This morning I jumped out of bed after my alarm went off – on a Saturday – and immediately ran to the kitchen to turn the kettle on for coffee. My mind was already running and I was already thinking about how to get out of the house in time to get to the gym so that I could make my workout class and get my day ‘off to a good start’. I suddenly felt a wave of nausea, had a cold sweat and my legs turned to jello. My four-year-old asked me what was wrong. For a moment I panicked, not sure that I could even care for him and wondering if he head learned 911 yet. As I’m laying in bed taking deep breaths and snuggling with my boy and his legos, it hits me. Get still. Slow down. Focus on breath. Be. Start the day right by starting the day slowly. Be present and forget about the body-banging workout you were just about to do. Just for today. And then I pull up this Ted Talk….see below.
In 1972, Matthieu Ricard had a promising career in biochemistry, trying to figure out the secrets of E. coli bacteria. A chance encounter with Buddhism led to an about turn, and Ricard has spent the past 40+ years living in the Himalayas, studying mindfulness and happiness. In this free-wheeling discussion at TED Global in October 2014, Ricard talked with journalist and writer Pico Iyer about some of the things they’ve learned over the years, not least the importance of being conscious about mental health and how to spend time meaningfully. An edited version of the conversation, moderated by TED Radio Hour host Guy Raz, follows. First, Pico Iyer on how he became taken with the idea of staying still:
Guy Raz (left), Pico Iyer (center), and Matthieu Ricard (right) discuss mindfulness and the importance of being still at TED Global 2014. Photo by Duncan Davidson/TED.
Pico Iyer: When I was in my twenties, I had this wonderful…
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