Connection: The inherent desire for conscious, authentic, and meaningful interactions with other people.

This is what The Shine Movement means to me. While it can sometimes be easy to have superficial engagements via social media or at your favorite bar, these may or may not inspire. Yet in contrast, every time I spend an evening at The Shine, I feel inspired.

In the summer of 2014, my dear friend and fellow meditation teacher, Light Watkins, started The Shine with 10 people gathered in his living room. Now more than 200 people attend a mindful variety show. There is a meditation practice led by a variety of teachers in the community. But more than that, there are musicians who perform and share their gifts, speakers who inspire, and films from around the world. We break bread together (well, really, we enjoy a nutritious meal—free of alcohol). People come together for the common desire to incite inspiring connections.

Shine Variety Show, Los Angeles


As much as The Shine takes place in a physical location, the essence is about engaging everyone in a conversation that extends far beyond the few hours that we all commune in person. One of the ways we activate that ripple effect of consciousness and inspiration is through a philanthropic raffle: The Shine On Challenge. At each event we raffle off to one attendee a portion of the proceeds collected that evening and then invite them to go out and take action to better the world. Part of the mandate is that they return to the next event and share what they did. There’s an incredible exchange of energy represented. I always find it amazing to see how the journey of giving back affects not only the community served, but also the person doing the good deed, and the audience who shares in the story. It’s a full circle experience that touches lives. To date, thousands of dollars have been raffled off in projects implemented to help others.

The Shine, A mindful variety show in Los Angeles, California, LA YOGA Magazine, March 2016


On a personal note, I feel fortunate to be a part of the team that produces this event; the all-volunteer production team is passionate about creating and holding a space for inspiration and community.

We would love to see you at the next Shine on March 5 in Santa Monica. Visit: to purchase a ticket (which includes your meal).  

Megan Monahan is a meditation teacher and student of Davidji who leads retreats at the Chopra Center, is the director of meditation at Wanderlust Hollywood and a regular teacher at Unplug. Instagram @megmonahan