How Meditation Can Help

Meditation can be a powerful tool for improving mental health and wellbeing. It can work in the moment, by shifting the practitioner’s state to be more regulated, or open, or compassionate – different practices lead to slightly different effects. And, more importantly, it can work in the long-term, by building up certain core attentional skills or competencies that can ultimately transform a person’s life.

Below are a sampling of notes sent to me about how the practice has helped different people in different ways,  all published with the author’s permission.

It's not an overstatement to say that your "How to Meditate" practice on the Calm app has saved my life. My mind refused to calm down, and I was becoming so fatigued and worn out that I was questioning whether or not I wanted to be on this planet anymore. If you were to look at my life on paper, it appears amazing. And it is! I know how lucky I am. My mind, however, was making it increasingly difficult to live. Your teaching and direction have given me hope, and the committee between my ears is starting to quiet down.

Pat B.

I am a combat wounded veteran who has been helped tremendously by your guided meditations. I was wounded in Iraq in 2007 and suffered from TBI, PTSD, depression, and crushing anxiety on top of dealing with chronic pain and a myriad of physical health issues for over a decade before finding you. I have been using Calm to meditate for the last 507 days straight with no plans of stopping anytime soon. The benefits of meditation with you have been life giving. I am a completely different person than I was before I started. I have found balance, healing, hope, and most importantly calm. My marriage has never been better and I am a more patience and loving father to our kids. I never imagined I would get here on my journey to find healing or that meditation would be such a crucial tool in my recovery and well-being.

Lance Lunker

Your [newsletter] was a lifeline for me today. I am a director of a small hospice in a small town in the middle of a raging pandemic. The evidence of equanimity expressed in your words reached me on a cellular level. On a daily, hourly and at times by the minute this particular year, I live in “some beautiful neurotic passion that overwhelms my composure.” Today I am not alone, today I am renewed and again will strive/practice/experience equanimity. Also our Hospice is good, in part due to my practice.

Vivian Tipton

I'm recently sober, round 2. I was enjoying a strong 8 months, then '20 bombed our planet. In '21 I found you via Calm. Your “How to Meditate” course has changed my life. I have replaced my habitual all-day drinking with structured meditations. I practice equanimity & share it's importance with my loved ones. I feel better, stronger. My wife has noticed a huge difference. I have renowned confidence that I can uphold my vows to be the best version of myself. I'm loving this path of mental & spiritual health. I've taken my power back. I'm done poisoning myself to take the edge off. I'm truly proud of myself.

Roderick Newman

As a highschool teacher and father of two young kids the pandemic has hit me hard. After a series of panic attacks in Sept I sought help. Your 30-day training on the Calm app has been instrumental in introducing me to the life-changing benefits of meditation. I feel like I’ve reprogrammed my brain and learned some things that will serve me for life.

Patrick Murray

I would like to thank you from the bottom of my existence for your Daily Trip meditation on Calm. I love your guidance. It's rock and roll for me. I'm 60 and change and you make me feel alive and relaxed when I do your meditation. Also as a musician, practice is almost everything – it’s a way to be almost sure you can write your next song.

Dan Toren

I am a Dr in the UK and you have inspired my meditation practice which has helped me immensely. I feel much more resilient and am now more available to help my wife, patients and colleagues deal with coronavirus particularly anxiety. I also have a more joyful and fun outlook on life.

Rhys M.

Thank you for letting us in, making it safe for us to be human, keeping it real. What a gift! It feels like you’re right there on the journey beside me. Like I could offer you some bread and you could offer me some wisdom and it’s a give and take. Does that make sense? Life is so hard and so ugly right now and I think one of the most useful things we can offer each other as human beings is our real true selves. Life is clearly too short for all the bullshit.

Linda Ryden

With your online Do Nothing Community, I finally have a place where I feel safe to experiment with being honest and open about who I am, including my struggles with mental health. I have always tried to be open about it, but it hasn’t always worked well for me or for my family. As we all know there is still quite a bit of stigma around mental health. This community lends me some courage as well as good feedback and support, and gives me the opportunity to support others.

PJ King

I am 36 yr old and in the midst of cancer treatment. Your guided meditations on the 10% Happier app have comforted and kept me company during some dark times. They’ve also taught me tools I use and value in my everyday life. UPDATE: I am happy to share that as of last week I am cancer free + done with treatment. It was a LONG year (as it was for everyone in their own ways) and excited to be on the other side. The meditation practice (combined with journaling and some other new commitments I've made to myself) have been invaluable. I truly believe those practices will do as much as the pill I have to take once a day for the next 10 years in keeping the cancer from returning.

Nichole Wagner

You lead a meditation on self-compassion on the 10% Happier App that made me cry. I'm new to mindfulness and meditation, I started practicing to help my mental health. And self-compassion is something I've never thought to do. It's like you opened a valve that's been rusted shut for years. I've never felt this sort of emotional release or relief. I can already see what sort of amazing changes it's going to bring to my life.

P. B.

I’m 24 and from Morocco. Your 30-day How to Meditate program literally changed my life. I was on the verge of depression, my dark thoughts were eating me alive and my life felt worthless. Only 10 minutes daily of your course made me have clearer thoughts, more space in my head and a very different perspective of life. It's now become lifestyle and a crucial part of my day. Thank you for making me realize what matters to me the most in life, and how I can be a better version of myself.

Ilhame

I was feeling very anxious and overwhelmed tonight. I sat on my cushion and opened the 10% Happier app to search for a calming meditation. Featured today was your letting go of stress meditation. The image of the eddy in the stream, of letting all things pass through me – it was transformative. I’ve never had an experience like it. I was able to release my worries and fears downstream. When you spoke of coming back to my body, I really was in another very calm place and I was able to keep that calm – it saved me from a long night of panic and distress. I have now done this particular meditation a number of times and it always works.

Kim R.

I'm a crusty sciency blowhard in my late 50s. I decided to give your course a go and it was absolutely terrific. The variety of subjects and forms, the depth of thought, and the respectful care and generosity became more and more clear every day I participated. I know it's helped me greatly and that it will continue to enrich my days. You managed to squeak your insights between the rusting bars of my skepticism and I thank you for that.

Andrew

I come from a family that takes meditation seriously, but the practice didn’t resonate with me until recently. What kept me engaged in your course was its simplicity, acceptance of different approaches to meditation, and frequent reminders that the process is the point. Thank you for helping me find my way back to that childhood feeling that the world is truly wide open.

Victoria Nguyen

I finished your Calm course several weeks ago. When all the horrible stuff happened I was devastated, heartbroken, and in tremendous pain. I ended up in a dark, dark place I thought I may never recover from. It's amazing how far I have come. I am embracing several things to help me heal from my trauma. Therapy, medication, exercise, less alcohol, healthier eating, getting more sleep, talking with loved ones that support me, and of course meditation, which has been huge and life giving. I have found meditation helps when things get intense. It’s not that I’m ignoring my pain – more that it helps me not to flood and get too overwhelmed. I can recognize when a panic attack is coming, and the breath helps me calm down and not let my negative thoughts take over. Especially when I need to stay present, like when I’m with my kids. It's amazing what an app on a phone can accomplish. I am on a trajectory to be a better, stronger version of myself, and as I learn to love myself, I am finding an easy joy as I love others better too. Deep down, I know whatever happens going forward, I've got this.

R.B.

Your mix of self-care and science is perfect for the skeptical minded cynic. You helped me recognize my internal voice, what I once considered reality. I am able to manage anxiety, not by avoiding it but by acknowledging it and allowing it to be. I am a more conscious, more self-aware person in a way that I didn’t even know was possible; the words used to mean something else. I feel more open to life’s vacillations.

Matt Beam

I came to meditation after becoming unwell with stress and anxiety. It’s very intuitive I think, to sit. I was raising 3 children as a widow and working a stressful job as a nurse. When I felt most tangled I would swim laps or look for native orchids (they are tiny in Tasmania). Sometimes I would even stand in wet mud in bare feet to get out of my head spin. Taking time to sit has meant I have the opportunity to watch myself and know myself better, I don’t seem to get to those crisis points that preceded a meltdown anymore.

F.C.

Your Calm course has helped this ADHD case truly *understand* meditation and, through that, myself. Most meditation classes start with the faulty assumption that a scattered brain already knows what it’s doing. I relate to your journey you describe at the start of the course and thought you should know you’re truly helping others who’ve “been there.” It’s been a game-changer.

Jonathan R.

I went to your first class thinking, “Okay, this won’t work, but it’s a night out.” Right away, however, your intelligence and experience and eloquence – your persona – won me over. I tried meditating in my twenties and again in my forties. It didn’t take…wrong teachers, wrong approach. And then I started suffering chronic back pain and couldn’t get relief. I’d given up hope. I was depressed. Now I’m optimistic. I’m still in pain; I just don’t suffer the way I did. Which is not to say that I’m a very good or even a very dedicated meditator…not yet, anyway. But my perspective has shifted. Who knew?

Barbara Gowdy

Your book, Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics, has been wonderful for me. I’ve finally been able to get started with meditation and I'm over 50 days into it now. Just at the beginning of my practice, I know, but the book you & Dan Harris wrote has helped me tremendously to be okay with meditation without judging my own "success" or "failure" in the practice. It's already helping dramatically as I'm going through some life changes.

Seth McCanse

Thank you for your teaching about how to respond to the inner critic. When I was meditating, I realized that I hear and see my inner critic. When my critic talks, the words are written out in dark scratchy text like a cartoon character yelling. So I decided to turn the critic's words into bubbles. Everytime the critic said something, I imagined it came out as bubbles. It delighted me and totally changed the experience.

Carly

Troubled by recurring insomnia, I decided to try your course as a last-ditch attempt to deal with my sleep issues naturally, before resorting to a pharmaceutical fix. I came to see how meditation could benefit me in myriad ways beyond sleep, helping me with everything from back pain to feeling more relaxed, comfortable with myself and optimistic. Perhaps the most unexpected, pleasurable aspect has been discovering a renewed interest in the world around me – simply watching the faces of people on the streetcar ... The world feels more vivid, mysterious and artful all of a sudden.

Leslie S.

I am on Day 19 of "How To Meditate" via the Calm app. I just wanted to reach out and personally thank you for your guidance. You took a seemingly daunting exercise and made it accessible to all. Your series definitely lives up to your goal of democratizing mental health. I am endlessly grateful for your guidance, and I now feel called to teach others. I still have a way to go with my practice, but you've helped open a door that I never even dreamed about before. I am a changed person. Everyone needs this in their life. Everyone.

Rikki

I am participating in the 10% Happier Meditation Challenge right now and just completed your "How You'd Talk to a Friend" meditation. It made me cry so big, in such a cathartic way. I didn't even think that I wasn't talking to myself with compassion but being prompted to come up with my own words was really powerful. This is what came up for me: “It's ok. It's ok. This is normal. We all feel this way sometimes. This is part of the human experience. This is what it feels like to be human.” When I put my hand on my heart, I totally lost it. :-D I have been practicing meditation for a little over a year now, and it has been truly life-changing. I’ve stumbled my way into growing comfortable with being ME. I honestly tear up when I write this. I was starting to think that I would never be able to feel that way.

Petya Grady

Your Calm beginner's course made meditation approachable and practical. You gave me a way to find perspective on our current global circumstances and find a placid place from which to observe the experiences, the fears, the challenges, but also the surreality of standing in a parking lot for two hours waiting to pick up Mexican food on Cinco de Mayo amongst other masked people background sound of a Spanish radio station. I found peace and even enjoyment rather than reaction.

Greg

Back in the old days when I was ‘exploring my interior life’ I basically looked like a guy staring out the window, apparently ‘lost in thought’. You taught me how to get ‘found in thought,’ the geography of mind, the way to my own personal light switch. I can now switch on the light and start exploring what it means to be alive with eyes, ears and heart wide open. It’s so much easier to search when you know what you’re looking for.

David Young

In one of your lessons on Calm, you speak about the fact that meditation is working, even when we think it couldn't be. That it seeps through. This was mind-boggling for me and helped me tremendously. I know that I am rarely 'attentive' throughout a meditation session. It has caused me to think maybe I am just not good at this. Your words in that lesson have allowed me to be encouraged. My practice was sporadic for years but daily now - for a year. Thank you!

Jo

I'm excited about my practice in a very empowering and exciting way. It's been freeing to realize that I am capable of really allowing myself to ease up in my practice, welcome it all to the party, enjoy the simple pleasure of being, and partake in the cosmic lovefest, and that all it really takes is a simple perspective shift. Your teachings have also been HUGE in helping me to dissolve the imaginary barrier between my 'practice' and my 'life' and to really get creative and have fun with the process of bringing these practices into every activity. Obviously, this is a practice in itself, but my orientation to this has been shifted very much from the theoretical to the practical. I can feel the difference every day, and it's a joy.

Alex Pittman

Jeff Warren’s contributions to the [10% Happier] app have been instrumental in recharging and reinvigorating my practice. His stepping outside the traditional norms of contemplative practice have electrified my sits — I’m not sure how else to describe it — and introduced some much needed fun into my contemplative approach.

Anonymous

I feel changed, on a very deep level. I saw a glimpse of that thing we’re all seeking, the missing element to fill that void which cannot be resolved with external stimulants.The most valuable gift you have offered me isn’t a meditation technique, it’s that deep knowledge that I’m actually able to disconnect, to sit still, to quiet my mind and to genuinely enjoy my own company. I found that being in my head, without distractions, is not as scary as I thought it would be, I’m actually fun to be with.

Basma

I struggle with dealing with tough emotions and letting them run their course, and today’s Daily Trip on Calm provided me with an opportunity, a safe space, and a guidebook for doing just that. I have a two year old autistic son, and this made me realize that I need to take some time to check in with my feelings instead of always worrying about his.

Sara Dillon

I've just completed your 30 day guide to meditation on the Calm app and I wanted to let you know how genuinely life changing I have found it. Learning the ability to take a step back from my thoughts has been so liberating. As a perfectionist, being able to step back from those thoughts, to not be a prisoner to them, has made me a happier and kinder person. I'm a father to two young boys, which at times can test the patience, so learning equanimity has been revolutionary for me – and now I can begin to pass these lessons on to them too. It's also allowed me to get closer to the real 'me'. I didn't come into the meditations thinking I wanted equanimity, or even knowing what it was, but it was definitely what I needed most.

Dan Thompson

I came to meditation later in life – something I wanted to explore, but I was cynical. I come from “science stuff” – biology, psychology etc., skeptical of things “spiritual”, belief systems and organized practice. With tremendous intelligence, sensitivity, depth and humility, I feel like you’ve offered me no less than the distilled essence of deep religious/ spiritual practice, minus the dogma. It has the rigor and depth to match the best of science. You’ve given me a range of tools to break down and then expand moment-to-moment experience, from sitting practice out to every aspect of my life. What a gift!

Tony Cohn

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It’s not an overstatement to say that your “How to Meditate” practice on the Calm app has saved my life. My mind refused to calm down, and I was becoming so fatigued and worn out that I was questioning whether or not I wanted to be on this planet anymore. If you were to look at my life on paper, it appears amazing. And it is! I know how lucky I am. My mind, however, was making it increasingly difficult to live. Your teaching and direction have given me hope, and the committee between my ears is starting to quiet down.

Pat B.

I am a combat wounded veteran who has been helped tremendously by your guided meditations. I was wounded in Iraq in 2007 and suffered from TBI, PTSD, depression, and crushing anxiety on top of dealing with chronic pain and a myriad of physical health issues for over a decade before finding you. I have been using Calm to meditate for the last 507 days straight with no plans of stopping anytime soon. The benefits of meditation with you have been life giving. I am a completely different person than I was before I started. I have found balance, healing, hope, and most importantly calm. My marriage has never been better and I am a more patience and loving father to our kids. I never imagined I would get here on my journey to find healing or that meditation would be such a crucial tool in my recovery and well-being.

Lance Lunker

Your [newsletter] was a lifeline for me today. I am a director of a small hospice in a small town in the middle of a raging pandemic. The evidence of equanimity expressed in your words reached me on a cellular level. On a daily, hourly and at times by the minute this particular year, I live in “some beautiful neurotic passion that overwhelms my composure.” Today I am not alone, today I am renewed and again will strive/practice/experience equanimity. Also our Hospice is good, in part due to my practice. With gratitude.

Vivian Tipton

I’m recently sober, round 2. I was enjoying a strong 8 months, then ’20 bombed our planet. In ’21 I found you via Calm. Your “How to Meditate” course has changed my life. I have replaced my habitual all-day drinking with structured meditations. I practice equanimity & share it’s importance with my loved ones. I feel better, stronger. My wife has noticed a huge difference. I have renowned confidence that I can uphold my vows to be the best version of myself. I’m loving this path of mental & spiritual health. I’ve taken my power back. I’m done poisoning myself to take the edge off. I’m truly proud of myself. Thank you for your sincere, down to earth inspiration & guidance

Roderick Newman

As a highschool teacher and father of two young kids the pandemic has hit me hard. After a series of panic attacks in Sept I sought help. Your 30-day training on the Calm app has been instrumental in introducing me to the life-changing benefits of meditation. I feel like I’ve reprogrammed my brain and learned some things that will serve me for life.

Patrick Murray

I would like to thank you from the bottom of my existence for your Daily Trip meditation on Calm. I love your guidance. It’s rock and roll for me. I’m 60 and change and you make me feel alive and relaxed when I do your meditation. Also as a musician, practice is almost everything – it’s a way to be almost sure you can write your next song.

Dan Toren

I am a Dr in the UK and you have inspired my meditation practice which has helped me immensely. I feel much more resilient and am now more available to help my wife, patients and colleagues deal with coronavirus particularly anxiety. I also have a more joyful and fun outlook on life.

Rhys M.

Thank you for letting us in, making it safe for us to be human, keeping it real. What a gift! It feels like you’re right there on the journey beside me. Like I could offer you some bread and you could offer me some wisdom and it’s a give and take. Does that make sense? Life is so hard and so ugly right now and I think one of the most useful things we can offer each other as human beings is our real true selves. Life is clearly too short for all the bullshit.

Linda Ryden

With your online Do Nothing Community, I finally have a place where I feel safe to experiment with being honest and open about who I am, including my struggles with mental health. I have always tried to be open about it, but it hasn’t always worked well for me or for my family. As we all know there is still quite a bit of stigma around mental health. This community lends me some courage as well as good feedback and support, and gives me the opportunity to support others.

PJ King

I am 36 yr old and in the midst of cancer treatment. Your guided meditations on the 10% Happier app have comforted and kept me company during some dark times. They’ve also taught me tools I use and value in my everyday life. UPDATE: I am happy to share that as of last week I am cancer free + done with treatment. It was a LONG year (as it was for everyone in their own ways) and excited to be on the other side. The meditation practice (combined with journaling and some other new commitments I’ve made to myself) have been invaluable. I truly believe those practices will do as much as the pill I have to take once a day for the next 10 years in keeping the cancer from returning.

Nichole Wagner

You lead a meditation on self-compassion on the 10% Happier App that made me cry. I’m new to mindfulness and meditation, I started practicing to help my mental health. And self-compassion is something I’ve never thought to do. It’s like you opened a valve that’s been rusted shut for years. I’ve never felt this sort of emotional release or relief. I can’t thank you enough for introducing me to this. I can already see what sort of amazing changes it’s going to bring to my life.

P. B.

I’m 24 and from Morocco. Your 30 day program on how to meditate literally changed my life. I was on the verge of depression, my dark thoughts were eating me alive and my life felt worthless. Only 10 minutes daily of your course made me have clearer thoughts, more space in my head and a very different perspective of life. It’s now become lifestyle and a crucial part of my day. Thank you for making me realize what matters to me the most in life, and how I can be a better version of myself.

Ilhame

I was feeling very anxious and overwhelmed tonight. I sat on my cushion and opened the 10% Happier app to search for a calming meditation. Featured today was your letting go of stress meditation. The image of the eddy in the stream, of letting all things pass through me – it was transformative. I’ve never had an experience like it. I was able to release my worries and fears downstream. When you spoke of coming back to my body, I really was in another very calm place and I was able to keep that calm – it saved me from a long night of panic and distress. I have now done this particular meditation a number of times and it always works.

Kim R.

I’m a crusty sciency blowhard in my late 50s. I decided to give your course a go and it was absolutely terrific. The variety of subjects and forms, the depth of thought, and the respectful care and generosity became more and more clear every day I participated. I know it’s helped me greatly and that it will continue to enrich my days. You managed to squeak your insights between the rusting bars of my skepticism and I thank you for that.

Andrew

I come from a family that takes meditation seriously, but the practice didn’t resonate with me until recently. What kept me engaged in your course was its simplicity, acceptance of different approaches to meditation, and frequent reminders that the process is the point. Thank you so much for your work, and for helping me find my way back to that childhood feeling that the world is truly wide open.

Victoria Nguyen

I finished your Calm course several weeks ago. When all the horrible stuff happened I was devastated, heartbroken, and in tremendous pain. I ended up in a dark, dark place I thought I may never recover from. It’s amazing how far I have come. I am embracing several things to help me heal from my trauma. Therapy, medication, exercise, less alcohol, healthier eating, getting more sleep, talking with loved ones that support me, and of course meditation, which has been huge and life giving. I have found meditation helps when things get intense. It’s not that I’m ignoring my pain – more that it helps me not to flood and get too overwhelmed. I can recognize when a panic attack is coming, and the breath helps me calm down and not let my negative thoughts take over. Especially when I need to stay present, like when I’m with my kids. It’s amazing what an app on a phone can accomplish. I am on a trajectory to be a better, stronger version of myself, and as I learn to love myself, I am finding an easy joy as I love others better too. Deep down, I know whatever happens going forward, I’ve got this.

R. B.

Your mix of self-care and science is perfect for the skeptical minded cynic. You helped me recognize my internal voice, what I once considered reality. I am able to manage anxiety, not by avoiding it but by acknowledging it and allowing it to be. I am a more conscious, more self-aware person in a way that I didn’t even know was possible; the words used to mean something else. I feel more open to life’s vacillations.

Matt Beam

I came to meditation after becoming unwell with stress and anxiety. It’s very intuitive I think, to sit. I was raising 3 children as a widow and working a stressful job as a nurse. When I felt most tangled I would swim laps or look for native orchids (they are tiny in Tasmania). Sometimes I would even stand in wet mud in bare feet to get out of my head spin. Taking time to sit has meant I have the opportunity to watch myself and know myself better, I don’t seem to get to those crisis points that preceded a meltdown anymore.

F.C.

Your Calm course has helped this ADHD case truly *understand* meditation and, through that, myself. Most meditation classes start with the faulty assumption that a scattered brain already knows what it’s doing. I relate to your journey you describe at the start of the course and thought you should know you’re truly helping others who’ve “been there.” It’s been a game-changer.

Jonathan R.

I went to your first class thinking, “Okay, this won’t work, but it’s a night out.” Right away, however, your intelligence and experience and eloquence – your persona – won me over. I tried meditating in my twenties and again in my forties. It didn’t take…wrong teachers, wrong approach. And then I started suffering chronic back pain and couldn’t get relief. I’d given up hope. I was depressed. Now I’m optimistic. I’m still in pain; I just don’t suffer the way I did. Which is not to say that I’m a very good or even a very dedicated meditator…not yet, anyway. But my perspective has shifted. Who knew?

Barbara Gowdy

Your book, Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics, has been wonderful for me. I’ve finally been able to get started with meditation and I’m over 50 days into it now. Just at the beginning of my practice, I know, but the book you & Dan Harris wrote has helped me tremendously to be okay with meditation without judging my own “success” or “failure” in the practice. It’s already helping dramatically as I’m going through some life changes.

Seth McCanse

Thank you for your teaching about how to respond to the inner critic. When I was meditating, I realized that I hear and see my inner critic. When my critic talks, the words are written out in dark scratchy text like a cartoon character yelling. So I decided to turn the critic’s words into bubbles. Every time the critic said something, I imagined it came out as bubbles. It delighted me and totally changed the experience.

Carly

Troubled by recurring insomnia, I decided to try your course as a last-ditch attempt to deal with my sleep issues naturally, before resorting to a pharmaceutical fix. I came to see how meditation could benefit me in myriad ways beyond sleep, helping me with everything from back pain to feeling more relaxed, comfortable with myself and optimistic. Perhaps the most unexpected, pleasurable aspect has been discovering a renewed interest in the world around me – simply watching the faces of people on the streetcar … the world feels more vivid, mysterious and artful all of a sudden.

Leslie S.

I am on Day 19 of “How To Meditate” via the Calm app. I just wanted to reach out and personally thank you for your guidance. You took a seemingly daunting exercise and made it accessible to all. Your series definitely lives up to your goal of democratizing mental health. I am endlessly grateful for your guidance, and I now feel called to teach others. I still have a way to go with my practice, but you’ve helped open a door that I never even dreamed about before. I am a changed person. Everyone needs this in their life. Everyone.

Rikki

I am participating in the 10% Happier Meditation Challenge right now and just completed your “How You’d Talk to a Friend” meditation. It made me cry so big, in such a cathartic way. I didn’t even think that I wasn’t talking to myself with compassion but being prompted to come up with my own words was really powerful. This is what came up for me: “It’s ok. It’s ok. This is normal. We all feel this way sometimes. This is part of the human experience. This is what it feels like to be human.” When I put my hand on my heart, I totally lost it. :-D I have been practicing meditation for a little over a year now, and it has been truly life-changing. I’ve stumbled my way into growing comfortable with being ME. I honestly tear up when I write this. I was starting to think that I would never be able to feel that way.

Petya Grady

Your Calm beginner’s course made meditation approachable and practical for me. You gave me a way to find perspective on our current global circumstances and find a placid place from which to observe the experiences, the fears, the challenges, but also the surreality of standing in a parking lot for two hours waiting to pick up Mexican food on Cinco de Mayo amongst other masked people background sound of a Spanish radio station. I found peace and even enjoyment rather than reaction.

Greg

Back in the old days when I was ‘exploring my interior life’ I basically looked like a guy staring out the window, apparently ‘lost in thought’. You taught me how to get ‘found in thought,’ the geography of mind, the way to my own personal light switch. I can now switch on the light and start exploring what it means to be alive with eyes, ears and heart wide open. It’s so much easier to search when you know what you’re looking for.

David Young

In one of your lessons on Calm, you speak about the fact that meditation is working, even when we think it couldn’t be. That it seeps through. This was mind-boggling for me and helped me tremendously. I know that I am rarely ‘attentive’ throughout a meditation session. It has caused me to think maybe I am just not good at this. Your words in that lesson have allowed me to be encouraged. My practice was sporadic for years but daily now, for a year.

Jo

I’m excited about my practice in a very empowering and exciting way, and I know that listening to your meditations have been a huge part of that. It’s been freeing to realize that I am capable of really allowing myself to ease up in my practice, welcome it all to the party, enjoy the simple pleasure of being, and partake in the cosmic lovefest, and that all it really takes is a simple perspective shift. Your teachings have also been HUGE in helping me to dissolve the imaginary barrier between my ‘practice’ and my ‘life’ and to really get creative and have fun with the process of bringing these practices into every activity. Obviously, this is a practice in itself, but my orientation to this has been shifted very much from the theoretical to the practical. I can feel the difference every day, and it’s a joy.

Alex Pittman

Jeff Warren’s contributions to the [10% Happier] app have been instrumental in recharging and reinvigorating my practice. His stepping outside the traditional norms of contemplative practice have electrified my sits — I’m not sure how else to describe it — and introduced some much needed fun into my contemplative approach.

Anonymous

“The mind creates the abyss, and the heart crosses it.” Jeff guides us across the river, the ice, the crevasse, the washed-out bridge – whatever we have put in our own way – to the other side. I always leave your sessions feeling more hopeful. To sit in a meditation group led by you is to experience community at its gentlest and most powerful.

Marni Jackson

I feel changed, on a very deep level. I saw a glimpse of that thing we’re all seeking, the missing element to fill that void which cannot be resolved with external stimulants.The most valuable gift you have offered me isn’t a meditation technique, it’s the deep knowledge that I’m actually able to disconnect, to sit still, to quiet my mind and to genuinely enjoy my own company. I found that being in my head, without distractions, is not as scary as I thought it would be, I’m actually fun to be with.

Basma

I struggle with dealing with tough emotions and letting them run their course, and today’s Daily Trip on Calm provided me with an opportunity, a safe space, and a guidebook for doing just that. I have a two year old autistic son, and this made me realize that I need to take some time to check in with my feelings instead of always worrying about his.

Sara Dillon

I’ve just completed your 30 day guide to meditation on the Calm app and I wanted to let you know how genuinely life changing I have found it. Learning the ability to take a step back from my thoughts has been so liberating. As a perfectionist, being able to step back from those thoughts, to not be a prisoner to them, has made me a happier and kinder person. I’m a father to two young boys, which at times can test the patience, so learning equanimity has been revolutionary for me – and now I can begin to pass these lessons on to them too. It’s also allowed me to get closer to the real ‘me’. I didn’t come into the meditations thinking I wanted equanimity, or even knowing what it was, but it was definitely what I needed most.

Dan Thompson

I came to meditation later in life – something I wanted to explore, but I was cynical. I come from “science stuff” – biology, psychology etc., skeptical of things “spiritual”, belief systems and organized practice. With tremendous intelligence, sensitivity, depth and humility, I feel like you’ve offered me no less than the distilled essence of deep religious/ spiritual practice, minus the dogma. It has the rigor and depth to match the best of science. You’ve given me a range of tools to break down and then expand moment-to-moment experience, from sitting practice out to every aspect of my life. What a gift!

Tony Cohn
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