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Letters from Zeynep: Cities & Animals

My friend Sally told me once that she is an “animal whisperer”, meaning she can sense animals more th

Letters from Zeynep

October 20 · Issue #11 · View online
Weekly letters that nurture you to find everyday wellness.

My friend Sally told me once that she is an “animal whisperer”, meaning she can sense animals more than the average human can. She then asked me if I am the whisperer of anything. Confused, I answered: I might be the whisperer of people’s hurting places. My sense of suffering recently expanded from humans to animals, especially those in cities, thanks to a twisted series of events over the summer. I wrote a story on it - see down below. 
I also discovered that it is NOT horrible to speak to cameras, I do NOT suck at it, it may even be FUN. 🤷😂 My dear friend Özge interviewed me for her YouTube channel, after which I proceeded to open my own - also down below.
I hope the interview with Özge and the newsletter I started last week with my high school friends Ece and Nazlı (3 Kadın 1 Dünya) will only be my first steps in creating content in Turkish. As the war goes on, I am more and more angry, sad and willing to serve Turkey, in any way that I can. 

  • Last few days to register to the 7 Week Introduction to Mindfulness course in Paris and online (live video call). If you are interested but cannot make these dates, you can get on the waiting list to be notified of new courses in 2020.
  • If you think that 7 weeks is a big commitment, here’s a video that I hope will help you assess if the course environment is right for you:
Are 6-8 Week Mindfulness Courses Right For You?
  • Students of the Introduction to Mindfulness course and those with more mindfulness experience have been asking me for a second course. If you are interested in learning about topics like forgiveness, limiting beliefs, pain, sickness, addictive behavior, and mindful relationships, you can get on the waiting list.
  • The biggest myth of mindfulness is: meditating means emptying the mind. The reality is that when we meditate, we collect the scattered attention on an object like the breath, the hands or the sounds, and when we drift away to a thought, emotion or sensation, we come back to the object (or anchor) of our attention. If you’d like try, here is a 10 minute meditation of anchoring on breath. You can also try anchoring on hands and anchoring on sounds.
10 Min Mindfulness of Breath (Anchoring on Breath)
  • Sevgili arkadaşım Özge’nin bana şefkatli farkındalık (mindfulness) nedir, kimlere iyi gelir, günlük hayatta nasıl uygulanır gibi güzel sorular sorduğu sohbeti buradan izleyebilirsiniz 🤗Özge YouTube kanalında yüzümüzü gülümsetecek tatlış öneriler ve fikirler paylaşıyor, kanalına kaydolmayı unutmayın derim! 😊
Mindfulness Nedir Eğitmeni Zeynep Esin'den Dinleyin | Bitki Çayı Saati
  • Mudita Mindfulness Community has grown to 5 members and 5 guests. 😊 If you’d like to meet other mindfulness practitioners or you are curious about what mindfulness is, join us one of these Wednesdays. The meetings are open to every level, and the first meeting is free!
The Animal Whisperer The Animal Whisperer
What Else?
Some things that inspired and nurtured me

  • This critique of turning mindfulness into a corporate and capitalist endeavor, stripped from its social and political roots, and from its emphasis on service and community.
  • This poem on how our lives are the repetition of the same mistakes, with slight openings every time.
  • The story of this mom who gave birth to her dead baby as an act of love, then wrote this piece, and shed light on the topic of stillbirths.
  • This episode of the Partially Examined Life podcast on social constructs, which helped me understand what I mean when I say “marriage is a social construct". 
  • Priya Parker’s first TED talk on how the fear-of-missing-out (FOMO) leads to burnout and is cured by a purpose-driven life. 
  • And her second TED talk on how to add depth to our everyday gatherings, which are almost always cookie-cutter and surface-level.
  • The story of this man who went along greatly with his dad’s ex wife, 24 years younger than his dad, and started living with her, putting her in the place of a mother he never had. 
  • Appalling facts on how doctors and scientists don’t know much about female biology and often blame women for their diseases. 
  • This marketing professor bashing tech startups without a clear mission statement, and showing this as the reason for their decreasing stock prices. 
  • Weird interview experiences at startups that made me laugh a lot. 
  • Nobel-winning economist Paul Romer benchmarking Burning Man as an example of modular, sustainable and viable cities built fast and at scale.
Thank you for reading!
If you enjoyed this letter, I hope you will share it with friends!
Drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you. ❤️️
From a weekend trip to the French countryside,
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Paris, France