Skip to main content

money & life

Meditation for Everyday Life

Lesson 17 of 28

Body, Emotions, Mind, Stress, Anxiety

David Nichtern

Meditation for Everyday Life

David Nichtern

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

17. Body, Emotions, Mind, Stress, Anxiety

Lesson Info

Body, Emotions, Mind, Stress, Anxiety

On welcome back, welcome back to creative live welcome back to meditation for everyday life with david nick turn as I was saying just before we mention the break, this is something very new for creative live it's breaking new ground I think having meditation live is really something I've never seen in any other broadcasting environment before, but david, you actually do quite a lot of you like webcasting and live events online. Maybe you can share some of that with our audience. Thank you. Well, of course, nothing to this extent and I find myself alone in a room with my laptop. Uh, you know, but through, uh, facebook every tuesday evening when I can I'm on a little bit on hiatus for a couple of weeks because I'm producing a record in the next several weeks. I won't be online, but usually you can find me tuesday nights at seven p m eastern standard time and through facebook, all you have to do is go to facebook dot com slash david nick turn and just like and then you get the information...

about this um but through facebook there's a way to broadcast to ustream so those talks are also archived. If you go to ustream dot com, you can look me up you khun there's about eighty of them that over the last several years coming up that I know I'm off uses our online community being really interested in that's coming up in massachusetts in excuse me um in november tenth to fifteenth I'm going to be a cripple oh institute which is apollo dot or ge and uh teaching a more in depth kind of immersion where we get to practice a little bit more I also get to work directly with people like I'm working with the people in the uh we're live here and of course the internet is fantastic for remote communication but it's kind of unprecedented in a way when I do the tuesday night talks there people from all over the world they're just as there are here it's very unusual but live you know we get to sort of do quite a bit of practice together it's okay for beginners it's okay form or intermediate and advanced students too um and uh it's a beautiful environment apollo uh institute is one of the leading uh holistic learning centers in the world really and they have running kind of all kinds of programs simultaneously and beautiful food and stuff in the berkshires so if any of you can come and join in the flesh then we can really get into some meditation talk and practice and uh love to see you if you have more questions about it you can just write to me on facebook and happy to let you know about that one for the information about that particular course is available in our chat room so you go there bob bob bob moderator who does such a wonderful job he's just put the details there and you're very welcome to join in okay well we were ready to get going with this afternoon session very good um I hope everybody had a good lunch or breakfast or dinner depending on where you are or a little bit of a stretch it should seem obvious at a certain point that if we do if we do do a fair amount of meditation practice that some kind of physical practices also um a nice compliment to that myself I do tai chee and chee kong and um a lot of people do yoga that kind of thing or some kind of physical exercise just so that you are move energy through the body you know? So even though we're being still I think uh jamari asked that question yesterday about the movement of the body and obviously you don't want to lock the body up when you're meditating and that that can actually cause a lot of problems for you so you won't have a feeling of the energy moving through us you're practicing not in the big dramatic way but just that you're not locked when you're sitting you know meditating like that more like peaceful and feel some kind of fluidity and then of course meditation khun move into motion and a lot of disciplines around the world have come from you know, you probably know this but the art of kung fu which is you know, uh came out of the shaolin buddhist monasteries in china and, um the relationship between mindful movement and meditation that's obviously something that we can all explore more and myself I've talked quite a bit in the yoga community um and yogis obviously already you know, sort of uh comfortable sitting cross legged on the floor or being with themselves in a certain way so that's a tremendous uh, leg up, so to speak no pun intended on the meditation practice and, uh, the book that we're offering if you enroll in the program um the e book that I've put out it's really a compilation of talks given within the yoga uh, community to teachers who are starting to teach meditation in that environment. So even though it sort of came from that it's a lot of more in depth kind of discussion about these principles that we're talking about here today and over these three days and so you can if you register for the course and that that comes along with it and that's um just being published now so you get one of the first for us hit on that excuse me so you know, we, um when we're climbing a mountain right you pause from it. You look back. See where you came from? You look up a little bit to see where you're going. Uh, it's. Very interesting when you get to the peak of the mountain, what do you do? Yeah, look at that. You got to get the lay of the hold land the whole situation. Um then what do you do? You go back down the mountain. So in a way, that it sort of describes our journey, we think we're sort of going someplace, and then we get the view. And, uh, what is it called the king's view? Are the queen's view? Um, kind of see everything from the aerial perspective, but then very much part of the journey is coming back down, which means coming back into your life and, uh, you know, having that sense of perspective, informing your daily life, it's sort of what we talked about yesterday, joining heaven principal on earth, like in the flower arrangement. So we're, um as human beings. Our role in the cosmos according to, uh, these ancient teachings is to join heaven on earth and connect that principal vast open spaciousness and clarity with the practicality of everyday life and even to the extent of ing protectors of the whole, uh, sphere of life here on our planet we have a kind of very high roll in terms of taking care of this place and sometimes we're doing better than others you know, in terms of fulfilling that most of the sacred traditions in the world have had some kind of idea about taking care of um in care of spaceship earth our mother earth whatever you wanna call it um in the short in the intimate world it means taking care of our house and taking care of our, uh, family taking care of our friends you know that um one one off, huh? My teachers which is suck young men upon robert j is the son of my original teacher trunk room mckay and the secular means earth protector so there is this notion of really uh you know, as you develop your practice of really taking care of things properly taken care of your world properly and having respect, you know, for even little details of how you organize your reality and it can it can reflect you. Look back you're saying when you look back at your reality of seeing a mirror of your own mind, you know, so how your room is you know, how your, um relationships are us this mere like, you know, you're getting to see your own your own mind coming back to and if we have that kind of fundamental openness to that we have kind of ongoing communication with our world that's very creative and it'll tell us when we're off and when we're sort of taking care of things properly so there's a lot of communication at that level being expressed by our relationship to our external world and it's reflecting our inner world right? Those two things are reflecting back to each other so maybe we could start our session with a little period of meditation in general this is some considered a really good way to settle our mind to down, you know, looking back looking forward than settling into being present again because all of our actions take place in the present that's just the kind of sort of indisputable fact uh even the thoughts about the past even the anxiety that we're experiencing about the past the hopes and fears about the future all that's occurring in the present mind so there's a lot of a reason to work with the quality of the present mind because that's where basically all the experiences coming from um and it's almost shocking when you realize that that that's all we have actually because clearly the things in the past are over and the things in the future hasn't happened yet by definition right? So the president's kind of a very powerful arena in which our actions have a lot of meaning, you know our mind is able to perceive very clearly around us what's going on and in some way were sort of trying to with the meditation practice tune in to the power of that um I know there's a wonderful book called the power of now cartola no power off being present is, um, something that people were pointing to since time immemorial in a lot of different cultures and a lot of different ways. So and as I say yesterday, you know, it's not a question of then we don't have any agenda people go away if I do that, then I won't even remember where I am or what my job is, what I'm supposed to do later, but what we're saying is that you can have all that, but it doesn't have to be made out of concrete, we recognize the fluidity of that, and in the present we can really shift those things we can really make decisions and institute actions that are gonna affect the future in a positive way and also kind of used the energy of the past in a positive way. So this idea of transforming even very difficult circumstances like we talked about this morning and challenges, um into opportunities to, um, cultivate the best qualities that we have, you know, and as I've said many times, if somebody wants to simplify the, you know, the buddhist path and training it's really cultivation of awareness and compassion those two things, if you don't like it either or both of those two things it's the wrong the wrong deal, right? So somehow I can't find any personally any flaw there in terms of either of those sort of qualities being brought out to the fullest possible extent, and we would even go as far to say that actually that's what we're made of us human things, the, um quality of awareness and kind of communication and open heartedness almost defines our species at its core, and of course we lose track of those things and we have dark times, you know, that happens and people get very self centered and, um, uptight and scared, you know, on dumb sometimes you see, you can clearly see that somebody's activities air coming out of fear of whatever, maybe not being acknowledged as such, you know, maybe looking like we had kind of confidence, like, you know, you see somebody's actually afraid like, you know, an abusive boss it's usually somebody was afraid, but, uh, you know, not really copping teo that and so so there's, no softening and there's no kind of we shouldn't be that boss, I think it's fair to say that people, if we have a choice, we would want to be more open, compassionate and wise boss, right? You know, if we're pushing too hard on ourselves on the world if there's too much push, we're definitely going to get into trouble you know, if we're pushing too hard so that's why we emphasize in the meditative tradition the idea of softening you know which weirdly makes you stronger and anybody who's studied um tighty at all you are aikido any even harder martial arts you can see that if you if you can move uh softly there's a lot of power to it because there's nothing blocking it, you know? So um and sometimes you know there's a way to cut through and penetrate and that energy has value but we're not saying in the buddhist tradition that it comes from aggression is coming from aggression it's kind of kind of it's going to create negative outcome if you're just pushing in your kind of fearful and pissed off and that's the ground of your action we say it'll create like creates like it's a similar kind of it's a basic scientific principle and a few action is coming from a kind of feeling of openness and bravery and open heartedness is going to ripple so uh that's sort of a brief description of the law of karma for those of you who know that word it's just the ripple effect karma is ripple on gum we see it everywhere is there is no action that does not ripple and there is really kind of it's a it's a powerful thing to think about us that there's not really that much randomness in the universe that we're in it's really governed by that kind of quality of cause and effect some people take that the wrong way and they say, okay, well, somebody's suffering so is that their fault and that's not really the right understanding of it? If somebody is suffering, we should be compassionate, no matter whose fault it is we're not looking to, like, add insult to injury ever, you know, a cz compassionate people, so but yet at the same time, we're looking for what can we do creatively to change those circumstances and improve our situation? Other people's situation um so that's the two minute compassion not finding blame for how did some heaven and also we don't see all the causes in conditions that make somebody what they are, and sometimes if we're developing compassion, we understand people are much better uh, once we do understand where they're coming from, you know, um, maybe they experience something that all of a sudden we become more sympathetic, so that sort of leads into today's topic this afternoon's topic, which is we're gonna talk more about emotions and our body and our, um, experience of the world in a very direct way and we're gonna do a few contemplations, but I thought we could just start by doing a little sitting practice together and again already I know people are coming in and out of the workshop online, and I think it's helpful even if you're not too just review the technique of chama to meditation or the mindfulness meditation, so maybe I should have one of you, uh, lead it at this point, you know, it's, that kind of this is basically thiss tradition is a relay race, and you passed the baton on from teacher to student, and then they're expected to run with it and pass the baton on. So maybe somebody in our life audience could just review the three steps of doing the mindfulness meditation or do you want to do it together and each one take a step and talk about it a little bit? So who takes number one? Raise your hand about okay, allison, uh, the first step is taking your seat, um, and that could be either in a chair or on the floor. Um, you wanna have the tops of your hips above your knees so that you don't put stress on your lower back um and you can do that with cushions like the ones we're sitting on? If you're seated, you can use a cushion to elevate your feet to get your posture in alignment and then uh extend your spine up and you were describing it almost feeling like there is a string kind of pulling you up. Um, rest your hands on your knees um and shoulders kind of you can push him back and then just let them fall ah, and move your chin in and back a little bit just teo get kind of a neutral spine between your your neck and your back uh then your gaze with your with your face forward your gaze would drop two about for six feet in front of you great and, uh then having established the seat, step two with somebody like to jump onto that one, I'll take the easy part breathing and, um, breathing through your nose through your mouth evenly. Um, I'm not sure what more it had. Well, what's the key point of number two what's the title of the segment what about the breathing, its attention placing your attention on the breathing that's actually essential points, of course you're breathing already anyhow. So the idea is we're placing attention onto breath going in and out anybody wantto do that? Second one uh, feeling the air come in your nose uh, paying attention to the sensation of the breath, how it fills your lungs, it moves through your body okay, more specifically, that all those air, right, but specifically, we can have pay attention to the breath at the tip of the nose going in out of the body. That's. One choice that we could make the other's feeling that stomach rise and fall with the breath. And the third one will be feeling a breath throughout the whole body. So you should choose one of those three. And if you're confused about which one to choose, just focus on the feeling the breath at the tip of the nose going in and out. And that is a question of placing your attention. Number two is placing your attention on the breathing in that particular way. Julie, uh uh, if you find your thoughts taking your attention, you khun, label them thinking, and then bring yourself back to focusing and bringing your awareness to your breath perfectly stated. Okay, so that's, our practice, if you do enroll there's a sheet that goes through these instructions fairly clearly that you can easily download. So, um, and review, but that's basically a practice. So now I'm just gonna be the timekeeper. The students are already becoming very experienced now and kind of capable of communicating this forward to others, so my only advice is keep it very simple and don't necessarily feel you need to ornament or create some kind of elaboration on this it's it's designed to be a very straightforward, simple practice against which we can really see the complications of our mind. Clearly it's like putting a clear backdrop up so you can see what's going on on dh. We'll just sit for five minutes together. Funny the way remember that show the six million dollar man they're trying to think of? How could we show how fast this guy can run and the way they decided to show how fast he run with by putting into slow motion? Ah, so you at home were really actually moving quite rapidly here, but we decided to show it a slow motion. Um, and actually, the body is moving kind of slow, but the mind you may have noticed your mind is still road runner, uh, level of activity. So I want to just encourage everybody to really not get frustrated with yourself and having too much expectation or ambition about this practice work with whatever arises as completely the ground of your practice and completely workable. Whatever stadium on you have is what you're working with and that we talked about that the other day is notion of starting where you are from the where you are, then you practice will always be fresh. And you're not going to just torture yourself and go like I didn't get to this point of that point and that's called surrender are kind of really opening toe what? So what you have with you but of course gradually were saying we're able to kind of work with whatever arises and kind of attenuated or tame it or pull it into a kind of field of mindfulness and awareness so this brace basically brings up our next kind of key topic of discussion the next topic of is looking at the whole being that's meditating you know a zay said earlier sometimes we have this idea we just sort of manipulating our mental content, you know and kind of flipping a switch to try to get our mind less speedy and neurotic you know, like it was a button we could push we would push it when we you know, and um some people think of meditation that way and they teach it that way and um of course there's a natural sort of sense of calming down and coming into a quiet space, of course, but in doing that we might experience a lot of agitation and a kind of sense of turbulence or, um, physical pain or difficulties and then emotional upheavals of all kinds um and the safety of the way you can almost say it is that kind of the more we dialed down and go for a kind of steady awareness the more those things they're gonna come up they're like they're like uh uh point and counterpoint you know like um I don't know if you've ever tried to do this to a friend who was agitated say hey, calm down try that in a bar sometime, you know, somebody's drunken coming at you say look, I think you just need to quiet down a little bit that's gonna just make the person more agitated so that may not be the successful strategy with somebody else may not be the most successful strategy with working with her own mind, but if you kind of have maura about openness to like, okay, whatever you've got, I'm here let's see let's see what's going on here, you know, um and not take a combative approach towards our own agitation so that's kind of a double whammy right when we have a sort of emotional people that we're dealing with and on top of that we really want to squash it. We've now created to levels that we have to cut through to get to a kind of mindful approach. So what trump armature used to call us his negative negativity it's a great phrase you know, we had were experiencing some what we would cut characters is negative negativity, you know, some kind of rough emotional patch and on top of that we're judging input trying to squelch squelch it so he was basically saying you could be as a practitioner of the arts you could be ruthless about the negative negativity and you could do away with it there's no need to create it harshly judge yourself, criticize yourself for having this kind of, um emotional uh people but then he would talk about working with the emotion itself he said it's like compost it has a certain amount of richness in it of experience and so that can be kind of worked with and the wisdom could be brought out in that um there's a wisdom in anger there's a wisdom and passion there's a wisdom and pride those things are actually are not completely messed up what's the wisdom and anger anybody have any sort of notion of like if you were saying well there's some threat of intelligence and actually when I get angry what would it be something inside of you is is uh it's a like an alarm that you're something isn't sitting quite right something's not right? Yeah that's where anger comes from it's sort of a basic sort of response to something and you go this isn't right you know for example you could have that kind of anger when you see injustice on you go you know that's not right, so what? What we distinguish between is anger and aggression and aggression is where you get very invested in a swill is that, in your opinion, your state of mind, and then you lose any kind of communication fluidity with the situation, and you're just pushing your agenda. But the original instinct anger is just sort of saying no, you know, this is not right and could be very clean and very sharp. And so in our meditative world, we're not saying everything should be muted and kind of chill. There could be very sharp, clear edges to our reality, and it still has this kind of quality of openness and clarity and compassion, even sometimes like an examples of tough love or that kind of situation you this this is the right medicine for this situation. I need to say no to this person you don't know, you can't just come in here and beat everybody up, you know, and put your aggression all over everybody. So it's not always a question of just accommodating, but seeing the wisdom in the energy and then losing the aggression, losing the sort of negativity of it. So what do you think the wisdom and pride is what's the wisdom in it? Oh, I thought maybe it was uncovering a part of you that you weren't satisfied with, you were covering it, fried keep on with it what could be the positive dimension of it? O positive dimension of pride maybe an asset that you have yeah it's a kind of richness, isn't it when somebody says I'm so proud of you that's not necessarily just you know, coddling your neurosis you know there's a feeling of like, recognising an asset as you said in some kind of richness in the situation. So what about uh uh, jealousy competition what's the wisdom in that the city designs their take on it is the anger is communication to self it's an internal barometer? Mmm definitely recognized that you know, a lot is going on in there what's going on in there and we're the point of today's this segment is we're gonna work with all of it the emotional energy, the physical energy that we have the mental or intellectual energy is all included in meditation, not just cutting your head off from the and cutting off the body from the neck down. But we work with everything that comes up and we become aware we're mixing all of the activities that are happening within us with awareness and that's the sort of that's what makes it sort of more meditative contemplative so where were we with pride? And I got this yeah, sure something sure absolutely well, maybe jealousy actually the wisdom and that is confronting the want versus the need yes actually decent designs against very similar thoughts were you just saying josie competition is communicating desires yeah it's funny in a way you could look at jealousy is uh desire and aggression mixed together you want something but somebody else has it so that makes you angry upset is a postage is that's very you said working with the desire rather than I want the one the need which is sort of compulsive and grasp e but the want is very pure in a certain way and another element we say about envy or jealousy competition is there's a kind of sense of accomplishment you know, people people when they compete you get the highest level of accomplishment and a lot of sort of the notion of how to really act in a very effective way so jealous person in there sort of kind of neurotic manifestation is looking around what is everybody else doing but in the more kind of liberated form there's a sense of kind of really managing the whole situation is the same intelligence that lets you really um be very aware of what's happening around you and very effective so sometimes the enlightened quality of that is sort of action you know being able to act decisively and in a very comprehensive way because you're aware of all the different things you can see behind your head and the kind of neurotic style of that is the jealousy is you know just basically all it's all about you and said about what the whole panoramic situation is so you know what they say? You know, you you go to the football game and they're in the huddle and you think they're talking about you that would be sort of not necessarily exactly accurate so um there's this extra layer of kind of self consciousness in these things that's extra um and so on so instead of throwing out these, you know, rich emotional textures were kind of, um trying to learn about them more, you know, and that's a very deep kind of way of going about living in general learn more about what our actual experiences and of course a huge amount of our life's experiences in this kind of emotional realm it's not just thoughts that are kind of innocent and kind of skipping along going like, oh yeah e equals m c squared that's one level of thought or, you know, you know the directions how to get to this restaurant you know, um it's feelings that come up strongly during the day and seemed to take over and kind of govern our whole reality and almost like a tidal wave you know, serge serge a tsunami we experience our emotional would like tsunamis, you know, they sort of roll through and kind of roll us over, we can't ride and andi works skilfully with that energy anymore, so in meditation we're talking about actually working with that as well not just thoughts but the whole feeling and texture of the energy of our lives and then we'll get down to the body level body is probably in some way the most profound, you know, because like my teachers sat han says body don't lie you know, the level of body it's there's a lot of truth there's a lot of, uh expression off it's harder when for example, if somebody's having trouble understanding where you're coming from, they read your body language, don't they? You know, and you get like somebody saying, look, I'm not upset, you know, you know it's just that I want on and you go like, wow, the words are saying one thing but the energy is saying another thing and the body is really giving you a very clear indication so we work with all three levels called body speech in mind you know those three the speech level is sort of the communication and the dimension of the emotional energy the mind is sort of the pure kind of consciousness level and the body is, you know, the very tangible way to work with so that's why that mindfulness includes mindfulness of the body and this simple things that we do like walking meditation and the flower arranging and the tea ceremony and how we relate our clothing and food in our house and things like that very, very powerful arena and then we work with the mindfulness of emotions you know, which is basically understanding how we feel you know as part of it and not being blinded by unconscious quote dimension of feelings that's I think a lot of us we working with that um peeing like a submarine just came up missile came up from underneath somewhere we don't even know why we're upset you know, have you ever found that during the day that you're you know, like very agitated something and you say well, what's going on why one of my fillings you don't even really know so that's kind of the submarine effect of the emotional life and then uh the level of the mind is, um of course these three are completely interactive is sort of, uh the most abstract in a way you know, most subtle so when we talk about training the mind that's sort of it eludes a lot of us, you know way talk about training the body can't you talk about, um you know, looking at our emotional life sure now training the mind is very subtle because it's just kind of hard to put your finger on a mind where is he might, you know, I mean, I think we can throw that question out now I'm not talking about brain here I'm talking about the consciousness where is it you know when you say I'm so on so on on the well where is that event even happening? Where is that so that's a kind of contemplation we could do is sometimes like trying to find your mind is a really fun little thing to do but meanwhile we take our minds very seriously like oh I'm I'm so and so I've got this kind of attitude and you see somebody like that there's no fluidity it all and basically you know, er if the other people in this situation I'm more awake they'll start running circles around that person even if that person's in charge you know, it just happens anyhow it's like plants growing up from the cracks in the concrete it's gonna happen anyhow so um you know, these are the areas of constraint that we experience is the body speech in mind, but these are also the areas of liberation so any area that you feel constricted and can also be expression of where you can find freedom, right? So when we meditated we're really talking about a bigger issue of exploring the meaning of freedom what does it really feel to feel free you know and where we where we experience our constraints at all three levels we experience the body being constricted so people feel like all like, uptight weird. And then we experience our emotions, is constricting, and then we experience our thoughts and mind activity as constricting. But from from our point of view, none of those are inherently constructed. That's a really interesting point were not inherently bound anyway. So that's, that's all considered in a zoo I talked about earlier to be product of habit and kind of point of view that over a lot of long time, we've sort of developed a strong belief, you know, in whatever, uh and whatever constriction that we are experiencing and so then there's another layer of justification defense on top of that. So basically we're dismantling its called eagle. They use the word ego. There was no real american english word for this, um and I think in buddhism it's representing a couple of different words, but it might be closer to the idea of, uh, constriction, you know, something's tight ego is tight, you know, when you know somebody who's like too self conscious and they would like to they're too tight is what this is a kind of constricted quality to it. And so the energy is not flowing well. And if you find yourself personally in that situation or in a work situation it's, almost like you can feel that if there is some way for us to practice, uh becoming more familiar with our constrictions that's a very good for a start because they usually it's a dark corner it's sort of a place that we don't look so when the meditate what we really mean is we're bringing awareness into something that's really what meditation is bringing awareness to something in this case we're bringing new awareness to the body, the emotional body and the mind so, you know, we started doing this earlier what did we work with this morning? Stress? And we looked at stress where is in the body and speech in mind do we experience the stress? And people had really good things to say it seemed to have some connection with time our online audience really picked up on that idea of not having enough time um even to have a drink of water with lots of water we don't even have enough time to take it um to take a pee you know, if you ever get that stressed out that you can if we go to the bathroom gonna lose track of my whole life, you know? So somehow all of us slowing down is going to be like a kind of or, you know, kind of like maybe we enter and less familiar space for a moment, but then I think everybody starts to smile you know, um one of the things that keeps us from smiling as tension in our face and if you go to places where people are happy they smile a whole lot more and their face if you when you smile it attention your faces is liberated on the spot you know so uh you know, that's one of the things that we look around in our world and see signs of constriction and habit and we're really working in a way to bring more awareness to that and open released those things um so maybe if we did stress less to anxiety and let's use our established technique of condom contemplation and now we're going to go into the put on our scuba gear and looking anxiety together? What if we looked at so far in the contemplations remember stress pickles general generosity is we're looking at sort ofwhat we characterizes the negative dimension of it also the positive dimension of it just to see what we have. So if you take your seat again now using that kind of, uh sorbet of the mindfulness just take a few breaths and sort of bring your awareness to your breathing so in a way, this is our way of settling down, you know, you could do this before a big board meeting just take everybody take three breaths together very powerful, okay? And now we're gonna conjure the feeling of anxiety if you feel too relaxed you won't be able to do it it is interesting in itself, isn't it? But let's remember the last time we felt really, really anxious see if you can think of a particular event um that happened okay, I got one you'll you'll have one think it will hold on to a particular event that recent history that you were very anxious about the outcome of something and as you focus on that event in your mind you know try to hold your mind to this contemplation as we have in the past don't wander off now you're very vividly present in a sense with that event and you're thinking about what happened to doing that anxiety provoking moment and what did you experience? You know what was the onset like how did it start if you can track sort of weird came from if you think it has an origin of any kind and as it arose you know, what did you begin to experience? We were able to go with that experience where did you begin to feel like I'm in a space that I don't want to be in? Were you joining with that experience or resisting having it so you have to stay but you have to use a lot of mental concentration here to stay with this now as the feeling came on of the anxiety where did you experience that that situation did you get a headache? Was your breath shorter? Was it not really a physical sensation at all? Did you feel a kind of energy, huh kind of electricity of any kind? Um did parts of you want to shut down and you feel like you're goingto overload mode? What did that feel like? And also how did you react to that feeling? Did you feel like you could ride with it and explore it or did you feel like this is dangerous? I don't I don't want to be here with this feeling that there's something dangerous about the feeling, something unsettling about it, something difficult to be with was there any in intelligence in it it was a completely fearful or on an irrational or was there some intelligence in there was the anxiety didn't have an intelligent to mention to it? And if so, what was the message? What message was coming through a team and if you could detect that message, how did you relate to it? Did you did you were you able to receive that message or were you too panicked to understand the meaning of it? And then gradually oh, as the event dissipated for you, what did you experience the experience? A kind of returned to a normal kind of more normal state of consciousness on dumb relaxation and he's uh did it leave a lingering feeling didn't linger with you somehow and is it present now in some form? Is that very anxiety about that event currently right now in your current mind present, is it present anywhere in your current body? And is it present anywhere? And you're kind of feeling body, emotional energy and if it's present now, can you identify it as a sensation of some kind? Where is it now? Where exactly is that feeling now and then? If you can identify, you could try just letting it go if it's a muscle, if it's feels if you feel like it's in your shoulders and their tents, you could just try letting relaxing them, just finding a way back to a kind of more ease ful space. And then gradually, you khun just kind of open your eyes and the whole process of contemplation dissolve and you come back have a sense of being here sitting in this room and, uh, you know, that's, a little journey you're taking to explore inner space so e I love that you said, let the process of contemplation dissolved like that too that's the final frontier for us weii, we call itself liberate the antidote. You know what I mean? That you don't get addicted to the antidote or applying the medicine and how people could get attached the medicine so that's good yeah so you lighting up over there yeah actually there's a lot of people that are already timing in if you want to hear your reactions sherrilyn says I felt an inability t to express myself and I felt a pain in my throat um you saw a couple others too, right? Yes dc two designs are saying they had a rapid heartbeat a tight chest and uneasy feeling in the stomach in the moment of actual stress I have a neary calm this strange it is usually after the fact I feel the emotional rush rush that I can re ground myself and go for it afterwards silk and karl I'm not pronouncing this right a twisting feeling in the stomach and the lower chest to the stomach the twisting very vivid on very physical too interesting that the physical dimension of this when we talk about meditation I think a lot of people are not so much taught in terms of using the body as a zaid dimension of the meditation practice um intensive awareness. So, um what else did uh did you all on this little journey evan did you have a actually the contemplation uh it it conjured the feeling contradict anxiety so I felt it um it was uh it was the breath it was a shortness of breath it was butterflies and um what I was thinking through is I have inside here runs speaking in public um it's really difficult and um could we zoom in on him right now okay something that you know is that that feeling that was coming up so yeah yeah so let's go with that for a minute evan because you know I had a whole experience unfold too so I want to share mine too at a certain point but um so what happens what does that anxiety feel like when you when you're and if you having it right now we could work with it kind of right now but it's not as bad as it was this morning I was doing the introduction okay, yeah but you might my voice it manifests itself in my voice my voice titans yeah uh the word stop yeah. So so that's the mind sort of gets constructed mind construct onda voice constrict yeah, the physical body it's not that I have you know that's what I want to say or how the idea's form but it stopped somewhere between here there right? Right. And, uh what was bringing awareness to that? Like what did that feel like? You know, now you're bringing you're talking about but you actually bringing awareness the actual sensation the actual experiences is unfolding how does that feel it's it's somewhat calming I mean that's what you describe it um I did think about the pace of my breath I didn't. I during the contemplation I was breathing, uh, trying to breathe more evenly and then letting it just kind of letting it pass through getting stuff rather than stopping. Yeah, so a little bit of let it flow through, like there's. Almost an area. We come to that the energy is constricting. You can open the knot and let let it flow through. That's. Great. Thank you. That's. Very good. Willow. I found that I was hanging on to my legs. You know, uh, shortness of breath, you know, thinking of, uh, discussing religion with my folks. Uh, that was the event that was one of them. And then all of a sudden it flipped teo surgery. I had recently on my hip, you know, so just, uh, certain kinds of, uh, anxieties related to that. And yeah, so I realized I had simply let go. Yeah, a gripping kind of energy.

Class Description

In today’s hectic world, our busy lives often crowd out any chance to sit still. Who has time to focus on mindfulness when there are 40 emails to write? Join Buddhist teacher David Nichtern for an introduction to meditation. David will show you how meditating for just 15-30 minutes a day will clarify your mind and decrease your stress levels.

David will teach you the basics of meditation, unpacking the centuries-old spiritual tradition into a practical playbook for living a balanced life. You will learn simple posture, breathing, and directed contemplation techniques that will help you unclutter your mind and increase your energy.

Stillness is a powerful way to be kind to yourself. At the end of this workshop, you will be more present, aware, and connected to the world around you.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Cultivating Mindfulness E-Book

Cultivating Compasion For Yourself and Others

Simple Meditation Instructions for Ordinary People

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Sean Newton

I've tried to develop a meditation practice in the past and signed up for this course because of the title ..'everyday life' This course works!! I'd like to thank David and the Creative Live crew for providing a life enhancing course. At first I was a little impatient as I thought the sessions were long, drawn out and repetitive however, half way through it 'clicks' (it made sense) and what may seem as a long-winded preamble is in fact laying a firm foundation for understanding and progression. Hastily wanting to skip to some perceived 'good bit that helps hedge fund mangers etc ' is like sprinting to the end of the rainbow instead of appreciating the various colours. (Your own perceptual colours even ;-)) Anyway, a worthwhile course - so stay the course and feel better for fit

a Creativelive Student

David is an amazing teacher, he has a gift for relating the principles of mindfulness in an accessible, relatable way. Plus, he's really funny. I'm super psyched to participate in this workshop. Thanks CreativeLIVE!


Also found this through the DTFH podcast. What a wonderful, powerful, and approachable course in meditation. Highly recommended to anyone interested in starting on this path. It's chock full of practical information and ways to apply meditation to your life.