Finding the Right Practice

Aristotle said “You are what you repeatedly do.” There is no neutral setting in life – existence is an activity, one that is changing you and deepening both healthy and unhealthy habits. This short talk and guided practice reflects my latest thinking about what practice is, what it means, and how we find the right practice for us.

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”

What is a Thought?

An exploration into the human thinking process, guided in a moving car, with my stressed out friend Dan Harris as meditating subject. This meditation and others can be found on the 10% Happier app. Most of us think of “thinking” as something diffuse and non-specific. But thinking is actually quite trackable and tangible. In this practice, … Continue reading “What is a Thought?”

Do Nothing

This meditation is about letting go of the need to control our experience. It’s about learning how to disengage from frantically doing all the time, and being ok with just being. Just like in all the meditation cliches. The idea is that as we learn to let go of our need to micromanage every moment … Continue reading “Do Nothing”

The Reasonableness of Loving-Kindness

The practice of “mettā” is central to Buddhism, and versions of it can be found in all religious traditions. If some Buddhist meditations are about deconstructing the self – peeling back the different layers, dis-identifying – this is about reconstructing a better self: friendlier, more compassionate. Some say it’s the most important technique you can explore. This audio begins … Continue reading “The Reasonableness of Loving-Kindness”

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”

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”

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”

Mindfulness Muscle Groups

This meditation was recorded with musician Josh Groban and Dan Harris in the podcast studio at ABC news in New York. Josh wanted to learn how to meditate, so for this practice I guided him and Dan and however many listeners through the four most important mental skills (or muscle groups) that we being build up … Continue reading “Mindfulness Muscle Groups”