Welcome to the Party

Meditation sounds like the easiest thing in the world: close your eyes, relax, and just be.  Except then your neurotic thoughts begin to churn, your legs get all seized-up, and your next door neighbor decides to crank “Who Let the Dogs Out?” on the hi-fi. Suddenly your relaxing meditation has become a comedic test of endurance.

The Big Idea

This is the first session in my course on the Calm app, titled How to Meditate: A simple 30-day program for everyone. The aim of this course is to show not just how meditation can make you calmer, clearer, more open and compassionate. But also to show how the real training is learning how to be Ok … Continue reading “The Big Idea”

Caring Hands

This 17-minute meditation was recorded in Costa Rica on March 19th, 2020. My retreat co-leader Scott Davis and I had been up all night taking care of someone in great distress. Scott is a Chinese Traditional Medicine practitioner; he has a very grounded and comforting way of putting his hands on people, feeling the pulse in their wrist, … Continue reading “Caring Hands”


This 25-minutes long practice was recorded in Costa Rica on March 17th, 2020, in a time of great anxiety about coronavirus. It describes how to face emotional intensities and/or sensorial challenges in a paced and responsible way: the pendulation between opening and expanding capacity, and then moving back to safety and comfort and knowing our … Continue reading “Pendulate”

The Most Basic Meditation

Here’s a 5-minute guided meditation called “The Most Basic Meditation,” from the 10% Happier app. It’s about staying open and centred even when we’re tense. You can do this meditation sitting, or while walking around. Just a few minutes can feel like a mini-reset.

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”