ADHD and Meditation

A big post about ADHD and meditation – a resource for ADHD folks, as well as those who wish to guide ADHD folks in meditation – will appear here within the next day or two.

WEAVE by Noah Pred & Jeff Warren

A new musical collaboration with producer / DJ / sound wizard / friend Noah Pred. The idea of this 12-minute soundscape / meditation is to encourage listeners to adjust their consciousness from the inside, using music both as the object of meditation, and as a reflection of each real-time adjustment.

Stability and Boundaries – A Meditation for Parents

Forget dissolving my sense of being a separate self. I have two kids now. My boundaries are well and truly dissolved ("trampled" is probably more accurate). What I need now is stability and ground. I need good boundaries, not no boundaries. Here's a meditation to help with this - for everyone, especially parents!

Let’s Help Regulate Each Other

Back in my twenties, I had this idea of living life like an adventure story. So I did. Until I realized the ratio of fun to struggle was moving in the wrong direction. The fun was getting briefer and more desperate; the challenges were getting longer and more all-encompassing.


I knew parenting would be rewarding and challenging. I didn’t know it would be everything - like the life I had before, except now in 3-D, with the vanishing point always in sight.

CEC 10-Year Anniversary

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of The Consciousness Explorers Club, my friend Andrea Cohen made this beautiful 2-minute animation. The CEC is dedicated to the playful exploration of meditation, in a way that empowers participants and communities to be their own teachers.

Dynamic Care in Action

What does the practice of dynamic care look like in real life? From protesting to sewing masks, from making documentary films to listening to records to exploring genealogy, in this article I showcase a range of creative practices, submitted by all of you. The community is the teacher.

Dynamic Care

When you live on a ship at sea, everything gets amplified in the narrow interiors: ruminations, moods, behaviors. Enter COVID-19, and the fact that many of us are stuck inside. Ping ping ping, go the signals. I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to get a clear picture of what I’m comfortable with, and what I’m not. 

Instagram Live with Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello

What a thrill it was for Jeff to be joined live by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello. They had an open and honest conversation about meditation and maintaining mental health in these wild times. Then Jeff led a short guided practice- with over 40k joining in from around the world. Amazing.  

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

“If someone says ‘Love in the Time of Corona’ one more time I am literally going to punch them." A post is about knowing when and how to meditatively engage with our anxiety and our discomfort, and knowing when and how to pull back and rest.

Release the amateurs!

Healing and growth, self-regulation and self-understanding — these are too idiosyncratic, too personal, too fundamental to depend on specialists-only. We also need to depend on ourselves and one another. In my mind, nothing will accelerate this more than recasting “teaching” as a creative social activity that any informed person... more

A night practice

Nothing I’d been saying could convince my wife Sarah to take our baby outside. I was getting impatient. “Let’s take the stroller to the park right now!” It was pitch black and minus ten, with thick snowflakes blowing past the street lamp. She looked at me with great forbearance and said, “I have a better idea."


Wherever we are on the mind-body roller-coaster, seated and calm, we can suddenly see it. We hadn’t noticed before, in our busyness. We thought life was just like that. But now we realize, actually, life isn’t like that. We’re like that. 

Core Skills of Meditation and Practice

If a practice is important to us, if it’s deepening our engagement with the world, if it’s teaching us about who we are, then you can be sure many of these basic skills are present and probably increasing. Understanding the skills is central to being your own life teacher, and to sharing practice with others.

Practices Are Habits We Choose

Lately I’ve been thinking about the word “practice”. Both established practices lots of people do – yoga, tennis, active listening – and weird customized practices people invent – visualizing success, pretending to be a tree, or darning moth holes while listening to Amy Winehouse. 

Freedom from Freedom

I think then: this freedom is better. Freedom from freedom. Freedom from myself, freedom from the dizziness of a million choices. Parenting is very clarifying. I know my job: keep Eden and Sarah alive. There’s only one thing to do and it is not about me.
The Mystery of Consciousness

Becoming One’s Own Teacher and Explorer

I was a ridiculous person back then. I just was interested in partying and whooping it up and so I didn't really let my accidents slow me down. I didn't stop to take any lessons from them. I didn't have the language to talk about growth and consciousness and any of it. Nobody in my circles talked about this stuff.

Whole Body Absorption

Every morning for five days, our little group put on our climbing harnesses, clipped into a long snaking rope, and began our glacier ascent. As we explored the mountain peaks around us, we were also exploring a dimension of human happiness that depended on our body's capacity to get absorbed in experience.

Coming Clean About Our Mental Health Challenges

“Teaching is carrying on your education in public.” I had no idea when I agreed that co-writing Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics would expose a deeper layer of my own peculiar brand of mental struggle: Attention Deficit Disorder (with a generous helping of mood swings).

The Battle to Win Ourselves

Many of us are at war with ourselves. We’re divided, we have mixed feelings. We’re of two minds, of four minds, of eight minds. How many minds do we have in there?

Pluralism as Path

Almost any domain or activity in life can be approached as an intentional practice, and the people who specialize in these domains have learned important things about being human. How can we draw this wisdom out? Introducing the Consciousness Explorers Club's new pluralistic practice paradigm :)

Too Close

This zooming out might be particularly useful right now, on the cusp of this anxiety-inducing US election. People - myself included - really are freaked out about the deep divisions in the US. The theory about meditation is it can help us get space around such tough emotions and, in turn, make better – saner – responses.

Born Twice

Twice-born temperaments, on the other hand, are a little more complicated. They can’t wave away the world’s manifestly unfair distribution of hardship, and they’re generally unable to accept so-called “unseen realities” on faith alone. Their journey into spiritual feeling is more hard-won, the result of a lot of agonized... more

Is Consciousness Evolving?

A more realistic take on the so-called "evolution" of consciousness: an increase in discernment and sensitivity, largely driven forward by young people. It’s obvious why young people see and experience bias and discrimination at a level of nuance many in older generations cannot: they aren’t habituated yet.

The Promise and Peril of Spiritual Belief

I have a theory, a theory based on experience. And that’s what my theory is about: the feedback loop between our ideas about reality, and our experience of reality. An exploration and critique of spiritual growth and understanding, with a new ending to make everything extra useless and confusing.

At the Still Point

Think about a time when you were most in the zone, most in flow – not only with some central object of concentration, but with the whole wide world around you.

Trances We Have Known and Loved

We are – Buddhist thinking goes – locked into unhelpfully narrow views of reality, meta-trances imposed by the preoccupations and formulations of our conditioning and language and culture.

Fuck It

A true story about almost losing one's mind.

The Idiots of Compassion

Sometimes I’m an idiot of a very particular type. When I see a person in any kind of hurt, I experience a seizure of compulsive helpfulness. I say the words, perform the gestures, provide the resources, and sometimes make the commitments I later realize are beyond my power to make and may not actually be that helpful in the first place.

Meditation: Skill vs Path

When it comes to meditation, the CEC has a split-focus: we explore meditation as a life skill, and we explore meditation as a transformative path. Although each may use the same technique, they involve two very different approaches and intentions.

Spiritual Terrains and Challenges

This primer is about the broad stages of spiritual experience that can happen to committed long-term meditators, with an emphasis on the challenges. Knowing about these - having a context - can help people move through them more quickly.

Activate Your Electric Love

If at the start it’s our own stress and unhappiness we work to address, at some point – if we’re genuinely opening – the direction of concern reverses. Energy formerly bound up in self-interest starts to get re-directed towards others.

The Next Age of Exploration

I wonder if our civilization is about to enter a New Age of Exploration. Except this time, since all the physical real estate has been chewed up, the terrain is internal. Not just our individual minds, but the mind of nature – the mother-sea mind, the great oceanic source of awareness that all contemplative traditions speak to in... more

How Zen Masters Die

Meditation and other contemplative practices seem to accelerate the aging-gracefully gradient. They are ways of thinning out in the prime of life - a kind of dying in the midst of the everyday. Then when death does come, there’s nothing to fear, for - as Bertrand Russel wrote - "the things we care for will continue."

Terrains of Life and Practice

What is a “breakthrough?” It’s a jump to higher level of insight and perspective. This looks different depending on the person. For some it’s an insight into a dysfunctional pattern or relationship. For others, a renewed sense of vigor and direction. For others still, a glimpse into who they are at what feels like a deeper level.


We can start pretending, in a vaguely schizoid way, that existence / nature / whatever responds to our overtures, indeed, that the whole container is a 360-degree dance partner keeping time with your every move.

Psychotherapies (healthy self before the noself)

The meditation scene is littered with “spiritual bypassers” who shoot for transcendence because they can’t handle the world – and the self – they’ve inherited. This isn’t a judgement; people are in pain, and meditation can help with that pain. But it’s important to remember that some of the issues we uncover in practice... more

Solid, Liquid, Gas

Buddhist teacher Shinzen Young refers to Three Fundamental States of Experience: Solid, Liquid and Gas. It’s sort of a metaphor and sort of not. Because it turns out that just as the material world can go through fundamental state changes – can have its particles rearranged to move from, say, ice to water to vapor (and back) – so... more

Waking Up

What does it mean to wake up? A lot of ink has been spilled on this subject, and every teacher in every tradition has a different way of talking about it, including not talking about it at all, which is probably the wisest tactic.

Enlightenment’s Evil Twin

The benefits of mindfulness meditation have very quickly become one of the good-news mental health stories of our time. But meditation also has a shadowy seam. Is there a link between some forms of mental illness and the freedom promised at the heart of meditation? My column on the infamous "Dark Night of the Soul"

The Neuroscience of Suffering and Its End

Fourteen years ago Gary Weber’s thoughts disappeared, and all his suffering vanished with them. Was it the disappearance of his thoughts that saved him, or is something else going on?

Among the Nonduals

Proponents of nonduality tell us that we take a leap of faith and actually live our lives from the truth of direct experience, eventually the age old barrier between inside and out will erode. A report from the 2013 Science and Nonduality conference in Holland.

Animal Empathy – There’s an App for That!

Communications technology is often accused of dissociating us from the natural world. A little thought-experiment that explores how the next generation of “augmented reality” technologies might close this gap, and help us hear like an elephant and think like a squirrel.

Understanding Animal Minds

Scientists and philosophers have long erected an insurmountable barrier between humans and animals. This seems to be changing. The human imagination is moving outward. The animals are coming. Hide the nuts!

Environmentalism and the Mind

What kind of mind do we need to address climate change and environmental degradation? A mountain eco-laboratory in northern New Mexico looks at four possible answers: a social mind, a creative mind, a receptive mind and an equanimous mind.

Science and Spiritual “Enlightenment”

In March of 2012, myself and twenty other “adept” meditators participated in an experiment to try to answer the question: what is the real resting state of the brain? Strange things happened. An exploration of one view of so-called "enlightenment."

The Anxiety of the Long-Distance Meditator

“Stream entry,” is a Buddhist term for initial enlightenment — a shift in perspective where the practitioners’ mind flips inside-out, and for a split-second recognizes its own inseparability from the rest of the natural world.

Enlightenment: Is Science Ready to Take it Seriously?

Western psychology is still outgrowing a reactive skepticism towards the subjective anecdote that it inherited from behaviorism. Fortunately, this is changing. These days, there is a growing appreciation among investigators that if you want to understand consciousness – as opposed to just brain activity – you have to start taking... more

Making Art in Dream Space

The Dream Director is not unlike a set of DJ turntables, only the medium it remixes is the mind – the proto medium. As the DJ, the user can select from an infinite number of effects. The weirder the combination, the stranger the conjured world come remix the dreaming mind.

The Laws of Dreaming

What might science look like in another reality? In lucid dreaming, an investigator can form a hypothesis in waking, fall asleep, become lucid, and then – in rainbow lab coat and marvellous wind-swept Vidal Sassoon hairdo – test her hypothesis as the dream surges around her.

Whales Are People Too

This piece on whale consciousness and animal personhood won a Gold and a Silver medal at the 2012 Canadian National Magazine Awards. Whales are people too; the science proves it. Are humans ready to see them as equals?

Dolphin Minds – A Conversation

What would we learn if we could merge parts of the human brain with those of other species? Might we hear the sounds of the past? Live in naked troops, swapping intimate experiences without words? Or build a new social network? A fun and wide-ranging conversation with two smart friends - Lori Marino and Ben Goertzel - published in the... more

Life on the Wheel of Consciousness

Wrote this for The New Scientist . It summarizes some of the different states of consciousness we pass through over the day and night.

Two Tribes

There’s a new mind theory out there The theory is worth paying attention to because, well, it’s about you. Or at least two of you: the careful, analytic you, and your misguided shadow, who spends altogether too much time in the “wrong” section of the bookstore. One of you is a Mechanist. The other is a Mentalist. Though you... more