2019 Fall

Stop Meditating and Start Being Present

"There seems to be a vacuum in how the West culturally frames meditation – a vacuum that marketers and app companies are happy to fill. Compared to promises that pop culture meditation makes - that you'll be happier, calmer, more productive, better - the simple practice of being aware is a hard sell. The relationship we have with our mind is challenging one, but it is the relationship. If something feels like it's missing, maybe what is really missing is full participation in our experience - resistance, discomfort and all. If we try it, we might discover that this field of awareness is a source of healing, problem solving and kindness." Peter McEwen wants you to be less busy. He is often uncomfortable, and that’s perfect.

In a society that prioritizes output, meditation and mindfulness practices are often conflated with self-optimization. Instead, we can view meditation as a tool that reveals our immediate experience - discomfort and all - as a reliable source of well-being and problem-solving.

Peter is the founder of The Field, which offers training, community and the demystification of basic contemplative practices.

Peter is also a designer and editorial photographer who specializes in interactive, product and brand design, and teaches at the ATLAS Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Despite all this, Peter still finds time for the very important practice of doing nothing. His goal is to use up this precious life with creativity and dignity.