May 2019 TDM
No Days Off Issue
Welcome to The Daily Meditator—your resource for fun, quirky, interesting, and noteworthy happenings in and around the worldwide meditation community. This newsletter is written and curated by a pair of down-to-Earth, highly inspired and enthusiastic daily meditators. We want to provide you with a snapshot of how the world of meditation is rapidly evolving as well as inspiration for committing to your daily practice. The current plan is to publish The Daily Meditator once a month, though we'd like to expand in the future. Hope you enjoy what we've created! If you feel charmed, please share with your circle. Sending you a big "Namaste," "Sat Nam," or "Jai Guru Deva" wherever you are in the world.
[ MEDITATION & NEWS ]
Like Hogwarts for meditators
Not for muggles. Finally, a sanctuary dedicated to Vedic study, and all the magic that comes with it! It’s in the works according to India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, who is laying the foundation for a Vedic research center at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi.
The center will aim to study the past glory of Vedic sciences and work towards popularizing the scientific approach and vision of Vedic seers. There will be a state-of-the-art research laboratory to study the effect of Vedic mantras, rituals, yoga and meditation on the human mind through neuro-psychological studies.
Bottom Line: Our acceptance letter should be in the mail.
Ready. Aim. Dive in.
Commanding attention. Mindfulness is beginning to infiltrate the US armed forces as a growing group of military officials support the technique to heal PTSD, assist in command decisions and help soldiers in chaotic battles.
The science shows that techniques that calm the mind allow officers to perform better and make them less likely to overreact to incoming stimulation.
Of course, meditation and battle go back five centuries when Krishna implored Arjuna to pick up his bow and fight as he sang the Bhagavad Gita—arguably the most precious Vedic text.
Bottom Line: Meditation has been winning battles since the 3rd century BCE—clear minds, full hearts, can’t lose.
[ MEDITATION & RESEARCH ]
Paying attention to "Quiet Time"
Not awkward at all.New research finds practicing meditation as part of a school "Quiet Time" program helps middle school students enhance social-emotional competencies and reduce psychological distress.
The controlled study over a four-month period, compared fifty-one 6th grade students with a twice-daily Transcendental Meditation practice to fifty students from a matched control school within the same urban school district.
The study, which appears in the journal Education, found a significant increase in overall social-emotional competency in the meditating group compared to controls. The effects were particularly pronounced with high-risk subgroups, which experienced a significant increase in social-emotional competency and a significant decrease in negative emotional symptoms compared to controls.
Bottom Line: Turns out, a meditation a day could lead to an "A."
[ MEDITATION & POP CULTURE ]
Let the beat build
For the longest time, hip hop culture didn't openly endorse practices like meditation. But times have changed and many mainstream rappers are now dropping meditation references into their lyrics. Below are verses taken from four different hip hop songs. Can you guess which artist rapped which verse?
Asked him what are you doing, he said "taking my time,"
Meditation is a must, it don't hurt if you try
Like how I introduced her to meditation, positive thinking,
And the books she probably read in daily rotation
Listen, this is a meditation for me,
A practice in being present,
There's nowhere I need to be
Verse D:So pay attention to my word, cause it's the truth,
Meditation ease the mind, and brings the youth,
It's like a verse you could never read out of a book
A: Kendrick Lamar - Untitled 03
B: Big Sean - No More Interviews
C. J. Cole - More Foldin' Clothes
D. Common - Thelonious
[ MEDITATION & TECHNOLOGY ]
Rich people meditation products?
Living in a wellness-obsessed material world. We're now seeing all kinds of meditation accessories with absurd price tags being marketed as ways of optimizing your practice. A $3500 meditation stool. A $249 brainwave-reading headband. Vice recently published an article detailing one man's humorous experiments with "rich people" meditation products. Click here to see what he found.
And please don't get us wrong—wearable technology can be awesome for tracking your progress in meditation, but it’s not going to meditate for you, nor can we buy our way to enlightenment. However, we’ve heard that some meditators have seen improved sleep with their sleep trackers after starting a daily meditation practice, which can lead to a stronger commitment.
Bottom Line: Commit to a practice, not a product.
[ REALITY CHECK ]
No days off
Meditation teachers talk a lot about the "acquisitive approach" to happiness—also known as the seeking of happiness through the acquisition of money, fame, experiences, alcohol, relationships, or other external sources.
But the reality is external happiness is only tempory, while internal happiness can feel more stable when properly cultivated through consistency of practice (daily meditation). This is why we encourage consistency as the most important aspect of meditation. In other words, it's better to meditate for twenty minutes a day rather than only twice a week for an hour.
Bottom line: Stress isn't taking any days off, so we can't afford to take days off from meditation.
[ READ. WATCH. LISTEN. ]
For when you're not meditating...
Read: Don’t Just Sit There!
Discover the forty-four laws of life that are the missing link between the desire to meditate and the motivation needed to maintain a regular meditation practice, process the emotional fallout of meditative experiences, and find spiritual fulfillment. You'll find plenty o' frank, freeing advice from our friend and meditation master, Biet Simkin. Read now
Watch: Broken Brain 2
This is a docu-series we love that's all about the body-mind connection and healing the body + brain, featuring Dr. Mark Hyman, Vedic Meditation teacher, Emily Fletcher, and more movers and shakers in the wellness space. Watch now
Listen: Daily Breath Podcast
Deepak's done it again! We seriously don't know how the guy keeps producing so much quality content. Daily Breath is Deepak Chopra’s new short-form meditation podcast where he delivers bite-sized spiritual knowledge, perfect for snackable insights and wisdom. Listen now
[ REPORT FROM THE FIELD ]
Name: Cassidy Freeman
Occupation: Professional actor
Lives in: Santa Fe, NM & Los Angeles, CA
Learned to meditate: 8 months ago
Report from the field: "I had known my teacher for over a decade before he taught me how to meditate. I had failed before, thinking that meditation was for serious, disciplined people and that I was too silly or messy. Yet here was an old friend teaching me a new practice that has changed my life. Somehow it was serious, disciplined, silly and messy. It was blissful. What I learn from meditating unfolds endlessly in these internal explosions of deep knowing; a sense of belonging that is not new, just truth being uncovered. It is the worst kept secret that one only needs to be willing to know. I’m no longer afraid of what I might hear. Nor am I afraid of the silence I find. I look forward to it. It makes me feel at home."
“Love people. Use things. The opposite never works.”
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