Ted Videos That Stoke Mindfulness and Meditative Qualities

I am continuing to learn lots about meditation and what it does to the brain (like how it helps to keep it young!) and thought I would compile some pretty incredible TED videos about mindfulness and meditation.

Meditation and mindfulness are often used synonymously. Meditation is the practice that enhances mindfulness. You have a focus, usually breathing. Mindfulness is the practice of bringing oneself to the present moment. It is often with a focus on breathing, but also on the current task.

Each video touches upon some aspect of meditation and mindfulness to hopefully inspire and encourage you in your own mindfulness and meditation practice.

All It Takes Is Ten Mindful Minutes – Andy Puddicombe

What if we took ten minutes to do nothing every day? What if didn’t email, didn’t text, didn’t surf the internet, talk, do chores, or whatever else it may be for ten minutes each day? We don’t take time to take care of the mind (the brain). This is the most important survival tool of our lives. We’re so busy “doing,” that but with meditation it allows us “to be. Some incredible things can happen in meditation, as well as preventative things. Hint: meditation is not about stopping thoughts.


The Art of Stillness – Pico Iyer

Pico talks about his penchant for travel. Though he learned lots of things along the way, he began to learn about something else. He started going “nowhere.” By doing so, he could learn to make sense of all his experiences. He came to an understanding that “going nowhere” was as exciting as the most exotic places to which he traveled.

We Can Be Buddhas – Robert Thurman

When we can cultivate connectedness and compassion, build empathy we realize that “I, me, mine” is less important. We become interested in other beings and we ourselves start to feel…strange. The more we focus on ourselves, the worse things get. This is not about becoming Buddhist. Rather, this video emphasizes what compassion does to us…and what it can do to you. Think: the science of reality. Pretty cool stuff.


Compassion and the True Meaning of Empathy – Joan Halifax

Joan spends her days in hospice centers and on the death row circuit. She brings the idea of empathy and compassion to these people who are facing their last days. She shares what she has learned from all these experiences. Compassion helps our brains. It helps our immune system. She asks some pressing questions. Questions such as,  “Why do we not train our children in compassion? Why don’t we train our healthcare providers to be more compassionate? If compassion is so good for us, why don’t we vote on compassionate leaders?”


My Stroke of Insight – Jill Bolte Taylor

JB Taylor is a brain scientist. However, she got a look from the “inside” when she experienced a stroke in her left hemisphere. This is the side of the brain responsible for all the “brain chatter” we experience. When this side went silent, she experienced transcendence. Listen to her incredible story, as she spent 8 years learning to talk again, but keeping her ability to move into the “right side of the brain.”  The right hemisphere is known for being more creative, intuitive, and responsible for spiritual experiences.


The Habits of Happiness – Matthieu Ricard

Matthieu was a biochemist who left that behind to become a monk. He’s considered by some to be the “happiest man in the world.” His talk embodies just that vision.


Drawings That Show The Beauty and Fragility of Earth – Zaria Forman

Zaria speaks of her drawings as meditation. As she works, she can clear her mind to focus on the task. Climate change and the status of the earth inspire her work in the hopes that she will elicit an emotional response in the viewer. She brings to the forefront the power and awe that she experienced in real life to her artwork. This particular video captured my attention not only because of climate change, but because I am a fan of artistic expression as meditation. Hello, Mandalas!


What Makes Life Worth Living In the Face of Death – Lucy Kalanithi

When Lucy’s husband Paul received a terminal cancer diagnosis, he went from being a doctor to writing a memoir. He contemplated his diagnosis and death. Writing is a powerful practice, and if you know me, you’ll know what an advocate I am for the journaling process. Contemplating death is also a healthy, contemplative exercise. Let Lucy’s moving talk inspire you. We all experience pain and suffering in this life and she relates her experience in such a powerful way.

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Religion, Evolution, and the Ecstasy of Self-Transcendence – Jonathan Haidt

Jonathan talks about the experiences that get us to transcendence – including everything from mushrooms to…yes, war. He explores the idea of “how could it be adaptive to lose oneself and how could it be adaptive for an organism to overcome self-interest?”  His answer might surprise you.


With that, I leave you, friends! Thank you always for your comments, insights, suggestions and even post ideas! You are a gift to me on my birthday today!

intuitive and spiritual

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