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Business Traveller: Headspace's Andy Puddicombe on Mindfulness for the Masses

The tech entrepreneur and former Buddhist monk on his eureka moment and the benefits of daily meditation.

Andy Puddicombe

A former Buddhist monk, Andy Puddicombe left the monastery 13 years ago with an idea to bring mindfulness to the masses. Now, he leads more than 14 million Headspace users in 190 countries through regular guided meditations, ranging from two minutes to an hour, via their desktops and smartphones (and yes, that’s his voice on the app).

1. Window or aisle? Aisle by day, so I can drink lots of water and get up without disturbing anyone; window by night, so I can sleep.

2. What I had to learn on the fly How to make an ancient technique accessible on a phone. It was a matter of trying things and then refining some aspects, like the session lengths.

3. I always listen to my co-founder, Rich, and my teachers from the monastery. I’m always learning from them, and when I assimilate those techniques and ideas, they find their way into new content.

4. My go-to app The World Surf League app. I love surfing and I love watching it – it’s often what I do when I’m sitting in an airport.

5. In my carry-on, you’ll find a favourite meditation book, like Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki.

6. The biggest risks I ever took First, quitting my degree to be a Buddhist monk, then leaving that life to bring meditation to a wider audience.

7. Best place for a business lunch At our Headspace HQ in Santa Monica we have a relaxed meeting and eating area called the Lookout, which makes a mean vegan pad Thai.

8. My eureka moment Realizing that 10 minutes of meditation a day makes a difference.

9. In business, now’s a good time to focus on social impact. Through our Get Some/Give Some program we donate subscriptions to our non-profit partners, from prisons to NGOs in war zones.

10. My business mantra Our vision is to improve the health and happiness of the world.



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