This article is about looooove. It’s also a no-nonsense article about how to meditate. If talking about love feels a little fluffy, stay with me. We’re looking at love from a pragmatic angle, as a positive emotion that’s good for our mental and emotional health. There’s a reason all the world’s major spiritual traditions encourage us to love others: not just because it’s nice, but because it’s useful.
Anxiety can really suck. Here's a quick, easy meditation practice that can give you some relief. It's called the Mindful Pause.
The Mindful Pause is a great "spot treatment" for times you're feeling stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed. It can take as little as 30 seconds, and you can do it anywhere. You can be sitting, standing, lying down, whatever. No one will even know that you're meditating.
You're having dinner with a friend, and she gets up to go to the bathroom. Be honest: How quickly do you reach for your phone? Was there something specific you needed to look at, or was it just a reflex?
This reaction reveals something about us: We're addicted to distraction. Put another way, we're afraid of facing an undistracted moment. It's as if going a single second without something to occupy our minds would be intolerable.
So my girlfriend bought me a bag of Jelly Belly jelly beans, which are basically my favorite thing. I can decimate a big bag in like 15 minutes. But I’ve been trying to get in shape, so I made the hard decision to turn down my beautiful fruit-flavored babies. Then I had an idea:
I would eat exactly one jelly bean a day, mindfully.
I spent most of 2014 meditating in the Arizona desert — seven months of silence and solitude. Then I moved to New York City.
After all those months, I figured my meditation practice was too strong for my new surroundings to affect me. Nope. The city tore my zen calm to pieces. My only option was to embrace the chaos of the city and somehow make it a part of my practice.
Most meditation teachers agree that daily practice brings about the best results, but almost every meditator I know struggles with daily consistency. I definitely did. It took six years of trying and failing before I finally locked down a daily practice. Here are the two tricks that solved it for me.