Jack Canfield Jack Canfield author. speaker. motivator.

Affectionately known as "America's #1 Success Coach," Jack Canfield is the originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a leading authority in the areas of self-esteem, achievement motivation, and peak performance. [www.jackcanfield.com]

 
Arianna Huffington Arianna Huffington political powerhouse. media mogul. author.

Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post and the author of twelve books. [www.huffingtonpost.com]

 
Seth Godin Seth Godin author. speaker. linchpin.

Seth Godin is a prominent author, blogger and speaker. [www.squidoo.com/linchpin]

 
Krishna Kaur Krishna Kaur yogi. philanthropist. dynamic teacher.

Krishna Kaur is the founder of YOGA for Youth, a program that takes yoga, meditation, and stimulating discussions on the philosophy of yoga to urban youth. [www.yogaforyouth.org]

 
Norman Lear Norman Lear producer. philanthropist. tv legend.

Norman Lear has enjoyed a long career in television and film. He is also a political and social activist and philanthropist. [www.normanlear.com]

 
Leilani Münter Leilani Münter race car driver. activist. carbon free girl.

Leilani Münter is a professional race car driver and an environmental activist who uses her voice in the number one spectator sport in America as a catalyst for change. [www.leilanimunter.com]

 
Kevin Bales Kevin Bales Freedom Fighter. Philanthropist. Game Changer.

By going undercover to meet slaves and slaveholders, Kevin Bales exposed modern slavery's penetration into the global economy. He co-founded Free the Slaves, which has helped to liberate thousands of slaves. [www.freetheslaves.net]

 
Sophie Chiche Sophie Chiche mom. big dreamer. lady in red.

Sophie Chiche, lifebyme.com founder and curator, enjoys asking deep questions and living a life of meaning. Today she's launching Shape House, an urban sweat lodge, a place to melt away fears and fat. [www.shapehousela.com]

 
Mastin Kipp Mastin Kipp Writer. Entrepreneur. Daily Lover.

Entrepreneur and writer Mastin Kipp founded TheDailyLove.com, which merges pop culture with inspiration, and co-founded The Love Yourself Company, an apparel company that has started a global self-esteem movement. [www.TheDailyLove.com]

 
Liz Phair Liz Phair singer. musician. crier.

Liz Phair is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. [www.lizphair.com]

 
Desmond Tutu Desmond Tutu archbishop. author. peaceful leader.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu is Chairman of The Elders, a group of world leaders who address some of the world's most pressing problems. He works energetically for human-rights and in his ministry. [www.tutu.org]

 
Zainab Salbi Zainab Salbi author. ceo. humanitarian.

Zainab Salbi is the founder and CEO of Women for Women International, a group dedicated to helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives. [www.womenforwomen.org]

 
Sean Stephenson Sean Stephenson speaker. psychotherapist. life embracer.

Despite his physical challenges, Sean Stephenson has taken a stand for a quality of life that has inspired millions of people around the world. He's a professional speaker, psychotherapist, and author. [www.timetostand.com]

 
Kia Miller Kia Miller yogi. meditator. teacher.

Kia Miller teaches Yoga at Yoga Works in Los Angeles, leads teacher trainings, and runs retreats and workshops on meditation, chakras, pranayam, and mantras, and other practices. [www.kiamiller.com]

 
Simon Mainwaring Simon Mainwaring creator. writer. idea geek.

Simon Mainwaring is an ex-Nike/Wieden creative, former Worldwide Creative Director at Motorola/Ogilvy, branding/advertising writer, author/speaker/blogger, Australian, idea geek. [www.simonmainwaring.com]

 
Shannon Bindler Shannon Bindler Strategist. Writer. Life Coach.

Shannon Bindler is a style editor, life coach, and the co-founder of Get Up Girl, an empowerment company that inspires women to shine. [www.getupgirl.com]

 
Mathieu Bitton Mathieu Bitton Designer. Art Director. Passionate Creator.

Grammy-nominated art director/designer/photographer Mathieu Bitton has designed over 450 CDs and movie posters. He's a renowned collector of and authority on black films and their soundtracks. [www.candytangerine.com]

 
Jorge Perez Jorge Perez Agent. Producer. Photography Enthusiast.

Opus Reps founder and agent-producer Jorge Perez travels the world producing photo shoots with great photographers and celebrities. He's also very involved with Meals on Wheels in Los Angeles. www.opusreps.com

 

meditation

Sharon Salzberg Sharon Salzberg meditation leader. author. buddhist.

Bestselling author Sharon Salzberg co-founded the Insight Meditation Society. She's been a student of meditation since 1971 and has guided meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. [www.SharonSalzberg.com]

I have a strong conviction that meditation can be of benefit to everyone. One thing I’m passionate about is using very ordinary, everyday, accessible ways of speaking about meditation, so people can experiment to see if meditation could help them.

I usually encourage setting aside 20 minutes a day to meditate, if possible. If 20 minutes can’t be found on a certain day, then try five minutes. It’s the regular, daily practice that helps us remember we have a tool to use when we’re in a situation that’s challenging.

Maybe I’m at work and there’s a contentious meeting and tempers are starting to flare. If I’ve been practicing meditation, it can help me to remember to breathe before I say anything. It can help me return to myself and remember what I want out of this situation before I speak.

When I was first learning meditation, I’d hear about a practice, like breathing through the feet, and I’d think, “That’s stupid.” But then I’d try it and say, “Wow, this makes a difference.” That’s the key issue in taking on a meditation practice: It doesn’t work if we stand on the sidelines, discussing or admiring it. We have to actually start to experiment for ourselves.

In 1970, when I was 18 and a junior in college, I went to India. I’d been interested in learning meditation for a year or so. I had an intuition that it could really help me, but I had no idea how to learn about it in the U.S. The university I was going to had an independent study program – if I created a project they approved of, I could go anywhere. I proposed a project to go to India and study meditation. They said yes, and that’s how I got started.

Sometimes I don’t feel like meditating or I feel rebellious about it. My friend Joseph Goldstein told me about something he did which was very helpful. He resolved that he wouldn’t go to sleep at night until he’d at least gotten into a meditative posture. Well, that’s only a 30-second commitment. That’s getting into a place of returning to yourself every day, just coming back for a moment – and that’s the hardest part. I do believe the everydayness of meditation is most important – or at least as close to every day as possible, even if the meditation isn’t for a very long period of time.

One of the resolves I make for my meditation practice is to offer love and kindness to myself and others. I do this sometimes when I’m waiting in line, or waiting at the doctor’s office, or getting around in airplanes, on subways, or walking along the streets of New York. Times like that aren’t formal meditation periods, but they’re great opportunities for adding meditation to my life.

– Sharon Salzberg

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