Archive for the ‘meditation’ Category


August 27, 2010

Chanting…what’s next?
18 months of change, 18 months of growth, 18 months of reflection. Seeing “Eat Love Pray” was kind of an emotional experience for me. Not a great movie, just ok. It’s the heart of the story that really got me and the many many parallels with my own life, particularly the last 18 months. Not just Italy, not just Bali, not just meditation and prayer, not even love. What was becoming a burden is now a labor of love. What once was insurmountable is now “surmounted. What once was strange and odd is now a cherished part of my life. I’ve prayed more, mediated more, even chanted more in the last 18 months than in the entire rest of my life combined. I thought things were different, I thought maybe something fundamental in my life and heart and even my soul had changed. I stood in the Buddhist Community Center in a dumpy Kearney Mesa industrial park looking around the room at all the smiling faces. Truly the most diverse crowd I’ve been with in my entire life. And we chanted and chanted some more until I literally felt my soul turn around, my heart awaken. No, it’s not like that, don’t fear me and my exploration of Buddhism, I still pray every morning, I still revere the religions of my family, I just moved to a different place. I felt like I’d been reborn. Not in a fundamentalist way, but in a very deep and personal way. I flashed back to another difficult time in my life while at an Erykha Badu concert. I wasn’t very familiar with her music, but a friend suggested I go. I was out of place in the crowd, probably the oldest, whitest, stodgiest mofo in the joint. She was showing a soon to be child at the time and had recently separated or at least sung about a recent separation. She talked a bit about how challenging her life was at the time, how down on herself she was. Then she sang “I’m all right with me”. I guess she didn’t just sing it, she projected it. Next thing you know, the entire audience is up, holding hands, singing “I’m alright with me….” Tears were rolling down my cheeks. At first it was sadness and then as I looked around I could feel the tears getting warmer. They turned to tears of joy, tears I was proud of, tears of change. The message that really came through “Eat Love Pray”, at least for me was that you sometimes have to reboot, recreate, reengineer, reimagine….and there was my connection to TEDxSanDiego. Those were the titles of the TED talks in 2009 when I decided that I was done with the agency business. That it was time to do something new, something amazing something that would spread good things to others. I realized my new project, TEDxSanDiego was indeed a “labor of love”, not just work. I realized how far we had come and how amazing the learnings, the people, the experiences were. I suddenly knew that this was all part of my “next” as a friend likes to say….My entire life I’ve searched for my “next”. How would I leave this planet, thinking about all the things I didn’t do, the people I didn’t help, the places I didn’t go? I won’t. My “next” started last week. When will yours start?


David Nichtern: Finding A Spiritual Teacher

March 3, 2010

David Nichtern: Finding A Spiritual Teacher.

Many of us pooh pooh the idea of a spiritual teacher. I consider myself one of the lucky ones who was able to spend significant time with an amazing sifu. Check out David’s article about his journey (one of!).


YouTube – Shaolin Inner Strength One Finger Meditation Qi Gong

February 23, 2010

YouTube – Shaolin Inner Strength One Finger Meditation Qi Gong.

I haven’t figured out exactly what’s going on here, but I will. It’s a trip to watch.


Meditation Techniques – for Beginners @ ABC-of-Meditation

February 5, 2010

Here’s a great overview of meditation techniques…I don’t think there’s a “right ” way.

When I was first exposed to vipasana techniques….which starts with a 3 day meditation, I felt a bit like a wanna be, but it’s all good. I am a beginner though I’ve been doing it for years…..

I still want to experience the deeper forms like vipasana one day….can ‘t help but think about “eat pray love”….

Meditation Techniques – for Beginners @ ABC-of-Meditation.


Vipassana Meditation Website

January 31, 2010

Vipassana Meditation Website.

This is really serious stuff….way  beyond anything i’ve done, but I'[m watching the videos trying to get a grip. I was referred to this site by John Miles
Chief of What’s Next i n t e g r i t i v e, inc.
a TEDster I met through the TED social network.


So What Do You Do When You’re Taking a Break?

January 18, 2010

Years ago in an acupuncture class my teacher gave us the assignment to be “totally present” for 24 hours during all of our activities. (This was similar to what the Zen Buddhist teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh advocates.) So, when we did the dishes we just focused on doing the dishes, no TV, no radio, etc. And you do these activities just for the sake of doing them. I remember feeling so frustrated, annoyed, and deprived. I simply experienced emptiness and it wasn’t pleasant.

I do not have ADHD. I don’t get bored easily. So why wasn’t I able to comfortably do the assignment? I remember as a child exploring the woods on my grandparents’ farm in upstate New York and sitting still and just watching the quiet forest come alive when it thought I had left it alone. I had no problems being present then.

I remember going to the Amazon years later and feeling the world I knew slip away under its dense canopy, as if the modern world had never existed. I felt absolutely present then.

I could sit for hours painting or drawing as a teenager completely immersed in the present moment.

So what was different then? I was sitting in awe of great beauty.
I realized that what worked better for me was not simply removing the distractions, but focusing my attention on something I wanted to fill my life with, like, beauty, joy, connection, peace, etc.

Give the moment to a higher purpose.

When you are sitting in the car, stuck in traffic, try turning off the radio. Notice how beautiful the sunset or sunrise is or the clouds in the sky. Just for a moment. Don’t make a big deal out of it. Just a moment.

Next time you are waiting in line rather than checking your email or texting someone, simply be in line and look around you. Don’t allow yourself to focus on the distracted chaos that is usually apparent, but see something beautiful, something peaceful and embrace it.

The next time you have a conversation with someone really see them. Listen as if there was no time; as if there was nothing you had to do as soon as the conversation was over. Just listen and feel how good being connected to another human being feels.

When you are with a child or a pet this can be easier and might be a good first step. For example, if you ever watch the Dog Whisperer , the host Caesar Milan always talks about how your energy in the moment affects your dogs . This is especially helpful when you have a problem dog. Notice how your energy is around the dog and how when you change it, your dog’s behavior changes almost immediately.

This little exercise will bring you peace. A peace that is not dependent upon the constantly changing events around you. It is a peace that is based on what you choose to place in the spaces between the noise.