Newsletter Articles

The Risk of Honesty

Koshin Paley Ellison
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June 12, 2024

A friend of mine works with a writer who constantly misses deadlines. In terms of work, it’s actually not that big of a deal, because my friend knows this about the writer, and course-corrects by giving him deadlines that are weeks prior to when my friend actually needs something turned in.

The challenges arise not because of the lateness, but because the writer can’t seem to accept this shortcoming about himself. He writes long emails with excuses as to why he’s late again—imaginative stories that my friend knows aren’t true.

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How to Not Meditate

Devon Hase
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June 8, 2024

For years, meditation was one more activity I packed into my busy day.

It was yet another thing to check off my to-do list, like going to the gym or buying groceries. I would skid into my meditation session, set a timer, and dutifully bring my attention back to my breath, again and again, with a kind of grim determination. It was really not that much fun at all.

I was, in other words, bringing my everyday habits to the cushion. My overdrive, my overachieving, my over-everything.

Then, a few years ago, I hit a wall.

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Is Your Mind an Amusement Park?

Grace Livingston
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June 1, 2024

When some people hear about meditation, they may imagine that it’s a cool, calm chill-out with no distracting thoughts or feelings disturbing the Zen.

And then, since that’s not what anyone actually experiences, lots of people become convinced that they can’t meditate because their minds are so busy and distracted.

The truth is, though, distractions happen! Whether out in the world or seated in meditation, the mind will pretty much always find something to do - and it’s not always going to do the thing we might hope.

What can you do?

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The Case for Being Interrupted

Cara Lai
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May 26, 2024

Interruptions can be welcomed as a part of our mindfulness practice.

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Mindfulness vs Meditation: What's the Difference Between Meditation and Mindfulness?

Jay Michaelson
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May 17, 2024

Mindfulness vs Meditation: Explore the difference between meditation and mindfulness at Ten Percent Happier. Learn about meditation and mindfulness exercises here.

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Why I Meditate

Sebene Selassie
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May 11, 2024

I don’t know what I’d do without a meditation practice. 

These days, after many years, it’s a regular habit. But it wasn’t always that way. For years I tried to cultivate a regular practice, but I found it hard to stick to a routine. It was easier to hit snooze, or get up off my cushion before the timer went off, or skip the weekly gathering at the Zendo.

But I had an incentive: I was a hot mess.

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Change Your Posture, Change Your Mood

Joseph Wielgosz
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May 3, 2024

According to neuroscientific research, you can change your mood simply by changing your body posture.

Of course, everyone knows that body posture can reflect our emotions. Picture an Olympic sprinter crossing the finish line with their arms in the air, and head thrown back in celebration. Or picture the audience in a horror movie, instinctively cringing and curling up when something goes bump in the night.

But can it also work the other way? Can body posture influence our emotional state, as well as reflect it?


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World Meditation Week: 7 Days of Practical Meditation

Ten Percent Happier
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May 1, 2024

May 13th is your starting line for a deeper connection with meditation, featuring 7 days of themed explorations led by incredibly inspiring teachers.

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How to be a Better Listener

Oren Jay Sofer
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April 28, 2024

“You’re not listening!” my friend Jeremy shouted in frustration.

We were standing in his kitchen and Jeremy was upset. Though I can’t remember the details, what I do remember is that he was right: I was only half-listening. I was waiting for him to finish so I could explain my perspective. Even though I was completely silent, making eye contact, and hearing every word, Jeremy could sense that I wasn’t really taking it in. I was building my case, preparing to defend myself.

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How to Build Healthy Habits With Meditation

Ten Percent Happier
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April 15, 2024

Develop healthy habits with the help of meditation. Find out how meditation can help improve sleep quality, eating habits, and more

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The Wisdom of Spring

Jay Michaelson
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April 13, 2024

Springtime!

For folks in most of North America, this is a time of stretching, opening, and awakening. In colder states, it might mean finally putting away those winter coats. In warmer states, it might mean the return of beach weather. Wherever you are, it’s an opportunity to notice how what we think of as “I, me, and mine” is actually… not us at all.

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Everything You Wanted to Know about Meditation Retreats

Ten Percent Happier
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April 5, 2024

Contrary to how they sound, retreats are not about escaping life, but facing it more directly. It's in the silence that we hear the most.

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How to be Compassionate

Rasmus Hougaard
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March 29, 2024

Meditation teachers often talk about the value of compassion. But how do you actually develop it? Here, mindful leadership expert Rasmus Hougaard offers a four-step process for doing so.

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Defending Against ‘Predatory Listening’

Oren Jay Sofer
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March 21, 2024

It felt like stepping on the wrong end of a rake.

My relative had asked for my opinion, but when I gave it, he launched into what sounded like a well-rehearsed argument, taking issue with each thing I had said and critiquing my character. I felt like I’d walked into a trap.

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An Introduction to Walking Meditation

Jay Michaelson
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March 15, 2024

When meditation is depicted visually, it’s almost always in a picture of someone sitting down, usually with eyes closed. And, it’s true, sitting and paying attention to your breath is probably the most common form of meditation today.

But sitting has a serious downside: it takes time and space to do it. Whether you’re devoting five minutes or forty-five minutes to meditation, that’s time you’ve got to carve out of your day.

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Don't Try to Avoid the Mud

Arnie Kozak
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March 9, 2024

In Vermont, where I live, there are six seasons—the usual four, plus stick season (that long stretch from mid-October to the first snows, when the trees are bare and the landscape grey) and mud season, which is now.

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May I Meet This, Too, With Kindness

Amanda Gilbert
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March 2, 2024

Author and meditation teacher Amanda Gilbert shares a simple phrase to help you meet every thought, every moment, and every person with kindness.

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Meditation and Neuroscience: Unlocking the Science Behind Mindfulness

Ten Percent Happier
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March 1, 2024

Studies in the field of neuroscience have shed light on the tangible effects meditation can exert on the brain and even help with reducing chronic pain. From the first studies in Western scientific literature in the 1950s and 60s to the present, scientists have investigated meditation’s effects on the body and mind.

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Sacred Rest

Zenju Earthlyn Manuel
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February 23, 2024

Experiencing peace need not be an arduous journey of endless work, but rather a moment-by-moment effort of resting.

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Caring for Trauma with Compassion

Dr.Susan Pollak
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February 16, 2024

In a recent study of over 3,000 people, the American Psychological Association reported that we are now seeing a nation impacted by collective trauma, which can follow dramatic events or long-term circumstances—such as the millions of deaths from the pandemic, climate-related disasters, global conflicts, and racism. In one way or another, trauma touches us all. 

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Get Your Hopes Up

Yael Shy
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February 9, 2024

When you’ve told yourself not to get your hopes up, were you totally fine when you didn’t get what you wanted because you had reminded yourself, ad nauseum, to not get your hopes up?

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Lessons from a Year of Solitude

Cara Lai
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February 2, 2024

At the end of the summer of 2020, at the height of the pandemic, rising global temperatures and raging wildfires, in the midst of a hot mess of violence and protests on the streets of America, I set out on a solitary meditation retreat for a year. I brought with me my own hot mess: a body run down and twisted in knots from having had Lyme disease for eight years, and a mind that was angsty and foggy—like a feral-but-tranquilized cat.

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What to Do When Your Mind Wanders

Cory Muscara
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January 26, 2024

If you’ve ever meditated, you may have noticed that your mind likes to wander. In fact, many people who subscribe to this very newsletter tell us that they can’t meditate because their mind is always wandering.

But this is a myth! And if it’s keeping you from meditation, please read on.

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Meditation in Troubled Times

Norman Fischer
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January 19, 2024

There’s an old Zen saying: “The world is topsy-turvy.” 

Who is not aware of this today? The state of the world is painful to everyone. The world careens onward in its topsy-turvy course, causing a pervasive sense of inward dread many of us can’t afford to entertain.

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4 Questions to Diffuse the Inner Critic

La Sarmiento
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January 12, 2024

“Is my heart open or closed? Am I suffering or am I free? Am I feeling empowered or disempowered? And am I feeling connected or disconnected?

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