It's been two years in two different cities and I've meditated near daily. The past two years between Brooklyn, N.Y. and Honolulu, HI, have been a miraculous, tumultuous, ultimately joyous unfolding of events and moments, expressions of creative genius; I can attest that meditation has been the true constant through it all. It's allowed me to attract dream opportunities, ideal love, live a pretty exciting life, and most importantly go day by day with an enduring sense of inner peace no matter what's going on outside. Russell Simmons and Kung-Fu movies would be my initial introduction into meditation, but my real journey would begin three years ago when I went to my O.G.'s house. He told me the movies were all about breathing and meditation, and how he'd used the material to build himself a small fortune and remain youthful even as he approached 70. Of course I was interested; this was exactly what I'd been searching for. Few people know what meditation is: going into the Silence of your own Being. It's been such a game changer in the overall quality of Life and buoyancy of Spirit I've enjoyed these past few years, and I'll share with you 5 steps to help you meditate like a boss, master your inner game, and dominate in the outside world around you.

1. Same Place

The mind has an interesting ability to condition itself to enter the meditative state with more and more ease as you do your practice in the same place and preferably at the same time. This is not to say that you will not reap the benefits of meditation if you lead a life that doesn't allow you to practice in the same place and same time, but it is a huge boon to your practice. Assume an attitude of gratitude, and open your mind to hear the Voice of Spirit speak to the Physical.

2. Spine Erect

Prior to my journey into meditation, I had been hit by a car while riding my bicycle, and doctors told me that I'd experience pain and discomfort in my neck and spine for the rest of my life. As sitting in meditation requires a straight spine, it took even more effort on my part, but boy what a reward. As I write this, I experience no pain, and I never will again. Sitting with the spine erect allows optimal energy flow throughout the body: "The sevenfold position is the most natural way to sit so that we place the physical organism in perfect correspondence with the living, moving force of Life itself throughout the Universe."

3. Control Breathing, Relax Muscles

Use your breathing to begin to relax the body. If there's tension, direct breath to the tense areas as you inhale, and release the tension from your body as you exhale. Flex the body so that it goes limp, and place your hands on your knees, enjoy the sensation of the electrical flow of energy through your body. If you do nothing else but sit still and focus on your breathing for a few minutes a day, you'll already be making leaps and bounds.

4. Relax, Watch Your Mind Movie, Then Take Control

Now let us do with the Mind what we have done with the Body. This is where most beginners get tripped up, but what's about to happen is natural. "...my mind is jumping about...it seems like a maddened monkey. It brings me all kinds of ideas. I think of something in the office, something at home, did I lock the garage door, I wonder what is going to happen, I am thinking of this, I am thinking of that; all kinds of ideas are passing rapidly and in medley and chaos through my mind." Worry not, just sit and watch: this is your mind's movie as all the ideas on the top layer of your mind swirl around and show you your thoughts. Enjoy the show; with stillness the rush of thoughts will slow down, and you'll be able to take the wheel and take control. As your practice continues you will feel more and more of the infinite inner stillness, the ocean of internal peace.

5. Enter the Realm of Miracles

Once swimming in the ocean of internal peace, the mind is now open to receive the divine energies of the Infinite Source. This is where you can introduce affirmations that reprogram the mind, ask for answers to seemingly impossible situations, attract the right people and circumstances. From the outside some may comment on how "lucky" you are, but you are well aware of the internal work you have put in that has the caused the gateways of the kingdom to pour forth all of its riches unto you.

*Bonus #1. Step 6. PRACTICE !

This can't be overstated. Consistency will increase results exponentially. There's no cheat codes to this, and no one else can do the work for you, but the benefits received far far outweigh the price paid.

*Bonus #2. A Cheat Code

Even still there are always things you can do to make getting started and staying consistent easier. Here is a video to a personal favorite guided meditation that I listen to often and has helped manifest miracle after miracle, blessing after blessing. It's a five minute quick meditation that will give a boost to your day whenever you take a little time to listen.

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Over the past month, both Haiti and Afghanistan have been pummeled by tragic disasters that left devastation in their wake.

In Haiti, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake erupted, leading over to 2,189 deaths and counting. A few hours later, in Afghanistan, Kabul fell to the Taliban just after U.S. troops had pulled out after 20 years of war.

In many ways, these disasters are both chillingly connected to US interference. The United States invaded Haiti in 1915, ostensibly promising to restore order after a presidential assassination but really intending to preserve the route to the Panama Canal and to defend US creditors, among other reasons.

But the US forces soon realized that they were not able to control the country alone, and so formed an army of Haitian enlistees, powered by US air power and intended to quell Haitian insurrection against US controls. Then, in 1934, the US pulled out on its own, disappointed with how slow progress was going. Haiti's institutions were never really able to rebuild themselves, leaving them immensely vulnerable to natural disasters.

Something similar happened in Afghanistan, where the US sent troops and supported an insurgent Afghan army – only to pull out, abandoning the country they left in ruins, with many Afghans supporting the Taliban.

In both cases, defense contractors benefited by far the most from the conflict, making billions in profits while civilians faced fallout and devastation. While the conflicts and circumstances are extremely different and while the US is obviously not solely to blame for either crisis, it's hard not to see the US-based roots of these disasters.

Today, in Haiti and Afghanistan, civilians are facing unimaginable tragedy.

Here are charities offering support in Afghanistan:

1. The International Rescue Committee is looking to raise $10 million to deliver aid directly to Afghanistan

2. CARE is matching donations for an Afghanistan relief fund. They are providing food, shelter, and water to families in need; a donation of $89.50 covers 1 family's emergency needs for a month.

3. Women for Women International is matching donations up to 500,000 for Afghan women, who will be facing unimaginable horrors under Taliban control.


4. AfghanAid offers support for people living in remote regions of Afghanistan.

5. VitalVoices supports female leaders and changemakers and survivors of gender-based violence around the world.

Here are charities offering support in Haiti:

1. Partners in Health has been working with Haiti for a long time, and they work with the Department of Health rather than around them, which is extremely important in a charity.

2. Health Equity International helps run Saint Boniface Hospital, a hospital in Haiti close to the earthquake's epicenter.

3. SOIL is an organization based Haiti, "a local organization with a track record of supporting after natural disasters." They are distributing hygiene kits and provisions on the ground to hospitals and to victims of the earthquake.

4. Hope for Haiti has been working in emergency response in Haiti for three decades, and their team is comprised of people who live and work in Haiti. They focus on supporting children and people in need across Haiti.

via Tiffany & Co.

When the new Tiffany's campaign was unveiled, reactions were mixed.

Tiffany's, the iconic jewelry brand which does not (despite what some might be misled to believe) in fact serve breakfast, featured Jay Z, Beyoncé, and a rare Basquiat painting in their recent campaign.

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Road trips can be a lot of fun — but they can also drain your wallet quickly if you aren't careful.

From high gas costs and park admission fares to lodging and the price of eating out every night, the expenses can add up quickly. But at the same time, it's very possible to do road trips cheaply and efficiently. Without the headache of worrying about how much money you're leaking, you can enjoy the open road a whole lot more. Here's how to save money on a road trip.

1. Prepare Your Budget, Route, and Packing List in Advance

If you want to save money on a road trip, be sure you're ready to go. Try to count up all your expenses before you hit the road and create a budget. It's also a good idea to plan your route in advance so you don't end up taking unnecessary, gas-guzzling detours. And finally, be sure to pack in advance so you don't find yourself having to buy tons of things you forgot along the way.

2. Book Cheap Accommodations — Or Try Camping

All those motel rooms can add up surprisingly quick, but camping is often cheap or free, and it's a great way to get intimate with the place you're visiting. You can check the Bureau of Land Management's website for free campsites. Freecampsite.com also provides great information on If you don't have a tent or don't want to camp every night, try booking cheap Airbnbs or booking hotels in advance, making sure to compare prices.

Camping camping road tripConde Nast Traveler

If you're planning on sleeping in your car, a few tips: WalMart allows all-night parking, as do many 24-hour gyms. (Buying a membership to Planet Fitness or something like it also gives you a great place to stop, shower, and recharge while on the road).

3. Bring Food From Home

Don't go on a road trip expecting to subsist on fast food alone. You'll wind up feeling like shit, and it'll drain your pocketbook stunningly quickly. Instead, be sure to bring food from home. Consider buying a gas stove and a coffee pot for easy on-the-go meals, and make sure you bring substantial snacks to satiate midday or late night cravings so you can avoid getting those late night Mickey D's expeditions.

Try bringing your own cooler, filling it with easy stuff for breakfast and lunch — some bread and peanut butter and jelly will go a long way. Bring your own utensils, plates, and napkins, and avoid buying bottled water by packing some big water jugs and a reusable water bottle. Alternatively, try staying at hotels or Airbnbs with kitchens so you can cook there.

4. Avoid Tolls

Apps like Google Maps and Waze point out toll locations, so be sure to avoid those to save those pennies. (If it takes you too far off route, you might have to bite the bullet and drive across that expensive bridge).

You can also save on parking fees by using sites like Parkopedia.

Road Trip Road TripThe Orange Backpack


5. Save on Gas

Gas can get pricy incredibly fast, so be sure that you're stopping at cheap gas stations. Free apps like GasBuddy help you find the most affordable gas prices in the area. Also, try going the speed limit on the highways — anything faster will burn through your tank. Be sure that you don't wait till you arrive at touristy locations or big cities to fill up.

6. Get a National Park Pass

All those parks can get really expensive really fast. If you're planning on visiting three or more parks, it's a great idea to get an America the Beautiful National Parks Pass. For $80 you can get into every National Park for one year.