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Beware of Invisible Influences

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today I'm going to talk about the invisible influence other people have in your life. So there's an old Buddhist story about this. Ananda who was the Buddha's assistant and his cousin, as well as a dedicated monk, when to see him one day and began a discussion about the importance of spiritual friendship in life. So Ananda said to the Buddha, I think spiritual friendships, which are often referred to as sangha in Buddhism, is half of the spiritual path.

It's so important on our journey. The Buddha replied, Ananda, spiritual friendship is the whole way. Find refuge in the Sangha. So I remember when I first heard this story, it really struck a chord in me. I just kept thinking about this over and over again.

Could this be true? I mean, I'd heard as you've probably heard the modern version of this in the old saying, you know, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. This was the saying popularized by the motivational speaker, Jim Rohn. But is this statement true? Is it backed by any actual evidence? The answer is yes. According to research, we are indeed profoundly influenced by the people we spend the most time with. But not just the five people closest to you.

Actually, all the people you spend time with have a profound influence on you in some way, much more than we usually think. So the first major study on the breadth of social influence was conducted by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler. According to their results, if a friend of yours becomes obese, you yourself are now 45% more likely to gain weight over the next two to four years. If your friend smokes, you are 61% more likely to become a smoker yourself in the next two to four years. They also found all kinds of other research on this and including, you know, finding that happy friends of course make you happier.

So, of course, it seems like the Buddha was onto something here, right? That being around mindful and wise friends would indeed be a huge help in making you more mindful and wise. So I see two big key takeaways here. The first is that we have a wonderful mindfulness hack here, right? If we can make sure to spend some time in our lives with other people who are also practicing mindfulness, it's going to be a huge help on our path forward. Huge. So you might like to join an online or an in-person mindfulness group.

See if you can make some space in your life for people who are going to support your intention to live a more happy, mindful, and meaningful life. The second takeaway is that everything that we do has a profound impact on the others around us. Now I find this really inspiring. It's inspiring to think that every healthy, empowering choice that we make ripples out and is a gift to everyone that we know. So today, as you settle in for your meditation, just knowing that the calm, the clarity and the inner strength that you're cultivating in your practice is a gift that you not only give to yourself.

But to all of your loved ones and beyond. And on that note, as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here in this community. And let's settle in now for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

Beware of Invisible Influences

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today I'm going to talk about the invisible influence other people have in your life. So there's an old Buddhist story about this. Ananda who was the Buddha's assistant and his cousin, as well as a dedicated monk, when to see him one day and began a discussion about the importance of spiritual friendship in life. So Ananda said to the Buddha, I think spiritual friendships, which are often referred to as sangha in Buddhism, is half of the spiritual path.

It's so important on our journey. The Buddha replied, Ananda, spiritual friendship is the whole way. Find refuge in the Sangha. So I remember when I first heard this story, it really struck a chord in me. I just kept thinking about this over and over again.

Could this be true? I mean, I'd heard as you've probably heard the modern version of this in the old saying, you know, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. This was the saying popularized by the motivational speaker, Jim Rohn. But is this statement true? Is it backed by any actual evidence? The answer is yes. According to research, we are indeed profoundly influenced by the people we spend the most time with. But not just the five people closest to you.

Actually, all the people you spend time with have a profound influence on you in some way, much more than we usually think. So the first major study on the breadth of social influence was conducted by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler. According to their results, if a friend of yours becomes obese, you yourself are now 45% more likely to gain weight over the next two to four years. If your friend smokes, you are 61% more likely to become a smoker yourself in the next two to four years. They also found all kinds of other research on this and including, you know, finding that happy friends of course make you happier.

So, of course, it seems like the Buddha was onto something here, right? That being around mindful and wise friends would indeed be a huge help in making you more mindful and wise. So I see two big key takeaways here. The first is that we have a wonderful mindfulness hack here, right? If we can make sure to spend some time in our lives with other people who are also practicing mindfulness, it's going to be a huge help on our path forward. Huge. So you might like to join an online or an in-person mindfulness group.

See if you can make some space in your life for people who are going to support your intention to live a more happy, mindful, and meaningful life. The second takeaway is that everything that we do has a profound impact on the others around us. Now I find this really inspiring. It's inspiring to think that every healthy, empowering choice that we make ripples out and is a gift to everyone that we know. So today, as you settle in for your meditation, just knowing that the calm, the clarity and the inner strength that you're cultivating in your practice is a gift that you not only give to yourself.

But to all of your loved ones and beyond. And on that note, as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here in this community. And let's settle in now for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

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