Many resources have been popping up in response to the pandemic to help people deal with the uncertain circumstances, staying at home indefinitely, and the anxiety that comes from all of it.
Now is a great time to learn more about mindfulness, how to lessen your anxiety, or just discover the many benefits of living more mindfully, curious and aware of the present moment.
📱 MARC at UCLA’s Free App
Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA’s free mindfulness meditations. Easy to use, easy to get started!
📱 Insight Timer – Free App
Free meditation app with all kinds of free meditations, talks, and sleep sounds from teachers all over the world. There’s also a simple prayer bowl timer. https://insighttimer.com/
📱 Plum Village App by Thich Nhat Hanh’s community
“A free app with guided meditations, deep relaxations and other practices offered by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh and his monastic community.”
It includes a “bell of mindfulness” features which you can set to go off at set intervals. It’s a really cool feature not available in other apps.
📱 Headspace Resources & Free for LA and unemployed persons
“To help you weather this storm, Headspace and the LA County Department of Mental Health have partnered to provide support and resources during this challenging time.”
“These are part of a larger collection in the Headspace app — free for everyone — called Weathering the storm. It includes meditations, sleep, and movement exercises to help you out, however you’re feeling. It’s our small way of helping you find some space and kindness for yourself and those around you.”
📱 Calm App
“We’re the #1 app for Sleep, Meditation and Relaxation, with over 50 million downloads and over 700,000 5-star reviews.“
Calm app is free to Kaiser members>
📱 Dan Harris “Ten Percent Happier” YouTube
Ten Percent Happier app and podcast
Dan Harris has been posting daily meditations with well-known mindfulness teachers on his YouTube.
📱 Innermap App by Mitra Manesh
Free 3 months – Mitra is one of the mindfulness meditation teachers at UCLA’s MARC- she’s awesome and has a new app that she’s offering a 3-month subscriptions. She’s does personally coaching and also teaches at large corporations.
FREE ONLINE RESOURCES
🧘🏻♀️ MARC at UCLA
This is the best place to start your meditation practice, in my biased opinion! Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA’s free mindfulness meditations. Easy to use, easy to get started, with basic instructions, which makes sense, since they are based in the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA.
I completed the 10-month Intensive Practice Program here last year and can’t recommend the teachers enough! Diana Winston is the Director of the program and has a really great book for those who might be more interested in learning the science behind meditation, called Fully Present: The Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness.
🧘🏻♀️ MARC at UCLA Free Weekly Meditations – Now Online
Weekly mindfulness meditations hosted by MARC at UCLA teachers- 30 minutes of guided and silent meditations and talks, now available virtually via Zoom call.
🧘🏻♀️ Jack Kornfield’s Pandemic Resources
Jack Kornfield has a Ph.D. in psychology and has been teaching for decades. He founded the Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts and Spirit Rock in California with Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein- two other very well-respected meditation teachers.
🧘🏻♀️ Tara Brach’s Free Resources
From free meditations to weekly live events, and more, Tara Brach is a wonderful mindfulness meditation teacher and psychologist. Brach focuses a lot on self-compassion, which is fundamental to improving your mental health. She has a stellar book called “Radical Compassion” and has made the RAIN technique a popular in meditation practice.
🧘🏻♀️ Mindfulness Daily Free Daily Training Program from Jack Kornfield & Tara Brach
“Our Gift to You: A 40-Day Training Program from two of the world’s most respected and gifted meditation teachers, Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach.”
These two teachers are pretty awesome!
🧘🏻♀️ Oren Jay Sofer
Free and paid resources from Oren Jay Sofer. I’ve taken his Wise Speech online course which he offered for free! He’s currently offering many free and donation based resources, like so many other well-known teachers (listed above.)
🧘🏻♀️ Shinzen Young
Free and paid resources from Shinzen Young. I’ve heard that his mobile app is free right now but I haven’t found the details yet.
🧘🏻♀️ Eckhart Tolle Free Resources
Free resources from Eckhart Tolle and Kim Eng. Tolle became famous when Oprah became enthralled with his first book and shared him with her millions of followers by dedicating an entire online series to breaking down his second book, A New Earth, chapter by chapter.
🧘🏻♀️ Commune Website Free Resources
There are free classes offered that you can access for limited periods. I can’t speak to any of their classes specifically. Marianne Williamson and Deepak Chopra are some of the teachers listed on their site. Commune might be considered more ‘new age-y’.
🧘🏻♀️ Sounds True: Free Resources
Sounds True Resilience in Challenging Times Mindfulness resources. Sounds True includes teachings by Thich Naht Hanh (read his books!!), Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, and many more teachers that I am more partial to in my personal practice.
🧘🏻♀️ Spirit Rock Online Retreats
“In response to current conditions, Spirit Rock’s Dharma programs offered solely online right now, are available on a $0-$1008 sliding scale basis through April 15, 2020. This includes retreats, classes, day retreats, and more. Give it a try!”
🧠 Shine’s Virus Anxiety Website
“…the team at Shine, in partnership with Mental Health America, has vetted and compiled a wealth of research-backed and helpful tools for you—articles, meditations, access to mental health experts, anxiety screenings, and more.”
🧘🏻♀️ Deepak and Oprah – Free 21 day meditation event
Free 21 day meditation event. “Join Deepak Chopra, Oprah, and millions of meditators around the world to find peace of mind in the midst of turmoil, and do your part to help our global community find hope and optimism.”
I personally have never meditated to a Chopra meditation and don’t know his methods…but famous people seem to like him? 🤷🏻♀️
🧘🏻♀️ Hay House
Articles, videos, meditations, and other free resources. Hay House became more well known from the HEAL documentary and includes teachers like Dr. Joe Dispenza and Dr. Wayne Dyer. Hay House might also be more on the ‘new age-y’ side of spiritual practices.
📚 Mindfulness in Plain English
This book was recommended by the teachers at MARC UCLA and is free to read online. It really is a great resource for learning the basics about Vipassana, or Mindfulness by Ven. Henepola Gunaratana.
📚 Thich Nhat Hanh
“Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist, revered around the world for his pioneering teachings on mindfulness, global ethics and peace.” He has written some of my favorite books, which are beautiful, inspiring, and simple in their text, yet so profound in their teachings.
Martin Luther King, Jr. attempted to nominate him for a Nobel Peace Prize, which not many people seem to know. I highly recommend reading his books and writings, A great place to start is The Miracle of Mindfulness and Peace is in Every Step.
I have a long list of books on mindfulness or living in the present moment (i.e. Eckhart Tolle). Many are by teachers listed above. Oren Jay Sofer, Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Diana Winston, Deborah Eden Tull, Sharon Salzberg, and many more. Several are licensed psychiatrists/psychologists who have blended mindfulness with their studies. I believe most learned mindfulness while living as monks or nuns for years before returning to the US to teach.
Wanderlust.com is offering free meditations and yoga classes on their Instagram
🧘🏻♀️ Wanderlust TV – 30 days free
Wanderlust festivals classes and resources “The Wanderlust TV platform does require you to enter a credit card upon signup, but you won’t be charged during your free period” https://tv.wanderlust.com/
🧘🏻♀️ Lake Shrine Temple, Los Angeles
One of my favorite places to meditate on the Westside (besides the beach early in the morning) is Lake Shrine Temple. I was just told that they have some meditations online. They are not Vipassana, or mindfulness, meditations- they have a different meditation style.
🧘🏻♀️The Awake Network
The Awake Network compiled a giant list of all free, online, meditation resources that have been made available during this time. It includes a lot of what I’ve listed and more!