A highlight from Three Mindfulness Strategies from Joseph Goldstein


Next monday april twelfth lunching a two week series about hope as we head deeper into spring and vaccines go into our arms. We hear on. The show are going to argue. That hope is actually a skill one. You can get better at and not only. Will we be exploring hope on the podcast will also have bespoke meditations from our podcast guests dropping in the ten percent. Happier app so that you can actually practice hope skill. If you don't already have the app you can get it now. Just download it for free wherever you get your apps and get started from abc. This is the ten percent happier podcast. I'm dan harris to inject a little sunshine in perspective and some wisdom without it might make sense to re post one of our favourite conversations of the last year. This is straight up meat and potatoes meditation. Talk from the one. And only joseph goldstein in this chat. We explore three profoundly used meditation strategies including mindfulness of thinking awareness of rushing a deeply ingrained habit for many of us including your host and the genuine insight that can emerge from everyday activities for the uninitiated. Joseph is one of the founding teachers on the ten percent happier app. He's co founder of the insight meditation society and he is the author of several books including the recently reissued the experience of insight a simple indirect guide to buddhist meditation speaking personally as a friend and student of joseph's anytime i have spent with joseph is time well spent and this conversation is no exception. So here we go with joseph goldstein. Hello joseph thanks for doing this likewise likewise so in chatting before we started officially rolling here we identified some of potential discussion. And one of the things you said it's been on your mind. Late in your own. Practice is noticing the quickly passing little thoughts that zip through the sort of consciousness. Our mind And that we often don't notice am my saying that correctly. So this really came. Came about for me when i was on self retreat and i was just going for a walk. I wasn't doing at that point. The slow meditative walk. But i was taking a walk reasonably mindfully. I noticed something quite vividly. That i must have noticed beforehand but it never stood out in quite the way. Did you know at this particular time. And i was as i was going for the walk i noticed that there were many many quickly passing village that went through the mind. Maybe listing fifteen seconds or thirty seconds. So not long and no big dramas. Warren particularly problematic. And because of that. What i noticed was that. I wasn't really being mindful of the fact that i was thinking during that time. They just coming passing through and leaving. But what i noticed was in those times for the duration of the thought as short as it. I was not aware that i was thinking. I was dropped into the content of a dropped into the story and then fifteen seconds thirty seconds later. It's like i come out from being lost in that quick little thought and back. You know mindful of my body. Mindful nisa walking and it highlighted to me. How often during the day. We do drop in unknowingly. The you know to the stories we make up you know in our minds about our experience so for me for example it might have been just some planning or maybe remembering something or maybe a quick little comment about what i was seeing so it could be just the ordinary activity of the mind. You know daily lives and how frequently these quickly passing thoughts happen. And how for the most part. I hadn't been mindful in those short durations and i realized a few things from this one is that these unnoticed thoughts would in a very subtle way be conditioning different emotions. And maybe a thaw would make me little more interested or say ed or excited or whatever and all in a very mild level which is why we generally don't notice it. But what i saw was that every time we in these thoughts unmindful networks like we lost in the dream for that short period of time. It is creating an inner mental environment. It's conditioning our inner environment. And even though it's for sure durations. It's many many times a day so it was very interesting for me to see how a minds get conditioned very often unknowingly you know in these seemingly innocuous stream of thoughts and there was one other little piece that stood out from it that a lot of ordinary thoughts in one way or another or self referential memory. I had or a plan that i have. Or you know a reaction or comment and so every time we're lost in the dream of those thoughts it's as if we dreaming ourselves into existence. You're over and over again. So that's why it just was very as i said it was very vivid for me at this particular time and since then i've just made it a practice as i'm going through the day as best like hand just to keep an eye out going for a walk doing some activity and just noticing when thinking happens and whether i'm actually aware of it on that and it's become a very vibrant practice for me. I'm putting myself in the shoes of novice meditators not hard for me to do because those are pretty much my shoes And and thinking partially for myself and partially on behalf of the audience you know. Look when i to meditate. I'm mostly lost in thought. So that's when i'm meditating. Never my when. I'm just walking around during the rest of the day when i'm pretty sure thoroughly lost in thought. So is what you're describing after. You know many years of meditation personally and being on retreat is that scalable to daily lives of civilians like us. it's definitely scalable but as with all practice. I think it's important not to have expectations about doing it. Perfectly or even nia perfectly at first. I'll just give you an example. So this morning. I got up Took a shower. And i was noticing just in the taking of a shower. Because it's kind of pleasant. You're there in the hot water. Refreshing and for some moments unite was really quite mindful of the whole experience of the shower. And then mind started thinking about something and i couldn't remember whether i am actually shampooed. My harry not yet which. I had just done like thirty seconds before but while i was doing it i was lost in thought and then after i just wish my hair didn't so it's just these little things and it's really important sense of humor about one's mind about everything doing because if we have that attitude then it's more conducive interest so it's not about. Judging having some big expectation it's just taking an interest in these vary ordinary daily activities and it will be easy when we're doing something we would not engage with other people because then it will be harder. We'll probably more likely be lost in the content of whatever discussing. We're doing things like taking a shower. We're going for a walk or even just walking from one room to another and once apartment the on just simple moments. That could be a place to watch for this. And i think if people do it and even kind of notice it a few times of how these thoughts are coming and we either aware of them as they come where we realize. Oh i was just lost for that fifteen seconds. If we can do that even a few times. I think that will spark the interest to actually begin to make it a practice throughout the day. So we just wherever we are and we get a few hits of it and if we do i think it really will become interesting because in a way it's highlighting very explicitly the difference between delusion wisdom. Right there were. We can just see it when we lost in the story unmindful. We don't know it lost that's delusion

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