I’ve been meditating every day for ten to fifteen minutes for the last couple weeks.

I am not using any technology, just old fashioned sitting and breathing.

My friend and former partner Jerry introduced me to a teacher who gave me the basics and I’ve been doing it every morning right after I wake up and before I write.

I like the addition to my morning routine. It’s very peaceful that time of the day and it’s a nice bridge between night and day.

I’m hoping for a bunch of benefits; lower stress, more presence in my personal interactions, lower blood pressure, and a healthier approach to life.

That’s a lot of asks from sitting and breathing for ten to fifteen minutes a day but I’m told it’s all there for me if I commit to the practice and keep it up.

I’m very much a creature of habit and so I’m pretty sure I can do that.

And it might improve my writing too. That would be a win for all of us.

#life lessons

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    I started in a bit before you and am hard at it every morning.Here’s my post 22 days into using Headspace.…I suggest that you try one of these apps as indeed this is all about learning a new skill, and the more you internalize the deeper it becomes and the more it starts to impact your daily life.I’m sold on this.

    1. ShanaC

      I found that after a while, I was having experiences that weren’t covered in depth by apps (sometimes very positive, sometimes very negative). I ended up going to a Zen temple in brooklyn affiliated with a monastery in the Catskills – it hugely helped with that blockageThat said, their meditation practice is VERY muscular and hard to do sustainably (i’ve had on again, off again periods with it). I’d still recommend it, but beware if you aren’t ready.

  2. JimHirshfield

    “And it might improve my writing too. That would a win for all of us.”Oiy. Keep meditating. The missing word, ironically, will emerge.

    1. Girish Mehta

      Don’t care if you meditate, but please keep commenting Jim.

  3. LIAD

    I’m pushing 9 months without missing a day. Took it up for the same reasons you mentioned. Have been doing a combination of deep breathing/focusing on the breath, and guided practice using headspace initially, then calm and now 10%.Positive effects have been manifold. Shame didn’t start 20 yrs earlier. Shame meditation/mindfulness isn’t taught in high school.

    1. Susan Rubinsky

      I wish yoga was taught in schools too.

      1. LIAD

        started yoga a few months ago. got addicted after the first session. very teacher-led practice. teacher changed, new one not great, lost it’s allure. must find new class.

        1. Susan Rubinsky

          The right teacher makes all the difference. There are a lot of horrible teachers out there. My first teacher spent the whole first year teaching the students 10 basic asanas and the correct way to hold your body. We literally would spend a whole class — 1.5 hours — perfecting just one asana (like downward dog, for example). I stayed with her for three years — this was over 20 years ago — until she stopped teaching. She gave us all the tools to practice on our own without hurting ourselves. It’s really about having a deeper knowledge of our bodies. She was trained in India in the 1970’s in the Ashtanga tradition.

          1. Gayatri Sarkar

            I learnt yoga at school in one of the PT classes but unfortunately it was not continued. Later, I started doing myself from a yoga book my parents gifted me. This is before youtube. Nowadays one can practice seeing youtube videos. Suryanamaskara helped me a lot. Even one of my client at IBM tried to do medical stress testing on me, they were surprised at the result.

          2. Susan Rubinsky

            I highly recommend having a teacher. You can’t learn the correct way to hold your body from a video. The teacher will come around and adjust your body as you are in the pose to help you learn the correct positioning.

          3. Gayatri Sarkar

            I agree with you Susan. I forgot to mention I used to take advanced yoga classes for 5 years. Also breathing technique during yoga is important. It has helped me a lot with my backpain, caused due to sitting in front of laptop all day.

          4. LE

            Back in the day this was true for Karate as well. [1] Can’t learn it from a book for the same reason.Might be helpful though to video yourself. That is what I did to check on whether I was doing planking correctly.[1] I just checked to see what karate lessons cost in today’s dollars. Amazed to see my parents were paying the equivalent of $50 per week. This was back when an Ivy League education cost the equivalent of $19k per year (tuition only) now!

          5. sigmaalgebra

            Yup, that’s why I’d never consider Yoga or anything related: India is awash in (1) really bad economic, social, and basic living conditions, (2) has come just to accept such garbage (sewage, often the right words), and (3) has drifted off into some inscrutable, irrational, mysticism.Last I heard about Yoga was something about expensive crystals to “purify” the area. Yup, back to old superstitions and nonsense responses from fears from ignorance.

          6. Vasudev Ram

            >The right teacher makes all the difference. There are a lot of horrible teachers out there.Yes. It’s more than just horrible teachers and misled people, too. Just as in any other field where one can make money, there are a lot of fakes, fly-by-night operators and outright cheats in the yoga and meditation fields too.I have come across some of them (fakes and misled people, including colleagues.). One example of the rubbish out there is the dumb idea of having yoga competitions. [1] Saying or thinking that yoga is about competitions is a complete travesty of yoga. Yoga is not a competitive sport, not in the least. It is for self-development, with the emphasis on the word “self”. Read up on the philosophy and goals of yoga (including the very meaning of the word) (you will have to do due diligence even for this, since there is a lot of shit out there about it),[1] A colleague once boasted to our boss that he had done some yoga exercises faster or better than other people (like holding the breath for longer or some other bullshit like that). The very idea of competition is anathema to yoga. You’re doing it for your own self-improvement (or should be), not to show that you are smarter or better than someone else, stupid!And while not related to my above points, I like the way Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras start:Atha YogaanushaasanamThus the discipline of Yoga.…(if you just google for the word Patanjali, there is a lot of unrelated stuff on the first page or so, due to SEO by vendors, so dig deeper and/or use other keyword variations).

          7. Susan Rubinsky

            Yes. Yes. Yes.I follow the Ashtanga tradition. More on Ashtanga here –…However, I stumbled into yoga over 20 years ago and by complete luck, ended up with an incredible teacher who had studied in India. I now practice entirely on my own, at home.

          8. Vasudev Ram

            Just took a look at that link. Interesting. Ashtanga Yoga seems to be the same as what the Yoga Institute of Santa Cruz (a suburb of Mumbai, not the place in California) teaches – the same 8-fold path. but the Institute emphasizes Hatha Yoga:…I guess there are different names for the same or overlapping approaches, as with many other aspects of Indian culture too.I’ve also heard of Pattabhi Jois (mentioned in your link), and maybe his teacher was also the teacher of BKS Iyengar -…I have read his book Light on Yoga.I had been to the Yoga Institute long ago and also attended some of the talks of Sri Yogendra, the founder.

        2. ShanaC

          True of many things involving teachers

      2. PhilipSugar

        Mine did yoga too.It was considered the “gut” gym class. Yoga and Meditation. You didn’t have to get sweaty and go back to class. You could only take it once a week and the other class had to be physical.However, I have absolutely no flexibility. None. Yoga didn’t help. Blessing and a curse. They say the only reason I can use my right arm after being hit by a car doing 45mph on a walking path is my joints and tendons are so tight.

        1. Jaikant Kumaran

          I am not flexible. The goal of yoga is not flexibility. yoga is to make the mind, body and soul one. To bring in unison using the body. Meditation is dropping the body.

      3. LE

        There is only so much time in high school. So something would have to be cut. What would that be? Well there are plenty of things time wise to cut that they have been teaching forever that don’t matter or have no value or benefit in real life.In any case my vote wouldn’t be for teaching yoga or meditation.It would be for a course on people and relationships. Kids would probably get much more value from that than learning about some of the worthless history they have to memorize and get tested on.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          > It would be for a course on people and relationships.But they’d never do that! A lot of it would get to boys and girls, and that teaching would be politically correct, total nonsense!!!That’s some of why boys need my envisioned Girls 101 for Dummies — Boys!About the closest the schools would come would be just to show the central parts of Star Wars III — Revenge of the Sith where Anakin is (1) having premonitions about the death in childbirth of his wife Padmé, (2) is being patronized by the Jedi Council, and (3) is being manipulated by the Chancellor (Sith lord). It seems to be an attempt at a classic case of high motivation, ego, dilemma, and manipulation.One of the best parts of that part of that movie was the example of Anakin’s wife being proactive. Good for George Lucas and the writer and director.That stuff could be taught fairly easily, and Hollywood’s skills, talents, and techniques could be big helps, but I don’t see it happening.So, if only just from the movie, some of the stuff to teach would include:domination, intimidation, subjugation, manipulation, subordination, subservience, etc. Or, teach how people can be deceived and taken advantage of.Talk about brain work! So, the two biggies, rationalism and emotionalism and then lots of details for both.Talk about anxiety, e.g., fear, and its more common cases of what people are afraid of and what they try to do about it.

      4. Kirsten Lambertsen

        My kids (2nd and 4th grade) have both done yoga in public school (yay!). And my son was also provided a meditation session last year by a guidance lady who decided to take it upon herself to offer to kids at school.We’re lucky. We have cool, forward-thinking supe and principals (moreso at the elementary school for the principals).

      5. sigmaalgebra

        Yoga, sitting there with the brain turned off taught in schools? It was taught, and taught for six long, brain-dead, wasteful, infuriating (not very restful) years in the high school and college I went to: They called it English Literature! Really difficult to think about important material in math or science when some overcome English teacher is ecstatic about some “the child is the father of the man” or “out, out brief candle” — nonsense and not brief enough for me! The only good news was, in my high school, less so in college, some of the girls were really pretty!

        1. Lawrence Brass

          When you hear your favourite classics you are doing a form or meditation, especially when you know the pieces. The brain is expecting the known notes, the repetition. Repetition is the key concept in meditation.Similar brain electric and elecromagnetic activity patterns are the proof.I used to hear Vivaldi Four Seasons’s Summer over and over (and over), waiting for the presto. Yes you can do things to your brain.…I was a happy kid playing with my toys until I got interested in girls. I often say this as a half joke – half truth. I think that is the event that marks the end of childhood.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            Girls! Yup, I like girls! They’re different, ain’t nearly the same as me!My computer was down for a few days as I had to reinstall the operating system and, of course, lots of other software — actually I’m still at it, not done yet. But ASAP I got the computer back to playing music again! Yup, I like music.Why I like music I don’t know. A wild guess is that music is a case of geometry but done with pitch, harmony, timbre, rhythm, etc. The rhythm is a form of repetition, that is, lets the listener know at least a little of what to expect next. And there is a lot of repetition, e.g., Wagner’s motifs in Der Ring des Nibelungen and, similarly, in Williams’s music for Star Wars. There’s a lot of repetition in the J. Strauss Morgenblätter as at…with fantastic Vienna architecture, Kunsthistorisches Museum in Wien, davor der Maria-Theresien-Platz mit dem Maria-Theresien-Denkmal. So, there is the geometry of the music, the architecture, and in this case the ballet.But repetition alone is not so good, and quickly too much repetition ruins the music. E.g., for music much before Vivaldi returns to the tonic of the key far too often, and that return somehow stops the music. So, the music seems to keep stopping, and that’s frustrating.So, avoiding the tonic is a way to keep the music continuing.Staying in one key makes the music more predictable, but changing keys can add desirable variety and expression.Then the 20th century 12 tone music with no keys is usually frustrating to listen to.A violinist who plays a little out of tune is a little frustrating maybe because the pitch is not what is expected. Apparently in high end, recorded pop music they use a little math to adjust the pitch to have all the notes quite accurately in tune.There’s a lot to music: The composers just had to know what worked and not all of just why. And a lot of what worked is just art and not nearly just geometry.Nice performance of “Summer”.So, it’s at…with soloistMari Samuelsen.Have not heard of her before.Of course for us in the northern hemisphere there is “Winter” at…withJulia Fischer.To me, Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart, …, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, etc. are a very long way from yoga!

          2. Vasudev Ram

            Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is one of my favorite pieces of music too. What does the presto mean? I’m not well versed in the theory of Western classical music, I just enjoy listening to it.

          3. Lawrence Brass

            I am not an expert either. What I know I have learned from my daughter who is a musician and violinist.A classical concert is divided in movements. Each movement has a mood usually related with the speed or tempo, an italian word. Presto is a tempo.There is a table of tempos at the end in this wikipedia entry:

          4. Vasudev Ram

            I’m guessing presto means fast, from the English usage of the word, as in Hey presto! (used by magicians 🙂 Will check out that link, thanks.

          5. Vasudev Ram

            Just watched that video. Really good performance. Normally I don’t like what I call flourishes or a show of (merely) technical virtuosity in musicians, but in this case, it did not come across as that (though I thought so at the start). Their performance seemed flawless, but also just came across as sounding great (not just technically). Also they were clearly enjoying themselves too. Thanks for the share.

    2. PhilipSugar

      It was at mine in the early 1980’s

    3. William Mougayar

      9 months? you must be due anytime 🙂

    4. avip

      It is taught in some schools. And in some other schools, that’s the only subject being taught…

    5. toddsattersten

      We live in Portland, Oregon and they are starting to teach mindfulness in schools. My son attends Wilson High school. They were the first school in the country to offer a for-credit class in mindfulness. Students can use it as an alternate to physical education. Peace in School is the organization that runs the program – https://www.peaceinschools….

      1. LIAD

        Super impressive. Thx for sharing.

  4. jason wright

    stream of consciousness thinking and technology don’t seem to work well together in isolation. there has to be the context of various third ‘components’ as technology is never an end, only the means to an end, or the ending of something known previously to be undesirable that has nevertheless remained but only because hitherto there has been no viable way to form an alternative. This is what I find disappointing about the present state of blockchain ‘innovation’. so much of what is going on is truthfully not about forming viable alternatives. it’s just and only about the taking of the money. that’s not inspiring.- my bicycle is my meditation technology (and walking works too). got new pair of Altra shoes for that, the shape of human feet. there’s an innovation.

    1. Susan Rubinsky

      You are right on about cycling and walking. It could be just sitting on a bench looking at the sea. It could be paddleboarding (I’m big into paddleboarding) or hiking. The key is in setting aside time for only you and learning to channel out all the noise around you and within you.

  5. William Mougayar

    What do the “basics of meditation entail”? How long was that initiation/learning period?I’d rather do it that way, if I do, instead of being dependent on an App or ongoing hand-holding.

    1. Gayatri Sarkar

      You can do in the morning before starting exercise or work. Sit and follow your breathing- thats meditation. I do not do with any app. You can do 10mins every morning. I have been doing for long, it helps me not to take stress.

    2. Maroonblazer

      I’ve found that an App or other kind of guidance is worthwhile as many people mistakenly believe meditating is simply about ‘relaxing’ or ‘clearing your mind of thoughts’. Even better: do a 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat.

    3. dineshn72

      Here is the simplest version – the goal is try to keep your head clear of any thought. You could do this by intense focus on your breathing, or by chanting anything over and over, or simply by “watching” your thoughts and trying to find out where they arise from.

    4. Vasudev Ram

      Check out the Vipassana school and method. Zazen is another one. Googling will find info on both. Also see: .Some other good resources (IMO):Mindfulness in Plain English (there is a free version as well as a paid one available, IIRC). It’s by a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk, IIRC.Forget the name right now, and I have not read it yet, only read about it, but check out a book by Culadasa. An American with training in meditation traditions and more. Should find it via Google or on Amazon.

  6. johnmccarthy

    Big fan of Headspace

  7. Gayatri Sarkar

    I have been doing since my childhood. Best time to meditate is when you get up in the morning. You will feel relaxed and stress free all day.Fred, my suggestion will be to play OM at the background or in your ear, it will heighten your senses during meditation.

    1. Greg Kieser

      What do you “play OM”? Play a recording of the sound OM? Thanks!

      1. Gayatri Sarkar

        Hi Greg, I play on youtube, there are ones for meditation too. I love how Fred said just old fashioned sitting and breathing. Thats meditation

          1. Lawrence Brass

            This frequency absolutely resonates with my wiring… after a while time freezes. Thanks.

          2. Gayatri Sarkar

            oh yea, this one is very good. I have done meditation with this as my background music.

          3. Jaikant Kumaran

            I have heard that this is the primordial sound the mind is enveloped in before being born and after death.

    2. Susan Rubinsky

      I think this is true only for morning people. I’m a night owl so I do yoga then meditate in the evenings.

      1. Gayatri Sarkar

        Hi Susan,You can do whenever you get up, if thats late morning or noon thats fine. Doing after you get up really clears your mind.

      2. Kirsten Lambertsen

        I always have that same reaction 🙂 If I close my eyes at all in the morning, I’ll be asleep before I can count the first breath, ha! I’m literally the walking dead until about 11am. But maybe that’s exactly why I need to do it in the morning…

    3. fredwilson

      OM as in the changing we do in yoga?

      1. Gayatri Sarkar

        Yea, you are right.

  8. Shoe On Head

    it will turn out to be the most important everyday activity in your life. life changing.forget apps. it’s too important

  9. WA

    Breathe in. Breathe Out. Mind like still water. Namaste.

    1. Susan Rubinsky

      chop wood, carry water.

      1. WA


  10. WA

    Anywhere. With Practice.

  11. John Pepper

    When I left my company of 16 years suddenly in 2013, two very different friends of mine in the same week strongly suggested I go to a Chopra meditation/yoga retreat to find peace with all that had happened… and so I did. During my 2-year hiatus I ended up attending 3 of these retreats, one which required complete silence for 5 straight days. Each time I arrived a bit skeptical, and each time I left in a completely different state of mind and spirit. Years later, and having repurchased aforementioned company and getting ready to launch a new company, I struggle to meditate daily as I was once so committed to (3-4x per week now) but the impact on my life and my outlook and my perspective was unmistakably positive. Not sure about the apps… can’t imagine anything as powerful as deep personal immersion in something that can make such a difference in ones life – especially if one is just getting started.

  12. John Herron

    I love the old saying “you should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day. Unless you’re too busy, then you should sit for an hour”

    1. Nick Grossman

      love that – i suspect it’s exactly true

  13. Vendita Auto

    We all aim for the same thing in different ways Bagwork dogwalk vino watch The Acountant – Atomic Blond again.

  14. Chinedu Echeruo

    That’s great Fred. I think the link between inwardness and outward expression is being better understood. Meditation and other forms of stillness are practical and powerful.

  15. Nick Grossman

    I have been doing this as well, and it really makes a difference for me. I am not the creature of habit that you are, so it’s not a perfect routine for me yet. but it really helps me for all of the reasons you mentioned.the structure I use is a 9 minute “hourglass” meditation — first 3 minutes, focus on awareness of your thoughts as they pass through; second 3 minutes, focus on your breathing and awareness of your body; last three minutes: expand your awareness to your surroundingsI use an app called insight timer which has a really nice starting and ending bell, and you can set wooden blocks to demarcate the interior sections

  16. Pointsandfigures

    I have tried this. Really hard to quiet your mind for that long

    1. Girish Mehta

      Because it is the mind trying to quiet the mind.

    2. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Count your breaths. If you lose track, start over. Don’t try to control the breath. Just count each inhale or exhale.

      1. Jaikant Kumaran

        Wonderful advise. There is a lot of wisdom in that. Firstly because the breath connects the mind and body. You will notice when you are relaxed the breath is long and deep. When stressed (angry etc) the breaths are shorter. Secondly because counting helps in focusing on a single thing. Attending to a single principle. It is called Eka Tattva in sanskrit. Thirdly because the single principle is observing/counting the breath. Observing the breath is also meditation. This is as per the Patanjali Yogasutras. Can ready a little about this principle here

        1. Kirsten Lambertsen

          Thanks 🙂 And thanks for the great link!

    3. sigmaalgebra

      > Really hard to quiet your mind for that longNaw! It’s not hard! A huge fraction of the population, with no training or effort at all, has their mind “quiet” for decades at a time!But now a lot of them have a challenge where they might wake up a little, e.g., to find a replacement for watching Matt Lauer whoever the heck he was — never saw him!

    4. Vasudev Ram

      Note: I am not a meditation expert, but I have done some of it (guided, at a well-known place for it), and read a lot about it.So I wanted to say this: If the meditation technique that you tried, tells you to quiet your mind, it may be wrong. Because (as many of the reputed books and articles on meditation say, and also by my own experience), it is almost impossible to quiet the mind by trying to do so. The more you try to quiet it, the more active it gets 🙂 Instead, one of the approaches is to just watch or witness the thoughts in the mind – without either any condemnation or approval of them. Just watch. Don’t try to suppress them, or judge whether they are good or bad or anything else. Just be aware of your thoughts. In fact, another term used for meditation is awareness. It is not at all the same thing as concentration or thinking of only one thing and trying to stop other thoughts.HTH.

  17. Thierry Ascarez

    Congrats for that Fred. I’ve been meditating for the last year and it is an amazing routine to have, it definitely helps with what you describe in your post.

  18. bsoist

    After dabbling once in a while for years, Terri and I started doing this almost every afternoon not quite two years ago.Maybe a month ago, I started doing it first thing in the morning, and the change in time is a big improvement for me. Wish I’d started much sooner.

  19. Tom Labus

    How does this help blood pressure?

    1. LE

      This is probably a YMMV and the ‘white men’ differ depending on the study as to the benefits.…In any case the connection I would make to support that it lowers blood pressure would be that if it is true that meditation makes you more restful and peaceful then in turn you would be less hyper vigilant and therefore your blood pressure would be lower as a result. [1] One thing Fred left out was that it would in theory also help with digestion and in turn lower GERD or any stomach issues as well. Potentially. Just common sense that if you are more relaxed you will eat slower and have less acid production as a result. I don’t think you even need a study either as I have found. Once again all of these things depend on a host of circumstances and don’t hold true in the same ways as, say, medication over a large amount of the population.I found that I can alter my being just by walking slow from my car to my office and trying to reverse how hyped up I am.[1] As an example think in the other direction how your blood pressure shoots up if the police are behind you and you have been speeding.

      1. Tom Labus

        Genetics too. Some of my family has it worse than others. Meditation may be like diet, helpful but not ball game. Thanks for the article @le_on_avc:disqus

    2. Jaikant Kumaran

      Meditation cannot directly benefit blood pressure issues. Meditation can relieve stress which indirectly can benefit blood pressure.

    3. Vasudev Ram

      Might want to read about The Relaxation Response. IIRC it was one of the seminal papers that got the West interested in meditation.…Note that TM is not the only form of meditation – there are many techniques.

      1. Tom Labus

        Thank you. Will check it out

  20. Vivek Menon

    Fantastic. Real meditation is difficult but so effective. Lots of research on its impact on autonomic nervous system and ability to tolerate and perceive stress. I found it impossible to do effectively (and thus, consistently) until discovering “live biofeedback” techniques. This is the practice of meditating while tracking heart rate variability (a biomarker), to optimize breathing. It’s highly motivating to get immediate feedback on if the practice is working or not.

  21. breathe with b

    Hi @fredwilson:disqus — We’ve been building a hardware product for meditation and mindfulness for over a year. We’d love to send one your way!- @breathewithb (,Eric https://uploads.disquscdn.c

  22. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:The will and desire to commit to an routine.Things most effective people do daily.You commit to posting, reading and commenting on this medium. So you can actually commit to what ever you desire. Commitment!Captain Obvious!

  23. Adam Parish

    I did this with Headspace during the month of August. It was awesome. The 10 minutes of being mindful and present went by so fast.

  24. Adam Sher

    Do you find that your meditation provides a different benefit than your exercise? I feel very mentally refreshed after my exercise.

  25. goldwerger

    Been practicing for 4 yrs, extremely recommended

  26. Rob Terrin

    Thanks for sharing, Fred! Growing up Quaker, I practiced a kind of meditation or “seeking” in silence once a week without technology. I’m not a big believer in meditation apps, but lately, I’ve been a fan of Great, bite sized, free and low barrier to entry guided meditation track to play in the background. Wishing you the best in your journey!

    1. LE

      Are you talking about meeting for worship? I had that at the high school that I went to. (I am not Quaker but it was a Quaker school).

      1. Rob Terrin

        Yup. I guess I actually went twice a week, since I went to a Quaker school too and we had a short MFW on Wednesdays. Maybe the best thing about Friends’ schools.Did going to a Quaker school influence any meditative practices you currently have?

        1. LE

          Maybe the best thing about Friends’ schools.There were so many things great about the school that I went to and what I learned there as well as the experience. MFW made a great deal of sense to me and I would go into that meeting house when it was empty for no reason at all. I don’t meditate so no it didn’t influence that!To me a great thing about that school was that most of the teachers were not ‘lifers’. They were passing through onto bigger and better things. So they were full of enthusiasm and not sticks in the mud like at many public schools. Not sure what happens today but at the time they were paid much less than public school teachers. So they weren’t there for the paycheck or to avoid the draft (at the time that is why many people went into teaching). And not there for the free summers etc. Even the lifers were different though they all lived on campus (nearly all teachers did ). Had classes in teachers apartments etc some times. Kids were nice and everyone was motivated and took the learning experience seriously. It was a boarding school primarily but there were day students as well. First week I was freaked out. People held doors open for you. Tablecloths in the dining room. You ate in the same room as the teachers.

  27. Kirsten Lambertsen

    For anyone who doesn’t already know, your local Unitarian Universalist facility usually will have regular guided meditation sessions that you can attend for free or very cheap, if the meat space is more your thing 🙂

  28. Brendan Cottam

    Hey Fred – big fan of AVC and your commitment to writing….dropping my first comment/question here.Quick question: what’s the reason you are doing it without technology (i.e. app)?Coincidentally, I started about a month ago using a free version of Simple Habit. It’s an app. Sessions with the free version end up being 5 minutes so a little less than 10-15 minutes but they have different themes to follow. There are quick ones for work breaks which are super helpful. I am considering the paid version but curious on your reason for avoiding tech?

    1. Jaikant Kumaran

      Guided meditation is good if the mind is too chatty and keeps wandering. It helps to bring the mind to focus on whats being instructed. For some folks this is not necessary as their mind/desires/body is already in a rhythm

  29. Angelo Castello NYspinewellnes

    Bravo Fred!Go for it!To a mind that is quiet the universe appears.

  30. LIAD

    Funny recent Curb your Enthusiasm clip on Yoga/Meditation.NSFW (ish)…Namaste.

  31. Meredith

    I am convinced that the most important thing I do everyday is meditate. The biggest benefit I have found is that it helps me overcome cognitive biases.On another note… I think we are on a precipice where meditation is going to take off, similar to how exercise/running took off decades ago (maybe in the 70s 80s?). There is an insight meditation center in the 20s in NYC that is always packed and I sort think it may become the next flywheel/soulcycle (I am in no way affiliated with any of these institutions)

  32. Steven Kane

    Please report progress. And If you have any time for personal book reading, check out Waking Up by Sam Harris. Superb short tome on meditation and mindfulness

  33. markjosephson

    My dad meditated 2x a day (or tried to) for most of his adult life. Taught me too.I used this book ( The Relaxation Response to re-teach myself.Super easy read for those interested. In fact, think i’ll go reread…

  34. cavepainting

    Beyond health benefits, meditation also provides the possibility of putting distance between self and body, and self and mind. Are we the body and/or mind, or something else that transcends these?The search for this awareness and the potential for even abiding in it once in a while can reduce ego, pride, and all the suffering that flows from it.This is the larger benefit of quietening the mind and following the breath. You can call it spirituality too, but more simply it is the delayering of oneself to search for the core.

    1. Girish Mehta

      Re: “..the possiblity of putting distance between self and body, and self and mind. Are we the body and/or mind, or something else that transcends these ?”I think there is a lot to the idea that we are not our minds. You can recognize that you are not it, and allow it to be. The mind will not quiet the mind. You can observe the mind and disassociate from it.There is usually a benefit to starting meditation as a practice for somebody who has not done it.But there is something to be said for (trying to) live meditatively, instead of meditating as a practice for 20 mins a day. Am saying “try to” live meditatively because, speaking for myself, I don’t think I will get there in my lifetime. But one can move in that direction. Living meditatively…a walk is meditation. Eating slowly is meditation. Cycling or Chopping wood or Carrying water which are all examples by @susanrubinsky:disqus and @jasonpwright:disqus elsewhere on this post are meditation.

  35. Mark Dellecave

    Fred, your blog is excellent. Thank you. I have been meditating for 18 months and practicing yoga for 10 years. I find the iRest yoga nidra an excellent practice. iRest is a guided audio practice developed by Richard Miller; one of the most credentialed American Yogic scholars. iRest has the endorsement of the US Army Surgeon General. It works best for me after yoga or exercise. Interesting that you mention the bridge between night and day because the awareness that meditation cultivates is a constant, awake or asleep. Molly Birkholm does a great 27 min practice free on YouTube

  36. marko calvo-cruz

    Meditation has kept me sane for the last 3 years, great to see you endorse it. I highly recommend the book, “Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind” to accompany your daily practice, it’ll change your life.

  37. toddsattersten

    I started a mediation practice seven years ago. Building the habit has been as life changing as others have described. Having a teacher is crucial. I chose a path using Zen Buddhism. My favorite first book is Start Here Now by Susan Piver. The mantra that really works for me is “Body like a mountain, Breath like the ocean, Mind like the sky.” Love to see so many people taking up a mindfulness practice.

    1. ShanaC

      Might be useful for you and @markocalvocruz:disqus…

      1. Vasudev Ram

        Hey Shana, how many things are you into? It seems to be a lot, going by your comments here 🙂 I used to be a bit like that, but less so now. Trying to focus more on less things. No judgement on you.

        1. ShanaC

          Probably too many. I’m slowly focusing, but my nature is to try lots of things.However, my relationship with ZMM is outside of that. I needed (and to be frank, still need) a grounding spiritual practice even though I’m personally an atheist. I didn’t realize until many years later that there were huge and very personal spiritual and communal losses from leaving orthodox judaism, and that I needed a grounding spiritual discipline to deal with the losses and the questions they created.

        2. ShanaC

          Also, I’m in a really weird place in life – which is both helping and hurting the too many things problem

      2. marko calvo-cruz

        So excited by this list! Was looking for more reading material, thanks

        1. ShanaC

          If you are in nyc, just go to the fire lotus temple ( aka zen mountain monastery’s temple branch). They’d say the same as I would – The encounter and in person teachings matter far more than you’d expect.

  38. PhilipSugar

    This is the key to sleeping btw. If you can clear your mind then you can sleep.

  39. karen_e

    Do you read a bunch of news articles before you write? –Curious

  40. Jaikant Kumaran

    Death is when the body drops you and meditation is when you drop the body. Be smart and start meditating. – From the talks of Sri Sri Ravishankar

  41. sachmo

    Every legit buddhist temple of practically every discipline (tibetan, zen, traditional theravada, etc) will have a once / week intro to meditation class.I would highly recommend going to anyone even casually interested. These once / week free classes are often taught by monks with 20+ years of experience and they go over the basics, such as posture and breathing.A lot of ‘new-age’ classes are often sold as mindfulness, but the teachers of these classes often have FAR less experience than the free ones taught at the temples and they charge money. They also do goofy stuff or add their own little quirks that in my opinion are not replicate-able at home.When looking for a temple, it can be intimidating, because there are so many different sects of buddhism. I’ve been to a lot of the different sects (Soto Zen, Rinzai Zen, Tibetan, Thai Theravada, etc). They all emphasize slightly different things. For someone just starting, I think the Zen schools are the best place to go because of the emphasis on meditation. Zen emphasizes seeing the world with clarity.The Tibetan schools are interesting too. I would say they emphasize love. Seeing the ‘other’ as another embodiment of yourself.Keep meditating Fred.

  42. Dan T

    I got to fight club every Friday – easier to stay in the moment as compared to yoga – lose focus, you get kicked in the head.

  43. ShanaC

    Wait until you try a zen templeI have a good one in brooklyn if you need a recommendation

  44. Joseph K Antony

    Since I am a Christian in India, my yoga teacher asked me to intone “AMEN” instead of OM and it worked fine.

  45. Mason Sexton

    @fredwilson:disqus Check out Vedic Meditation (essentially the same technique as TM). I tried mindfulness and a few other techniques but this one was a true game changer for me. Much easier to stick with and probably the most well researched style. Happy to recommend some great local teachers in the NYC area if interested.