I have always struggled with the energy of a city like New York. On one hand, I absolutely love it, and on the other, it eats me alive by the end of my stay there. So moving from calm, placid, nature abundant, spacious Palm Beach, to London, was initially a concern. Even though I find London more refined, abundant and calmer than New York, it’s still a heaving city at the end of the day! It was a very real concern it turns out, as three weeks in I can feel the toll city living feels like in my body, sending tremors through my mind.
I am continually mentoring students on how to cope here and in NY and LA also. It simply takes its toll, and I think it’s something we simply have to accept AND put some framework into how we address it. So this whole week I am going to dedicate to the concept of tools and philosophies to thrive in through modern living. Tao Tuesday will be paused this week as we take a deep dive into balancing and calming our minds and bodies and connecting to our souls, no matter where we are. Would love your feedback as the week goes, to see what you found inspiring and useful. Thank you in advance!
First up, there is no greater tool that I have come across than meditation. But not all meditation is created the same. Some meditation practices take us out of fight-flight, and into rest and digest, (like guided meditations) which are super helpful. Others, like Integrated Meditation, do that and a much deeper clean on the mind and body, helping us connect to intuition and the field of creativity (transcending techniques). Honestly though, regardless of whatever you do, may I suggest learning properly with a teacher, in whatever lineage you choose. First up, don’t just think sitting still with your eyes closed is meditation. Also 2 minutes a day is not a daily practice that is going to do wonders for you, I don’t care what various teachers say about this. It’s like saying ‘exercising for 2 minutes is enough’. Next, find a teacher you actually like. Learning anything takes trust and alignment, if you really detest your teacher or think, they have no idea what my life looks like, they’re unlikely the right teacher for you. I hear from so many people that they felt judged by their meditation teacher, or that they felt they couldn’t be honest with them. They are not the teacher for you! Personally, all my best teachers in all the lineages have reflected back to me; they are grounded in the real world, have a lot on their plate, are curious and open, and travel a lot. They’re passionate and open. That’s how I like life, so I find teachers that are the same. It’s not rocket science but somehow we sometimes feel that meditation should be about depriving ourselves or proving ourselves to a teacher. It’s not.
So number one foundation for thriving in the modern world, especially in cities, is a daily meditation practice and I think twice daily is even better. If you can’t reach a teacher in person, we have our free online Zen Course which describes a simple practice to get you started. Enhance is our comprehensive online education and meditation program. Headspace is also a good option if you need an app. Tomorrow, we will chat through tools and techniques for the morning, which is essential for grounding ourselves for the day ahead!
Sent with love,