HEALTHY LIVING
04/24/2014 08:43 pm ET Updated May 08, 2014

Headspace Founder Andy Puddicombe On How Meditation Can Make Us Kinder -- To Ourselves

How many of us have tried meditation, but given up because we thought we were no good at it? Judging by the cheers elicited from Andy Puddicombe's keynote address at Thrive, The Huffington Post's second Third Metric conference on redefining success beyond the two metrics of money and power, quite a few of us.

"It's a common thing," he said, which comes from misconceptions and preconceptions of meditation, many of which he says he used to have himself.

Puddicombe's introduction to meditation came early, at around age 10, he said. It had a profound effect from the get-go, leading to his decision to become a monk in his early 20s.

Even though he's no longer a monk, Puddicombe strives to bring meditation to the masses through his app, Headspace, which is used by over a million people, from Olympians to doctors to entire corporations.

"The wonderful thing about meditation is people are starting to find what it means to them," he said. "Meditation is not for me to define -- you define it by how you choose to use it."

"Meditation is an experience," he continued. "If you don't do it, you won't experience it."

Luckily, for those of us who have tried, and given up, "there is no such thing as good meditation or bad meditation," Puddicombe said. "There is only awareness or non-awareness, distraction or non-distraction." Like any skill, he said, the more we practice, the more "stability of awareness" we'll find.

In the video above, Puddicombe explains just how much time we spend distracted by the little things and life, and how, tragically, that causes us to miss out on crucial opportunities for connection and compassion. Through meditation, he said, "we become kinder not only to those around us, but also to ourselves."

CONVERSATIONS