Even the Dalai Lama finds meditation challenging on some days. But the joy factor, the problem-solving benefits, and the energetic stamina it generates, propels him to do it anyway beginning each morning at 3:00 am. Enjoy this fabulous story about lessons learned during a private meditation session with His Holiness.

But first, pause, and imagine that for yourself: meditating with the Dalai Lama, just the two of you. Wow! What an mind-bending, heart-opening opportunity that would be. I’m adding it to my “Wild Fantasy Bucket List” right now.

If you’d like to see one of my smaller bucket list dreams come true, enjoy this video of me leading a Mindfulness for Creativity Training at a recent Swerve Lunch for Center for Creative Economy.


And now back to the point of this blog post… how you can use your morning meditation practice for problem solving.

In this narrative essay for CNN, Dr. Sanjay Gupta says the Dalai Lama taught him how to do “analytical meditation,” something I had never heard about before reading his essay.

“I think you will like analytical meditation,” His Holiness told Gupta. “Instead of focusing on a chosen object, as in single-point meditation, he suggested I think about a problem I was trying to solve, a topic I may have read about recently or one of the philosophical areas from the earlier sessions.

He wanted me to separate the problem or issue from everything else by placing it in a large, clear bubble. With my eyes closed, I thought of something nagging at me — something I couldn’t quite solve. As I placed the physical embodiment of this problem into the bubble, several things started to happen very naturally.

The problem was now directly in front of me, floating weightlessly. In my mind, I could rotate it, spin it or flip it upside-down. It was an exercise to develop hyper-focus.

Less intuitively, as the bubble was rising, it was also disentangling itself from any other attachments, such as subjective emotional considerations. I could visualize it, as the problem isolated itself, and came into a clear-eyed view.

Too often, we allow unrelated emotional factors to blur the elegant and practical solutions right in front of us. It can be dispiriting and frustrating. Through analytical meditation, His Holiness told me, we can use logic and reason to more clearly identify the question at hand, separate it from irrelevant considerations, erase doubt and brightly illuminate the answers. It was simple and sensible. Most important, for me — it worked.”

Read the rest of this story here:

Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN: Lessons from meditating with the Dalai Lama