Video #3: To Heal, Catastrophic Thinking Can (And Should) Be Stopped

In this third video in a 10 part series, I answer the question of how meditation has changed my healing process. One clear example is the (everyday) phenomenon of "catastrophizing." This is when we take an uncertain situation – for instance, some pain, injury, or emotional crisis – and we imagine everything getting much worse, like a runaway train. By the end of the daydream (it could all take place in 10 seconds in our mind), we feel drained of hope and are tense with fear. Meditation helps cut catastrophizing thinking before it…continue reading →
Three Reasons Why I Meditate (And Why You Should Consider It Too)

Three Reasons Why I Meditate (And Why You Should Consider It Too)

1) Meditation reinforces a dignified, noble posture which has innumerable health benefits. It’s one of the few activities practiced in America for which an elegant stature is encouraged (equestrian sports and classical piano are others). When we are in good posture, our spine is efficiently supporting the weight of our skull, our lungs have room to operate, and our digestive path is not compressed. 2) I am off duty from “doing.” As an entrepreneur and parent of a young child, there’s always a long (glaring) list of unfinished tasks. But when I’m meditating,…continue reading →
How I Ended My War with Pain

How I Ended My War with Pain

Seven years ago, I developed a mysterious chronic pain in my upper body that had me unable to type, hold a piece of paper, and relegated to the cool wooden floor of my girlfriend’s apartment for hours a day. I was 26, unable to work, and learning to dial a phone with my toes. From my floor-bound perspective, I stared for hours at the ceiling fan, imagining where this health trajectory was heading. I, who could not open a tea wrapper, began to resolve myself to leave New York and be cared for…continue reading →
Reduce Stress and Distraction through a Short Body Scan

Reduce Stress and Distraction through a Short Body Scan

You’ve heard of 8 minute abs, but have you heard of an 8 minute body scan? Me neither; so I created this short embodiment practice that you can practice on your own when you’re feeling lost in worry, or perhaps a bit frantic and out-of-body. In this audio, I’ll guide you to include the felt sensations of your body, from the soles of your feet to the crown of your head. This requires no special powers of concentration: just two ears and about eight minutes which, by the way, is the approximate time…continue reading →

Waiting for The New Yorker, an Out-of-Body Experience

Yesterday, I reached into the mailbox expecting to grab The New Yorker magazine. In order to accommodate my daydreaming about how I would enjoy the issue, I had to shift my attention away from the world of hands against doorknobs, boots against floor, the whooshing sound of buses outside. In other words, I moved away from the world that my body was experiencing and a part of, and sat up in a kind of treehouse with my thoughts. We can't divide ourselves so well – if we are deep in expectation, we aren’t…continue reading →

Two Questions to Keep Your Meditation Practice Alive

Meditation has a goal. How could it not? We need some reason to get out of bed in December and inhabit our cushion. Maybe we practice in order to feel more sanity, deal with physical or mental illness, or because we’d like to have something to talk about with our meditation instructor. However, if we don’t check in periodically with the nature of our journey, it’s easy grasp after some “better” state of mind or posture. Let’s say I’m having what feels like a lousy meditation session; my mind is ungovernable, like a…continue reading →
Body As Compass in Times of Stress and Anxiety

Body As Compass in Times of Stress and Anxiety

The body is like a compass in this age of poor navigational signals. We don't know what to do next, though we feel that we certainly should be doing something next. Our attention and decision-making is demanded by notifications from our phones and computers. We have so many relationships to check in on and tidy up through endless apps and platforms. Not to mention worries about our jobs and our expectations for our productivity. With so many different directions to go, how do we decide? One option is that we can listen to…continue reading →
Fishing for our Body’s Wisdom

Fishing for our Body’s Wisdom

I can remember trying to 'feel' the swampy mess of bodily sensations and emotions I felt trapped inside me. What were these squeezings in my chest and throat, this panicked gripping in my abdomen? I knew there was wisdom in the body and that if I could relate with it, I might feel less stuck in my life and more able to make decisions. Yogis and meditators had written luminously about the wisdom we have inside us. So I sat very silently and very still. Like a fisherman with my line in the…continue reading →
Excavating the Sitting Bones in Meditation Posture

Excavating the Sitting Bones in Meditation Posture

Somewhere underneath you right now are two protrusions known as the sitting bones. If you cup your buttocks in the palms of your hands (NSFW?), you’ll feel these prominences which form the southernmost points of the pelvis. Try slumping back and you'll notice that the sitting bones rotate forward. Now pull yourself into an overly upright position so that your chest is arched. Can you feel the sitting bones start to roll back? In a comfortable sitting position, your sitting bones are somewhere between those extremes, resting like two feet on the chair.…continue reading →
Giving Up Good Posture

Giving Up Good Posture

I started meditating long before I ever heard of the Alexander Technique. Now, my experience as an Alexander teacher has profoundly affected how I sit on the cushion and even how I approach meditation altogether. A week ago, I taught a workshop at the Interdependence Project called Posture, Pain, and Meditation Practice. My experience there inspired me to write about "good posture." If we look at a meditator like this, from my perspective as an Alexander Technique teacher I can see a few imbalances which are likely making this posture uncomfortable. The low…continue reading →