Announcing ABG on the Cushion: A Meditation Study for Busy Wine Professionals

Announcing ABG on the Cushion: A Meditation Study for Busy Wine Professionals

Beck and I are psyched to announce a new offering this week for ABG – newer, even, than the pins that are such a big hit! – and we’re looking forward to your input and participation.

Here goes: We’re launching ABG’s first meditation module, geared specifically toward colleagues and friends in the wine industry.

 A little context will help. I’m in the midst of a two-year training program with some of the best teachers in Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield. A requirement of the program is a “practicum” of hands-on meditation teaching, and that’s where the ABG community comes in, for anyone who’s willing to try it out.

This training program, and meditation in general, been a game-changer for me.

 What’s surfaced most of all in the practice is working to extend that time between “stimulus” and “response” in day-to-day life. The idea is to be less in constant react-mode, and less at the whim of forces outside my control. The idea is to be more right-here right-now, and more effective with the people and the work that are in front of me to do. 

As I said, it’s been a game-changer. It’s a tricky one though (not gonna lie) because it takes a lot of consistent effort and patience even on the days when it seems like we aren’t getting anywhere. I know those days. You know those days. We all know those days.

 Here’s the thing, though. Even when we think the effort to meditate isn’t paying off, it’s actually paying off. There are all kinds of neurological reasons for it but for me the proof is the adjustment I’ve seen in the “baseline” of my pulse. It’s slower. I’m calmer. Yet I’m also more alert and in the game. More creative, more focused.

 I’m not saying meditation is a panacea. I’m also not saying it’s easy, especially not when the time we need to dedicate to it can so easily get elbowed out of the schedule by more pressing things that need our immediate attention. (There’s that constant react-mode again, btw.)

 But I am saying it’s worth a try, and I hope you’ll try it with me. Let’s start with curiosity, and see where things go for you from there.

 The “stimulus” of the wine world is unique, so in the coming weeks Beck and I will be working to craft the content of the module that we’ll offer to you in 2020.

 First, though, tell us what you think. What would be useful for you to learn, or work on, or understand? What are the stimuli you deal with every day, that you’d like to respond to in a different way?

We've put together this form to make it easy for you to share your thoughts. Please have a look, and take a moment to fill it out. We'd appreciate it!

Here are a few more details and logistics of how the mediation module will work:

  • It will be delivered online, so you can dial in from your desk or laptop. No travel required.

  • There will be four sessions of 75 minutes each.   

  • We appreciate that ABG has global reach, so the time of day that the sessions will be held will accommodate the time zones of as many participants as possible.·     

  • Each session will include a teaching, a guided meditation, and time for Q&A.·     

  • Topics are TBD depending on your input, but they can include self-compassion; the practice of loving kindness; mindfulness of body, thoughts and emotions; and common challenges with meditation.

We’re looking forward to your input and especially your participation. Naturally, we’ll share more details as the module develops. Beck and I will sort out the logistics in the coming weeks, and will launch the module in early 2020.

We hope very much that it will help.



What We're Reading:

There's no shortage of wine stories and media inundating our IN Boxes. Here's what has piqued our interest this week.

Does a Meaningful Job Need to Burn You Out? – Greater Good Science Center

It's a gift when work is so meaningful that you'd do it for free. And that's also a problem.

‘Terroir…Is that a dog?’ Survey exposes wine knowledge –

From planet Sauternes to those cute ‘terroir’ dogs, a new survey in the UK suggests Britons have room for improvement in their wine knowledge - but many say they are keen to learn.

The rise of digital fitness: can the new wave of high-intensity home workouts replace the gym? – The

The options for at-home personal training are limitless. But can they ever beat the camaraderie of working out with other people?


Meet the Tribe!

Our community is only as strong as the company we keep, and here we meet some of the folks who make our profession so dynamic.


Laura Scholz, Freelance journalist with VinePair, SevenFifty Daily, and Fitness Editor at Atlanta magazine

Years in the Industry: 

I've been a freelance food and beverage writer for over seven years. Before that, I worked in PR, so the connections I have from that phase of my life have been invaluable in making the transition to full-time writer and editor. 

My Biggest Challenge to Wellness: 

Time and stress! Yes, freelancing means working at home in my PJs and lots of fun travel, but it also means I work a lot of weekends, holidays, and even vacations to accommodate deadlines and last-minute edits. I have a hard time giving myself permission to do nothing when there's a lot on my plate, but I try to sneak in self-care during the day, even if that's a quick ten minute meditation or walk with my dog. I also struggle with anxiety and depression, so I have learned that some days are not my days and to just power down the laptop and know the work will still be there the next day.

How I Keep It Together to Stay Well:

Setting clear boundaries, with myself and others. It's a running joke with my friends that I'm a "memaw." I eat dinner by 6pm most days, rarely go out in the evenings, and generally turn off my electronics by 8:30 p.m. I'm very protective of my eight hours of sleep a night, even if that means my social life suffers, because I know that I just can't function or keep up with my training regime without enough rest.  

I'm a long distance runner, so my morning run is sacred time to me. I get some of my best ideas when out for my runs, and it gets me moving and clears my head. Also, planning ahead. Always having food staples on hand so I can throw together a quick smoothie or meal, keeping snacks in my purse, and hitting up Whole Foods and planning my running routes ahead of time when I travel. 

Also, knowing when to listen to my body and let go of perfection, whether that's skipping a run, eating that dessert, or writing a bad first draft and knowing I can get back on track the next day.  

You can find Laura on Instagram at @lbscholz 

Let’s Meet Up!

As work life has it, we are traveling over the next few months and would love to see you.  

Drop a line to or if you are interested in getting together for practice, a chat or a great glass together.

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