Fred Meyer is a lifelong meditation practitioner in the Shambhala and Buddhist traditions. His meditation experience includes a year in residence at Karmê Chöling, a Buddhist retreat center in Vermont, as well as numerous programs, retreats, and trainings.
Fred is a certified meditation guide in the Shambhala tradition, and has taught meditation in settings ranging from youth meditation groups to startup incubators to inpatient mental health facilities.
Fred lives in New Orleans, and likes jazz piano and standup comedy.
David Hayes is cofounder of Medivate and an avid meditation practitioner.
In addition to being Medivate’s technical lead, David leads regular meditation discussion groups, and writes on spirituality and everyday life on a network of personal blogs.
David is also one of Medivate’s earliest and most dramatic success stories: he had been meditating for less than a year at the company’s founding, and has now meditated over 100 minutes per day, every day, for nearly two years.
David lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, and enjoys biking and designing web architecture.
Development of the Five Pillars
The Five Pillars emerged from three years of intensive study and inquiry into the core question of Medivate: How can we help give people a flourishing meditation practice?
Our initial approach to the problem was highly “behavioral” or commitment-oriented: goals, streaks, rewards, punishments, and so on.
As time passed, however, we discovered that our meditation practice could thrive or suffer for non-behavioral reasons: when we were or weren’t inspired, isolated, able to helpfully diagnose problems in our practice, and so on. The full result of that broader investigation, in our own practice and that of many other meditators we know, is the Five Pillars.
Influences on the Five Pillars
The Five Pillars do not require any particular (spiritual or secular) approach to meditation. They emerge mainly from close observation of patterns in many people’s meditation practice, across many traditions and contexts.
The Five Pillars are also informed by the Maitri, or “Five Wisdom Energies,” system of Tibetan Buddhism. You don’t need to understand Maitri to understand and benefit from the Five Pillars; but if you’re interested in a more general system from the Tibetan tradition of understanding and working with different energies, you may enjoy learning more about Maitri.