June 2021 TDM
The Knowing Where to Look Issue
Welcome to the June 2021 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 (even during a pandemic).
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[ MEDITATION & NEWS ]
Is Meditation Research Biased Towards Positive Results?
Short and surprising answer: Yes! But don’t chuck your meditation cushion just yet. According to Willoughby Britton, the Director of the Clinical and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory at Brown University, negative results are just uber tough to study. People often misrepresent their experiences, sometimes because they are ashamed or want to please the researcher.
Whatever the reason, the lack of negative reporting skews the studies and creates a positivity bias. But Willoughby hopes that her work will help other researchers learn how to properly interpret study results so scientists can better understand the good and the bad of what happens when we sit to meditate.
Bottom line: Like people, meditation studies are also evolving.
[ MEDITATION & RESEARCH ]
How Spiritually “Fit” Are You?
Introducing CrossFit for your spirit. Researchers say that by 2050, 152 million people worldwide will be living with Alzheimer's disease. And so far, there are no drugs that have a substantial positive impact on either the prevention or reversal of cognitive decline. However, a growing body of evidence has found that making lifestyle changes can have a beneficial effect on overall cognitive performance.
Cut to: spiritual fitness (a new concept in medicine that centers on psychological and spiritual wellbeing). Researchers say that being spiritually fit may reduce multiple risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. You can read more in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. But apparently, 12 is the magic number—that is, practicing meditation for as little as 12-minutes a day may help to keep Alzheimer’s disease away.
Bottom line: For your “SpiritualFit” W.O.D. - Meditation E.M.O.M. for 12 minutes.
[ MEDITATION & TECHNOLOGY ]
60 Mental Health Resources to Up Your Self-Care Game
Self-care can easily become the first victim of a hectic schedule. So, if you’re running on empty and finding it hard to take make some “you” time, we’ve got you covered. New York youth culture mag Complex has compiled a list of 60 great free online resources to fill your bucket. Below is a sampling of the categories, plus they have a listing of 24-hour hotlines for immediate support.
Meditation resources – try The Chopra App for some self-care guidance.
General mental health - try BEAM (Black Emotional & Mental Health) for toolkits to stay connected and heal.
Therapy for less – a list of resources for diverse audiences: LGBTQ, AAPI, Black Americans, Latinx, and Indigenous.
Bottom line: Love and kisses to all of the advocates out there helping people front lines. If you’re struggling, there’s a big world out there ready to listen. Make some noise!
[ MEDITATION & BUSINESS ]
Breaking: Amazon installs meditation booths for warehouse employees
Well, guess the whole sweatshop thing was a big misunderstanding? Meet AmaZen, a phone booth-looking station that warehouse workers can now visit during their strict 20 minutes break. It’s part of Amazon’s new program to reduce worker injury rates and fortify their minds.
AmaZen guides employees through short guided meditations, plays videos of calming scenes, and more. They’re trying. The kiosks are part of Amazon’s WorkingWell program, a $300 million initiative to help Amazon become the Earth’s safest place to work. They’ve also recently being recognized by LinkedIn as one of the most desirable places to work in the US.
Bottom line: A meditation booth is indeed a great way to create a less-stressed workforce—that and maybe a few more bathroom breaks.
[ MEDITATION & POP CULTURE ]
What Do the Pope, DJ Khaled, and Chris Hemsworth Have in Common?
They can’t stop talking about meditation. The Pope just gave a shoutout on the Vatican News about the importance of meditation, calling it a form of prayer that helps “engage thought, imagination, emotion, and desire” to deepen our spiritual lives.
For more hands-on celebrity meditation promoting, DJ Khaled narrates a three-part audio guided meditation that was released with his BLESSWELL CBD grooming products.
Last but not least, God of Thunder Chris Hemsworth just released his own introductory meditation series on his health and fitness app, with guides like Stress Release, Peak Performance, and Visualization, among others.
Bottom line: Whether they are just cashing in or genuinely trying to help, celebrities getting the word out on the benefits of meditation is always good advertising.
[ MEDITATION & TECHNIQUE ]
How to Be More Consistent with Your Daily Practice?
Have realistic expectations: Whatever seems to be an elusive goal, find ways to create achievable steps to help you get going in that direction.
Why?: Why you meditate can be a huge motivator for becoming a daily meditator and it's okay if it shifts over time.
Feel it, then let it go: If you drop the ball, feel the guilt and bummed-out-ness of it for 12 seconds - then move tf on.
Do it with someone else: Company can add some pizzazz to a usually mundane activity.
Ground before the meditation: A ritual can help create a routine to make your meditation practice feel easier.
Bottom line: A few tweaks to how you approach your practice can help keep you meditating regularly.
[ REALITY CHECK ]
Real meditation doesn’t look anything like the photos you see online, of people sitting perfectly erect on cushions, in “brightly-lit”, whitewashed rooms or atop cliff sides overlooking a ravine.
Real meditation happens in living rooms with little people walking around, banging on things. It happens in the closet after a fight with your spouse. It happens in the car while parked on a busy street, before going into a bar for drinks with friends.
Real meditation gets interrupted by the neighbor watching “Wheel of Fortune” too loud, or the dog barking at a squirrel. Real meditation involves drool, and sleep, and farts, and bizarre thoughts about armadillos. Real meditation is spontaneous and cluttered.
Internet meditation happens only when the camera is on. Real meditation happens when nobody is watching.
[Reprinted with permission from pg. 79 of Knowing Where to Look: 108 Daily Doses of Inspiration by Light Watkins]
[ READ. WATCH. LISTEN. ]
Read: Knowing Where To Look
The most recent creation is a collection of inspirational stories, essays, and exercises from TDM founder, Light Watkins, meant to spark your creative instincts, activate your inner guidance, and enliven your dreams. It’s called Knowing Where to Look and it’s available everywhere books are sold. Read more.
Watch: Knock Down The House
Follow the stories of four women as they face adversity and decide to fight back, setting themselves up on a journey that will change their lives and the country forever. The documentary spotlights Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Vilela, Cori Bush, and Paula Jean Swearengin as they build a movement to challenge the powerful status quo in Congress. Check it out here.
Listen: Interviews about Knowing Where To Look
I’ve done over a dozen interviews talking about the fascinating backstory of my new book, Knowing Where To Look. If you’re curious about how it all came to be, tune in here.
[ REPORT FROM THE FIELD ]
Meditation has helped me to create space between the things that don’t go my way and my reaction to them.
What have you gotten from Meditation? Meditation has helped me to create space between the things that don’t go my way and my reaction to them. As a result, I find that I’m able to adapt to most situations pretty quickly, or just take a moment to consider all sides.
Strangest meditation moment? When I meditated in the change room at the dry cleaners in New York. They said my clothes weren’t going to be ready for another 30 minutes, so I snuck in there to meditate, hoping that the owner wouldn’t discover me in there meditating.
Most unexpected benefit? I was surprised by how easy it was to fall asleep after I started meditating. It’s not that I slept poorly before, but I just noticed how much more restful my sleep became. As a meditation teacher, I noticed the same thing in my students. Many reported that meditation dramatically improved their sleep.
[Light is founder of The Daily Meditator and author of Knowing Where to Look: 108 Daily Doses of Inspiration]
[ WHO TO FOLLOW ]
Two of Our Favorite Instagram Accounts with a Purpose
angel Kyodo Williams (left) envisions a new America, and her feed inspires readers to do the same. As a Black, mixed-race, women Zen priest, she captures imaginations and expands visions. She believes that “without inner change there can be no outer change.” Be moved to action at @zenchangeangel.
Sadhguru, (right) a poet, guru, mountain mystic, yogi, and chef, has transformed millions of lives with his visionary wisdom. His work and his Isha Foundation, inspire us to find the harmony between our body, mind, and spirit. His @sadhguru feed is a joy to explore as it mixes moments from his past with his present thoughts and adventures.
You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
— C.S. Lewis
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