Fareed Zakaria doesn’t usually use apps to wind down, but he has a soft spot for SoundCloud.
In an interview at the World Economic Forum on Wednesday, the CNN anchor and political commentator said he uses the audio streaming service ― a hub of rhythmic remixes and clubby dance tracks ― to listen to an album of guided meditation.
“It’s only on SoundCloud,” Zakaria told The Huffington Post’s Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani in Davos, Switzerland. “So, it’s not that I would recommend SoundCloud as the answer to stress, but there’s a 20-minute meditation CD that I use every now and then which is really cool.”
Zakaria, who turned 52 on Wednesday, wears many hats. He hosts “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” a foreign affairs show on CNN, every Sunday. He writes a weekly column for The Washington Post. He has authored six books. He has advised the president of the United States. In 2012, he admitted in the wake of a plagiarism scandal that he was stretched too thin, and resigned from the board at Yale University.
Clearing his mind of the myriad thoughts that race through it is no easy task.
“I find it the hardest thing in the world to meditate,” Zakaria said. “It empties your mind, and I’m the kind of person who, um ― I can’t switch off my mind.”
He compared successful meditation to skiing ― you’re so concentrated staying upright as you race downhill that you erase any thoughts that aren’t related to the present task. “I’m not a very good skier,” Zakaria admitted.
“If I go to a beach, I’m going to sit there and think about all the things I think about anyway,” he said. “Meditation forces you to do that, to sit at that beach or sit wherever in your room and clear your mind. I find it the hardest thing to do.”
Zakaria didn’t name the mediation album he uses, but here are a few tracks on SoundCloud that might help if you’re looking for your Zen:
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