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100 Days of Gladness: Day 28

What I learned when all my stats disappeared

image courtesy of

(Insight Timer is an app that hosts guided meditations and talks led by the world’s top mindfulness experts, neuroscientists, psychologists, and teachers. These are professionals from places like Stanford, Harvard, and Oxford. Insight Timer is awesome, and I’ve used it since 2017 to track my meditation habits — how often, for how long, etc. I’ve even uploaded a music track for relaxation that’s been played over 221,000 times!)

I’ve gone long stretches without meditating, of course. But it helps to have this app to come home to, and restart my practice.

After a long time of being in a daily meditation groove, we got involved in selling our home in New York, buying a home in Washington, packing up and moving — so I got seriously off track from my cushion at the altar. I clicked open the app, and…




Yeah, it was treating me like I was brand new to the app, and did I want to sign up or just continue as a guest?

I’d bought a new iPhone; and somehow, I’d lost the proper credentials and couldn’t get it. They helped me, and the problem got solved, but that is not the point here.

The point is the emotional uproar that took place when I thought I’d lost all that data. All those hours I logged in, meditating. All that time, lost.

What an interesting smack in the face. In an instant: I was nobody.

Believe me, I got the irony. Panicking over lost hours from the past — on an app that helps you focus on the present.

I’m going to have to start all over! (Building what? Doing what? Start over being yourself in the moment and noticing your breath? Since when does piling up a bunch of hours have anything to do with Right Now?)

I lost all that validation! (In whose eyes? No one sees the number of hours I spent meditating but me. Take a look at that. I am worrying about having lost the specific number of meditation hours so I can pat myself on the back with them. I knew my ego was needy, but this is a whole new level…)

There is no time.

There is no accumulation of merit, no matter what Buddhist tradition tells you otherwise. It doesn’t accrue, because it doesn’t exist in the first place.

There is no certificate you can earn that qualifies you as a spiritual person.

The only thing that ‘exists’ (I use that term loosely) is awareness.

And, boy, did I laugh at myself when I became aware of how attached I was to my Insight Timer stats! Reminds me of how I felt when I realized that I’d gone all day without wearing my Apple watch, so none of those steps got ‘logged.’

The meditation. The steps. Did they really happen? If they happened in the middle of the forest and nobody knew about them?

Laughter is the only and best response here.

Man, we do take ourselves seriously.

Blessings to all, now. All of us. Those of us gripping our stats to our chest, and those of us breathing easy, free of that desperate need. Blessings, and hard, happy laughter.


Nobody cares.

We’re doing fine.


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