence. Many guides begin their session by introducing themselves and their ethnic background, and we love it!
Bottom Line: Feeling both welcome and safe is such a critical element of healthy spiritual community. Props to these guys for building something that fits the bill for an oft-neglected population.
[ REALITY CHECK ]
It's all evolution
Change is the new black. New meditators often think that life should become smoother with daily meditation. But here's the deal: if you're on planet Earth, there's still going to be a fair bit of external drama from time to time. And here's what we want to remember when going through it: it's all evolution.
In other words, drama indicates that something is changing. And from a meditation perspective, all change is evolutionary in nature. Therefore, we can infer that the changes we experience in and around us are happening for our highest good—even the so-called "bad" stuff.
This doesn't mean we have to accept any change as permanent, or even like it. By all means, do whatever you need to do to adapt to it or move past it. Just make sure you're not seeing it as an obstacle to your true evolutionary path. If anything, it's a necessary part of your path—meaning, on some level, it's helping you grow.
Bottom line: No matter what's happening, there's a 99.9% chance thatyou're right where you're supposed to be...
[ READ. WATCH. LISTEN. ]
Ready to take it up a notch?
Read: Don’t Hate, Meditate!
Our dear friend and long-time Los Angeles meditation teacher Megan Monahan offers us a no-nonsense guide to meditation, geared towards everyday soul-searchers. She'll help you unpack the five spiritual mindsets that are key to moving out of constriction and fear and into a more expansive space within. Read now
We love the documentary, Heal. Produced and directed by longtime meditator Kelly Noonan Gores, this film will empower you with a new understanding of the miraculous nature of the human body and the extraordinary healer within us all. Healing can be extremely complex and deeply personal, but it can also happen spontaneously in a moment. Through these inspiring and emotional stories we find out what works, what doesn't, and why. Watch now
Listen: Under the Skin Podcast
Russell Brand’s interview podcast asks “what’s beneath the surface?” — of the people we admire, ideas that define our time and the history we’re told. We find his interviews with the luminaries of our time to be totally fascinating and jam-packed with personality. Listen now
[ REPORT FROM THE FIELD ]
Name: Solomon Russell
Occupation: Professor and salsa instructor
Lives in: Los Angeles, CA
Learned to meditate: 10 years ago
Report from the field:“Ten years ago I learned to meditate and my life hasn’t been perfect since, but each day, week, and month, by and large, it’s been a little better. The best description I’ve ever heard of the practice is, ‘it makes you more you.’ The world is constantly telling you who you are… you should be a man, you’re your bank account statement, you should be in a relationship, you’re that voice in your head. But ultimately you just have to have the experience of being who you really are each day, and then maybe one day you’ll find all those other things aren’t that important.”
[ WHO TO FOLLOW ]
Two of our favorite daily meditator Instagram accounts with a purpose
Lauren Singer (left)
No one can accuse Lauren Singer of not walking her talk. The Trash is for Tossers founder and daily meditator has been committed to a Zero Waste journey since 2012, and she now uses YouTube and Instagram to show the world how leading a Zero Waste lifestyle can be simple, cost-effective, timely, fun, and entirely possible for everyone and anyone. If she can do it, she claims, anyone can!
Shona Vertue (right)
When it comes to the intersection of fitness and wellness, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who keeps it more real than daily meditator and Aussie wellness guru Shona Vertue, who teaches her followers everything from how to do a proper deadlift, to the importance of regular elimination, to the finer points of a kettle bell swing. She's got a huge global community and a budding YouTube page as well.
“We don’t sit in meditation to be good meditators. We sit in meditation so that we’ll be more awake in our lives.”
Interested in receiving this monthly newsletter?
If so, just click the green button below.