Eckhart Tolle's groundbreaking The Power of Now was first published in 1999. Since then it's been translated in 33 languages and probably sold over 4 million copies worldwide. Learn more.
A WELCOME MESSAGE
Most people die without ever having lived. As life unfolds before us, we're distracted rehashing the past or anticipating the future. And once that future arrives, we're off looking ahead again.
"You're fretting again," my husband often points out. He's right. I've spent a good part of my 65 years fretting about this, that or the other — all of it wasted energy. I've never looked back and said "Boy, I sure am glad I worried! It made all the difference!"
In the end — a few days, hours or even minutes later — that 'Big Thing' I was fretting about didn't truly matter. It worked itself out. And even those times it didn't, life went on and I'm still here breathing. You too. If you're reading this, you've survived your entire life and all its crises so far. And you've probably forgotten all but a few.
Most of us cause ourselves, and those around us, much needless suffering. Worry, anger, judgment and regret contribute nothing positive. Instead they steal our joy, our energy, our health. They steal life itself! At 68, I've had enough!
Work and personal commitments can get quite stressful. I've been learning over the years that it doesn't have to be like this. There's another way to live. There's a way to handle everything on our plates, and more, without the struggle, stress and drama.
It's said that one teaches what he needs to learn. So it is now. I've been studying the lessons presented here for years but haven't fully incorporated them into my daily life. I hope to and know many others would like to also. In the spirit of sharing and mutual reinforcement, I invite you to join me on this journey.
LIFE HAPPENS WHETHER YOU WORRY ABOUT IT OR NOT.
The people below have so much to offer. I have read their work and watched them on video over the past few years. It's helped me quite a bit. I invite you to spend some time with them here.
Tara Brach is a clinical psychologist and Buddhist, and also majored in political science. In 2003 she published Radical Acceptance and has founded the Awareness Training Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. Learn more.
MEDITATION & MINDFULNESS
Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life. - Eckhart Tolle
For many, the word "meditation" calls forth exotic images of a Buddhist or someone sitting cross-legged on the floor for hours, incense, chanting, chimes and so on. That's maybe how it was and still is in some cases. Today meditation is practices by millions in the U.S. and worldwide, most of whom are not sitting cross-legged, burning incense or devoting whole days to the practice. Science is documenting the benefits of meditation for both our mental and physical health.
Interestingly, two well-know TV journalists have played a significant role introducing meditation and popularizing it. The first is Dan Harris who suffered an on-air meltdown one day during ABC's Good Morning, America. Here's his story:
Andy Puddicombe is a former Tibetan Monk. He left that life in 2004. Now living in Venice, California, he is co-founder of Headspace — a meditation app used by over 37 people million worldwide. Learn more.
Gelong Thubten, formerly an actor, came to meditation after suffering depression and anxiety for years. He's been a practicing monk for 26 years, but you won't find a better laymen's guide to meditation. Learn more.
If you'd like to be entertained while learning about meditation and mindfulness, I highly recommend you watch Peaceful Warrior starring Scott Mechlowicz and Nick Nolte. Dan (played by Mechlowicz) is a college gymnast aiming to be on the U.S. Olympic Team. He's got everything going for him — but he's not happy. One evening after waking from a nightmare, he goes out walking and meets "Socrates" (Nolte) working at an all-night gas station. This meeting would transform his life.
Another TV journalist-turned-meditator is Anderson Cooper of CNN. He moonlights with CBS' 60 Minutes and was assigned by his producers to do a segment on Mindfulness. He went to meet Jon Kabat-Zinn, a leading proponent of mindfulness and author of ten books including Wherever You Go, There You Are.
Cooper attended a weekend retreat led by Kabat-Zinn to learn about meditation. It wasn't easy. One of the first things everyone had to do was turn in all their devices. Their phones, tablets, laptops, and whatever they had. And they had to eat in total silence, to really experience their food.
As it turns out, the experience was transformative for Cooper and impacts his life to this day. The next two videos were recorded at the 9th Annual Wisdom 2.0 Conference in February 2018. First below is a discussion he held at the conference with Jon Kabat-Zinn who he had first met doing 60 Minutes.
Before going on, I encourage you to STOP and watch Cooper's 60 Minutes report at the links to the left.
As described on its website, Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, is founding Executive Director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is also the founding director of its renowned Stress Reduction Clinic and Professor of Medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He knows the science of meditation, practices it and teaches it as you saw in the 60 Minutes broadcast.
A growing body of scientific work is documenting the physical and mental benefits of of meditation. A very exciting development in research around meditation is neuroplasticity — the ability of the brain to rewire itself throughout one's life. Meditation can proactively steer the brain into positive change making you calmer, happier and healthier. This next video explains.
Harris produced this next video, Meditation for Beginners:
Where are you?
What time is it?What are you?
The BBC's series on Alternative Therapies looked at meditation in this episode.
Peaceful Warrior is a true story, told with Hollywood's typical enhancements. It's based on Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman, a star gymnast in high school and college. In 1966, before suffering a devastating motorcycle crash, Millman won gold for the U.S. in the international Maccabiah Games. He struggled back through his injuries and was competing again by 1968 when, as team captain, he helped U.C. Berkley win the 1968 NCAA Gymnastics Championships.
This is a scene I pieced together from three separate video clips on YouTube. Playback quality isn't the best but it provides a glimpse of the powerful message conveyed in this film.
This combined clip is used with consent of NAN Films LLC. Permission from NBC Universal is pending.
Millman delivered a TED Talk several years ago in Berkeley, California.
I think Peaceful Warrior is a great film. Like any Hollywood movie it's a bit over the top at points, but frankly Dan Millman's story is a bit over the top! It's amazing. I hope you'll watch the film. It's available online to rent or purchase at these sites:
Ready to learn more? Check out the videos provided by each of my teachers.
JUST SAYIN' NOW
This is just the beginning! The journey will continue in real time on my Just Sayin' Now blog with occasional essays, information and new videos. I invite you to join me there and share your thoughts, comments and experiences.
"The feeling of the quiet mind is very near to the feeling of being entranced by a mesmerizing sunset. As the sun goes down and you are ever-present in the moment, you may feel as if time is suspended."
- Richard Carlson, Ph.D.
Author of Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, might be called the father of meditation in the United States. He has lead the way in popularizing it and in showing its scientific and medical value. Learn more.
David Allen published Getting Things Done in 2001. His system of stress-free productivity, also known as "GTD," is wildly successful. GTD has a spiritual Zen-like quality that's about more than just doing stuff. Learn more.