October 2021 TDM
The Back-To-Work Issue
Welcome to the October 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.
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[ MEDITATION & NEWS ]
You’re Mindful… But Are You Being SOCIALLY Mindful?
Apparently, there are levels to mindfulness. According to the National Academy of Sciences, being mindful for yourself is a pretty pedestrian skill. But the real test is can you be mindful when interacting with others?
What is social mindfulness? Social mindfulness means that you focus more on how you relate to another person, rather than what you can get from them. It is engaging in small acts of attention or kindness, such as:
Holding the door for someone. (Easy)
Stepping out of the way of an oncoming person on a crowded sidewalk. (Simple)
Letting someone else finish their train of thought before you have your say. (Okay, now they’re going too far)
Awareness + Action = A Socially-Mindful Superhuman. It isn’t enough to realize how your personal choices affect someone else without taking action to support that. Similarly, trying to promote some good deed may go unnoticed if it isn’t rooted in the realities of the moment.
Bottom line: Whether you agree or not, let’s normalize being more socially mindful when it comes to interacting with one another.
[ MEDITATION & CAREER ]
Something To Think About The Next Time You’re “Too Busy” To Meditate…
Will you put the fire out, or will you let the fire burn you? Our days seem to be filled with fires we have to extinguish—some at work, others at home, and the stakes seem to always be high.
According to Infoq, those working in highly detail-orientated jobs, such as in tech, understand this struggle with this the most. Usually, the challenge falls somewhere between, “oops, we had a hiccup,” to full-on Murphy’s Law: “whatever can go wrong will go wrong.”
It can be tricky to constantly stay focused on juggling all the details you’re responsible for, both for the benefit of the company, as well as in your personal life. But when you make time for your mindfulness practice, you’ll put yourself in the zone more often than not.
How can mindfulness help? Being mindful helps us manage these dozens, if not hundreds, of micro-decisions throughout the day with grace, mobility, and ease—whereas not having it can cause you to crash and burn by the time you clock off.
The Overcoming Fear Masterclass in The Happiness Insiders community is now open for enrollment. If you’re ready to overcome the fears that are stopping you from accessing your potential, this course is for you (includes complimentary access to the 7-Day Meditation Kickstart video course).
[ MEDITATION & RESEARCH ]
Daily Meditation Keeps You Sharper With Age
Don’t sleep on the effects of meditation on your aging cognitive ability. A new study shows that just 15 minutes of daily meditation gives a “modest” boost to cognitive abilities. Apparently, this is the first significant study that looked into the benefits of mindfulness for memory, concentration, and problem-solving with subjects of all ages (18 to 80 years old) who meditated for at least 15 minutes a day. And guess who benefitted the most: meditators over 60 years old.
Bottom line: Meditation benefits you more with age. Start your daily practice today, and by the time you’re in your 60’s and 70’s, you’ll be ahead of the game.
[ MEDITATION & TECHNOLOGY ]
You’re Not Just Playing Video Games. You’re Meditating… Sort of
Meditation keeps making guest appearances in video games (and we obvs love it!) The Witcher 3, Ghost of Tsushima, and League of Legends are just a few games to feature the ancient practice, with the newest one being Kena. She plays the protagonist of the newly released action-adventure game Kena: Bridge Of Spirits for the PS5, PS4, and PC (and possibly Xbox).
There are 12 meditation spots that can be found in the game and each one will raise your max health points permanently. Finding all of the spots will get you the Zen Master trophy which for game completionists is a must.
Bottom line: What do video game heroes who go on epic quests mostly have in common? They meditate.
Join Light Watkins and spend New Year's Eve learning Vedic Meditation along the sandy beaches of Cabo San Lucas on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. If you’re interested in joining, click here to get info and to reserve your space. It’s going to be an amazing way to bring in 2022.
[ MEDITATION & LIFESTYLE ]
Stop Paying So Much Attention At Work!
“Stop paying attention!” said no one ever… until now. According to Scientific American, we sometimes pay too much attention to what we’re doing. You heard that right. There are times when a dose of mindLESSness is exactly what we need.
When should we pay less attention? As we get really badass at something, we tend to be able to do it with more automaticity. It becomes intuitive, effortless, and spontaneous. We stop thinking about all the smaller pieces that make up the action, like when to stop swinging the club in golf or when to release the clutch while shifting gears.
Why should we pay less attention? You shouldn’t always pay less attention. Learning new skills is dependent on focusing our attention. The reward for this long journey is being able to execute the task in a flow state, where things seem effortless and automatic.
Bottom line: Life is a dance of personal nuance, and you are on a steady journey of discovering what is relevant, when it’s relevant, and what to let go of.
[ REALITY CHECK ]
Could The “I’m Right, You’re Wrong” Mentality Be Outdated?
We came across an article in thefulcrum.us saying how elected leaders needed to practice more deep reflection and step back from the "I'm right, you're wrong" rhetoric in order to govern more effectively. And we thought that was a useful reminder for us all to not assume that we know best.
Sure, we have our experience, but so does everyone else. And leadership these days seems to have become a war between echo chambers: whoever’s is loudest tends to think theirs is right.
Now that we’re more exposed to our varying opinions than ever before, we have to ask, was there ever a 100% definitive right or wrong way of leading? Perhaps not.
And there are openings each day to rise to a better version of ourselves when facing interpersonal struggles. Often, we think that being a leader means we have to know all the answers and that we should fake it until we make it.
But being a mindful leader nowadays means merging contemplation with action. It means mindfully stepping back from the echo chamber with full awareness that it may not tell the full story. And from there, we can bring fresh, inspiring ideas to the drawing board.
[By regular TDM contributor Jordan Pletzer]
[ READ. WATCH. LISTEN. ]
Read: The Book of Form and Emptiness: A Novel
A brilliantly inventive novel about loss, growing up, and our relationship with things by novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest, Ruth Ozeki. We follow 13-year-old Benny Oh one year after the death of his beloved musician father. Benny begins to hear voices that belong to the things in his house-a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, even a piece of wilted lettuce. When his mother, Annabelle, develops a hoarding problem, the voices grow more clamorous. Read more
Watch: Big Think (YouTube channel)
Big Think is a YouTube channel full of expert-driven and educational content with thousands of videos, featuring experts ranging from Bill Clinton to Bill Nye (The Science Guy). Learn from top minds and get actionable lessons from the world’s greatest thinkers & doers. The Big Think aims to help explore the big ideas and core skills that define knowledge in the 21st century. Watch now
Listen: Knowing Where to Look Audiobook
The audiobook for Knowing Where To Look is out—narrated by our own Light Watkins. What makes this audiobook extra special is it includes exclusive commentary for some of the personal stories. Now you can listen to 108 inspirational stories while you’re driving, walking, or exercising. It’s also a great companion to the hardcover. Listen to a sample dose of inspiration.
[ REPORT FROM THE FIELD ]
Meditation has created a pattern of consistency that has trickled down into all areas of my life.
What have you gotten from Meditation? On a practical level, meditation has created a pattern of consistency that has trickled down into all areas of my life. It’s also cultivated a deep sense of trust that everything is always unfolding as it is supposed to, no matter what. My practice has given me self-sufficiency and emotional resilience that mean my relationships, choices, and life is profoundly different than it used to be. It’s a daily gift.
Strangest meditation moment? Meditating at an airport and missing a flight. On a regular basis though, the depth and variety of meditative experiences continue to astound me, I have a sense that I’m walking a path that will continue to surprise me until the day I die.
Most unexpected benefit of meditation? When I first started meditating I had no idea about what a process of re-conditioning and unlearning it would be. I also didn’t realize it would shine a light on so many things and eventually become the foundation of my sobriety. I think the very best part though is the community I have around me, especially in these times — having a group of people on a similar path, who show up with compassion and kindness and consistently wish to be of service is a very beautiful thing.
[ WHO TO FOLLOW ]
Two of Our Favorite Instagram Accounts with a Purpose
Emily Fletcher (left) is regarded as a leading expert in meditation for high performance. She is the creator of the Ziva Technique: a powerful trifecta of Mindfulness, Meditation, and Manifesting designed to unlock your full potential at work and at home, and the founder of Ziva. Follow her @emilystellafletcher
Christine Platt (right) is a literacy advocate and passionate activist for social justice and policy reform. A believer in the power of storytelling as a tool for social change, Christine’s literature centers on teaching race, equity, diversity, and inclusion to people of all ages. Follow her @afrominimalist
The minute you choose to do what you really want to do, it's a different kind of life.
― Buckminster Fuller
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