Welcome to the Party

Meditation sounds like the easiest thing in the world: close your eyes, relax, and just be.  Except then our neurotic thoughts begin to churn, our legs get all seized-up, and the neighbors decide at that exact moment to crank “La Bamba” on their crappy hi-fi. Suddenly our relaxing meditation has become a grim test of … Continue reading “Welcome to the Party”

Concentration 101

This is the first meditation in the book Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics, coauthored by Dan Harris and Carlye Adler. This and the dozen or so other meditations can be found – with video and extra stuff – on the 10% Happier app. Concentration is the foundational skill of meditation. It stabilizes the mind, and eventually it can … Continue reading “Concentration 101”

Mindfulness of Thinking – Part 1

One of the admittedly quite counterintuitive skills we learn in mindfulness is the ability to distinguish between thinking and awareness. To use a classic metaphor from consciousness studies, awareness is like the empty stage. Thinking is one of the actors that trots onto that stage—along with seeing, hearing, feeling etc. When we’re mindful of our thinking, we … Continue reading “Mindfulness of Thinking – Part 1”

Mindfulness of Thinking – Part 2

I enjoy recording meditations in studio, but I prefer doing it live, in the company of actual human beings. There’s an immediacy in these situations that can’t be reproduced. Like this meditation for example, guided in a moving car, with my highly stressed-out pal Dan Harris as meditating subject. This particular technique expands on an earlier meditation, … Continue reading “Mindfulness of Thinking – Part 2”

Colourland

Something a bit different. It is a meditation designed for kids, not adults, complete with cool sound effects and animated vocals and continuous appeals to the imagination. The idea of Colourland is to help kids move from the low energy blahs, to more optimistic and cheerful bounce. Should they wish to! They may not; it’s … Continue reading “Colourland”

Calmland

Something a bit different. I created this meditation for kids, aged 5 – 10. It is a meditation designed for kids, not adults, complete with cool sound effects and animated vocals and continuous appeals to the imagination. The idea of Calmland is to help kids move from hyperactive agitation to a more relaxed and self-regulated … Continue reading “Calmland”

The Space Between Commands

10% Happier asked me to write this meditation for Apple employees. They took my script and recorded it in the voice of the iPhone. Personally, I think the voice should be slowed down by a third, to make it more hypnotic and meditative. The meditation “object” here is the sound of silence, the “space between commands.” … Continue reading “The Space Between Commands”

Do Nothing

There are two big meditation approaches out there, two buckets, discovered and rediscovered many times in many different traditions. One is active. It’s about bearing down, about trying to get somewhere, to build some skill, to make something happen. The other is passive. It’s about easing off, about not trying to get anywhere or make … Continue reading “Do Nothing”

Compassion for Chief Moir

In early 2017, Dan Harris and I met with Chief Moir of the Tempe Police Department in Arizona. Chief Moir is an early adopter of meditation and mindfulness in policing. She uses the skills herself, all day long. Her job requires her to be totally present with person after person as they file through her … Continue reading “Compassion for Chief Moir”