How meditation has changed my life + 8 steps to ZEN

Ah, Meditation. 

I feel with meditation it's like, when you know you know - and for so long I did not know.

Mediation has SO many benefits for those that do it regularly, and the benefits only maximize over time. I have noticed the most benefits from doing it for 6+ months, but now am able to ‘drop in’ and meditate from basically anywhere.

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Its been shown to:

  • Increase memory and attention (through increasing grey matter in areas related to memory)

  • Increase brain volume specifically in areas related to emotional regulation, positive emotions and self control (Yes PLEASE. This has been major for me in creating a more steady emotional state).

  • Decrease depression

  • Increase immunity 

  • Improve your sleep (it helps me sleep like a baby if I do it before bed)

  • Decrease anxiety 

  • Regulate hormone levels (which helps with weight loss, appetite, skin…) 

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This short list includes only a few of the amazing benefits all proven by science. It’s rad right? Natural, free and accessible for everyone. 

From personal experience I can say that meditation has helped me with every single thing on that list. It has changed my LIFE.

Have I ever told you that Justin always says I’m ‘cool but not chill’. LOL I'm serious. 

It’s true I just don’t sit around easily, I can’t/don’t watch TV or movies period. I just can't really sit around and relax, like, ever. 

But meditation has helped me to chill, be present, and reeee-lllaaxxxx. 

It's has enabled me to eliminate my nagging loop thoughts ('what am I doing with my life’ sort of stuff…), anxious feelings, or any quick reactions of impatience I had previously. Because of it I’m a better girlfriend, friend, podcast host and acquaintance to people I meet on a daily basis at places like Erewhon or the gas station.

I’ve been meditating daily for about 7 years now. I increase and decrease the amount of time I do it based upon if I need it or if I have time - I’m not so strict about it, but if i start to notice my mood shift, I become impatient or even depressed, hoping right back onto the meditation train helps A LOT.

Okay so, full disclosure. It’s not easy to meditate, per say, just takes patience. The difficulty lies in continually trying to quiet your mind, and clear your thoughts. 

There are numerous ways to meditate, with various methods and philosophies all basically in the same vein. I’ve done workshops on Transcendental Meditation (TM) and I know there are four other ways, but let’s keep it simple. 

These are some of the easy steps I pulled from various centers and teachers from the Tibet House to the Chopra Center, that are helpful to start your meditation journey.  There are also centers like The Den popping up everywhere!


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How I meditate:

  1. Number one baby. Eliminate any excuses you could have to not take time to meditate. Like, put the phone on silent, make sure your roommate knows what’s up for the next 20, just commit to that time. In the morning is good, because theres often less distracting you (hopefully not yet at least!) They say you should do it, after you wake, before you eat, and start your day. I’m too hungry so I eat, and then sit, but just so you know what it’s like by the books. 

  2. Sit in a comfortable, dark, quiet space. Just a place you can be sure to relax and not fidget. I have a blanket folded up in our bathroom (NYC Life) that I sit crossed legged on. I like that it’s dark, small and quiet in there so I can focus. You can meditate with lights on, anywhere technically, but when you first start out you want to be able to relax. Dark is good because you’re not so alert (light signals to your brain it’s day and you should be active), and you can fall into it much more easily. So quiet, dark, seated comfortably.

  3. Close your eyes but don’t fall asleep! LOL meditation is relaxing but not sleeping. Sometimes I swear Justin just takes naps when he says he’s meditating haha. 

  4. Feel all 5 senses. Like, feel your sit bones connect to the ground, feel the weight of your body, feel the air around you, feel your breath, and feel the clothes resting on your body. Going through these helps you to really be present and in your space. (Another trick: if you don’t have time or are not in the right space, you can also connect to your physical senses sitting in a chair to bring yourself to be more present by using this awareness technique). 

  5. Focus on your breath, continuously, or your mantra. In the practice of Transcendental Meditation, you’re given a mantra which helps to signify to your body that you’re going to release and fall into meditation. This focus and release, is honestly the part where people get frustrated and quit. It took me at least two months of sitting there trying to shut off my thoughts, getting frustrated because I couldn’t turn off before I let go and fell into it. It does take time. But if you think about it, your brain is on all.day.long. you give your body a break from working out but not your brain from working all day erryday. It needs that shut down, that release, to help you perform optimally. You don’t need a mantra, but it’s helpful for focus. A few mantras (a word or phrase you repeat over and over again) I use are: ‘I am’ or ‘clear’ which signal to my body and brain to drop into a meditative state much more quickly.

  6. Don’t judge your thoughts, but notice them. what sort of continuously shows up when you’re trying to quiet your mind. I read once to ‘see your thoughts as a sailboat, drifting by’ as in, you are not attached to those thoughts or the emotions that come with them, you are watching them from afar drift by in your mind. You watch them, remaining calm. LOL I see sailboats, I know I’m a loon whatevs. 

  7. If you can’t get into it, appreciate that you took time for yourself. 

  8. After 5-20 minutes, however long you decide to dedicate to your relaxation, your clear mind, your health, you can slowly ‘start to bring awareness back to your body. Wiggle them toes and shit so you don’t fall or anything when you try to get up. 

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I would say, that this may feel like torture at first. You probably want to scratch your face, you want to get up, you want to get started on your to-do list…that is NORMAL. For the benefits that it gives, it’s okay that this isn’t super easy or natural for a mind that wants to ‘do’ all the time.

Sometimes I am able to get into it and sometimes I cant. It depends on the place, how I am feeling my energy level…it just takes practice. There are also times where I drop into it so easily.

The important part is allowing them both to be okay.

If you want to read more about meditation, and the benefits you can read here.

I am excited for you to start your journey!

xoxo

MEDITATION ARTIST BIET SIMKIN on raising your vibration and changing your life

Oh man guys!

So glad you're here. How's the week? Hope all is well :).

For today and our interview. I am so excited to share with you the amazing BIET SIMKIN.

Recently featured in Vogue, and Elle, she is a queen who is on the rise in the wellness world, and for good reason.

The shit that she's been through that has led her to become as fascinating, open, and in tune as she is, is astounding. So I wanted to peel back the layers and get a bit deeper in advance of the event we are hosting with her on November 7th, at Parachute Hotel in Venice (make sure to use the code almost30 for a discount!) 

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For those of you who don't know who Miss Simkin is, she New York native, first-generation American and a leader in the world of meditation. Not only was her father an awakened shaman who gave her the Book of the Dead at age nine, Biet is also a singer and fashion guru who spent a big part of her life crushing the whole sex, drugs, and rock n' roll lifestyle. 

She went through a series of deaths, her own personal evolution, and so much more to become the awakened light and leader she is today. 

The journey to find your identity is hard for everyone, and Biet has developed a meditation technique not only to help you find it, but to help you be the best person you can be. Her technique is like "watching a documentary on yourself" and observing your every move AKA "Divided Attention Mediation".

Another amazing point Biet stresses is how we are more than just our body and our minds. Everything from hallucinations, serendipity, and voices - those all mean more than we know. And Biet talks about how listening to these transcendental messages LITERALLY saved her LIFE and how her practice develops this kind of acknowledgement. 

We also interviewed this amazing lady on the Almost 30 Podcast, which I've been told is many peoples favorite episode.

Let's dive a bit deeper into the mind of this goddess, Biet. 


What is Center of The Cyclone?

The Center of the Cyclone is many things. First it's the quiet part of the storm in the center where nothing happens, where everything is still. I see this as a metaphor for the soul. The soul doesn't get hurt, doesn't feel pain, doesn't lose it's job, doesn't go through break ups. We do, but the soul does not. That is the Center of the Cyclone. It was also a book by a hero of mine in the 70's John Lilly. It is the name of the meditation system I founded for all these reasons. 

You’ve worked with brands like Vice, Wanderlust Festival, Adidas, Sony, Samsung….to name a few! How do you weave in the creative/spiritual with big brands?

It's easy. We live in one world. I live in America where brands are a major part of all of our consumption. Brands are a language unto themselves. To me, what's most important is bringing meditation into the REAL WORLD! The real world has many brands in it! What I believe is as a spiritual teacher I only align with brands that speak a similar language to me, or that have a similar feeling to me. The future is schools, work place environments and brands all have meditation imbued into them! 

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For those new to meditation, how can they get started?

First thing is insert meditation and prayer into your life. Meditation can be as short as 10 minutes a day of sitting in silence and breathing. The reason I add prayer, which I call "asking" in my work, is because if we don't begin to "ask" for help from within and begin to communicate with our inner world, we won't be able to hear it's direction. The voice within might be saying "stop! Don't date that person" or "no, don't eat that thing" or "no! Don't email your mom that angry note!" And if you don't pray you won't hear it. So much goes unheard. In my life I never heard what the voice was saying! And so I always did the wrong thing. I knew deep down I was making crappy choices but I didn't know how to stop. It wasn't until I started praying and meditating daily (non negotiable) that everything elevated! 

Being an emotional, spiritual and sensitive person, how do you protect yourself energetically?

Ha! That's a good question. I actually use meditation and prayer first because that allows for self knowing. To know thy self is the ultimate protection against anything you be hit with outside. When you know yourself you can see that anything that bothers you stems from within. When you know yourself you see that any disturbance stems from within. Today I go out and it doesn't matter what happens or who happens my state is completely up to me! My state is reliant on the higher and inner worlds which like the Center of the Cyclone are unchanging! I don't need to "protect" myself if I know the greatest enemy I have lives within me!  

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What is Club Soda and why does it exist? (I LOVE THIS)

Club Söda NYC is a sober curious quarterly event that Ruby Warrington and I founded. It's an experience that pairs the discussion of a sober or sober curious life with tools that can effectively make a sober life more enjoyable, such as meditation, Kundalini Disco and discussion amongst hip peers. All this leads guests to explore, what would my life look like if I didn't drink as much? Or even what would my life look like if I didn't drink at all? And how do I get high on my own supply? Super important is that so many are curious, how do I date sober? How do I fuck someone sober? How do I ... sober!? We provide answers and also create a safe space for that discussion. I believe people are starting to get less interested in partying and more interested in living a life beyond their wildest dreams! 

How can people raise their vibration?

Meditation, Sex with people they actually love, food that is healthy, dance, laughter, friends who lift them up! Prayer! 

We’re so excited to be running the WHO ARE YOU event with you! Can you talk about how this event came about in NYC?

Well I have been studying this work of the planetary enneagram with my father for over 30 years and after he passed away I devoted my life to my fathers studies. This particular study of human body types and how knowing them makes life so much easier specifically appealed to me because mastering it changed my life! I led a workshop like this one at my friend Kyle's Beautiful home in Tribeca and the 50 guests who attended were all at the edge of their seats to learn these secrets! The workshop was such a huge success I thought I would share it with the west coast family! Nothing matters to me more than helping people to awaken to who they truly are, to an easier life, to a realer life, to a woke life! 

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What was the feedback from that event in NYC?

Overwhelming! The crowds went wild! 

Who is the WHO ARE YOU event a good fit for?

Anyone who is looking to understand themselves better and to see how they can get along with others more effectively. Anyone who wonders why they get along with some people better than others. Anyone who is looking to find a great partner , anyone who is looking to be a better partner in a current relationship. Anyone seeking to understand the meaning of life and our relationship to the universe in which we live. BASICALLY ANYONE!!! 

What are you most excited about in your life right now?

I am writing a book due to be out with Simon and Schuster in 2018 about the laws that keep us from our enlightenment. I am super excited about sharing that with the world. 

Singing live at my events is exciting as well since as you know I score my meditations with my latest record "The Lunar". 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-lunar/id1038984712

Where can people connect with you?

@guidedbybiet on Instagram 

Center of the Cyclone on Facebook 

My website bietsimkin.com 

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More information on the WHO ARE YOU EVENT? Happening on November 7th in Venice, CA. 

THIS IS A WORKSHOP WHICH DELVES INTO A HIDDEN METHOD TO REVEAL WHO YOU TRULY ARE AND WHAT YOU CAME TO DO ON THIS PLANET.

A BEAUTIFUL GUIDED MEDITATION, REFRESHMENTS, AND AN INTIMATE SETTING INCLUDED.

Ever want to know the secret of how people get along and why? Why you are so amazing at certain things and crappy at others? Why you do some things too much and can't stop, like being lazy, being too talkative, being invisible, being too dominant, too angry etc... Would you want to know an ancient system that brings you back, not only to knowing yourself truly and becoming your most effective self, but also getting along with others, being a terrific romantic partner, being a strong leader and softening to the real you? 


It is good to know that meditation alone will not get you to the final point that you are looking for. Although we will meditate inside this workshop we will also learn the inner workings of ourselves, our souls and how we make any sense in this universe at all.


This workshop is something that is very dear to me and at the crux of how I found, not just a way to be in my essence which in some ways I already was in some ways, but also to fall in love truly with who I actually am and become extremely grounded. After 30 years of study of this system and 7 years of having devoted my life to it I want nothing more than to share it with you. I attribute so much of my life's ease and joy to the system I will be teaching on the 7th. I absolutely would love to share with you and can't wait for the deep and powerful evening! 

Limited spaces are available, and this will sell out! We look forward to seeing you there! Buy your ticket here, and use the code almost30 for a discount! 


Love sharing these amazing lights with you. Let me know if you're making it to the event, and I can't wait to see you then!

xo

Krista