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Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder
"In this podcast episode I thought, it would be fun to share some thoughts regarding perception specifically from a Buddhist perspective. Feel recall the Buddhist teaching of the five aggregates. These are form feeling perception, mental formations, and consciousness. These five aggregates are the best mls or the heaps that make up who or perhaps how we are. And the implication here is that perception plays a key role in how I go about experiencing my reality. I wanted to correlate all of this with an expression that I'm sure you've heard it's a common expression says beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And this expression suggests that beauty doesn't exist on its own, but it arises in the one doing the observing, and I think that's a fascinating thought and I want to correlate this with the expression with the Buddhist understanding of the role that perception plays in how we experienced. So all of this started recently with a trip that I was on I was in Moab and Moab if you don't know as a very scenic place in Utah famous for the arches and several other national parks, the thought that I had while I was there. Of course I'm experiencing Moab from the air from a paraglider paraglider and as I was flying through there, I had a similar thought that I've had many times while traveling, which is, wow. This is such a beautiful place and followed pretty closely to. the thought that says you know people come from all over the world to see this, and then the reminder that any places like that this one happens to be very unique and beautiful, but all places her. And I remember one time when I was traveling, I was in Bali and I was walking through the rice paddies on a on a trip tour. And I would see the locals tend to their rice patties. And I remember feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the landscape in the beauty of the place just felt like such a neat experience in the thought occurred to me that if I could pick someone from here out of their Rice Patty and take them to my home. They would probably have a similar feeling walking through. The streets and the trails behind my house and thinking how neat it is to recognize that again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and for someone who's their local the scenery that to a visitor so unique and so different, and so beautiful to them as just ordinary day to day view and see the same thing happened to me my normal view where I live may become ordinary and and you. Know I think I have to go far to experience this beauty when in reality the beauty is it's everywhere because it's in the eye of the beholder. So that's that's kind of what was going on this past week as I was experiencing the beauty of Moab and I started to formulate all of these thoughts and how they relate to a Buddhist teaching, which is kind of what I wanNA share with you. Not, just with when we when we think of beauty, it's not just a painting for example that you look at you think, wow, what a beautiful painting but we do this with all things right with film is a good example if I I'm sure you have watched a movie at some point that was that moved to tears, right? Maybe it was a message or just the story of the movie that that really moved you. Now with a painting or with a movie you know if I were to tell you hey, there is a movie out there that if you watch it, it will profoundly change your. Life. Now if I tell you what movie that is, it won't work you might go watch the movie and say. You know that that that didn't do it for me. I didn't like that movie. And I'm sure you've experienced this right where someone a friend will tell you. You have to go watch this movie at such a good movie and they build it up and build it up and then you go watch it and you're like yeah, it was all right and they're stunned. What do you mean it was all right it's my favorite movie or backwards right maybe you had experienced movie or a song or a painting that you saw in a museum that really moved you and then you try to court you try to share that with someone and they just on experience at the same way.
The Social Dilemma and Otherness
"Just to have a smaller maybe episode just me. Thinking out loud with you and this one is about I call it the social dilemma and otherness in I. Don't know if any of you watched the Netflix documentary called the social dilemma. I watched it not too long ago and it was disturbing at it was as it was intended to be I won't pretend to be a movie reviewer that's not my thing. But I. Thought it was very good and I thought it brought a ton of points about social media In clearer view for those of us who may have. been aware of this but not to the extent that it actually was true. But to put my reviewer had on though I thought that the acting out of the personalized a algorithms were Eliza. Bit of a stretch but it did break up the talking heads which might have been boring for people after a while although I personally like talking head documentaries. But. The point of this. episode is, is about the key theme of the documentary and it's the way our minds are manipulated by social media platforms and the manipulation, and how the manipulation was intentional by the big tech players or the company's the money behind the big tech. The twist though is that the intentional manipulation was aimed at our attention. To get us to buy things but the super efficiency of the algorithms designed to do that. Was Not anticipated. They didn't think it was going to be good as it was then the negative consequences on human thinking and behavior was also nad intended. So it was sort of like creating a Frankenstein and I think one of the one of the people who reviewed on that one of the tech players who were reviewed actually said it was like creating a Frankenstein. The buying in quote unquote into distorted ideas about the world ourselves and each other that have become nearly ubiquitous sense. The pandemic Allah the rise of Cunanan and stand startling panoply of conspiracy theory and times been great awakening groups that have grown to amazing proportions to the point of moving beyond their virtual groups and into the world to act out demonstrations, hate speech and even violence. Now, the documentary features the narratives of several Silicon Valley defectors talking to the camera. These young executives, designers and software engineers all left lucrative an influential positions for a variety of reasons around sort of this theme. One of 'EM's ethical concerns about addictive media others were political concerns over the polarization of society and the spread of fake news or just general misgivings of the sort expressed by Tristan Harris formerly designed ethicist at Google who said in the movie. Quote when you look around. When you look when you look around you, it feels like the world is going crazy. Is this normal or have we fallen under some spell unquote? After watching this documentary I continued to reflect about how it really does feel like the world is going crazy. I also listened to many podcasts discussing these phenomena the polarization, the the the rise in conspiracy theory thinking end times beliefs anti-semitism of. Great Awakenings you know all this stuff and how How to address it, how to classify what it is and how to fix
Change, Loss and Timeless Love
"Nama stay and welcomed my friends. Really glad to have you with us. I was recently perusing two different articles. The first title was aging the secret to happiness and the second was WANNA be happier. All you have to do is get older. So same theme and they both draw on research that teams to confirm this correlation that the older we get the happier we are. Now I know that seems counter intuitive given the challenges we face that we. Lose, people we love and we lose our youth and our health and our memory. I saw cartoon this very old couple and they were both on rockers on the porch and he's responding to her. He says, now you want an open relationship. Of Billy Crystal, but it this way he said by the time, a man is a wise enough to watch his step. He's too old to go anywhere. Okay so there's this evidence that Carlos aging with happiness and the understanding that resonates for me is that through our our lifetime, we have the capacity to learn and adapt and spiritually evolve and. With the passing of time. There can be a growing acceptance of the inevitability. Of Change and loss. A growing acceptance. Of Change and loss. and. Walk. Clearly, this doesn't happen to everyone for those that do deepen in that acceptance. Nabil's living and appreciating the moments. And loving were fully. So the title of this talk, and the one that follows is change loss and timeless. Love. And the theme arises from a central teaching on the spiritual path and. That is that our capacity to live and love fully is totally intertwined with how we relate to change and loss. So. This'll be AH invitation for you to look in your own life at how you're relating to change and loss. It feels really relevant right now to explore this given, how many people around the globe are experiencing such rapid change and real loss due to global pandemic and Deepening social divides and climate change the devastation to this earth. And while it may feel like change a speeding up. impermanent. So what really makes us clutch? Is really the nature of all takes form. And we know it on the on the largest sweeps. If you think of the history of the Universe Big Bang and stardust forming and planet earth elements combining to create this amazing variety of life forms and then Homo sapiens evolving tools and art and science and war and slavery in plagues and collaboration innovation. The whole thing you know empires coming and going Greeks the Romans, the Ottoman. Empire Portuguese the British the American. You know rising to dominance and then passing we always think things are for good but it all passes and here we are. On the brink of destroying. Earth our home. Seeing species common species become extinct. galaxies. Of Stars collapsing into black holes, it's all in permanent. And then. We can sense it on the most minute level you know if right this moment. You take the time to perhaps closure is and bring your attention inward and hold still really still. You can sense that. The body everything inside a moving if you feel your hands is anything holding stelle. It might seem that way if you're very very tense but if you even begin to relax a little, you can sense the hands feet. In the face. The Heart Everything's moving. Nothing hold still there's this. Ever changing flow of sensations feelings. Sounds come and go. Your body's replacing sells millions per second. Within those cells nonstop motion.
listening to our hearts
"Begin breathing together. That's taken ice full deep in breath. A slow out breath. Center, letting go as you released the breath. Again a nice deep full in breath. And a slow out breath. Letting go. Letting go. One more. Time inhale deeply. Then a smooth slow out breath. Releasing any tightness attention? That's possible. In allowing the breath to come back to its natural rhythm. Feeling the quality of presence. That's here. In this presence. Bring the attention to sound. Begin listening to the sounds around you. Aware of the sounds that are close in the space that Iran? Aware of the sounds of these words coming and going. Where of silence? Between the words. The snake to the space you're in. And then to the more distant sounds. Sensing that. Listening presence so That's receptor. Sir Listening not just with your. Ears, but with your whole awareness. And now bringing that listening presence. To the body so that you're listening to and feeling the sensations in the body. As you. SCAN. You might feel the. Area of the brow the is. Listening to fueling. The aliveness, such they're. Not Trying to change. Anything. Just. Taking in what here? Feeling the lips. Gums the teeth. Receptive, presence in the area of the mouth. Listening to feeling the life that's here. Letting that. Receptive. Presence spread through the face. Feeling. All the sensations in the face, the micro muscles. Relaxed reciptivity. Including the Scalp and the skull. Feeling all the sensations through the head face. Bringing that listening attention to the throat. syncing with that receptivity kind of curiosity. What's it feel like right here. Down through the shoulders, you might gently give yourself. Instruction to relax shoulders back and down a little. then. Let that listening. Receptive Presents Phil Shoulders. Allowing life to be just as it is.
Wisdom and Fear
"October seemed like a good month to talk about the topic of fear with Halloween and all the preparations gone at least in the US and other Western cultures. This is the month that you see all the movies on TV or about horror films and scary things and I. Thought I would be fun to talk about the concept of fear from the Buddhist perspective. And I think this is a fascinating topic to explore because all of us experience fear fear is a universal thing. We all experience it and is completely natural like all other emotions fears just an emotion. There are however learned fears and there are hardwired fears I recently read an article that talked about how. For, example, the the fear that we experience a loud noises. That's something that's hardwired in us that we don't necessarily learn that it's from day one that we fear loud noises. Also, the fear of falling seems to be one of those fears that is hardwired in US and I'm sure there are others. But for the discussion of fear I think first and foremost, it's hopeful to frame our fears within the Lens of skillful fears and unskillful fears. The Buddha taught that some see something to fear where there is nothing to fear and some see nothing to fear where there is something to fear. And this is more or less along the lines of what I WANNA talk about with this topic of fear. Useful fear may prepare us to take skillful action while unuseful fear only leads to unskillful action, and that's how I like framing. That's high like thinking about my own fears. For example, a skillful fear would be avoiding touching a poisonous snake while skillful fear may be fearing the coiled up hoes in the dark shed because I think it's a snake but an actuality, it's only coiled up hose. So that's kind of along the lines of of the Buddhist perspective of fear I'm far less concerned with talking about the fear that we think of when we think of fear of the dark fear of heights. No, I'm much more interested in talking about fears like the fear of rejection that may cause us to live skillfully a good cause us to live an. Entire life where we're not fully in harmony with our authentic selves with how we actually think and feel because if I fear, for example, the judgment of others I may be experiencing unskillful actions in my life living life a certain way to avoid the fear of judgment of others that may be an unskillful fear So that's what I want to talk about The when we talk about fear, we think of the ultimate fear, right perhaps the fear of death, the fear of separation from our loved ones the fear that we experience from a uncertainty and the unknown those are big concepts think about and I think they're good to think about. But for practical purposes, I think it's more important to think of the fears that affect our day to day lives and a lot of the experiences that were having in our day to day lives. And for me, it's important to explore. Where does my fear come from? You've heard me mentioned before in this podcast, the notion of the Buddhist teaching of craving, which is essentially what will suffering that the moment. I want things to be other than how they are suffering is what arises or discontent dissatisfaction anguish. However, you WanNa word that. But that feeling that arises when I want something to be other than how it is seems to be very intricately connected to this notion of fear I'm fearing how something is because it's not matching how I think it should be and that's one of the ideas that is talked about and Buddhism on the topic of fear, and again it's it's wanting things to be other than how they are and. I think what makes this worse as far as fear goes is that were experiencing a new layer of fear.
Letting Go and Letting Be
"This is a good time to make any adjustments you'd like to how you're sitting. Nick. Sure you're comfortable. and. Ideally. Sitting in a way where you`re Upright enough to be awake to be. Alert. But also at ease. You might close your eyes and deepen the settling. Not Closure is lower your a show the attention can go in work. Become aware of your body sitting here. Aware of the movement of the breath. You might send the possibility of relaxing with the brass. So that as the breath comes in, there's a kind of opening to receive it. This if even on a cellular level and the space between the cells, the breath can enter the received. With the outbreak Rafael letting go. With each out breath. Sense that you can release unnecessary tension or tightness in the body. And with the out breath, you might send you can release. Unnecessary Thoughts that have been moving through. Create clearing. And to deepen that presence in ease, you might scammed through the body. Often start in the area of the brow because when our is our tents. It actually keeps US thinking. She might consciously soften they area around the eyes. That the browbeat. Smooth. Feeling the mouth unhinging the jaw letting there be a slight smile at the lips. Letting go through the shoulders. Sensing the shoulders falling away from the neck. And then feeling them from the inside out. Imagining the dissolving the melting. Of Ice to, water. And what are to? Gas. Letting go of any clenching. Letting and letting be of the life. Cheer. Let the hand Rashed in a very easy effortless way. MIGHT SOFTEN THE HANDS And soften. Again. Then fueling the hands from the inside out. Notice the life. That's here. Can you to tack the? Tingling, vibrating. The energy in the hands He might sense an openness to the chest. Feeling the region of the heart. Let the breath gently enter. Received and leave. The. Movement. Of the chest expanding sat on. The breath comes in. Helping contact or connect with the feelings. Sensations in the area of the heart. The out breath. Releasing, letting, go whatever. Wants to be released. So, your breath becomes support in both connecting with the life. That's year. As you breathe them. And releasing unnecessary tightness or tension with the out breath. Scanning down feeling the abdominal area and letting this next breath be received miss softening Delhi.
"In my one on one session with a few of you over the past couple of weeks, I've noticed a recurring theme of stress anxiety and depression all stemming from being concerned about what other people think. It's a fascinating combination of both insecurity and self obsession I. Mean we spend so much time thinking about ourselves how we look how we sound how we come across how do we compare if we lack confidence or feel empty inside we ended up filling that void with other people's opinions of us even though we know that their judgment actually reveals more about them. than it does about us but I admit that there are times when I also worry about someone else's judgement of me but it's only when I'm insecure with how I feel about myself and the more confident I am about my decisions, the less I need them approved or accepted by others might take away is that if we don't know who we are, then we run the risk of believing what others think about us. My friend Justin was raised by a father who always pushed him to succeed by yelling at him to do better comparing him to others calling. Him Lazy a loser even when he was getting as in school and winning trophies and sports nothing was ever good enough for him. Fast forward to Justin. Now as an adult who despite being successful has been wealthy still believes he would never amount to anything because his father's voice is now in his own head years after his father's passed away Justin is still trying to impress the man who has never been impressed by anything. Anyone has ever done I feel the weight of all this whenever I spent time with. Justin. It affects every decision he makes it sucks. All the joy out of anything you accomplishes in life because he knows it will never be enough for his father just imagine how light he would feel if he stopped carrying what his father thinks about him if justin sets his own values defines what enough means to him and feels accomplished at the end of every day for the first time in his life and many ways we all have those voices in our heads judging, US comparing us but it's important not to identify with those demons to recognize them for what they are and start writing a new narrative. I think I would bring this up but in the book I actually talk about feeling fat when I was a teenager because of a passive comment, my mother wants made about me getting chunky. So I spent the next few years getting in shape and lifting weights with the sole purpose of. Ultimately, becoming a stripper when day because I thought the only way, I would ever feel attractive is if people paid me to take my clothes off well, if you've read my book, then you know that even when I did in fact, become a stripper with an eight-pack and biceps bigger than my head. The Pale Chunky kids still stared back at me in the mirror I thought that if Hundreds of people told me I was hot. It would cancel out my mother's taunting in my head but her comment held more weight than I had lost and it wasn't until I change the narrative stopped trying to impress the woman who was much like Justin's dad never impressed with anyone no matter what that I didn't necessarily start thinking of myself as attractive the pendulum has actually swung to the. Opposite end of not caring at all about whether others buying me appealing or not. If we each define our own core values, calibrate our moral compass and set clear intentions than we can finally be. Okay. If someone doesn't like US especially when we know they struggled to like themselves and Buddhism, we talked so much about acceptance but we have to start by accepting ourselves once we do that. We
Equanimity: The Gifts of Non-Reactive Mindful Presence
"Now, I'm a stay in. Welcome. It's very nice to be with you and I share to begin with a cartoon that I got recently that I found really easy to relate to an was of. Two mice in each of the mice is on its own spinning wheel and one is frantically moving, and the other one is just sitting at the bottom of the wheel looking very relaxed and at peace, and of course, the caption is for that one I had an epiphany. So what was the epiphany and to me the tiffany's like this amazingly valuable reminder. That, we forget regularly that we have in any moment. The capacity to pause. To, become still to get off that wheel of obsessive thinking and of racing through the day and of running away from something unpleasant or uncomfortable that in any moment. Any moment we can stop we can stop we can breathe. We can let go a little and trying to do it right now just any intentional moment of. That gift letting go letting go and then it's possible to enter the next moment with more presence and balanced clarity and heart. In Buddhist psychology, there are what are called the four divine abodes and each one is an expression of what it means to be at home in the sacred. And the divine abodes are loving kindness, compassion joy, and the fourth, which makes all the other ones. The previous ones possible is equanimity. So equanimity is this. Inner balance this ease, our spacious -ness of presence it's a a non reactive awareness. And we're able to come into rest and be and that spacious nece that in presence than all the other qualities of life that we so cherish like compassion like love arise. Naturally, we can actually move into the next moment when we were coming from equanimity with our full intelligence, our full heart. I often reflect on Viktor Frankl 's famous quote. Because it's really an equanimity quote. and. He says that in-between the stimulus and the response, there is a space. And in that space is your power and your freedom. So, it's really really meaningful on our path. To, be able to do at that mouse did and. Just stop racing to stop the spinning wheel come to rest. especially. In Current Times as we consider, we're in times of multiple pandemic and. With so much uncertainty and threat, and so many of us feeling. Reactive distressed. Being able to step off that spinning wheel. And access that space of equanimity that that refuge of inner ease. Is a tremendous gift. It affects all who retouched. So. This is what will be exploring together this evening. How we can move from reactivity to that space of non judging balanced presence. And as we explore this You might be considering what are the waves that you're encountering in your life whether it's individually or your sense of our world That really stir you up. The waves that gets you spinning when you most really need to be able to. Touch again that inner refuge. So this'll be our inquiry in shifting from reactivity to that presence that allows us to then respond from the best of who we are from our awake carts. Maybe begin by sharing. A story NPR. That's where I heard it or this little girl Melissa is at home and she's drawing and she's all excited because she has just discovered that if you combine yellow and blue, why makes green and says, she shows her mom and her mom says Oh that's beautiful and you can show your dad when he comes home. So that evening her father who's very busy Wall Street finance person broker. Comes home and he's very agitated and he walks in the door talking on his cell phone and she's Little Melissa's following him around the house. You know trying to get his attention, but he's on the cell phone. Any goes into his office knees on the cell phone end turns on the computer and she's tugging at his pants trying to get them to look look look at what she's done. And he gets irritated and he says, Melissa what are you doing down there? And she said Daddy I live down here.
Interview with Jessica Pimentel
"Think we should start this bitten style properly by first correcting our motivation why we're here today together knowing that there is immense suffering in the world the knowing that here we're here for each other we're going to help each other get through this. Yeah. She changes in metal trump GW engine, and again bobby some Ashington meter Gordy grundell action ladder barsial. Edema Guru anomalous local. Sanga chewed on. So Joel Non, much android Doniger. Like aging yogi personality from our patients under partial song on. So Casual Moma. Jonjo dynamic usage legitimate soga pursuing on your Partial Dunga Judo's Okay Joan Lama Jonjo it tunnicliffe search. Digital Kepa Solanki. Alah Pension Asanga group. Wow very nice. Is that particular Chin from from your teacher? Is that from? Yeah. That's more melodic tune. Sometimes, we do chanting just very straightforward but I figured I'd do the Little Nicer version for for the rookies out there that may have never heard it. Might enjoy. Doing maybe we start with just a little bit about the meany of starting with like like Mandela for you did this John and you tell us a little bit about that because I'm sure as out there that that very interested in what you're doing with your hands. Right. So it's symbolizing the world you make the world you're purifying the world it a perfect place and you're setting up here. That's four continents floor directions in the mountain meadow the highest mountain, and there you envisioned a perfect pure realm and menu, fill it up with incense and flowers, and every offering that you can think of everything that has ever made you happy you kind of you offer it up to your teachers good Dharma Sanga and also your you know your afflictions things that may be bring you pain suffering you just offer it up, give it away, purify it all in making making everything. The way it should be. Wow. So you're really using your mind in that practice. Of course, you're saying something we'd be voice in you've got your body. You're also really using your mind when you're saying those brands with that digitalization. So absolutely, and I think you know one of the most beautiful offerings I've ever heard was an ocean of flowers you. You could never afford that many. But when you're doing this practice, you can offer things that you don't have. You can walk by you know. The diamond district offer all the jewelry there. Every beautiful thing you've ever seen things that you wanted for yourself that maybe you can't afford at least you can put it in that digitalization offered up to all beings you know in beings. And Use It as a as a release that have been attachment. Fantastic you're using your imagination. You don't necessarily have to own object your for. Only objects that you don't exist that Don exists are objects that are intangible. I can offer the laughter of your children or something like that. So it can really go go wild with your imagination as to what you think are the most beautiful things Yup I think in this case, going wild with your imagination is encouraged, right? Yes. You should. You should absolutely because it it's essential as you as you go on in practice to be able to develop your imagination because you'll you'll have to find yourself. Putting yourself in situations where your imagination is what's going to bring it to the next level of your practice I'm imagining that will imagining didn't mean to years that would I'm imagining? We'll be coming back to this would imagination out quite a bit. Did The Sun Creek you tell us what that is all about going for refuge is a Buddhist yield. You're going for refuge to the Buddha, Dharma, on the song the good is. Being all beings? Dharma. The teachings, the truth with the on Songa the collection, not just monks nuns but everyone around you that is going to help you achieve this goal. By the goodness of the deeds that I do and giving in the rest meaning to six projections of. Giving and morality patients, concentration wisdom giving morality patients, ethics, concentration, and wisdom of by practicing these things. May I become a Buddha not just for myself but for the sake of all living beings South intention. Yes. So Is Interesting. So Buddha dominance sauna. So you know for you before the acting career before the music business which will get to there was Buddhism right that came Beckham before the acting I think and I was wondering you grew up. Christian MRI. And I was wondering growing up Christian what was it that? How'd you end up Madonna breakage what drew you to the Buddha? Question. Is. It still boggles now it doesn't Boggle I. Am very lucky I grew up in a loving Christian household. So wasn't one of those you know fire Brimstone type situations might my grandmother was wonderful Christian? My my aunt is a is A. Wonderful Wonderful Beautiful Lady she is what it sounds like. You know it all intents and purposes and I have many wonderful Christian friends and family that that are amazing. But for me I felt like there was a point in my life maybe was a certain age of coming to being where certain things just didn't make sense to me anymore or or I. Felt that I was being drawn in another way and I wasn't sure what that way was. It wasn't a rejection of something but more a seeking more something else something that that just was sort of calling to say. So I. Couldn't quite out what it was and I remember my mother had this shelves. Books From College. There's one book in Religions of the World Textbook as a as a good place to start as any. and. So it's just kind of like starting through going through all the religions of the world literally starting with animism and and native American religions which brought me back to thinking of my own heritage and things that we learned from our grandmothers are on tees than you know, herbs and prayers that are not in any books or dances, or you know traditions, words that that are that I. Thought were Spanish that are not for example, and I started going to college and learning about that learning about old medicine learning about all different not just my try all the tribes of the Americas and I really was a great and still is a great experience. Great part of my life of the day I was still kept feeling that there was more and in my thirteen fourteen. So. I started going to hardcore shows New York hardcore scene, and there was a big Christian of consciousness movement bands like WanNa wait and shelter and and Chroma is and bad brains singing about this other esoteric type things and and you know the Christian of monks were always there hanging out singing hotter Krishnan and handing out food and stuff. So of course, I was checking it out and and there are some things that kind of you know paying some interest for me but then again, it was a lot of. Things that weren't also clicking. So know go back to the book the Book of the word yet it again. kind of thumbing through it and I see Dow is and I'm like reading through it. It's very logical. It's straightforward. There is no puppet masters like. Extra beings, there's no like get off the pay money you don't have. There's no strings attached. It's cause-effect cause-effect cause-effect that if you do a long enough, be will happen if you one plus one is to the softest thing in the world can cut through the hardest giving with time things like that and that kind of really appealed to me it was very grounded and very focused than. Kind of removed that, which may be I needed for awhile removed that. Mystical magical element at made it more about how to fix yourself now
Working Smarter Not Harder
"In this podcast episode, I wanted to share some of my thoughts regarding the topic of effort. So in Buddhism we follow what's called the eightfold path. These are eight specific. That you focus on to live a more mindful life and the eight areas are right understanding right intent, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration and I've talked about these general I've talked about the eightfold path in general in the podcast before I mentioned it of course in my book. And I wanted to discuss some thoughts that I have regarding one specific aspect which is effort. So if you visualize real quick, the symbol of Buddhism is a wheel with spokes and these eight spokes represent these specific areas, these eight areas, and some people have divided these into three general groups, the group of pertaining to wisdom, which would be understanding and intent. The group related to ethical conduct, which would be speech action livelihood. Then, the group pertaining to mental discipline, which would be effort, mindfulness and concentration. And again I've mentioned this before but I've never taken the time to share thoughts regarding one specific spoke of the of the wheel and today wanted to do that with with regards to effort. Now, anytime, you encounter the eightfold path, you'll you'll typically hear it described as right this and right that right understanding right intent and so on. I've mentioned before that I prefer the term skillful because of skillful means being such a prevalent concept in. Buddhism. It's not right versus wrong. It's more of skillful versus unskillful. So I would like to talk about effort in terms of skillful effort versus unskillful effort. and. This kind of conjures up the expression that I'm sure you've heard which is that we can work smarter not harder and. I this is the first time. I've kind of correlated all of this in terms of Buddhist practice, and that's because over the past few weeks. I've been busy doing a lot of flying I had an eight day workshop where I was teaching for new pilots how to fly. Followed by an eight day, fly in, which is a gathering and you have vendors there and they're showcasing their equipment, and then all of the attendees were spending Oliver Time doing as much flying as possible just for the fun of flying. So it's a really fun event but I've been gone from my family and from my home for the past two weeks on the road doing all this work, and for during the first week working with four new students, I had this thought of skillful effort because of an experience that I had. So I had four new students and one student really stood out to me he joined the class. Several months ago he signed up for training and he expressed his concern I due to his age sixty seven years old and as you start reaching, I would say your mid sixties You know it's common for some people to lose a little bit of their strength. But to complicate things further for him, he he has Parkinson's disease. So he was a little bit worried about how those complications would factor into doing all this physical effort that it takes to learn to fly a pair motor, and for those of you who don't know the process of learning to fly. One of these entails strapping a motor to your back. That's usually sixty to seventy pounds and then running with that and and running to the point where you're going fast enough to take off, we don't have. Wheels in in powered paragliding at least not in the foot lunch powered paragliding, which is what I do. Our we are wheels are our feet. So you have to be able to run up to a certain speed to be able to take off just like an airplane has to get up to a certain amount of speed before it lifts off the ground, it's the same for us, but we don't have wheels. So has to be our feet. And student was a little bit concerned as as was I. I told him if if you're determined to learn, we'll spend all the time that it takes. If it goes beyond the eight days of a takes weeks or months, I will continue to spend that time with you and teach you as long as you put in, you know the the effort that it's GonNa take to do it, and that was kind of how we left things and then the day came for training to start. He was little nervous I was certainly a little nervous. And he did remarkably well and this is where I started to see and experience first hand what skillful effort looks like he knew himself so well. He knew at what time heating to take his medication he knew how long it would take before the meditate medication started to kick in. He knew when the window was opened for him to go out and start practicing and doing all the effort and the work it was going to take to learn and perhaps more importantly, he knew when that window was closing and he would be the first to shut it down and say, okay, I'm done I can't keep practicing because he knew that as the medication wore off and his Parkinson's kicked in stronger. Those were not skilful times to continue practicing and continue trying to push himself. And as I observed this over the course of several days. I was pleasantly surprised to see how quickly he was learning because of the effort he was putting in and it wasn't. It wasn't that he was trying really hard as he was trying in a very smart way he knew when to be trying and when not to be trying.
Freedom from the Prison of Limiting Beliefs
"Nama stay and welcome my friends. Joseph Campbell, who most of you have heard of described all religions as starting with one word that all came out of one word and the word was help. And we humans perceive our mortality. We perceive how everything's changing and in the deepest ways it's really out of our hands. So we're looking for something that can protect us that can guide US and help us make it through and so that deep increases really what will give us refuge In the face of an uncertain. World. A reading that I've always liked goes like this. It says this life is a test. It is only test. If it had been an actual life, you would've received further instructions on where to go and what to do remember this life is only a test. I remember when I first heard this and it really struck a chord and and I feel who can really sense in our current times so much as up for grabs, the coronavirus and Konami and really the rights of vulnerable populations democracy and our earth is in distress. So. The degree of uncertainty is really spiked and we can sense how with this little security were all trying to sense how to navigate. What's the best guidance on how to proceed? So if we look closely, we can see the ways that we take refuge. For many I we take refuge in that online rabbit hole that we fall into for incredible stretches of time that trance we take refuge in staying busy we try to control the people around us. It might be through food or drugs or alcohol or sleep that were trying to take care of ourselves. And, this is the other side and away for many there's increase refuge in carrying relationships in and really being close with others and connecting with others and in meditation many people have started and deepen their practice refuge in nature refuge in serving others. In my book says I think two thousand twelve that I that it got published true refuge. I looked at how we react to life's basic insecurity to that that sense of help you know how what we take refuge in really varies and that I distinguished between the refuges that. Serve to wake up our hearts and minds and those that are kind of substitute that give temporary maybe a hit of relief. But in a way, keep us trapped and I called the latter false refuge is not because they're bad. But really because they keep us from a pathway that really allows. True. Healing and freedom. So tonight, I'd like to reflect on. The primary mode of. False refuge that underlies other false refugees and keep so many of us trapped and that's Our fear based stories and beliefs. And when we're insecure, how we even grasp more tightly to those fear beliefs, those limiting beliefs and they turn us against ourselves against others, they keep a separate. Select look at this together, and then how are meditation practices can? Free us from that that prison. Of limiting beliefs. And I WANNA dedicate this class to our beloved Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Who helped our entire society wake up from stories? About Limited worth are limited value. How she woke us up in a way that really directly extended to honoring the rights of all being she focused on women and many oppressed populations. Because her basic caring she she just basically honored the intrinsic value of all. And if we look at our limiting beliefs. That's what they don't. Do they forget that so We can't transform our society and we can't Hiller free ourselves if we don't exam and an undue are limiting stories are fear based believes. They're the root of suffering.
Building a Resilience Bank Account
"Well come to episode forty seven of everyday. Buddhism making every day better I'm back. I took a few weeks off as is obvious from the. Missing podcast episodes that usually are there every couple of weeks? Just to sort of rebuild. rebuild. My strength my optimism and sort of developer. Resilience Bank, which is what we're going to be talking about in this episode. You know and I just. Explained what I was about to do on facebook post about three weeks ago I shared was probably more about four weeks. Now, a shared a post and a link to an article called your surge capacity is depleted and it's why you feel awful. It's an article written by Tara Haley. and. Shared my personal facebook page, and also the everyday Buddhism group I wrote I'm sure many of you have already hit the point where you're surge capacity is is totally depleted either just recently are months ago. And in the last few weeks, so this would have been. About a month ago I faced up to the fact that I'd been feeling off and awful for days on end. And feeling that way is something I am not at all familiar with as nearly incorrigible glass half full person. I totally identified with Tara, Haley's description about what she's going through and how strange it was for her being a high achiever to feel what she described as a quote anxiety tainted depression mixed with on we that she couldn't kick. And it was also along with the complete inability to concentrate. And I read that it was exactly the way I'd been feeling. So those of you in my everyday Sanga in everyday. Buddhism membership community know that I recently did face up to the fact that I needed to give myself a little break. And in in the article Tara Haley points out that expecting less of yourself is exactly what you should do to help yourself go the distance in this pandemic even though we don't know how long distances or what we're gonNA find at the end. Her article talks about this thing called them big use loss and it's why we feel so bad. And how it's news for Motif for many of us. and how we have no coping skills. Much like my recent everyday Buddhism podcast called six steps for coping with uncertainty with Gregg creech healy asked the question. How do you adjust to an ever changing situation where the quote new normal is indefinite uncertainty So, it's been a little over a month since I released the episode with Gregg. Creech and it gave myself time to think about. Writing, content having ideas for content or recording content. I. Also took time away from hosting the Everyday Buddhism Sanga or which we call the Everyday Sangha with gratitude for volunteer hosts from the Sanga who took over for me. Just a few weeks prior to recording the episode with Greg We lost our dog Bella. She was fifteen and the last dog in the House since we lost her litter mate brother back in April of two thousand nineteen. So I did realize that I was personally was dealing with a mix of this thing called ambiguous loss as well as the more tangible loss and grief of losing Bella. You know a while ago. I expected to snap out a feeling awful within a week or two into this past month of my break. But I'm here to report that just giving myself a little break wasn't a magic solution. I did what seemed to be all the right things I took more walk spent more time outside read more and. Let Myself. Sleep in. But it still seemed harder for me to focus and get motivated to do the things I needed to do. But see it's Haley's article She she she points out that this is very typical. she did interviews with an masten, PhD Pauling boss, PhD and Michael Madhouse md.. About. Our adaptive surge capacity that we call on in response to a short term stressful situation like a natural disaster and it's that adaptive surge capacity the it's it's met for the short term situation. So therefore, it has limits. And in this situation that we'RE DEALING WITH WE'RE WE'VE depleted that surge capacity because our emergency is no longer short-term, it's now chronic. And I've been hearing from friends family and Sanga members who feel the same way he in the Article Pauline boss emphasizes how are solution oriented culture and way of thinking is actually destructive when faced with the problem that actually has no solution. This time of ambiguous loss causes feelings of helplessness and hopelessness and a better way to deal with these feelings is not through trying to think our way out of them or find
The Four Remembrances
"NAMA. Stan welcome. When I was in college many many many many decades ago. i. read the series of books that were written by Carlos Causton Yada about the Shaman Don, I know many of you. are familiar with them and had many takeaways but perhaps the most memorable. was built into this little quote right here. The Shaman Don Juan's teaching. How can anyone feel so important when we know that death the stocking us the thing to do when you're impatient. is to turn to your left and ask advice from your. An immense amount of pettiness dropped if you're death makes a gesture to are if you catch a glimpse of it. Are Few just have the feeling that your companion is there watching you. And A men's amount of pettiness dropped if you're death makes a gesture. So, this notion of death as an adviser is one that really actually goes through many many spiritual traditions. It's the wisdom of impermanent. and. When we open to remembering the truth that the slice of life is a flash, it's coming and going our perspective shifts in a very dramatic and usually very, very wholesome way. All pettiness falls away. And I was reminded of this. Recently I was Jonathan we're having dinner with a couple and one and one of them. The man said that he asked himself most days. How would today be different if I asked advice for my dad? What would I remember? What would be important today and he's just use that as one of his daily practices. And I think it's a really powerful one if we say, well, how would The rest of this day. If we really were paying attention to the reality that this life is command going and we don't know when. So, typically, we don't remember to tap into that wisdom we get into what I often call that that daily per transfer. Our concerns are way way narrow way small. Some years ago I saw this cartoon and it's got a graveyard and the bubble that you're reading coming up from under the ground. and. It says, Hey, I, think I finally decide what to do with my life. This is the caption pushes the late. Envelope to exciting new levels. Remembering what matters? So it's an all wisdom traditions, but I know that Since since college and it's deepened from in growing up that the more that I am. Intimately a radically sensing. Okay. This body mind is here now and it's going. Really the more I open to love. There's a there's a direct correlation to remembering death an opening to love. And it came clear in a certain way. When I was at a meditation retreat with harm and I went with a very dear friend and we had both been quite busy in our lives and we're thrilled that we're GONNA be able to take off a weekend and go to this retreat that was only a few hours away Virginia. And it was a lovely retreat. At the end of it took not Han it everybody get into pairs. buddied up with my Louisa, WHO's happens to be a teacher in our community here and he said, okay. Now, what the first thing to do is to bow and say Nam Nam Astaire's means I, see the the divine, the later or the sacred in you. So we did that then he said, hug each others who are hugging each other and he said now on the first breath as you're breathing reflect I'm going to die. I'M GONNA die in the second breath you're GonNa die you're. And then on the third and we have just these precious moments together. So. We did that we looked at each other and there was a level of. Presence and intimacy and love that was so fresh. It was so fresh. It was not an idea about loving. There were no barriers there was just in the face of hey. We've got these moments. The the loving that was always there just manifested in its full flesh. So love and presence in death and I don't think that at all as grim. into the slightest are at all as. You Know Morose. It's. It's really. The whole spiritual path is one of remembering and forgetting you've probably noticed. That we, we get inspired we get in touch with something we quiet down, we sent some wonders beauty or some tenderness. Oh. Yeah. This is why I do this stuff.
Mahmudr in the Geluk and Kagy Traditions
"Maybe we'll start with. Way Your interest in Mahamoud. Way Did that how did that come about? When was that? So since by had? I probably I got interested in Mahamoud per se early in Grad school or perhaps a little bit before that might regional interest in Buddhism back in high school days early in college was mostly in San and I always expected that would be the form of Buddhism than I ended up practicing but the as says avid my then girlfriend now wife and I ended up traveling overland India in one, thousand, nine, hundred, seventy, three into nineteen, seventy four, and then ended up at coupon monastery just outside. Katmandu where we studied where Rama Tipton yesterday in London Lumberton. And those famous co concourses which are still ongoing by merrily introductions allom Rim to the stages of the path of course. Llamas, OBA has a particular particularly in those days maybe a little. So I don't know He had a particular teaching style wary if you're at a month course, you could pretty much be sure that half the time was going to be spent in the lower rounds. So he did delight in. Those and Mama yesterday would, of course come in and remind us that we all had put a nature. So it was kind of A. Tough. Cop Nice cop routine and away. And you know he was he was a it was kind of overwhelming for me despite my interest. But as despite my having majored in religion in college and so forth. But. All the complication you know both the details of rim, how Karma works all the different realms, the scholastic arguments back and forth about beginning less mind an emptiness and so forth all of it was incredibly impressive. They were particularly impressive as practitioners as people who lived out what they had studied on what they were teaching but I I also began in in the few the few hours that were that I had hadn't disposal to to read. I think it was probably some poems by Miller wrap up where Branson book by John Blow Fouls, which just had a little bit of discussion. Mahmoud. and. The way the way I took it brightly. At times this reminds me a lot of ZAP it a bid, it short circuits all the detail, all the ritual, all the scholasticism. All those kinds of things that just tells you to realize the nature of your mind. So it appealed to me. Even that? Sort of a a hidden card. Yuba. Lurking inside this is fledgling gay look back. And I kept that in mind when. Year or so you're a half later I ended up graduate school at the University of Wisconsin, studying under shapes up SOPA. who was the first as far as I know the first Betton tenure at American University, certainly the first Tibetan guess. Who was tenured at American University and again to to study with guesses OPA both in the context of the graduate program that Wisconsin and at the deer park would a center as it's now called. Founded. In the mid seventies was too steep yourself in again are a great deal of the the complexity, the ritual, the richness, certainly of of the gaylord actual tradition and once again. The. Reading Mamo drawn decide what kind of balanced helped balance things out for me. So the number of the papers I wrote at Grad School, you know we're on the Mosit- as of India or or soccer punditocracy critiques of Mahamoud, draw various topics like that. So I, you know even in Grad school I I had this interest You know it sometimes said about Chinese practitioners. They're confusions during the day and Taoists. At Night I. Think a part of me that's was during the day and At night. Of course went when I began to discover that was that there was a whole Gaelic tradition of Mambo. I'd been vaguely aware of because it was a little translation that had come out at the library of Tibetan works in archives and. I read through that and So you know after I got Grad school sort of begun by my teaching career. I. Along with rank, of course, bring my dissertation into book form of pretty much everybody wants to do at some point are almost everybody wants to. Buy began to again sort of on the side begin to begin to investigate Gaylord Mabul dress, and so that's at least in terms of the genesis of this I. Guess That's That's how I would I would explain it. In a this dungeon have any. Teachers. Teaching. Mahmoud to you know you know during we went and saw on trump shays league. Once in Chicago he was notoriously late. He was typically drinking soccer when he was typically brilliant. So you know everything we had heard was true. And I think later in the seventies and into the eighties I began to to go occasionally to cognitive teacher but no, I did not have a regular. Teacher and I. I guess it's fair to say that I really never had a sort of regular teacher although in more recent years I've studied some weakening. European. Fortunately for us has his world had ordered in Minneapolis just. Just a few miles from where we live. So now, my my interest I mean I was interested in cognitive because if you're interested in mom will address even from the Gaylord stand going you clearly have to begin researching. Kogyo because. Even, some texts presents the. Is Fine Llamas. Book with. Alex. burs. The gala argue slash kagyu tradition of Mahamoud address. Implies that it's a kind of a sing credit tradition or a synthetic traditional might be a slightly better word So you and it's very clear that the first Panchen Lama who was one of the tutors of style on one of the truly great figures Gael history. He clearly was familiar with cargill literature and and it would seem with some Kogyo practices so. In my in the process of beginning to research, Ma Gala Mambo. Dry Inevitably had to begin reading at least a lot in In the calculator corresponded with scholars argue. Of various sorts Michael. Roy. David Jackson others. Of course the way these things work you you've you dig into you want your insulin gay look initially you dig into the cog you and then you get into the cockpit realize Oh God. All this comes from India and you've got to go back and look again at Sada. High and the other message you gotta look at the time. TRAS. Very, clearly, the textual a kind of sources for Mahmoud to discourse and behind that. Then of course, always these claims that there's a Sutra Mabul dry and so you begin digging around in sutures that may mention the word or may talk about ideas that are similar and so. I ended up going down this kind of rabbit, hole. That led me deeper and deeper back into Indian tradition and it started out as really odd. I'll do a few little translations and right any production suddenly was this Gargantuan projects that threatened to be about just about everything in. Indian. In Tibetan. Buddhism. Because in a weird way Mamo Dra, it was said, could be found everywhere in India, wants about bottles.
Mindfulness For Everyday Life
"This first episode is about the word mindfulness. When we talk about mindfulness for every day life I think it's important to first of all define what is mindfulness? Why would we want to be more mindful? So let's jump into that I. I. Want to share some concepts and ideas that will help you to wrap your head around the overall idea of mindfulness. So, mindfulness is a set of practices that were inspired mainly by teachings from the east particularly from Buddhist traditions but it's a form of understanding the nature of our own minds You could say it's almost a philosophy a way of life and mindfulness enhances everything we do in our lives. So I want to jump into that for a moment Let's start out by defining what mindfulness is mindfulness. I'm sure you've heard of the word that's why you probably interested in this workshop in the first place. But when we hear the word mindfulness, it will probably make us think of some kind of concept to be mindful is and you fill in the blank what does that mean for you? When we're talking about mindfulness the way it was understood in the eastern traditions from which this practice comes from mindfulness is the non-judgmental observation of the present moment. It's a way of being imagine being able to sit with unexperienced that you're having. Let's take. For example, a strong emotion as you go about your day to day activities something happens, and let's say a you're driving in a car cuts you off the first thing you experiences some form of an emotion and this may be frustration that may be downright anger, but the emotion that we're experiencing is typically strong. Emphasis practice is the ability to observe the present moment in a non judgmental way, which is not to say if I mindful when the car coats me off I'm not going to be upset that's not exactly how it works. The way it works is when I'm driving in a car cuts me off and I suddenly realize I angry I can observe in a non judgmental way the emotion I'm experiencing without being angry at the fact that I may angry. Typically, what happens when we encounter a strong emotion throughout the day? We have a feeling about that emotion anger as an example is something that we typically feel aversion to. We don't like that we feel angry it's an unpleasant feeling. So when a when the feeling arises, we have an aversion to it, which immediately sets us up for a secondary layer of experience. There's the initial experience of anger that's what I'm experiencing, and now because I'm experiencing the unpleasantness of the anger, I'm also experiencing an aversion to my anger in other words I'm either mad that I mad or something along those lines. Mindfulness is essentially the practice that allows us to remain with the first layer of experience that we're having. It's a really powerful thing Viktor Frankl, the Austrian psychologist and Holocaust survivor said between stimulus and response. There is a space in that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. Close quote. Now I really like this quote because it helps me to understand what's going on in terms of practicing mindfulness by like to think of my to day life as a series of stimulus and response, and all of us experienced this as we go throughout our day, let's just say you go to work your co workers says something to you or your boss says something to you, and there you go. That's the stimulus. Next is the response I may respond. And I'm not talking about necessarily responding with words it may be responding immediately with thoughts like I'm angry that my boss said this or did this and immediately when I experienced anger, that's another stimulus another response I'm experiencing anger that's the stimulus. What's my response to experiencing anger for most of us? It's an aversion to the anger that were feeling and this cycle goes on and on throughout our days stimulus response, stimulus response, stimulus response, and all day long on and on and on for our entire
Mindfulness For Everyday Life
"Welcome to the mindfulness for everyday life workshop. This workshop is split into approximately twenty episodes that are about fifteen minutes each. So this first episode is about the word mindfulness. When we talk about mindfulness for every day life I think it's important to first of all define what is mindfulness? Why would we want to be more mindful? So let's jump into that I. I. Want to share some concepts and ideas that will help you to wrap your head around the overall idea of mindfulness. So, mindfulness is a set of practices that were inspired mainly by teachings from the east particularly from Buddhist traditions but it's a form of understanding the nature of our own minds You could say it's almost a philosophy a way of life and mindfulness enhances everything we do in our lives. So I want to jump into that for a moment Let's start out by defining what mindfulness is mindfulness. I'm sure you've heard of the word that's why you probably interested in this workshop in the first place. But when we hear the word mindfulness, it will probably make us think of some kind of concept to be mindful is and you fill in the blank what does that mean for you? When we're talking about mindfulness the way it was understood in the eastern traditions from which this practice comes from mindfulness is the non-judgmental observation of the present moment. It's a way of being imagine being able to sit with unexperienced that you're having. Let's take. For example, a strong emotion as you go about your day to day activities something happens, and let's say a you're driving in a car cuts you off the first thing you experiences some form of an emotion and this may be frustration that may be downright anger, but the emotion that we're experiencing is typically strong. Emphasis practice is the ability to observe the present moment in a non judgmental way, which is not to say if I mindful when the car coats me off I'm not going to be upset that's not exactly how it works. The way it works is when I'm driving in a car cuts me off and I suddenly realize I angry I can observe in a non judgmental way the emotion I'm experiencing without being angry at the fact that I may angry. Typically, what happens when we encounter a strong emotion throughout the day? We have a feeling about that emotion anger as an example is something that we typically feel aversion to. We don't like that we feel angry it's an unpleasant feeling. So when a when the feeling arises, we have an aversion to it, which immediately sets us up for a secondary layer of experience. There's the initial experience of anger that's what I'm experiencing, and now because I'm experiencing the unpleasantness of the anger, I'm also experiencing an aversion to my anger in other words I'm either mad that I mad or something along those lines. Mindfulness is essentially the practice that allows us to remain with the first layer of experience that we're having. It's a really powerful thing Viktor Frankl, the Austrian psychologist and Holocaust survivor said between stimulus and response. There is a space in that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. Close quote. Now I really like this quote because it helps me to understand what's going on in terms of practicing mindfulness by like to think of my to day life as a series of stimulus and response, and all of us experienced this as we go throughout our day, let's just say you go to work your co workers says something to you or your boss says something to you, and there you go. That's the stimulus. Next is the response I may respond. And I'm not talking about necessarily responding with words it may be responding immediately with thoughts like I'm angry that my boss said this or did this and immediately when I experienced anger, that's another stimulus another response I'm experiencing anger that's the stimulus. What's my response to experiencing anger for most of us? It's an aversion to the anger that were feeling
Awakening from the Trance of Bad-Othering
"So, the title of tonight's talk is awakening from the Trans of bad ushering bad of the ring. and. If you've been with me for a while, you know it's a theme that I. Reflect on regularly and it's such A. Source. Of suffering. A start with a book that I really encountered recently from Dr Seuss and he wrote this when he was eighty and it was one of his last and it's called the butter battle book and it's got the UCS on one side who wear blue close in the souks where orange they live on opposite sides of a wall. And their conflict is that the UK's eat bread with the butter side up and the zoo cts with the butter side down on their bread, and this is very offensive and threatening to their cultural sensibilities. So it's a series of a growing mistrust in bad battering, and it leads to an escalating arms. Race starts with slingshots inside develops a slingshot and the other develops an even better one and the arms race goes on and on and their one upping each other until it finally gets to. A small red bomb that neither side has any possibility of defending against. And they all have to live underground with generals on both sides. Toys drop the bomb. And the book end in this is unlike any other ever read Dr Seuss the book and were the you who's a narrator asks his grandfather, the general for their side who's GonNa drop it? Will you are well he? To which GRANDPA NERVOUSLY REPLIES BE PATIENT Will See we will see. We're living in so much uncertainty. We don't know. What kind of primitive reactivity might? overtake. And what we do know is ultimately, no one wins when there's bad other spiraling when there's an office now. There's no positive social change is just that circling of violence and hatred. and. Whoever is on top temporarily? Whoever has the better slingshot for the moment has to organize resources in defense to maintain their power which they could do for days or for centuries. And everybody on some levels living underground because the danger in other words everybody has armor their hearts because their armor against the sense of bad Michelle there. So if there's a mindset of us. Against Them. A good us against bad others were watering the seeds of distrust and violence. We know this in our personal relationships I mean most of us have gotten caught at some point in that bad uttering dance of anger and blame maybe with a family member, your partner work colleague. Where each person is in some way triggered and whoever thinks it's the other started I it doesn't matter so much because in some way each is feeling hurt. A need to defend need to attack unmet needs. Each is feeling right and then they're blaming the other for causing trouble and pain. As they put out there blame that deepens the wounded an injury and there's more triggering. It just keeps going. So. It's not addressed in our personal relationships. The mistrust and anger and hate keeps US separate from each other in our own hearts armored we can't be really free. And we also know in the larger society that there's so much anger of right versus wrong. The good side bad side. There's so much dividedness right now this registered speaking whether. On an passion and anger masks for Co.. Are In of course, around the upcoming elections and social, justice movements and environment. You might be thinking this isn't just about a different opinion about butter side opera butter side down 'cause my side really is right and good that we're we're trying to protect against violence and hatred and destruction. And I know that mindset and feeling because my mind goes like that when are not? Real conscious on some level. There's that kind of a real rightness wrongness. But. Here's the thing. When I am honest and pause and deepen attention. To that perception of us. Them. It really is bad uttering and my heart is tight in contracted when that's going on, I'm not living from a sense of wholeness and away card sensitive. True connectedness with all of life of belonging. And that's why I call it a tramps, the transit bat other.
Finding The Rain Of Compassion
"Invite you to close your eyes for a moment. And the new be guiding you a very brief taste. Of. A Meditation I called the reign of compassion. And I invite you to on your own. Take the time. To drop into it more fully. Sitting away way that allows you to be relaxed and alert. Scanner Body see if you can let go of any habitual tension you might be carrying. Take a few full brass and let your mind settle. Like, to invite you to scan through. Family. Members or friends who are close to choose someone you know who's having a difficult time. Connect with your intention to awaken compassion toward this person. The beginning of rain is to simply recognize what most. Culture tension about. Their challenges. You might be remembering a mood that they're infrequently or some way they appear. Are Tone recent communications. Just began by. Letting. Yourself recognize this person's having a hard time. This is how I know it. And with that recognizing allow. Allow that experienced to be just as it is. Take your willingly pausing with the situation. We begin to investigate. What's it like being you? With Real Gentle Nash. So bring your curiosity. And your interest as you attend more closely. To what this person might be experiencing. You might imagine feeling with their hard and viewing the world from their perspective. You can make some. Inquiry asking yourself these questions if you're the person like what life circumstances are most distressing to here. What do you imagine? What's most distressing for this person? What are the particular fears or disappointments her church? This person's carrying. Maybe as you're being mindful an empathetic, you can sense what their belief about themselves in their life. What's the belief or they feel like a failure? Feeling, rejected. Insecure. Uncertain. Sense if you can feel and imagine. How whatever motions are strong pressure living in that? Maybe. How they're living with fear hurt anger. And feels like too much at any point just to use that noting to name the feelings and sense, you don't have to be the sink, you can be like the lake. dysle- be held in a mindful witnessing way. Can you censor the person who feels most vulnerable? You might even ask you know what? What is it that you most need? Do. You think this person most needs. Maybe from themselves or from others. And if at any point as you're investigating, you find yourself reacting. Then you shift and bring mindfulness and compassion to your own reaction. Naming it. Offering care. Tour. Sensing in what this person most need. Because this is what leads to nurture. This is how mindful empathy you've been feeling. Turns into compassion.
Transforming Your Relationship with Anxiety
"So. I'm must stay and welcomed my friends. It said that when Adam and Eve left Eton he commented to her he said my dear, we're living in a time of great transition. And Have you noticed that it always feels like added in some. Some way that the times were in are uniquely intense and fast paced and stressful. Even knowing that. Historians will probably look back at twenty twenty with raised eyebrows. I just saw cartoon friend sent me of a woman. She's telling her partner. My desire to be well informed is currently at odds with my desired stay sane. And I think we understand. Given are off the charts Combo of current stressors. It's easy to feel like we're waiting for the bad stuff to go away. You know there's we're kind of waiting to resume real life. But actually, and there's there's a deep understanding in this that if for waiting if we're waiting for something different. We won't bring a full. Honest presence to what's actually arising right here now in our path. And it's only by doing that that we really wake up. And for many of us what's arising on our path? What's really asking for attention is anxiety. So this evening, I'd like to reflect together on how we can transform our relationship with anxiety. How we can arouse a presence said. Brings inner freedom and its outer expression what many people call love and action So as mentioned in the opening. For the first time in this weekly online class will be including some time for questions at the end. So I want to remind you that if you're on zoom and you have a question during the talk. Please rided in via the chat box to everyone and submit your question just once. Yeah. So feel free. Anxiety and fears been spiking over the last six months. It was already epidemic levels anyway round the world but you know the converging streams we do. We know the between the pandemic an unemployment. I'm aware that justice week tens of millions of people are facing eviction. Dude on. The streams of our children schooling and this growing awareness That's so profound around the globe of race based injustice and violence. And then the trauma just these last two weeks of wildfires of about three days ago. One of my friends home burned down. A hurricanes mean unless we're in denial, it'll keep coming. This is the crisis of our. So I've mentioned. On Saturdays I do this live such on this our people ask questions, and we really we explore meditation can help with all the different challenges, and of course you're all invited. So feel free to sign up on my home page of my website. What a wanted shares, how a good number of named The way that their past trauma is now being activated by current stressors and how much is just driving them into sense of real isolation and depression and fear anxiety. And of course, another stream for many in the United States is a gripping fear around upcoming elections. For many, the sense that so much is at stake for generations to calm for those who are most vulnerable for Democracy for earth. So as we'll explore tonight. If we want to heal and if we want to evolve and I'm talking about individually and as a species, it all depends on how we respond to the anxiety and fear that's arising so strongly. Because, here's what happens. UNPROCESSED FEAR is rise to violence and two more separation, and this is true and our individual alive to the glory. We have fears that we really have not attended to with mindfulness with kindness it ends up separating us from others. And it's true as a society and it takes the shape of war and all sorts of other forms of violence. So if we want to. Create a more loving peaceful world and I feel like we're here because we want to. We need to let. Attention to anxiety be at the center of our path. It's not like we're waiting for things to change. It's like this is what's arising this asking for our attention and if we don't pay attention. Are Primitive range will rule the day. So in him this intention to bring. To difficulty to let the difficulty actually way GOP our compassion wake up love in action. Is described as the body sought for aspiration. And I. Love it because it's such a powerful expression of really I think what we all long for one more most away that that whatever comes our way that helps us to deepen our love.
Translating the Buddhist Scriptures
"The Buddhist said. In the Middle Length Discourse One oh three. The vegetables agree on the meaning but disagree on the phrasing. But the venerable should know that this is how such agreement on the meaning disagreement on the phrasing come to be. But the phrasing is a minor matter. Please don't get into a fight about something. So minor. So this is talking about. Sharing the Dharma. On the original language that the Buddhist disciples were sharing it and they were disagreeing about the phrasing. In other words they understood and agreed upon the meaning of the Dharma but they're having problems with the exact words to use to express it. And the Buddha don't get hung up on the phrasing. And this applies. Directly to. Translating. When you're translating the the Ceuta's from the original Pali to. Modern English wore things you can do is get hung up on phase phrasing. And phrasing simply means the way that it's put into English the words that are used. And this is a problem because you can get really hung up on this if you. Have done translating I did translate in Bible College my background was in Greek and. Biblical. Translation. And I did I've actually translated the gospel of John a couple of times and I the saloons. And some parts of Matthew. And I think if America did mark too but I can't remember at hand and the beginning of of Luke. And one of the things that I realized. Is. That originally the less you know the more you think a literal translation is the correct way to go. problem with a literal translation is that the people the the people who are reading the literal translation aren't getting the message they're not getting the original message. So which you have to do is come up with a dynamic equivalence so that you understand the message in in this case poly. And then you translate that message from Pali into English. And that's hard to do to to use the right words and to convey things because you can get hung up on the correspondence between the words and not understand the correspondence between the connotations. For an example, I just just reading a translation from I B Horner. in the Vanilla where she was translating that the Buddha was pacing back and forth worth the word pacing has the connotation of be nervous like you're nervous in your pacing back and forth. And a better translation would be walking back and forth because that's walking meditation is what the Buddha was doing. He wasn't pacing he's completely elaborated individual he wouldn't be pacing. and. So the word the connotation pacey means going back and forth. But the connotation has the idea that you're stressed and to bring that across when you're translating is actually much more difficult than people realize and this is what makes translation so difficult.
Mindfulness Interview With Dr Sarah Shaw
"Dr Sarah Shah, Faculty member, and lecturer at the University of Oxford. She has taught and published numerous works on the history and practices of Buddhism including an introduction to Buddhist Meditation and the spirit of meditation. Without further delay years the audio from my interview, with Dr. Sarah. What inspired you to write this book I something. That's always interested me. I always noticed that mindfulness gets described in different ways in different historical periods and then Chased Kim and Nicola as. Shambala actually. Asked me to do is short history of mindfulness to make it very short, which is very, very difficult at, but I enjoy doing something that's just always interested me, bitch. I read articles about mindfulness and they can be quite rigid about it's this or it's that or it's this. Anak must have hundreds of my computer on some of them are really quite dogmatic but what I liked to its way in different settings would just get his slightly differently and has a slightly different feel and application with an underlying threader voltages. Pull that keep things alive by soon changing formulations wraps looking at them in you setting so. That seems the mindful way to approach the subject. So I. Really. Enjoyed it. It's great. It's interesting how? Like you mentioned how? Many different ways there are to use the word right when somebody says, I'm trying to be more mindful. You almost have to ask what what does that mean to you because there are so many interpretations of what it means to be mindful I think the people. In what's one person needs may be different from another person so I wouldn't want to be rigid about how it should be interpreted. Well that's great and and tell me a little bit about your background with with Buddhism with mindfulness Where did you? Where did all that start your interest in this topic? I started meditation many years ago. When. I was at Manchester University and that's what I I really encountered word mindfulness in Buddhist searching. Amusingly my meditation teacher told me that he hadn't met many people who is so unmindful the tolerating needs to didn't. Have I think that's A. Problem for academics, you can get very over focused. News surroundings. So I was intrigued by then and I try to sit down I have ever since I'm not sure I've ever really found out what she chews. On still craft it enjoy trying to rouse. I love how the title of the Book you know brings up right away to things where where does it come from and what does it mean if you had to answer that short way to somebody in an elevator? How would you answer that? Where where does it come from and what does it mean? And I would say it comes from is, is any one place Lipa come from coolest A cells that cindy the only person who can be mindful and do something about which is on self. And what it means. I would say. An attentive alertness to. Worship brings health to the mind. Something like that. Yeah I like that I think it seems like sometimes at least the way at. That mindfulness has evolved in the West. there seems to be a tendency to think of mindfulness as an altered state. and. It seems to me like what you're describing as more of an altered trait. It's a way of being. I can affect everything that we do rather than thinking. Well, here's my normal ordinary life and when I mindful I'm separate from that. It's this other state that I'm in. It it would be nice to be mindful of time I think we will have lapses one consent it'd be mindful day life it helps. Hopes to be mindful in daily life and one one needs to, of course in meditation. So it's something that can be there all the time how you arouse it sounds different circumstances might be different but the quality. Certainly according to the Buddhist tradition is that when the mind is healthy and Alert. Does a Buddhist fishing called the epidemic and it says that when mindfulness is present, lots of other factors come into play too like. Confidence. In this. Huma. Balance a lot of these other qualities come in as well. Yeah. What's Nice as the moment that we are mindful of the fact that we're not mindful we've already started right? We've already. A good a good point. Yeah So, what would you say is the biggest Maybe, misconception that you've encountered about mindfulness. I'm. Really, think very much in those terms actually oddly enough because I am an academic, that's what we're trying to do a misconception. I would say that the notion that it's somehow something that is very different from daily experience and I think that's probably one and does something that. Is owned by anybody at. The. Particular A. Just, save it. Psychology knows what mindfulness is in a way to. Practice, space traditions. Up Stem tool that Everybody will have found some way of arousing alertness and the attentiveness of mindfulness under different circumstances.
Meditation: Listening to our Life
"Today's meditation is on listening to our life. And you might listen to your body as you feel your way into the sitting posture. And make sure the two qualities really we look for an sitting is at I. Comfortable. In other words a sense of easiest. And also alert. Awake. You find yourself settling in your posture. Literally is closed or partly closed. sear tension to primarily inwardly. Dan, breathing. Together, a long slow breath. So inhaling deeply filling the chest and lungs. Slow out breath. See if you can relax and let go with the out breath. Inhaling deeply again. A slow even out breath letting go. Letting go. Again, breathing in filling the CHASTA lungs. And with the out breath releasing. Relaxing letting, go. Then, allowing the breath to come back into its natural rhythm. Observing the BRAFF observing the body. Noticing if there's any areas of obvious tension or holding in your body. And take some rooms to give yourself that gift of letting go. If it's the shoulders. Since the possibility of relaxing them back down some. Softening. Letting whatever tightness or tension might be there flowed a bit in awareness. It helps to make sure the Hams arresting in a soft easy relaxed way. Let the chest. Be. Open. In. The belly soft loosening relaxing. Continuing to scan your body incense anywhere else that might WANNA. Let go a little. In widening the attention. Listening to the sounds that are here. You can listen not just with your ears. But with your whole awareness. Receiving the close in sounds. Like the sounds of these were. The sound that are in the room. And the space you're in? Spaces between the sounds. including the more distant sounds. Receptive. To the most distant sound you can perceive. Sensing the boundless awareness. That includes even the most distant town. Relaxing back into this openness. Simply listening.
Conversations with Samdhong Rinpoche and J. Krishnamurti
"And so in this country and I have a couple of characters coming in and true stars basically Chris. Moody and some don't remember Jay and Crystal Naughty has come up quite be in these podcast interviews I've been doing I think Barry, Magid mentioned him and a your a your friend Larry Rosenberg talked of Christianity quite a bit when we interviewed. So this'll be you know people who listen to this have been sort of encountering Shimon from different perspectives. So I was hoping you would tell us about the first time you met Krishnamurti was what was The first time I drove. By the stories rather charming, a friend of mine. I was living is a bachelor by the beach in a little apartment. In a bag of plastic, excuse me a paper sack ended up on my porch and in it where eight talks by Birdie, at the University of San Diego Nineteen Sixty eight. And a series of. Talks that the Ramdas just given in San Francisco a more or less than oral history of his journey to the east. And not having anything else to do I listen to these tapes over and over again for year, we just hang a little cassette on my bedroom door and listen so listen to. Alternately, between Rob Dawson. Story and then listen to Chris steaks and then I realized that found out that he was alive. And that he was living in, Ohio I for a good part of the year. I didn't even know that Ohio existed. It was two and a half hours north of Los Angeles Long Beach where I was living. So I, drove my though Orange Volkswagen up and sat in the audience and you know just that my first meeting was that was just just like everybody else sitting there going who is this guy? There's something riveting about what he has to say I don't get it. I don't understand in other something compelling. Often. Say IT'S A. Christie. gave me a headache. You know just because there was something oblique about what he was pointing to that I couldn't quite. Grass. So this happened for several years. I came up every year then when he gave his talks in Ohi- in the springtime. And then finally. When I showed up at the Grove where they he speaks or heads spoken throughout his life there in Ohio. Grove's trees there were video cameras read. Krishnamurti was quite shy about having his picture taken and didn't want to be the Sarah Attention. Etc.. For the same reason when I you know Buddha when for several hundred years after his passing, they didn't represent him as a person that represented him as the empty chair or footprints in the sand because for the same reason that didn't WanNa have pictures agents. Saint Saint so I'm a documentary filmmaker background in television. So I I asked the people that actually the woman that gave the announcements. If this was an house production just hired somebody they said, well, they hired somebody from from. Santa Barbara to record talks and I said well, I have some experience Navy I can help. And that led to a conversation. I've met with this woman her name is Evelyn Blau and have learn I became friends and so six months. Later we were playing going to Canada which was. A trip that Krishnamurti was going to visit one of the Sanders, their Canada. So that was my first real meeting one's. Going to his home in. Ohi- a times and then we actually started production of the first film that I did which was called A. Business the challenge of change. And it was the first biographical documentary that was on his life. Elections had just written the first of series of three different biographical books called the years of awakening which kind of exposed very early rather strange. USC early years how he was discovered. In quotes who is e? Etcetera Etcetera. Those books I read maybe twenty years ago those. Roads and. It was quite fascinating at a different time of meeting Krishnamurti than reading is his lectures very. Very different that again, that's the. I just finished writing and the Christian Rate Foundation is going to be publishing a book called. Unconditionally free and this is A. A sweeping history of Krishnamurti's talks from the very beginning, where did you come from? What is the mythology around the story? The all the kinds of things is the ASAKUSA society and then moving forward. What is the Mitra? Why was he had to be the new the next? The next? Buddha. ETC seper. So. Yeah. So that will be coming out in two months. So what was it about? So it seems like you had
Conversations with Samdhong Rinpoche and J. Krishnamurti
"And so in this country and I have a couple of characters coming in and true stars basically Chris. Moody and some don't remember Jay and Crystal Naughty has come up quite be in these podcast interviews I've been doing I think Barry, Magid mentioned him and a your a your friend Larry Rosenberg talked of Christianity quite a bit when we interviewed. So this'll be you know people who listen to this have been sort of encountering Shimon from different perspectives. So I was hoping you would tell us about the first time you met Krishnamurti was what was The first time I drove. By the stories rather charming, a friend of mine. I was living is a bachelor by the beach in a little apartment. In a bag of plastic, excuse me a paper sack ended up on my porch and in it where eight talks by Birdie, at the University of San Diego Nineteen Sixty eight. And a series of. Talks that the Ramdas just given in San Francisco a more or less than oral history of his journey to the east. And not having anything else to do I listen to these tapes over and over again for year, we just hang a little cassette on my bedroom door and listen so listen to. Alternately, between Rob Dawson. Story and then listen to Chris steaks and then I realized that found out that he was alive. And that he was living in, Ohio I for a good part of the year. I didn't even know that Ohio existed. It was two and a half hours north of Los Angeles Long Beach where I was living. So I, drove my though Orange Volkswagen up and sat in the audience and you know just that my first meeting was that was just just like everybody else sitting there going who is this guy? There's something riveting about what he has to say I don't get it. I don't understand in other something compelling. Often. Say IT'S A. Christie. gave me a headache. You know just because there was something oblique about what he was pointing to that I couldn't quite. Grass. So this happened for several years. I came up every year then when he gave his talks in Ohi- in the springtime. And then finally. When I showed up at the Grove where they he speaks or heads spoken throughout his life there in Ohio. Grove's trees there were video cameras read. Krishnamurti was quite shy about having his picture taken and didn't want to be the Sarah Attention. Etc.. For the same reason when I you know Buddha when for several hundred years after his passing, they didn't represent him as a person that represented him as the empty chair or footprints in the sand because for the same reason that didn't WanNa have pictures agents. Saint Saint so I'm a documentary filmmaker background in television. So I I asked the people that actually the woman that gave the announcements. If this was an house production just hired somebody they said, well, they hired somebody from from. Santa Barbara to record talks and I said well, I have some experience Navy I can help. And that led to a conversation. I've met with this woman her name is Evelyn Blau and have learn I became friends and so six months. Later we were playing going to Canada which was. A trip that Krishnamurti was going to visit one of the Sanders, their Canada. So that was my first real meeting one's. Going to his home in. Ohi- a times and then we actually started production of the first film that I did which was called A. Business the challenge of change. And it was the first biographical documentary
Heaven and Hell
"The Buddhist said. The Double Prada. I won twenty six. Some enter the womb. Evildoers go to hell the good good heaven. Those free from worldly desires attained, Nirvana? Now. It's not hard to understand the attaining. Nirvana. But what's the stuff about going to hell and going to heaven? That doesn't seem very Buddhist. And yet we find it in the Buddhist scriptures. This is because I think that. The. Proclamation of Buddhism within the West has been sterilized of anything smacking of religion. So that Buddhism doesn't seem religious. But Buddhism is a religion. Is a religion that tells you how to attain the best destination the best life. So it tells you how to live life now. So that, you have peace of mind. It tells you how to attain Heaven after You die and it tells you how to get out of the cycle of rebirth, which is called some Sarah in Buddhism through attaining Nirvana. So. Tells you these things. But we really here mainly in the West about the meditation and about finding peace and things of this nature. But this isn't the complete story of Buddhism see you get a skewed view of Buddhism. So, lately, I've been writing for PATHOS PATHOS DOT COM. And Have My. I. Have a column there called the Buddhist said. And every week I do two articles where I explore the Buddhist teachings from the Pali Canon the earliest scriptures of Buddhism. And one of the things that. I'm trying to help people. Understand. Is that Buddhism is a full religion. It's not just find inner peace. It's about avoiding hell it's about attaining heaven and ultimately attaining Nirvana. So. One of the things I explained in my articles is the difference between the conditioned reality and the unconditional reality. So we live in a conditioned reality. And that conditioned reality has five basic destinations. You have the hell realms you have the ghost realm, you have the animal realm, the human realm, and the heavenly. Realm. And those are the five destinations that you can go to in this conditioned reality. Now. If you attain Nirvana which is complete liberation, then you leave this conditioned realm and go into. What can only be said to be the UN conditioned. You can't call it. A realm realm is conditioned. So I, call it an unconditional reality but that is still saying maybe too much about it. We don't know. We only know what the on conditioned is it's unconditional born on made on created on fabricated. And it's with that understanding then you begin to look at the Buddhist scriptures used. Yes Buddha tells how to get out of the cycle of rebirth. But he also tells you well, you're here. And if you don't attain Nirvana, the best thing to do is to practice the Dharma. And the Dharma has three basic printings if you will you have the ethical training. The. Mindfulness Meditation Training and the wisdom. Training this is the insight into the true nature of reality. So the ethical will give you a good rebirth. What you want is you want to be reborn as a human because the divine places, the heavenly places to pleasurable for you to meditate and the hell places to painful and of course, by Hell I mean they're temporary. So they're more like purgatory 's all these destinations are temporary. Nothing is permanent in the conditioned room. The only thing permanent is the uncommissioned. So when she realized that what you do here, effects where you're going after your life. Then the Buddha says ethical standards is what you do to make sure you have a good rebirth. That seems odd to many people who think of Buddhism has just a meditation practice. But this is what the Buddha taught. He taught a way of escape from the conditioned reality, but he also taught within this conditioned reality how to get the best rebirth so that you can practice so that you can attain Nirvana.