June 2022 TDM
The Authenticity Issue
Welcome to the 38th 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 ]
Meditation in the Public Servant Industry
Working a career as a civil servant can be extremely stressful. To combat this, there are two movements to help out those in this population.
The Santa Ana Police Department now offers dispatchers onsite ways to decompress from their jobs including guided meditations, a walking treadmill, and (our favorite) a therapy dog named Shadow.
Furthermore, the digital health company Get Well teamed up with Health Journeys, who already create guided imagery and meditation audios. The goal is for these to be accessible to Get Well’s clients, with a particular emphasis on veterans.
Bottom line: The more ways that meditation can help the public, the better.
[ MEDITATION & PARENTING ]
The Not-So-Secret Secret to Surviving Parenthood
Whether you’re new or have been around the block a few times, parenting does NOT get any easier. But according to the-scientist.com, here are 5 reasons why having a daily meditation practice is a huge game-changer for parents:
Biohack your sleep
You’ll become responsive and less reactive
Enriches the present moment
You can do it anywhere in just 20 minutes
Set a powerful example for your children
Bottom line: You can’t serve from an empty vessel, so having a go-to self-care tool like meditation can definitely help bring your A-game as a parent.
Join Light’s Double-Dose Meditation Challenge. This is where you commit to meditating TWICE a day for 108 straight days. If you have a practice that is intended to be done twice a day, or if you just want to double your dose of meditation, this is a way to hold yourself accountable to two meditations a day—one in the morning, and one in the afternoon or evening. Consistency comes down to accountability, support, and community, which is what you get with this challenge. And once you complete all 108 days, your entry fee will be credited back to you to use with another challenge or Masterclass in the Happiness Insiders community. Click here to join.
[ MEDITATION & RESEARCH ]
Does Meditation Make You Act Like a Butthead?
We always hear about how meditation promotes pro-social behavior but is this always true? According to Andrew Hafenbrack at the University of Washington, the answer is “no.”
He says that there are certain styles of meditation that quell the urge to “make amends” and others that encourage people to take positive action after they did something to harm another person.
In his own research, he studied how meditation changed people’s way of dealing with guilt. Those that were part of the mindfulness group were less likely to try to remedy a situation that they did wrong.
However, people in the Loving-Kindness group were significantly more likely to “contact, apologize, and make amends with the person they had harmed.
Bottom line: As meditation is becoming more widespread in the research field, we are learning more about the nuances that exist underneath the blanket statements about its effects on us.
Mindfulness > Opioids: How To Dose During Chronic Pain
How much of a difference does mindfulness make in reducing opioid misuse? Apparently a lot, according to Dr. Eric Garland, from the University of Utah.
A few months ago, he and his colleagues published a research paper sharing the results of the largest clinical trial that show a “psychological intervention can reduce opioid misuse in people with chronic pain.”
Opioid addiction rewires a brain into becoming more sensitive to drug-related cues (like a pill bottle) while limiting simple pleasures we might experience in day-to-day life (such as a sunset or a delicious meal).
By combining mindfulness exercises with a “savoring” technique, 36% of the study participants cut their opioid dose by at least half.
Bottom line: Between April 2020 to April 2021, about 200 people died each day in the US from opioid overdose. If learning a style of meditation can help limit this, we are 100% on board.
Join Light’s 108-Day Movement Challenge: Light Watkins created this challenge to provide you with a daily exercise that can be completed within 10-15 minutes, a daily step-count goal, and a daily stretch—plus community, support, and accountability. It will get you in the habit of moving your body each day, and will be the perfect complement to your daily meditation and inner work. Click here to join.
[ MEDITATION & TECHNOLOGY ]
Is It “Authentic” Buddhism If You Get It From a Podcast or App?
The Buddha didn’t gain enlightenment through a cell phone. Should we? On one hand, the digital world opens up opportunities for learning and self-growth. Yet, on the other hand, digital media makes it easy for exotic philosophies and practices to be appropriated or diluted down.
So where is the line drawn between these?
Gregory Grieve, a professor in the Religious Studies Department at the University of North Carolina – Greensboro, says that a practice is authentic if it explores deeper meanings (eudaemonic). If we are just chasing short-term pleasures (hedonic), then that could be a sign it’s an inauthentic practice.
Bottom line: If we didn’t believe that there was at least some power in self-transformation via digital mediums, we wouldn’t be creating this newsletter.
[ MEDITATION & POP CULTURE ]
Guess Who’s Dropping a Meditation Album?
From You Oughta Know to You Oughta Om… Alanis Morissette announced that she will be releasing a meditation album in collaboration with Darkside’s Dave Harrington. The ironically named, the storm before the calm, is the Canadian-American singer & songwriter’s first dabble into the meditation and music scene, and it will be released on June 17, 2022.
On her latest profile with Rollingstones.com, Ms. Morissette said that making the album kept her super connected and accountable during COVID when she felt like she was going to disappear and float away.
Fans (or if you’re just curious) can listen to an advance track “safety—empath in paradise,” here.
Bottom line: If you’re a fan of Alanis Morissette, this might be your gateway to becoming a Daily Meditator, so you oughta give it a listen.
Enroll in Light’s new Masterclass: How To Move On After Breaking Up. The goal of this Masterclass to is help you navigate one of the hardest (and most treacherous) life situations which is moving on from a break-up—especially if you were blindsided. Everyone has advice on what you should do to move on but the truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. But, there are spiritual principles that, if understood and embodied, will help you successfully move through this mourning and rebuilding process as quickly and efficiently as possible. Click here to enroll now.
[ REALITY CHECK ]
The following is a lovely reflection on the power of presence by Buddhist monk, Thích Nhất Hạnh:
"There are two ways to wash the dishes. The first is to wash the dishes in order to have clean dishes, and the second is to wash the dishes in order to wash the dishes...
"If, while washing the dishes, we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as if they were a nuisance, then we are not 'washing the dishes to wash the dishes.'
"What’s more, we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes. In fact, we are completely incapable of realizing the miracle of life while standing at the sink.
"If we can’t wash the dishes, then chances are we won’t be able to drink our tea either. While drinking the cup of tea, we will only be thinking of other things, barely aware of the cup in our hands. Thus we are sucked away into the future—and we are incapable of actually living one minute of life."
Today, let’s attempt to live as many minutes of life as we can.
[ READ. WATCH. LISTEN. ]
Read: The Power of One More: The Ultimate Guide to Happiness and Succes
From renowned keynote speaker and performance expert, Ed Mylett, The Power of One More is both inspirational and informational. It gives you practical tips on how to take immediate action and make significant changes in your life, both personally and professionally. Read more
Watch: "A Cloud Never Dies" a biographical documentary of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh
Narrated by Peter Coyote, A Cloud Never Dies depicts the rise of a young humble Vietnamese monk who became one of the world’s most influential and beloved spiritual leaders, inspiring millions to practice mindfulness to find peace in themselves and in the world. This film was commissioned by the Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism and created by Thich Nhat Hanh’s monastic historians and community members, together with Max Pugh and Marc J. Francis, who produced the feature documentary, Walk With Me. Watch now
Listen: Embracing Bliss with Jeff Kober
Hosted by the actor/meditation teacher, Jeff Kober, Embracing Bliss is your daily dose of spiritual reflection laced with humor and occasional profanity. From darkness to light, just a little each day, consciousness can be changed. Embracing Bliss will show you how. 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 ]
Meditation connects me with my intuition and brings me peace, and joy.
What have you gotten from Meditation? Connection with my intuition, peace, and joy. And feeling grounded and centered.
Strangest meditation moment? Mostly I get new ideas and insights.
Most unexpected benefit of meditation? I really enjoy it at the beginning of a group singalong as a way to get participants to get present and begin to build group cohesion.
[Chris is leading a singalong event called VOMO where everyone is welcome to sing, dance, and meditate to the biggest anthems. Click here for more info]
Two of Our Favorite Instagram Accounts with a Purpose
Dr. Will Cole (left) is a leading functional medicine expert who consults people around the world via webcam, having started one of the first functional medicine telehealth centers in the world. Named one of the top 50 functional and integrative doctors in the nation, Cole specializes in clinically investigating underlying factors of chronic disease and customizing a functional medicine approach for thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, and brain problems. He is also the host of the popular The Art of Being Well podcast and bestselling author of Ketotarian, The Inflammation Spectrum, and the New York Times bestseller Intuitive Fasting. Follow him @drwillcole
Ram Dass (right) also known as Baba Ram Dass, was a spiritual teacher, guru of modern yoga, psychologist, and author. His best-selling 1971 book Be Here Now, which has been described by multiple reviewers as "seminal", helped popularize Eastern spirituality and yoga in the West. Follow him @babaramdass
What we think determines what happens to us, so if we want to change our lives, we need to stretch our minds.
— Wayne Dyer