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How tragedy inspired this ‘Headspace’ cofounder to become a monk

Andy Puddicombe is cofounder of the popular mindfulness app “Headspace.” In this edition of “That Moment When,” our weekly program on Facebook Watch, Puddicombe describes the tragic Christmas experience that sparked an existential reevaluation and led him to become a monk.

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  • Nick Schifrin:

    Andy Puddicombe is the co-founder of the popular mindfulness app Headspace, something we could all use this holiday season.

    And this week, we feature him in "That Moment When," "NewsHour"'s weekly program on Facebook Watch.

  • Andy Puddicombe:

    It was Christmas Eve. We had all been to a nightclub.

    We're standing outside the nightclub early Christmas morning, and a drunk driver crashed into the group, and, sadly, killed a couple of people and injured a lot of others.

    And I think, for myself, that was a real moment. It started an inquiry, an internal inquiry, sort of questioning, if you like, the meaning of life, you know? It was really that that led me to deciding to go away and become a monk.

    It is a really interesting kind of journey going into a monastery. There is a realization there is no distraction, there's nowhere to go. You can't get away from yourself. And you have to sit with yourself. There was a point in time where something changed, where I didn't really feel like I was searching anymore, and I just felt a greater inner sense of peace or contentment.

    And I would say it is something that has not really kind of changed since then. It — the environment changes, the situation changes, but that feeling inside, that never goes.

  • Nick Schifrin:

    Find all episodes of our series on Facebook @thatmomentwhenshow.

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