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  • Writer's pictureBahar Önderol

Understanding the mind to lead a well-balanced and fulfilling life!

Updated: Apr 23

In September of last year, I embarked on a transformative journey by immersing myself in the "Waking Up" meditation app, curated by renowned neuroscientist, philosopher, and New York Times best-selling author, Sam Harris. Since then, my daily meditation practice has become an integral part of my routine, fostering profound personal growth and introspection.

My initial encounter with meditation dates back to 2004 when a friend introduced me to the enlightening world of mindfulness. Together, we delved into meditation sessions led by Jeff Oliver, an esteemed Australian former monk adept in the Vipassana technique. What struck me most about Vipassana, rooted in Buddhism's ancient wisdom, was its seamless integration into secular life—a quality that resonated deeply with me.

Reflecting fondly on those days spent immersed in meditation on Büyükada, I recall eagerly attending Jeff's sessions whenever he graced Istanbul with his presence. However, the demands of a bustling corporate career eventually led me away from regular practice, relegating meditation to the back burner.

In the serene practice of Vipassana, one learns to embrace emotions with a newfound depth, observing their fleeting nature as they arise and dissipate. This heightened awareness of our emotional landscape fosters detachment from reactive tendencies—a revelation that has profoundly altered my approach to life.

Meditation has been very useful in significantly reducing the reactive behaviours that I later regretted. I realized that the only way to live without regret is to reach the "attention" (Pali "sati"), which is called the quality of mind grown in Vipassana. Many psychological benefits of accessing this quality of mind are in the literature today (

Returning to the "Waking Up" app, I cannot overstate its significance as a beacon of guidance and wisdom in my life. There are lessons and practices in which theoretical information about different meditation techniques is shared, podcasts with respected people in this field, and daily meditation sessions under the guidance of Sam Harris.

To those embarking on their meditation journey or seeking to deepen their practice, I wholeheartedly endorse the "Waking Up" application ( ) as an indispensable companion on the path to inner peace and self-discovery.


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