Meditation Resources: All the Cool Kids Are Doing It

Let me guess.  You would meditate… but you don’t have time.  I assure you – you do.

Mediation goes hand in hand with mindfulness.  And mindfulness is at your is the opposite of mindfulness – walking down the street, not paying attention to people you pass or where you are going because you are texting to a friend.

Mindfulness would have you be alert.  Look at your passersby – your fellow NYC residents bustling to work.  Are they hurried?  Sad?  Happy?  Can you see how in so many ways they are just like you?  Look at the trees, the cabs, the new buildings, the dog poop – you know…your world.  This is a form of walking meditation.  Paying attention to each step.  This costs you no time at all and trains your brain to be in the here and now.

Notice how the next time you are waiting  – for a friend at a bar or at an appointment at the doctor or wherever – how you reflexively whip out your cell phone.   Worse, on a date, as soon as your companion goes to the bathroom  – that phone comes out.  What if, instead, you actually looked at your surroundings. Took them in.  Pondered something your date had said?   Chatted with the person next to you? And in doing so, reminded that person that we are not separate – but all in this together.  That could be a great sitting meditation or example of compassionate listening. 

This is your life, your city, your planet.  Pay attention to it. Get back involved with it.  You may meet someone who changes your life.  Or you may just find some peace in a little human connection.

1) There are many styles of meditation  Many of you know the metta-type I prefer is the Tong Len. Here is a little how-to video and write up on that.

2) There are many places to meditate (your favorite yoga class, for example) but one place I can recommend is Kadampa on 24th street.  I am no Buddhist – but I like their main teacher, whom you can watch here.  Obviously, I take umbrage with the use of the word “stress” like this (it has a very precise neurobiological definition). Nevertheless, it is a useful model of what stress feels like in the mind and how meditation can help alleviate it.

3) If you liked the videos from last week – check out their books: 
Dan Harris – 10% Happier – this is about 100 pages of autobiography of how a type-A, driven,  Manhattan lifestyle drove Harris to need meditation – and then how he went about learning it.

Sam Harris – Waking Up – this is an intense and great read.  It is weighty on philosophy and neuroscience – but thorough and worth every minute spent. The end notes are riotously funny if you like nerd humor.  (these links go to book excerpts – you can pick either title up from your favorite bookstore…)

Take good care & remember…the time is always NOW,