March 2020 TDM
The Stay at Home issue
Welcome to the eleventh issue of The Daily Meditator ✌🏾This is your monthly resource for fun, quirky, interesting, and noteworthy happenings in and around the worldwide meditation community—created by Bliss More author and daily meditator Light Watkins. Written and edited by Light, Emerson Wolfe, and Kristen Vandivier.
Our mission is simple: to broaden the horizon of what a daily meditator looks like while providing you with more knowledge and inspiration for committing to your daily practice.
The stay at home issue: we’re living in unprecedented times, uncharted waters, whatever you want to call it... so we’ve dedicated this issue to bringing you the most important self-care tips for your social-distancing, self-isolation, quarantine experience—as well as some signs of hope from around the world. Check it out, and be sure to let us know what you think. We love receiving your feedback.
[ MEDITATION & LIFESTYLE ]
Your coronavirus protection kit
Time to pull out the big guns! With coronavirus, the immune system has gained overnight celebrity status. Everybody wants to strengthen their immune system so it can help to protect them against coronavirus—or, if you become exposed, you want our immune system to be like Tyson Fury to coronavirus’s Deontay Wilder.
Enter meditation. For years, meditation teachers have been telling any- and everyone who will listen about how the daily meditation practice can boost one’s immune system. And assuming you already have a daily practice, we wanted to give you some additional tools to give the coronavirus the ol’ one-two punch.
Meditation is the ace of spades of the immune system because it helps to activate all of the other systems that the body needs to ward off viruses and infectious disease. So above all, make your practice more consistent than ever.
Walking has been shown to produce powerful, immune-boosting endorphins. Try to get in 5,000 to 7,000 steps a day, or at least some meaningful form of movement. Plus you’ll need to burn off some of those “corona” cookies you’ve been binging on while in isolation.
The coronavirus no likey sunlight. Going outside and breathing fresh air is still legendary for immune health. Whether there’s corona or no corona, get your behind outside.
Making a daily gratitude list produces mood-boosting hormones as well, which strengthens immunity. How cool is that? You can just sit around thinking about all of the stuff you really appreciate in life, and your body fights viruses even harder.
Replace the news with comedies
Too much news can be toxic, but there’s no such thing as too much comedy. No one ever felt worse after binge-watching a few stand-up comedy specials—thanks to those mood-boosting, corona-fighting endorphins that are released with laughter.
Remember a few weeks ago when you were complaining about not getting enough sleep? Well, now would be a great time to catch up on rest—and your immune system will love you for it.
Bottom line: Meditation is only one tool in your protection kit. Fight coronavirus with as many as you can.
How to stay sane during isolation
Going stir-crazy with too much down time? Even for meditators, this level of cold-turkey isolation can make you bonkers. But here are some preventative measures to help keep your sane:
Maintain a routine
An under-stimulated nervous system needs to stay engaged with daily self-care rituals. Drink lots of water. Continue practicing personal hygiene. Eat well balanced meals on a regular schedule—and don't forget the occasional treat!
Talk to friends on the phone, start a group chat, start an online book club.
Host a movie viewing party where everyone watches the same film on Netflix. Listen to podcasts and share them with your friends.
Practice good emotional hygiene. That means letting yourself cry it out for just a second, but not letting negative thoughts run your emotions. Maintaining a positive, hopeful outlook provides a safe framework for you to interact with darker energy.
Try supplementary forms of meditation
If you're pulling your hair out as a result of trying to work from home while homeschooling your kids, try this grounding practice. It pairs really well with this nidra practice for deep healing.
Bottom line: Whether this pandemic blows over in a matter of weeks or lasts longer than we think, these are solid tools to incorporate for life.
[ SIGNS OF HOPE ]
Good news: COVID-19 slows in China
Here's some hope from China. As the rest of the world locks down, Hubei—the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak—eases restrictions. Chinese officials reported thousands of new cases daily last month, but only 11 new cases in a briefing Saturday, indicating signs of the virus slowing.
More countries are facing restrictions as they ramp up efforts to quash the virus. New Zealand just announced a mandatory 2 week quarantine for all international travellers after only six confirmed cases of the virus. Iran has confirmed more than 12,000 new cases with several hundred dead. Europe is considered a pandemic hotspot, and borders across the continent are closing.
The United States has pledged $50 billion in pandemic related aid on the tails of its 50th death from the virus. Other news outlets report the Canadian-US border closing in an effort to contain the spread of the virus.
If the results in China are any indiction, it appears that strong efforts to quarantine the virus now will indeed help to slow the spread and lessen the severity of this pandemic.
Bottom line: Even good news seems like a rare commodity during a global pandemic, there is hope.
The green side of being quarantined
The unintended side-effect of mandatory quarantine: Global pollution has noticeably declined, and the Venice canals are running clearer than ever before! With the entire country of Italy on lockdown, there are 700,000 fewer tourists than any typical March, and even the dolphins are taking notice.
Air quality has also massively improved, according to European Space Agency data. The amount of nitrogen dioxide produced by power plants and passenger vehicles has fallen immensely. This tracks with other findings around the world, including China’s own air quality improving so drastically it can be seen on satellite imagery.
Bottom line: We wonder if the dolphins are going to return to New York’s East River after the lockdown?
Free Sweetgreen for Hospitals during the pandemic
Saving doctors from having to eat hospital food. Our friends at Sweetgreen (the founders are all daily meditators) are keeping doctors well-fed and well-nourished by delivering free, fresh salads and bowls to hospitals in the cities they serve (Los Angeles, DC, Philly, Boston, and New York City). The company has closed its 104 brick and mortar locations and is offering customers free delivery instead.
Bottom line: The immune system loves healthy meals, so thanks to Sweetgreen for keeping our front line strong.
[ MEDITATION & POP CULTURE ]
Need some fresh meditations? RZA's got you covered
“RZA helps me ease my anxiety,” said no one ever... until now! Looks like the WuTang Clan’s front man and longtime vegan and meditator, RZA, has joined the fight against stress and anxiety.
Talk about a fun way to spend your self-imposed quarantine! In collaboration with Tazo Tea, RZA recently released a 5-track meditation EP called Guided Explorations to help us stay grounded. Listen to RZA’s familiar voice offer short guided practices and spiritual discussions, layered over the most buttery meditation beats you’ve ever heard.
Each track is about five minutes, so these are perfect quick practices on your quest to chill the noise. RZA thoughtfully weaves together story-telling about the early history of Wutang with practical advice for breathing and grounding.
Bottom line: This guided meditation is one part oral history and one part connection to mystery—and we dig it.
“Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” —Fred Rogers
Teachers and brands who are here to help you
My Intent - Free self-care resources
@Tracee_Stanley - Free 21-day meditation course
@chaunabryant - Free virtual breathwork workshop.
@wellgoneweird - Free morning meditation.
@omgirlalli - Twice daily 9am + 8pm Pacific time
@sherise.lee - Free daily sound baths.
@thevedicmethod - Free group meditations every few days
@maryamajayi - Free breathwork practice
@loveannapurnaliving - Peaceful tools for panicked times
@meditationwithoutborders - Free group meditations in Spanish and English
@animalalchemy - Free flow and yoga nidra
@tricyclemag - Free virtual meditation sessions
@anandameditation - Free yoga nidra meditations
@danielahearn of @loveyourzenlife - Free metta meditations
@nidraandsound - Free meditations and sound healing
[ READ. WATCH. LISTEN. ]
Read: Inquire Within
Inquire Within, composed by daily meditator In-Q, is about taking your pain and transforming it into growth. Contemplating universal issues of love, loss, forgiveness, and belief, it is a provocative and entertaining debut from an award-winning poet. Rhythmic. Original. Authentic. Inspiring. A journey to the center of the soul. You’ll never look at poetry the same way again (See more about In-Q below). Read now
How might your life be better with less? Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things examines the many flavors of minimalism by taking the audience inside the lives of minimalists from all walks of life—families, entrepreneurs, architects, artists, journalists, scientists, and even a former Wall Street broker—all of whom are striving to live a meaningful life with less. Watch here
Listen: Tim Ferriss interviews Jack Kornfield (again)
They discuss how to find peace amidst COVID-19, and how to cultivate calm in chaos. "We have the opportunity, even in difficult times, to let our spirit shine."
— Jack Kornfield
[ REPORT FROM THE FIELD ]
How has your meditation practice prepared you for what’s happening with the Coronavirus drama? I describe meditation as a gym for letting go. Our whole lives are ultimately about letting go. We let go of our thoughts, our emotions, our things, our relationships, our bodies, and in the end our identities. Meditation is the place where I practice the art of letting go and returning to the moment, because that is where the beauty is. Right now, with the anxiety of the virus, meditation is more valuable than ever, because it keeps me present and grounded, rather than living in fear of an uncertain future.
What are the similarities in poetry and meditation? Creativity is about noticing and then capturing inspiration through an artistic outlet. Meditation helps me to remain open to the information inside and outside of me, so that I can better pay attention to when I am moved or inspired and express it through my poetry.
Most unexpected benefit of meditation? The most unexpected benefit of my meditation practice has been my overall well-being. I feel happier and healthier in every area of my life. I am so grateful to the gift that I have received from sitting in the silence.
[ WHO TO FOLLOW ]
Two of our favorite wellness accounts for your home routine
Yoga With Adriene
Adriene is the yogi extraordinaire behind the popular and FREE online yoga brand, Yoga with Adriene. Her mission is to make yoga more accessible to everyone. Her Youtube channel has 6 million followers and she’s got an amazing 30-day yoga challenge to get your body more open for your daily meditation practice. And we love how real she keeps it for her audience. Follow Adriene here on Instagram
Logan, aka the Functional Coach, is the founder of Deuce Gym in Venice and he’s the author of the bestseller, Going Right: A Logistical Justification for Pursuing Your Dreams. Logan and Deuce have put together an awesome free daily body-weight workout to keep you fit during these hectic times. Make sure to follow him here for your daily instructions.
Although I am a typical loner in my daily life, my awareness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has prevented me from feelings of isolation.
― Albert Einstein
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