What time of day should I practice?

Many meditators prefer to meditate first thing in the morning, when the mind has less mental baggage, or last thing before bed in order to ease into sleep. Choosing one or both of these times has the advantage that they can always work with your schedule by simply getting up or staying up a few minutes earlier or later.

That said, one potential issue with feeling like you need to practice at some very specific time is that if you don't make your pre-determined sit you might feel like you've fallen off, and cease to practice entirely. So if you miss a regular sitting, see if you can find another time window, no matter how short, to keep your daily streak alive.

How do I mark a lesson or training as complete/incomplete?

You can do this in one of two ways. Either swipe right across the training or lesson when viewing it on its respective tab, or hit the three dots in the upper right corner on the audio display screen while its playing.

What designates Fundamentals, Concentration, Metacognition and Deconstruction?

Tapping on the images provides an explanation of each level.

How do I know if I'm making progress?

One of the great difficulties in meditation is that the results take careful observation. Although the benefits you're receiving are profound, they are not immediately obvious until you've been practicing for some time. That causes many individuals to become discouraged and think they weren't making progress when, in fact, they were. Here are some signs you might look for in daily life to see your progress in meditation:

  • Are you more aware of what's going on in your mind?

  • Can you focus on tasks like reading and listening to others more easily?

  • Do you spend more of your day immersed in the present moment?

  • Are you worrying less often about imagined future catastrophes?

  • Do you take little insults and indignations less personally?

  • Do you spend less time staying angry at other people?

  • Are you able to resist some of your unhealthy cravings?

Do I need to meditate twice a day to see the full benefits?

Although this is an area that needs further research, early studies suggest that the benefits of meditation are dose-dependent, like exercise. The more you meditate, the more benefits you'll see. That said, the amount of meditation that's best for you is the longest time that you can do on a consistent basis. Consistency is the most important factor, so if two sessions sounds like a real struggle, just do one per day.

Unlike exercise, it's unlikely that you can "over-train" in meditation, unless you have a pre-existing disorder or predisposition for mental illness (please consult a mental health professional if this is the case).

How do I stop my mind from wandering?

It's only natural that your mind will wander - that's what the mind does. But what's key is that you have a firm intention to keep brining it back. Each recovery is a small victory.

In general, whenever you notice the mind has wandered from your meditation or from the task at hand, you can root yourself back in the present by bringing awareness into your body. Your brain can't be aware of your body and simultaneously creating some thought simulation, so rooting in the body serves as an anchor.

What traditions to do these techniques come from?

I've studied and taught primarily vedic, vipassana or insight, and dzogchen techniques, and most of the trainings pull from those various traditions. The purpose of this program is to lay out a secular and systematic process for training your mind, recognizing the similarities among different traditions, which ultimately all try to enhance your mental wellbeing. The ancient traditions have done an incredible job of mapping out the journey for training your mind, and you might find that as your practice deepens, you are drawn to one of those traditions and choose that pre-mapped path to take your practice to the next level.