I had heard about meditation for along time before I was actually able to actually learn it. It wasn’t until the Headspace app came out from Andy Puddicombe that meditation became accessible to me. While many people deal with a busy mind by drinking, working, exercising, Andy went to Tibet and became a monk. Now he is back to describe this ancient practice in very accessible terms to all of us in the west. Oh, and he juggles as a visual aide. Worth 10 minutes!
Ok, not a TED talk, but a very short and interesting talk on what meditation is, how it works, and why it is important. In Eckhart’s unique self deprecating style. Meditation is not a “doing” it is a “being”.
It is about being in the present moment. About tuning into the present. In his words:
All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence. People don’t realize that now is all there ever is; there is no past or future except as memory or anticipation in your mind.
In 8 minutes, this is what Meditation is and how it will change your mind:
One of my daughters, Madison, had alopecia. Yea I had to look it up too. It is a autoimmune disease that causes the hair to fall out. For a six year old girl it was particularly horrifying to have big bald spots on her head. In the mad scramble for the cause and a cure, we ended up learning quite alot about food. Ok, mom Jen Pitts learned alot about food and Dad came along begrudgingly. Yea like usual. Good food, bad food, and especially rethinking what I learned about food in school, especially the “food pyramid”. Turns out the “food pyramid” was created mostly by industrial food lobbyist rather than nutritionists. It also turns out that school lunches are one of the leading contributors to our overall decline in child health in America. School lunches are all too often the target of easy recipes and cost cutting.
Jamie Oliver has a different idea. In this TED talk he really lays bare the bad trade we are making with out children’s health when we go for industrial food lobby cheap lunch programs. He has successfully delivered healthy food in the same budgets around the world. It is really all about attitude. Watch the talk, change your mind. Pack your own lunch.
I am starting a new category here at DGC, my favorite TED talks of all time. Sometimes they will be on-topic with the other themes here at DGC, sometimes they will be totally random. The common thread will be that these talks made me think, made me contemplate in a new way. Maybe the talk challenged a belief or bias I had. Maybe it introduced me to a new field I never considered. Maybe someone just communicated an eternal truth in a new and interesting way. In any case, I have listened to hundreds of TED talks and attended a couple of their in person meetings. These are the ones I pass on to friends.
The first one I want to share is about addiction. Maybe you have struggled with it yourself as I have (gambling, cell phones, etc.) or maybe you know someone who has. But the question is, how should addicts be treated? The common method in America is to shun them and punish them. Yet much of the addictive behavior is a cry for attention, for attachment, a reaching out for connection. Pushing them away is exactly the opposite of what is needed. Hari really breaks it down for us from debunking the erroneous studies behind current policy to highlighting success with new approaches. This talk is not just for policy wonks, it is for all of us. It can help us have more compassion for the addicts in our lives, including ourselves. Watch it.