If you are wondering whether a regular meditative practice might be of value to you, the Ten Percent newsletter is a no-cost option to get started. Reading time ~ 3 minutes.
Nowadays I am much more prescriptive in my recommendation that people interested in mental health and productivity explore some kind of contemplative practice.
It is one of the 13 core habit areas I believe are relevant to those working at the edge of their abilities (there it is in green!!).
By ‘contemplative practice’ I mean some kind of regular self-reflection focused on better understanding one’s mind and utilising this understanding to make better decisions and choices.
For many this will include some kind of meditation.
Good apps have a mixture of contemplative resources. They typically have guided meditations and structured courses based around specific topics (e.g. managing anxiety or stress, better sleep). They often have interviews with contemplative teachers in which you can learn about different perspectives on contemplative practices. With a good app, it is now possible to get quite a good foundational knowledge of ancient (e.g. Buddhist) and modern (e.g. neuroscience) perspectives on what it means to have a ‘mind’ all from the one app.
I have two apps that I subscribe to (i.e. pay for) and consume their content (Ten Percent and Waking Up). I have found both valuable for different reasons. Ten Percent is very practical and focused on the application of meditation concepts to modern challenges. Waking Up is a deep dive on consciousness and what it is like to have a mind.
But this post isn’t actually about those apps.
It is about the newsletter that Ten Percent provide free at their website.
What I like about their newsletter is that teachers from their app discuss the challenges of everyday life and how meditative practices can help adapt to those challenges. For example, in a recent article, meditation teacher Cara Lai discussed ways of meditating that we can use on days when our mind is more chaotic and reluctant to focus or concentrate on something like the breath. Susan Pollak discussed Zoom fails and the internal self-talk we can muster at those times to soften the feeling of crashing and burning.
If you are on the fence about meditative practice, but are willing to read a weekly article or two about how it could be used in your life, the Ten Percent newsletter is a great addition to your reading list. You’ll learn how teachers apply the concepts in their own lives and be able to make a decision about whether you might find it helpful to develop a contemplative practice of your own.
For other mental health and productivity resources that are on my reading list, visit this blog post.