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Can't fight this sinking feeling  

If the world really is coming to an end, I guess noticing your breath and trying to calm down can’t hurt. 

If we’re hopelessly sunk, why pretend everything is going to be fine? 

We might as well lean into the pathological coping strategies we’ve been relying on — and meaning to address — our whole lives.

But what if the world isn’t actually ending? 

What if it just seems like it because there’s no way to know how long the chaos will last or when the surge of uncertainty will peak? 

And what if mindfulness is more than a way to relax?  

What if it develops empowering attention skills?  

Instead of a sinking ship, the pandemic reminds me of a meditation retreat — one that everyone in the world has been forced to attend, with an undetermined duration, and without any clear instructions for navigating the inevitable challenges. 

Mindfulness can’t provide an escape from life’s vicissitudes, but it can prepare you to engage in your life more fully regardless of the factors beyond your control. 

When practiced consistently, it can help you develop liberating attentional skills that support your ability to: 

  • savor pleasant moments more

  • fight with unpleasant moments less

  • navigate the messiness of life more effectively

  • recognize the humanity you share with everyone 

When we hold out for an exemption from pain, confusion, and discomfort, we’re sunk. But when we abandon our insistence that any particular moment should be different than it is, even a catastrophe can become a powerful teacher.  

Not one you’d ever wish upon yourself or anyone else, of course. 

I’d rather explore all of this with you in person, but being able to practice together without the risk of spreading the virus makes Zoom a pretty impressive lifeboat. 

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Live Online Practice Support


⏸️ Pause


Online mindfulness practice support will be temporarily paused during my family getaway.

We'll be skipping the following dates:

  • Morning meditation live streams Wednesday (8/12) through Tuesday (8/18)

  • Saturday morning practice group (8/15)

  • Sunday evening meditation (8/16)

Wednesday evening practice group will not be interrupted. 

▶️ Resume


The regular live practice schedule resumes Wednesday, August 19, at 7:00 am ET. 

Practice with me whenever you'd like for as long as you like. 

Practice in silence without instruction: 
  • Weekday mornings from 7—8:00 am EDT, Facebook and Instagram Live
  • Sunday evening from 8—8:30 pm EDT, Zoom
Group practice with instruction and discussion:
  • Wednesday evening from 7—8:30 pm EDT, Zoom
  • Saturday morning from 10—11:00 am EDT, Zoom 
Check out my practice page for details and links to all of these live practice options. 

There is no charge for these sessions. Optional donations are accepted through Venmo, PayPal, and Squarespace.
 

🔍📔 Perception Detectives


I recently launched a private Facebook group for for online practice participants to share their field notes between sessions. Send me a message through Facebook if you'd like to be invited to the Perception Detectives group. 

Attention grabbers

  • Waking Up 

    My free month trial of this app developed by Sam Harris just ended. 

    Every meditation app has its strengths and weaknesses, but I usually have to warn people about the ways most apps contrast with my approach to mindfulness. This app is different. It's beautifully designed and so far I haven't come across any guidance that makes me wince. It also has a library of conversations with people whose work I respect. It's worth checking out
     
  • Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization 

    I just started reading this new book by Scott Barry Kaufman about the work of Abraham Maslow. I'm already hooked. Did you know that Maslow never illustrated his hierarchy of needs as a pyramid? Kaufman makes a solid case for a sailboat making a better metaphor to think about universal human needs.

    The way he talks about "healthy transcendence" sounds a lot like what I'm trying to describe when I talk about attentional fitness. Check out the article he wrote for Scientific American a few years ago, "One Skeptical Scientist's Mindfulness Journey," to get an idea of what I mean. 

Keep in touch between newsletters

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