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Meditation 101

How to Meditate without Moving to the Himalayas

Meditation. It’s unequivocally awesome. But it can also get a little more esoteric than necessary. Enter: How to meditate without moving to the Himalayas! Here are my Top 10 Big Ideas on the nuts and bolts of how to create a great, sustainable practice.

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Conquest of Mind

The Conquest of Mind is an amazing book written by an equally amazing man: Eknath Easwaran. We use Easwaran’s translations for the Bhagavad Gita and The Dhammapada and in this book he provides all kinds of great ideas on how we can win “the war within.” In the Note we’ll explore the fact that we don’t want to be heroes in the beginning and then sneak out the back door, the fact that we can ALL change, and the miracles that can be created by hard work.

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Why Meditate?

Working with Thoughts and Emotions

Why Meditate? According to Ricard, the ultimate reason is to transform ourselves so we can transform our world. That works for me! In this Note, we check out my favorite Big Ideas on working out our mindfulness muscles, looking at the power of neuroplasticity and highlighting the fact that it’s *all* about the consistent practice, working on our consciousness thought after thought and emotion by emotion.

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The Relaxation Response

The classic mind/body approach that has helped millions conquer the harmful effects of stress.

Originally published in 1975, this is an old-school classic on the science of meditation. Herbert Benson, MD, has been a Professor at Harvard Medical School and a leading figure in the mind/body movement for decades. Benson was the first to scientifically establish the significant positive effects of meditation. He called it the “Relaxation Response.” Big Ideas we explore: Fight-or-flight vs. Relaxation responses, how to elicit the relaxation response, the placebo effect (is powerful!), and the power of focus.

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The Relaxation Revolution

Did you know you can alter your gene’s expression through mind body practices like meditation? Yep. And Harvard MD Herbert Benson has the remarkable scientific data to prove it. In this Note, we’ll learn more about his “Relaxation Response” (think: opposite of “Fight-or-Flight Response”), why you should care about it and how to rock it.

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Wherever You Go, There You Are

Jon Kabat-Zinn is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts and one of the world’s leading advocates for mindfulness training. He’s demonstrated the phenomenal health benefits of integrating meditation into our daily lives and in this Note we’ll learn about meditation—what it is, how we can rock it and what we can gain from doing so.

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Mindsight

The New Science of Personal Transformation

Mindsight. It's the seventh sense you didn't know you had! Can you pay attention to the inner workings of your own mind? That's what Dr. Dan Siegel, one of the world's leading neuroscientists + psychotherapists, helps us do in this phenomenal book. We'll explore Big Ideas ranging from the basics of brain hygiene to the power of integration and how to live with more flexibility and coherence as we leverage the best of modern neuroscience.

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The Miracle of Mindfulness

An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation

Written in 1975, The Miracle of Mindfulness is one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s earliest books. It was originally written as a long letter to one of his main staff members in South Vietnam—encouraging him during very challenging times to continue their work of “engaged Buddhism.” It’s beautifully written and packed with wisdom. Big Ideas we explore include what qualifies as a miracle (hint: it’s ALL a miracle), choosing to sit or stand but avoiding the wobble, how to balance on top of a bamboo pole and three questions to ponder.

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The Mindful Athlete

Secrets to Pure Performance

Who does Zen master Phil Jackson go to when he wants to get his players' minds right? George Mumford. Mumford has coached everyone from Michael Jordan to Kobe Bryant and gives us a great introduction to mindfulness way beyond sports. Big Ideas we explore include Kobe's 1,300 3-pointers (PER DAY), romancing your discomfort zone, stepping in btwn stimulus and response, and REALLY listening to yourself.

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As a Man Thinketh

Although somewhat obscure, James Allen is a wise guy and his essays have deeply influenced many of today's leading teachers. In this Note, we'll explore the fact that dreams are the seedlings of our future realities and we'll learn how important it is that we strengthen the power of our minds if we want to live an extraordinary life of meaning.

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21 Lessons for the 21st Century

This is Yuval Noah Harari's third book (and our third Note). His first two focused on the past (Sapiens) and the future (Homo Deus). In this one, we "zoom in on the here and now" as we take a look at 21 of the most important things to be thinking about in the 21st century. Like all of his books, this is a thoughtful and thought-provoking look at some globally Big Ideas. Although obviously outside the scope of our normal Optimizing, I think it's important stuff. In the Note we explore dealing with "Disillusionment" (the title of chapter #1) by switching from "panic to bewilderment"), the future of health care and driving (and jobs!), making sure we match our investment in developing AI with an equivalent investment in developing "human consciousness," what we should be teaching our kids (basically, how to Optimize!!), and Yuval's #1 practice: meditation.

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Buddha’s Brain

The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom

Rick Hanson is a neuropsychologist and meditation teacher and this book delivers on its sub-title, delivering a practical look at the neuroscience of happiness, love and wisdom. It’s packed with Big Ideas on the science of how our brains work and he shares a broad range of various practices and guided meditations to help us re-wire our brains. Good stuff.

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Stress Less, Accomplish More

Meditation for Extraordinary Performance

Emily Fletcher used to be a Broadway performer. She was living the dream life. And... When she was 27, her hair was graying, she was always stressed and had chronic insomnia. One of her fellow Broadway performers was always super calm and confident. Emily asked her how she did it. The woman told her that she meditated. Emily rolled her eyes. Then she decided to give meditation a try. After ONE day of meditation, her insomnia was gone. She was hooked. Soon after, she quit Broadway, traveled to India to study more deeply then became a meditation teacher and created something called the “Ziva Technique” which she’s taught to thousands of people. In this book, Emily walks us through the science of WHY meditation is so powerful and then introduces us to the “3 M’s” of her Z Technique: Mindfulness, Meditation and Manifesting. Big Ideas we explore include the science of WHY meditation rocks and a quick exploration of those 3 M's to help us stress less and accomplish more!

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The Sleep Revolution

Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time

Arianna Huffington (CEO of Thrive and co-founder + editor in chief of The Huffington Post) went from being a sleep-deprived executive to a sleep evangelist after passing out and banging her head following years of a grueling work! In this book, she brilliantly walks us through the crisis we’re facing, the history of sleep, the science of sleep and, most importantly, what we can do to Optimize our sleep. I highly recommend it. Big Ideas we explore include the fact that sleep is the #1 most underrated health habit, how to master sleeping well, the #1 tip (and #2-4), how much sleep the wealthiest human on the planet gets (hint: target: 8!), how athletes train their sleep (guess what time Tom Brady goes to sleep!), and why you should set a WORK-DOWN alarm so you don't need a WAKE-UP alarm.

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Stillness Is the Key

This is our fourth Note on one of Ryan Holiday’s books. Ryan is one of my absolute favorite writers. One of the testimonials in the front of the book perfectly captures my sentiment. Screenwriter and director Brian Koppelman (Rounders, Ocean’s Thirteen and Billions) puts it this way: “I don’t have many rules in life, but one I never break is: If Ryan Holiday writes a book, I read it as soon as I can get my hands on it.” (btw: Cal Newport’s the first testimonial. He says: “Some authors give advice. Ryan Holiday distills wisdom. This book is a must read.”) Penguin Random House sent me an advance copy of this book. As I knew it would be: It’s fantastic. Of course, the book’s packed with Big Ideas and I’m excited to share some of my favorites so let’s jump straight in!

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Passage Meditation

Bringing the Deep Wisdom of the Heart into Daily Life

This book could have been called “The Eight-Point Program for Daily Living” as Eknath Easwaran walks us through not just his approach to “passage meditation” but also the other key tenets of spiritual living. Big Ideas we explore include deciding whether you *really* want to get over your problems, how to tame your mind (and why it’s like an elephant’s unruly trunk!), making your mind one-pointed, swimming upstream and doing the work (vs. just attending lectures).

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Silence

The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist Zen master and one of the world's leading spiritual teachers. In this great book he teaches us how to access the power of quiet in a noisy world. Big Ideas include bringing awareness to the "Four Nutriments" we consume, tuning in to the right radio station in our minds and creating an island of self.

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The Power of Now

A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

This is Eckhart Tolle's first uber-best-selling classic where we learn how to watch the thinker, reconnect with Divine Intelligence, accept whatever's happening to us as if we had chosen it (that's a *really* Big Idea), clock time vs. psychological time (a lot of peeps think that just b/c you’re in the Now you can't set goals… not so much… we'll look at what Eckhart's really teaching on this), and the importance of taking responsibility in our lives.

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Mindfulness

25th Anniversary Edition

Ellen Langer is one of the world's leading researchers studying the science of well-being. This book was was published over 25 years ago—before the concept of “mindfulness” went mainstream. Ellen takes a Western scientific orientation to mindfulness (vis-a-vis an Eastern mystical) as she challenges us to overcome our mindless patterns, let go of false limits, focus on the process and notice all the wonders present in our lives.

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Everyday Zen

Love and Work

Charlotte Joko Beck was the founder and former head teacher at the Zen Center in San Diego. I bought this book 10 years ago but it wasn’t until Eleanor recently pulled it off the shelf and dropped it on the ground that I picked it up and read it. (Very Zen, eh? lol) The book is a collection of edited talks Joko gave at her Zen center. It was published in 1989 when she was 82. (She passed away at 94 in 2011.) Fun fact: Joko started practicing Zen at 48. She went on to become an influential figure in the American Zen movement, founding her own approach called Ordinary Mind. So… If you feel a little “behind” in any aspect of your life, take heart! :) The book is packed with Big Ideas and I’m excited to share a few of my favorites with some practical wisdom we can apply to our lives TODAY.

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Success Through Stillness

Meditation Made Simple

Russell Simmons is often called the godfather of hip-hop. He’s a fascinating guy and entrepreneur. This book is a quick, straight-to-the-point guide to meditation written in a style that makes you feel like you’re having a chat with Russell. Super simple, fun, practical. Big Ideas we explore include: how to deal with the #1 excuse for not meditating, and the #2 excuses + how meditation benefits your focus + creativity and how make your amygdala quit acting like an annoying car alarm.

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Brain Power

Improve Your Mind as You Age

Want to learn how to improve your mind as you age? You can and this book by Michael Gelb (author of one of my favorite books: How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci) and Kelly Howell (creator of Brain Sync’s Destiny meditation which I’ve used hundreds of times!) tells us how. In the Note, we’ll take a peek at their eight ways to boost brain power--ranging from optimism, learning and nutrition to exercise, love and rest! Powerful stuff.

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Mindfulness

An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World

Mark Williams is one of the world's leading authorities on applying mindfulness to cognitive therapy. In this great book, he teams up with Danny Penman to help us find peace in a frantic world. In the Note, we explore the what and why and how of cultivating our mindfulness. And, bonus, we get our raisin mind rockin'!

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The Undefeated Mind

On the Science of Constructing an Indestructible Self

How'd you like to have an undefeated mind while constructing an indestructible self? (I'll take 'em!) Alex Lickerman, MD shows us how--blending Western science with practical Eastern mysticism in this powerful book. In the Note, we'll explore how to find your mission and turn poison into medicine.

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The Diamond Cutter

The Buddha on Strategies for Managing Your Business and Your Life

The wise Michael Roach was an undercover Buddhist monk who used a classic sutra from Buddhism (called The Diamond Cutter) to build a diamond business. In his book, he describes how he successfully applied this classic wisdom to his modern business and in the Note, we'll take a look at some of my favorite Big Ideas—including the fact that the world is "empty" of meaning and we always have the ability to see its hidden potential.

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Gandhi the Man

How One Man Changed Himself to Change the World

Eknath Easwaran is one of my absolute favorite teachers. In this beautiful and brilliant biography we get his insights into the transformation of Gandhi the man into the Mahatma or "great soul." As per the sub-title of the book, we learn “How one man changed himself to change the world.” Big Ideas we explore include why/how it all starts with being the change, the power of satyagraha (= soul-force!), making history (by ignoring historians), Gandhi and sugar (and fuel for his soul engine), the call to action (to be moral warriors), and "my life is my message" (what's yours?).

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Golden Rules for Everyday Life

This is a tiny little book written by an obscure philosopher and spiritual teacher named Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov. Alexandra got it after one of her favorite teachers referenced him and his work. I randomly picked the book up to a random page one day (you should see all the books around our house—lol) and was IMMEDIATELY struck by the lucidity of his words. I flipped to another page. Same effect. Then I proceeded to “borrow” the book for the next 24 hours as I thoroughly enjoyed a full immersion in some potent wisdom. (With an asterisk-caveat that I ignored some of the more esoteric aspects of his teachings while soaking in the essence of his practical wisdom.) Big Ideas we explore include balancing our material and spiritual lives (remember: 51%!), how to prepare for the future (hint: focus on the PRESENT!), mental concrete (and how to get unstuck), how to make pearls (lessons from an oyster), and love Infinity.0 (aka, loving *everything*!).

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Big Mind Big Heart

Finding Your Way

Zen Master Genpo Roshi spent decades figuring out how to best help people develop enlightened awareness and came up with his revolutionary process called "Big Mind." In this Note, we'll take a peek at some Big Ideas from the Zen Master including how the root of suffering (dukkha) is getting stuck in one perspective and how that's about as effective as having a Maserati stuck in first gear. We'll also explore the place beyond idiot compassion as we become integrated human beings giving ourselves joyfully to the world.

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Waking Up

A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion

Sam Harris is part philosopher, part neuroscientist (with a Ph.D. from UCLA) and part contemplative seeker. His writing is smart, incredibly clear, and unapologetically direct. In Waking Up, he applies his intellect to the subject of discussing spirituality rationally—devoid of the baggage of both religious superstition/dogma and New Age woo woo-ness. Big Ideas: Mindfulness + meditation, stages of spiritual development, cultivating choice, and accepting while striving.

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Words to Live By

Daily Inspiration for Spiritual Living

This is our ninth (!) Note on one of Eknath Easwaran’s books. That, my friends, is an all-time record. This book is a 365-day collection of wisdom from Easwaran featuring inspiring quotes from some of the world’s leading spiritual teachers followed by Easwaran’s inspirational take on that wisdom. If you haven’t studied Easwaran yet, this might be the perfect introduction. And, if you’ve already enjoyed soaking your consciousness in his wisdom, I think you might enjoy this one as much as I have. Big Ideas we explore include: how to craft virtuous lives, IQ vs WQ ("Willpower Quotient" for the win!), the three gatekeepers (of the lips), end-of-life question: Why weren't you more like YOU?, your life as a trust (energize!), and finding the virtuous mean.

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Strength in the Storm

Transform Stress, Live in Balance, and Find Peace of Mind

As I mentioned in the other Notes on his work, Eknath Easwaran is one of my favorite teachers. He was a professor of English literature in India before coming to America on a Fulbright scholarship. He taught at UC Berkeley and became one of the world’s leading meditation and spiritual teachers. In this book, we learn how to love storms—how to use simple tools to find strength in the inevitable storms of life as we “transform stress, live in balance and find peace of mind.” Big Ideas we explore: “I love storms.” -Gandhi, Eudaimantra (how I came up w/the perfect mantra for myself), how to end all boredom, time as an infinite cosmic carpet, the secret of life (in one sentence) and Gandhi 101: how to become fearless.

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Stillness Speaks

This is our third Note on one of Eckhart Tolle’s great books. We started with The Power of Now. Then A New Earth. And, here we are with Stillness Speaks. It's a super-quick reading and equally deep-thought provoking little book. PACKED with wisdom. In fact, it’s one of those books we could (literally!) open up to a random page and have a great chat for a weekend. (Hah. Seriously.) Big Ideas we explore include how to connect to the truth (hint: remove what's in the way), the importance of stillness and silence (and the negative effects of solitude deprivation), spontaneous right action (aka wu-wei!), hearing voices in your head (and what to do about it), taking empowered action (sit or stand; don't wobble) and embracing the 'isles' of life (drop the labels!).

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Peace Is Every Step

The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

A humble Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the most revered spiritual leaders on the planet. This book is a collection of wisdom from his talks and private conversations and is packed with peaceful wisdom. In the Note, we’ll explore Big Ideas ranging from the importance of our breath and what he calls “mouth yoga” (aka smiling :) to how we can practice engaged mindfulness.

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Anxiety Free

Stop Worrying and Quieten Your Mind - Featuring the Buteyko Breathing Method and Mindfulness

This is a quick-reading, simple, practical guide to, as the sub-title suggests, “Stop Worrying and Quieten Your Mind—Featuring the Buteyko Breathing Method and Mindfulness.” If you’re looking for a general introduction to the power of Oxygen, I’d recommend you go with Patrick’s more recent and more all-purpose Oxygen Advantage. If you suffer from anxiety and/or panic attacks, this might be a great place to start. Big Ideas we explore: The #1 rule of breathing, the 2 key benefits of putting your attention on your breath, why CO2 is your friend and how to play nice, avoiding rat poison and becoming a good mind gardener.

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Fully Engaged

Using the Practicing Mind in Daily Life

Thomas Sterner wrote the great book The Practicing Mind (see Notes). This is a follow-up practical guide to applying the concepts in that book to our daily lives. It’s a great little book packed with wisdom and zero fluff. Having the ability to do be fully (!) engaged in this moment is the ultimate super power. Big Ideas we explore include: how to be fully engaged, the #1 goal of meditation, how to get in total control of your life, goal poison, premeditated procedures, and the powerful question: “And then what?”

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No Mud, No Lotus

The Art of Transforming Suffering

Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the world’s leading Buddhist monks. He is a true master and it’s a joy to connect with his powerful wisdom. I picked this book off the shelf after fires nearly burned down our town. It felt like a good time to remind myself of the fact that the good life is not—and cannot be—exclusively “good” times. Want a beautiful lotus flower? Embrace the mud. No mud, no lotus. Want a wonderful, flourishing life? Embrace the challenges. No challenges, no flourishing. Big Ideas we explore include: suffering goes with happiness, lotus flowers don’t grow in marble, feed the good stuff, the first thing to do when suffering strikes (breathe!), billions of funerals/b-days every day, the two arrows, and why the Buddha meditated after becoming the Buddha.

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Everyday Enlightenment

The Twelve Gateways to Personal Growth

This is Dan Millman's magnum opus where he walks us through "The Twelve Gateways to Personal Growth" and in the Note we check out Big Ideas ranging from the importance of discovering our self-worth (and how to do so) to the fact that, although "Carpe diem!" sounds good, it's impossible to do. We can’t "Seize the day!" but we *can* "Seize the moment!" or , as Dan says: "Carpe punctum!"

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#20 How to Stop Thinking

The #1 Tip on How to Master this Important Lost Art
Patrick McKeown is one of the world’s leading experts on optimal breathing. When I interviewed him recently, he made a very interesting
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#320 You, Buddha and Your Fundies

Why Buddha Kept Meditating Post-Enlightenment
In No Mud, No Lotus, Thich Nhat Hanh tells us that when he was a young monk he thought the Buddha never suffered. Then, as he matured, he
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#335 Meet Your Telomeres

Your New BFFs - Think: Aglets + Offensive Linemen
Elizabeth Blackburn won a Nobel Prize for her research on telomerase — the enzyme that nourishes our telomeres. She wrote a book called
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#394 Start Again

And Again and Again and Again…
In our last +1, we talked about the renowned Vipassana meditation teacher S.N. Goenka and his mantra: “Work diligently. Diligently. Work
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#395 Strong Determination

How’s Yours?
Continuing our theme of S.N. Goenka-inspired wisdom, let’s chat about something he calls “Strong Determination.” First, context.
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#396 Impermanence

"Anicca, Anicca, Anicca"
Continuing our fun little recap of wisdom picked up at an S.N. Goenka Vipassana retreat, let’s talk about impermanence. We’ll do so via
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#452 The Space

Between Stimulus and Response
Viktor Frankl was a remarkable human being. He was a leading psychotherapist before suffering the horrors of Nazi concentration camps. He
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#611 AI vs. HC

A Quick Accounting
In our last +1, we talked about Byron Katie’s investment strategy and putting your focus on the most important stock market out there:
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#670 Meditation’s Instant ROI

Trouble Falling Asleep? Cut It in Half!
Meditation. At this point, most of us are pretty aware of the fact that it’s been proven to be pretty epic for our well-being. Congrats,
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#671 The Magic Pill of Meditation

Do You Take It? (Science Says…)
In our last +1, we talked about meditation’s instant ROI. Quick recap: Stanford science says that if you have trouble sleeping, you can
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#672 Just Brush Your Brain

Meditation’s 1 + 2 + 3 + 4
In our last couple of +1s, we had fun looking at how to cut 15 minutes off the time it takes us to fall asleep by popping the magical
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#677 Interbeing

Qi Gong, Thich Nhat Hanh, You, Me, and Rain Drops
In our last +1 we talked about those two 50-pound sandbags I got to carry back to the car yesterday after someone decided to go Beastmode on
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#709 The Optimus Meditation

Aka the Optimize Virtue Meditation
In our last +1, we had fun with our virtual Optimus Medallion. The first batch of medallions hot off the Optimize mint (hah!) will be
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#710 Virtue Mantras

(Super Helpful!) Tools for the Mind
In our last couple +1s, we talked about the 11 virtues that show up on our shiny new Optimus medallions and make an appearance in our
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#711 More on Mantras

via Eknath Easwaran (the Indian Joseph Campbell)
In our last +1, we chatted about mantras and took (yet!) another trip down Etymology Lane where we discovered that the word mantra literally
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#712 How to Train Your Mind

Remember the Elephant’s Trunk
In our last couple +1s, we’ve been having fun working with some tools for the mind—also known as mantras. Today I’d like to tap into
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#859 The Invisible Gorilla

And the Spotlight of Your Attention
Have you ever heard about the Invisible Gorilla? Insert1: Spoiler alert coming for those who haven’t heard of it yet! Insert2: Watch this
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#941 The 5 D’s of Meditation

Do It with Dignity, a Defined Anchor and Strong Determination Then Do It Again
Yesterday I led a session with our Coaches on our fifth Fundamental: Be Present. (Preceded by Eat + Move + Sleep + Breathe and to be
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#299 The Inner-net vs. The Internet

One Has All the Real Answers
In Life Visioning, Michael Beckwith tells us we need to turn off the Internet and plug into the Inner-net. We THINK the Internet has all
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#1243 Eudaimantra

How to Extend Sovereignty Over the Mind
Earlier today I wrapped up a few Time Blocks of (pre-inputs) Deep Work (3.9 hours to be precise!) as I finished my Note on Mark Hyman’s
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#392 Blissipline

Bliss + Discipline = Secret Sauce
Michael Beckwith coined one of my favorite words: blissipline. Two parts: Bliss + Discipline. This brilliant thought from Beckwith captures
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#393 Work Diligently, Patiently and Persistently

And You’re Bound to Be Successful
In our last +1, we talked about the power of blissipline. Bliss + Discipline = Boom! When I think about bringing discipline to our lives
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#53 Little by Little

The Buddha on How to Optimize
One of my favorite gems from the Buddha is this wisdom: “Little by little one becomes evil, as a water pot is filled with water. Little by
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#228 There Are No Enlightened Beings

Only More or Less Enlightened Moments
In our last +1, we talked about the fact that we can’t seize the day per se—we can only seize the moment. Enter: Carpe punctum. In
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#519 How to Create a World-Class Mind

Hint: Train It for 10,000+ Hours
In our last +1, we talked about the fact that Yuval Noah Harari doesn’t have a smartphone. He’s basically written an algorithm that
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#942 Moment to Moment to Moment

to Moment to Moment to Moment…
In our last +1, we meditated with Emerson and chatted about the 5 D’s of Meditation: Do it with Dignity and a Defined anchor with strong
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#1005 Thoughts + Heartbeats

Meditating? Thoughts Are NOT Your Enemy!
Emily Fletcher was a Broadway performer living the dream. Only… Her hair was graying at 27, she was always stressed and had chronic
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#1006 Brushing Our Brains

Here’s Your Brainbrush
In our last +1, we spent some time with Emily Fletcher and reflected on her meditation wisdom that thoughts are not our enemies. As she
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#1143 Virtuegong

Qigong + Virtue for the Win!
I’ve been doing a super-simple Qigong practice for years. (Thank you, Michael Gelb for getting the balls rolling!!) Every.single.time I
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#1150 Cover It All in Leather

Or… Just Wrap Leather Around Your Feet
In our last +1, we tapped into some wisdom from Brené Brown’s Braving the Wilderness as we wrote ourselves a permission slip and then
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#326 Napitations

Nap + Meditation = Magic
The other day I was taking a little napitation and I thought to myself, “Self, you should do a +1 on Napitations.” So, here we are. 🤓
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#484 Your Optimal Breathing Rate

You Know It? Science Says…
In our last +1, we talked about the new sexy: vagal tone. It’s essentially a measure of the health of our parasympathetic nervous system
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#1234 A Wandering Mind

Is an Unhappy Mind
Not too long ago we spent some time with the brilliant neuroscientist Ian Robertson, discussing some Ideas from his great book The Winner
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#916 Training Tranquility

Today for TONIGHT for Tomorrow
In our +1 on the Top 10 Sleep Kryptonites, we briefly discussed the fact that “Anxiety” is one of the top reasons people give for Why We
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#1039 Frankl on Freedom

See That Gap Between Stimulus and Response?
In our last +1, we hopped off the bus driven by Vice sponsored by the casino and hopped on the bus driven by Virtue packed with our favorite
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#1001 Start Again (and Again...)

And Again... And Again... And...
In our last +1 (#1,000!!), we celebrated our gritty Optimizers who have hammered all 1,000 +1s. One more time: Go you. Welcome to the
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#779 An Increasingly Healthy Mind

Sam Harris on the Real (Near) Goal
Sam Harris is a very smart and very wise man. As you may know, he’s part neuroscientist, part philosopher, part mystic. In his great book
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#98 The Equanimity Game

How to Play It Like an Emperor
In our last +1, we talked about getting really good at recovering from our inevitable glitches. My favorite way to do that? I like to think
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#1241 Breathing Together

Inspiring → Conspiring to Optimize
Last night I got to hang out with 23 Optimizers in their virtual Optimize Local Zoom hangout. It was amazing. (Thank you, Khaled and Asma,
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#1008 SEALs and WIRMs

Witness + Interdict + Redirect + Maintain
Not too long ago, we shared a +1 on what I called “Thought Alchemy.” It was all about “How to Change One Thought for Another.” That