The secret to happiness? Ram Dass may have had it right

This weekend, NPR’s “TED Radio Hour,” focuses on happiness.

The one that caught my eye — er, ear — was the first: Are we happier when we stay in the moment? Here’s a summary:

When are humans most happy? To answer this question, researcher Matt Killingsworth built an app, Track Your Happiness, that let people report their feelings in real time. Among the results: We’re often happiest when we’re lost in the moment.

In other words: Be here now. Ram Dass may have been on to something.

Other topics from the show: Are we happier if we slow down? Does less stuff equal more happiness?

Tune in or down load.

Posted by Steve

Eddie Stern at a TedX, oh, and he pretty much takes down Lululemon

Couple things from Eddie Stern that are more than worth sharing.

The first is the latest on the Urban Yogis project he’s a part of — they’ll be doing a TedX talk on Friday.

From the blog post:

Starting next week, the Urban Yogis will move the afternoon classes to the evening, teaching yoga and meditation before the curfew goes into effect, as their own Gandhian response.

In the hero’s return, the hero commits to transforming not only himself, but society, and perhaps, the world. At TEDx, we will be speaking not only about the Hero’s Return, but also about the need to break stereotypes in order to transform.

And the Urban Yogis are about to take the next step on the journey…

All in all, it is a great project, focused on people who can benefit most from yoga.

The second is one that, I think, glanced off our radar: the latest Lululemon nonsense. The company has a new series of retail bags coming out that focus on the five yamas — reminiscent of their past “message” bags. I desperately want to just quote all of Eddie’s response, but you can find it here — and here’s just the tiniest of tastes, his response to how one Lululemming (I think I have that word correct) describes her brahmacharya:

But please call your newfound self-awareness what it is, because it is by no means brahmacharya.

Brahmacharya has several accepted definitions: sexual fidelity to one partner (husband or wife); celibacy as a pre-requisite for spiritual practice; celibacy as an integral part of a spiritual practice; the student phase in the Hindu religion; conduct that leads towards realizing Brahman, or Absolute Consciousness. Any of these will do – it is a philosophical term, for a stage in spiritual practice, and yes, it does matter how it is used. So, out of respect for a several thousand year old tradition, please try doing a little homework next time. The one billion Hindus around the world will thank you for it. And that’s a lot of thank you’s.

I know we’re sort of suckers for when the senior Western teachers show a little extra attitude.

Posted by Steve

Eddie Stern goes TedX

Eddie Stern will be a part of a TedX program early next month in New York titled “The Hero’s Journey.”

He’s got it up on his blog.

What’s TedX, you ask. Well, according to the TedX website:

TEDx was created in the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading.” The program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level.

At TEDx events, a screening of TEDTalks videos — or a combination of live presenters and TEDTalks videos — sparks deep conversation and connections. TEDx events are fully planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis.

For those wondering further, TED is:

TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK each summer — TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.

To register — and according to Eddie (and the event website) there are only 100 seats — go here, probably sooner than later. Word of warning: You have to apply, which means you have to think. Seriously. But the list of speakers and performers is worth the thought.

The event runs all day — from 10 a.m. to after 6 p.m. — and costs $100.

Posted by Steve