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Meditation for Everyday Life

Lesson 11 of 28

Bringing Meditation Into Everyday Life

David Nichtern

Meditation for Everyday Life

David Nichtern

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Lesson Info

11. Bringing Meditation Into Everyday Life

Lesson Info

Bringing Meditation Into Everyday Life

Now in this segment which is going to be our last one today if today has any real meaning in virtual time, you know where you are if you're some people are in london and some people are in turkey and some people in japan so whatever time of day it is this is going to be our fourth segment in this session uh, this this sort of day off practice and study that we're doing together and the idea that we're gonna look at us I promise this okay, let's say you do start to meditate and have a meditation practice and you know, for most of the students that I work with talking about half hour a day that's an even for newer students fifteen or twenty minutes a day is plenty for a lot of people that's a big change in lifestyle to make that kind of commitment and most of them I said for five days a week, fifteen, twenty minutes a day but some kind of commitment to that and regularity to that actually shifts um shift the way we spend our time but even if we did that in this even we did a half hour da...

y or an hour a day every day let's just say there's save somebody got very disciplined in our half hour in the morning have hard night on dh well that leaves twenty three hours in the day you know and what are we doing then so here's um you develop this gonna meditative capacity you know skill you can sit like a buddha you know it's beautiful now we ring the bell okay I got to go now but I'm gonna do this I got to run over there I gotta do the thing and you know these guys they're calling they're gonna come over in a few minutes you know it's okay you know that and we basically for twenty three hours a day part going high speed and if you're anything like me you never get your to do list done that true does anybody actually do their to do list let's be honest I have it on my iphone now and it just his praise probably like forty pages long and probably has things on it that I don't even remember why I was supposed to do those in the first place and then everyone so you go through your to do list and you go I better move this one back up to the top so how could we possibly with the world that we actually live in which is not really a contemplative environment that per se bring some of these kind of qualities that we talked about spaciousness a ll this spaghetti this guy's looking at sea here bringing meditation to everyday life that's the spaghetti of everyday life the activity of it how could we bring that somehow in closer alignment with this kind of meditative wakeful inequality and so the issues, then can we work with mindfulness the rest of the day on dh can we begin to color flavor our world in that way? Um, so in terms of our tradition, this is called post meditation post meditation, so interesting everything's organized around this sort of meditative practice. So instead of looking as life, you call it post meditation, so for certain intense yogis practitioners, spiritual seekers, maybe that's, how they see the light that's twenty four hours, it's, some kind of practice situation. And how can I incorporate everything into that? You know, I would have to say all honestly that's for me practices first, and then every other situation is is coming into that don imus first and then everything second. But however we prioritise it, would mindfulness as a flavor enhance our life and it's all in there, all the dimensions of it that's a fair question to ask if we say no, no, no, no, this is it's good to be running around like a chicken without a head and kind of at war with ourselves and feeling speedy and anxious and depressed and, you know, and kind of world up and confused, nobody saying stop that's up to you, but if we do feel it's a lot of people feel I wish only I could just uh so many people come to my attention could I just decrease my stress level my anxiety level and we're going to talk about those things head on tomorrow what is stress what is things what are we experiencing in this modern world? Why aren't people happier? You know what are we actually going after what's what's the goal so, um the idea of beginning to even if you don't do this meditation practice to bring some of this flavor into life off paying more attention being more mindful um and uh having a little bit more spacious quality to everyday life all the things that you think of this claustrophobic you know, the kids, the job, the relationship, even even extracurricular activities I had a huge laugh in new york, which is where I live and I've been studying tighty for years and I was new york's crazy by the way you know, I'm from their san francisco's really nice everybody should move here way it's really a very pleasant place to live no they want to keep it a big secret so as if anybody would listen to me in the first place um but uh in new york we have a very, very high pace very, very pressured you think this is pressure? This is pales in comparison so people are literally if you look on the street running, they're moving so fast that there actually running by most people's definition of it, you know? And, uh, you look at people's faces this like really? I mean, if you slow down your own pace and just look around, you begin to see that somebody you know, set the thing on high and left whoever did that, and we're all now kind of racing to catch up to ourselves. So, um, the ideas is, is there something we can introduce some antidote that we could bring in that would maybe cut into that momentum in that speed a little bit, both for ourselves and maybe for the whole culture at some point and that's the idea of post meditation, which is during the day, um, working with a kind of spacious attitude and the way we experience this week, I want to introduce this idea called the gap the gap, you know, uh, there's actually kind of pause, you know, and like, you know, as a musician, if there's no gap, if there is no pause, the music becomes like, horribly uh uh, busy and compressed so the gap is just a moment, you know, that happens all the time what we just can recognize some kind of pause and it's very important in meditation practice the way we learned it this morning, right? You're sitting there, and even when you're trying to meditate, your mind is nonstop right for most of us, it's just like a little so we're introducing the idea of a gap of recognizing, uh ah and then coming back to the breath that's a very powerful little moment there, and I did, uh, I asked my friends in japan if they had a word for that and I don't remember it, but it's kind of negative space just space that's not filled, yeah, right, that has so english we don't have really a word for that exactly. So this is, um, kind of very appropriate that you're joining us for this particular segment of the worship because my experience of japan is had post meditation practices, very strong, independent people doing regular things like in a store some for example, you buy something in a store there and you have your credit card over it's a little a little moment of kind of recognition and pausing not just barreling through. So this idea is the post meditation idea and it's based on recognizing the gap, uh, so that we're just not full steam ahead all the time, you know, and for example, to people are having a conversation how often does that happen like you to talk to each other quite a bit I noticed you know it's reminds that movie he said she said did you see that movie we were in it so um you having a conversation with somebody and you have your point and you want to make your point you know and they have their point and they want to make their point but if both people pause for a second and just you actually just look at the person and this kind of um allow a little bit of a cap it really doesn't take very long to experience this and then continue so for example in combat buddhist communities like tick not han was a great vietnamese teacher they actually like during the day while people in the kitchen and stuff like that or out in the fields we're working in the office somebody's goes and people just pause for a second and then resume you know so it's beginning to train the mind to not be so nonstop um there's a pause and there's a recognition of the kind of awakened quality of that moment and then we just simply resume so beautiful like I mean of course being a musician I was look at julie's a wonderful musician here and some were having a sort of side conversation about that but the conductor goes as a gap isn't it? And everybody gathers their attention together, you know so activity is not wall to wall there's a sense of movement and paws movement paws and we begin to work with that quality more um if you're starting off you don't have the good sort of karmic fortune to be born into a place where this is all so already happening we begin to cultivate it we have that opportunity here so there's all kinds of things happen during the day which break potentially break through that momentum that speed that we have and the phone rings you know that's a gap isn't it first to go you know and then uh someone speaks to you makes contact um something happens in the environment something falls you know, hopefully it's not your expensive camera there but you know, there is somebody walks into this room by mistake while we're on the air, you know and every roads can we can't stop you know, we could pause for a minute and just go okay? You know, weaken pause it and keep going um sometimes you know we'll lose our turn to thought nothing could be better than losing your trying to thought I'd let it keep going if it was me most people's train of thought, you know, you could just let it you lose it that it just kind of way but the station yeah, so um you know, these air natural moments that happened in transition in which we do what I call awakening from the daydream there's kind of a daydream quality we're kind of streaming audio and video in our minds all day and something goes like wakes us up so that's sort of the idea of gap we work with it very closely and meditation practice informal meditation practice but in everyday life that was one right there did you see yeah yeah and it's a little break in the the continuity and then we continue and we become less maniacal, less obsessed if we worked with this energy it is this is what when you obsess if you have o c d I'm not just using clinically you can't recognise any gaps there can't be any gaps there can't be any holes okay, so um begin to work with that principle of waking up from the daydream acknowledging that gap it begins to like pepper uh you can use it to pepper your reality so activities like and also mixing idea of mindfulness with that actually paying attention to what you're doing right now and mindful of the gap so you're mindful of what you're doing and mindful of this kind of spacious quality rippling through it can begin to really inform uh how you do things like, uh shop uh prepare food eat eating you know, in my buddhist training you know, it's interesting trunk remitted with tibetan but he brought in traditions from all over the world to help cultivate these qualities, and one was in in the jap in those endo they have, ah, style of eating called oreo key do you know that one orochi heard him so it's mindful, eating three bowls and very mindful you put it all together and wrap them up? And, um, when we eat, sometimes we lose our mindful is completely and, uh, you know, we have no awareness of what we're doing, and we might be just kind of so desperate, you know, in a sense or so hungry and not physically, but, you know, just for, you know, we might even eat things we don't even want that's what mine without mindfulness, we will definitely eat things we didn't really mean to eat, and then we go now, I don't feel good, I know a lot of eaters, they stuff their face, and they're really sorry about it afterwards. So that's, my new book is called the new buddhist diet book called mindful of the pie hole. Mindfulness is a diet, you know, just be aware of what you're putting in, and then it works both ways, mindful of what's coming out of the pie hole, mindfulness of speech so even things like art, you know how how we're working with our art I find this place this cradle of a new extraordinarily mindful place I don't I don't know exactly how this happened but everybody's all the people seem to be really paying attention so what they're doing and synchronized up very nicely with each other and doesn't feel like there's a lot of push or aggression going on I'm really impressed with this place I just want to go on the record as saying it but you start to see these air natural qualities of on bacon be brought out by the leadership or they can be repressed by the leadership you know and in general people tend to flourish in these in these atmospheres there's no doubt about that so are, you know, calligraphy, music theatre film you know, what's the opposite of the gap and spaciousness is sort of the high budget hollywood movie uh you know, trailer they don't want you to experience any kind of space on that and I don't know about you I love for that stuff when I'm dead into it it's just like it and you know, it's like explosions and eruptions and stuff like that and when you see some kind of pacing you know um uh all those things are much more exciting actually if there's a little space right before that I think but that kind of relentless action is sort of something we're looking at as maybe a little bit culturally neurotic and individually, we've have to count when we have a cultural issue. As individuals, we have to counter it. The change society. You have to first work with your own situation. Otherwise, you cannot change society actually, in a meaningful way. So things like, uh, how we then go about doing daily life becomes really interesting. Um, you know, there's, this other workshop going on right across the hall now that the skilful actions have we do before breakfast for successful people. Can you re quote me on that, to be quite honest, what's the name of the other workshop? Oh, what? What successful people do before breakfast and, uh, I think that's very similar to our works up because what we're talking about is, are we even awake after we get out of the bed? Are we actually awake? And we're brushing our teeth, you know that those things can be very done very mindfully without it being heavy handed, and you can actually practice that way. You bring your mind back to the toothbrush. You bring your mind back to, uh, shaving, you know, you you bring your mind back, teo, preparing your breakfast and the difference between doing something mildly and not is night and day. In terms of being able to actually enjoy and appreciate that exact action rather than where it's gonna lead you to so this is very practical this is how to you want talk about having a successful life how about enjoying the life you have I'm that's my idea of success is he actually enjoy the life you actually have not one you're gonna have so I think when we talk about success tomorrow I'm going to just that that'll be my input is like that's a successful life where you enjoy the life you actually have that's very successful a supposed just constantly craving something beyond that um things like uh preparing for bed you know uh instead of just being like rush to crash you know, actually taking some time uh with winding the day down and even we have some contemplative practices where you can think a little bit about how the day went and if it kind of you know you are actually meeting your intention during that day and said and think about things that happen and settle them down a little bit and kind of put your mind sell your mind in a little bit first and then they're going to sleep um a big area is conversation and it's interesting my current teachers second me pound member tape is actually even though I studied all the buddhist teachings in great depth the next book he's writing about the art of conversation and I it blew me away because so much of our life is dialogue so much and think about just reflect back on the last day or two, how many conversations that you engaged in? And was there any sense of space in them? Was there mindfulness was their compassion? You know, how did that go? So, um, these things begin to you begin to realize that these type of daily activities are really the engine off deep practice, you know, it's one thing somebody is like high, no people been sitting, I know people have done three year retreats, you know, if it doesn't filter into the life it's not really saying that much, you know? So really you want to see how do they have a conversation with somebody? Are they good listener don't have good manners, basic decorum. So, uh, these things begin to become the kind of much bigger container for your product. This, um practicing off the cushion, um and, uh all can be cultivated. Now, the point we've got to make a right away is without the practice inner practice, all those things either crumble or they become kind of empty in a certain way and hollow, so, um, this practice that we learned of doing them mindfulness meditation ourselves has got to be at the core because we're really sort of working with are sort of fundamental shape of our mind and our energy. So then, though, if we establish that kind of thing everything's refer the refinement of that and there's no exceptions even making love or having a beautiful dinner or sky diving for the first time or um, you know, swimming in the ocean all those can have the sort of, um, informed by our mindfulness practice uh and can extend it quite a bit further now what? What is going to come up a little bit for us is as we try to practice in that way is life is challenging and it's always challenged you to drop your mindfulness, drop your compassion and just somehow bully your way through that's our panic mode wouldn't you say could push through? So the idea is that if we try toe cultivate what we're talking about, I hope nobody thinks he's a bad things to cultivate in the kind of patients spaciousness, accommodation, good decorum, you know, clear communication but as we move towards that what's going to interrupt our movement towards that is our own habits, our own strong personal habits that really at this point we have to stop blaming everybody else for those that's like an important a moment they're off recognized that there were holding the reins in our own hands and we have to go I think, as practitioners develop a kind of patients with ourselves a, um steadfastness that even as we're working with our own negative habits that we're not just going to go along with them and not just, you know, uh feed the beast as they say, you know, and that takes a lot of awareness and it takes a lot of discipline and it takes patients because it's not going to happen in one day but the idea of including those, um those strong habits and, uh, getting to know ourselves much, much, much better iss so productive in terms of people who are looking for, you know, concrete results if we don't know ourselves our actions outside in the world are gonna not be clear, you know, we were continuously sort of bumping up against our own, uh, clumsiness really, you know, so they inter practices the, you know, formal practice, but now we can couple that with this sort of out of practice of really working with every situation, not nothing's excluded. So as I mentioned earlier, you know, I come from this teaching ocean ball of tradition in which the art of living is sort of considered integral e important with practice uh, how you live it's really going to be the measure and that includes work than close relationships livelihood issues money issues if somebody says I'm a great meditator but I got no money and I can you lend me money so I could go meditate some more I go no well not unless you bring me back something of equal value so I had a friend who he came in some and he had done a three year retreat which is very intense can you imagine going away for three years, three months and three days and practicing like what we've been talking about? It came back and I said richard, how are you? You know, some good he said I really feel like I I want to do it again you want to go back into retreat and I took that seriously because you know that's not a z z as you might think, you know you might think I was just trying to get away from things but believe me it's not it quite like that it's powerful time that you spent that way and I just said I will give you money but only as a patron with the proviso that if you actually learn something from it you come back and you teach me no I never heard back from him I'm thinking of I don't know what happened to him no because I went on to other things that were more pressing, you know, you know but the point being that these exchanges within life are ultimately going to be the great masters that I study with if they can't bring it right at the dinner table and sort of or in doing some work project a sum like that if you don't feel that quality of realization in that uh, the whole thing becomes completely wobbly as far as I'm concerned, so somebody tells you have great spiritually attainment but they can sort of manage their life for their checkbook or if you want my advice, I'd say be a little wary, you know, um and, um, all that, you know, should be under the umbrella of some kind of now I'm not saying something's just rich and efficient that's not our goal, but compassionate and effective in terms of how you live in the world. So that's, what we're talking about so when you do meet, uh, good teachers, I think in this tradition, the unique quality, they seem to tremendously appreciate all the little details of life that are going on. What did somebody where today, you know, how do they, uh, you know, just cocked their head a little bit when they're disagreeing with you? You know, uh, what food to people choose on the on the line, you know, uh, how much, uh, anxiety is around having a coffee break, you know? People have a lot of anxiety about coffee and this guy got have some coffee because I'm running on a gas basically you know, coffee this has become a kind of get petrol in the west, you know? So watching all those things and also the little delightful things that people do even when they don't mean it and when they don't think anybody's watching you know um you know there's uh this unnamed carry the woman who's out of the front desk carrie so carrie is watching out there from what's happening in here and as I'm walking by she says I'm watching the workshop so this is a sense of delight, you know, an appreciation there's another person who is doing her job but she gets a chance to sort of be with us in a certain way and, you know, nobody is just kind of ah irrelevant, you know, just sort of backdrop, one of the things that I see with celebrity sometimes it's that there's important people and not important people and you can focus more immediately if they detect that you're I could do something you know, then they then they're awake and you you have their full attention, but from the meditative point of view there is no hire me like that it's everything that's worthy of your attention and actually equally interesting and intriguing in some sense so the whole phenomenal world that we're living in if you're an artist or a working person is very interesting from the point of view ofthe kind of meditation might there's some tremendous uh appreciation of all those details of life so um I have a few more things to say but I think that zapping a cz usual having you know I've often joked I said buddhist, you know, would be good filibusters because if we needed to just you know, if I need you to just talk about the ninety five different this is or that I could keep going for a long time but we want to pace ourselves and maybe invite you to talk about this notion of meditate bringing meditation into everyday life using the basis of the kind of personal internal practice as a sort of core engine for that but how how would you visualize out there and in online world and folks in the room here how does this resonate with you had you visualize this part, how important is this to you and in what way? So maybe we could start with people here but the online people could be sending in some responses to so while you were talking out is already even thinking of uh some some things that were shared with me through another mentor about the mind um and applying tio how you were describing it segmenting mine into three parts um the higher conscious mind the um the physical mind in the perceiving mind where the physical ma where the higher conscious mind is conceiving the physical mind is receiving in the perceiving mind is perceiving and what you were saying about all the different ramblings of the mind and how you wantto fix out your day and get everything set and then even yourself judgments your outer judgment's coming from perceptual mind and how it wants to figure things out where it's not its task to do and that's that was that sewing boil this down for us. Okay, yeah, but the meditation is a way of bringing conceiving mind or higher conscious mind to the forefront, I think, to do its job of conceiving and relieving the perceptual mind from trying to work everything out because it's meant to perceive what happened, right not conceive what will happen so just being a little bit more open intuitive in a way as as you move through the action of the day just not cluttering up the space so much. Yeah, well, in realizing which part of your mind is is acting, then are you working from perceptual mind where you're trying tio fit everything into a formula of how it's gonna work? So give us an example in earthly terms in your day um so you're without money or you're stressing about what they're a job and perceptual mind says you've got to look through the paper you've got you've got to make calls on a job you've got to do this that and the other um and maybe you do that and you spend all day and you spend eight hours and you turn out nothing and then you're going you're just rambling and still stressing and still spreading maybe higher conscious mind is saying go out go take a walk and you bump into somebody okay and they're like I need somebody I need some hey can you help me move? I'm actually moving stuff today and I would be happy to pay a hundred bucks if you could help me move so sometimes call that melody of circumstance you know, tuning in to the melody of circumstance yeah uh sure good any anybody else got, you know, everyday life everyday life when I worked at a law firm where one of their mottoes was create a sense of urgency see this was well put plaintiffsside litigation, which is a very high stress uh field to work in and thinking about what you're saying about everyday life going shopping you know, in an artful way I actually was thinking eliminate that sense of urgency and create almost take a step back almost and see yourself in the action creating artfulness and everything you're doing so often I have this twist coming back to the list again like okay, I've got twenty five minutes to go out into town and do x y z thing and I have to do them in this order and not run into traffic or I won't be able to get them all done and the extreme sense of urgency that's created by that is something that definitely makes is it impossible to bring some of the things we talked about into everyday life and heaven forbid you should run into an old friend? He just wants to stop and say hello to you and see how you are yeah, I think we can all resonate with that one for sure how many folks online I'm not sure I'm gonna be out to encapsulate this, so I apologize in advance. But d c t designs who's been with us throughout the day has been putting some really interesting comments into the chat room in the last few minutes to get back to your point it's really interesting about the list that alison's described because he describes the process that he does is the brain dump where he takes all of the ideas all the things he wants to do, no matter how small are inconsequential short term long term immediate, you know spends five minutes putting them all together, but it is his final point was, I think, it's I began my meditation practice in a class called continuity of consciousness which is all about knowing yourself when he's saying you'd be completely lost without it changed his life and he always tells people whose teacher literally taught him how to make his life work fascinating he's been very engaged today um on the flip side uh kala gator thirty for me I think about minding the gap in the day to day I can see how often I'm surrounded by beauty and inspiration and ultimately appreciation for the moment so that's kind of what they're incorporating and then jennifer h says for me the quality of allowing and the spaciousness of my practice has really given me a lot of help with in everyday life, you know? You know I need to just jump back in d c t designs is a she apologies well, that's one of the things about cyberspace is it's hard to really define your sexuality there you don't know what you're talking to, by the way and for those of you who are socialising that way I urge caution about my job exactly what you don't really know you're talking to well, everything castle points yeah, thank you there was ah last day job that I worked I was hired on to be the, uh bookkeeper and what was really wonderful for the for the first year that I worked for because we were opening the store, there are a lot of uh, different dynamics going on between people who worked on the floor and people who are part of the ad man and I don't know why, but I just took it upon myself since I had a gn office that was private as well as, you know, going out onto the floor, I wanted to be the customer service person, you know? So if there were any problems, you know, I'd resolve it, and also, if there were things that were potential conflicts between employees and I, I loved being able to defuse the situation, to be able to bring even just a moment of somebody's insight uh, somebody else's view to someone else, so, uh, they could possibly not be so upset about something that was going on, but to be ableto understand ah, different point of view and on and I was also sitting, uh, regularly to, you know, but it was just keeping the balance keeping the peace, and we work together so well as a team, you know, and and I saw the same types of continued, uh, considerations in the people that I worked with, you know, doing that, you know, just slowing down, trying to understand a different view, not hanging onto anger and irritations and those kinds of things you can't do that very often in a job well, you know willow that launches me into a comment that actually I want to include at this point because we're talking about in the field how does meditation work in the field? You know? And um this was a comment from a meditation student who you know, I post these sort of shortened ofthings on facebook from pretty much every day so this was the posting and said once a habitual pattern has taken hold of our mind anger, craving, jealousy, dullness, pride, whatever you have we're using not aware of the fact that habitual pattern has taken control of her mind so the habit just sweeps in with his entourage of storyline, emotional charge, justification and ignorance of other options that might be available usually we take all that to be completely real rather than seeing it as a partly if not completely our own projection. So um she read that and then she wrote back which is in sync with what will I was talking about she's the image of an entourage walking through the front door open of a real breakthrough for me this weekend long story short I was cleaning are finished basement on sunday and feeling very grumpy about spending a sunny day inside de cluttering a mess my children made lots of storyline, justification, emotional fire I let the whole entourage in I left him sit down on my couch and kick their feet up then my daughter came down with more toys well, I was trying to put everything away this is exactly our life and just like someone turned on a light I saw it I actually saw it before it happened I saw the pattern of losing my temper, losing my patients just plain losing it and I decided that instant to not let that happen I decided to soften a wee bit and come back to my breath. It was almost as if my, uh my practice rose off the cushion to meet me in that moment like it's been waiting for me to choose to apply the practice I looked at my daughter calmly explained why toys were no longer an option in the basement on was shocked when she hugged me I apologize for the mess and took her things upstairs not that she's always gonna be this agreeable. Perhaps she didn't dig in their heels because I didn't dig in mine while this may not seem like a big deal, it really was an amazing moment for me I actually got it I got how practice is our life and life is our practice. We make our habits so complicated but it really comes down to making the choice letting it go coming back to the breath, being willing to stay open seeing the entourage of the door but not inviting them in for an extended visit thank you, thank you thank you for that image it made something click and boy do I feel a whole lot lighter so I think that's a pretty good description of sort of post meditation uh you know, the practice leaking out because there's enough ground enough stability uh that she doesn't have to panic, you know, on and go for a knee jerk reaction I say I feel activity online here, sir. Something going on now we're getting lots of different questions there now sort of fracturing a little bit davis I don't want to take him at this point whether you want to continue the audience because we're getting different questions on different subjects it is entirely up to you how you'd like to handle this this filter a few through that you think are interesting. Okay, well this is this is one of again about breathing they were talking about earlier this actually come from brucie with two eyes I'm guessing is a guy why is it important to breathe through the nose during meditation? He's asking because after a lifetime of asthma he has a very fast, shallow style of breathing so after minutes so breathing through the nose he finds it's blocked do you reckon? Do you recommend it has to be through the nose? No yeah see, this is really like this whole rules and regulations approach in general the breath coming in through the nose is, you know, maybe the normal situation and even we talked about having the mouth slightly open you could breathe slightly through, mostly through the nose and slightly through the mouth, but obviously if somebody's having an obstruction there or they have, as we mentioned earlier, some kind of difficulty working with that you make adjustments and if you if you're going to get seriously into meditation practice, I strongly recommend working with teacher if you can find what you like because that's that's exactly ideas you adjusting uh, those situations says they rise is not one size fits all, so for sure the essence of it is practicing being mindful the breath is's second, there you khun the object of the meditations we said could be something else it's more bringing your mind to it and focusing developing that kind of focus so definitely don't have to breathe through the nose if that's going to be giving you, making you sick no and such actually saying they are actually trying to meditate with a head cold, so I'm sure it's again. It's the same advice it's try and work around whichever your focus yeah, I had a had a student who was in a serious car accident and she couldn't she was bed ridden for a year couldn't move at all so what you going to stop practicing so we just work with that? You know, you work with what uh what you have um and the idea is that we have resources in any situation that can be brought to bear but not if the rules are their dominant thing the principles is what we're trying to communicate okay, so earlier you were talking about resource is online cabe wants to know what do you think about using youtube meditation videos and music, especially those with by norrell beats am I saying that right? So why not buy norrell? You know what that is but okay, I know I know you are, you know, in general, obviously, as I said earlier there's so many different approaches to meditation some people using technology quite a bit for that and some people using sound and music and things like that so uh, what we're talking about it is you could do this practice in the middle of a field with no props no, no, no extra things just by recognized that your body speech in mind are right there and you can work with them in any situation so I don't know much about that it's a honest answer, I I I don't know much about, so I think what we say is somehow if it's helping you in some way sure you know I mean uh why would somebody else say well that's not good but then that person is finding it helpful and productive for them but I don't really know that much about that one exactly not interested that's the more technology questions dave are this may be the same also he's saying when I was doing the five minute meditation I was using the e m wave to device to measure my heart rate variability I noticed when I do this type of meditation that I'm in the red zone could you ask david about the importance being in a high coherent state you know if I was waiting for that one collected it this please cut to the meditation teacher and he's going like way love all your faces make by the way they come with the territory a little bit um so we can check and double check and triple check and have somebody checking the checking going on at end of the day we're going to have to return to the zone in which we have some organic feeling about what we're doing so I would say you know um if you're doing that and has some meaning for you that in your world has meaning who am I to say don't do it you know I mean I'm nobody to say don't do it however for the rest of us I'm sort of taking a recommendation for a more organic approach that we have what we need that we have the gear that we need to ready which is our body and our emotions in our mind and you can work directly with that through these methods so this is kind of let's say the organic low tech approach we're not doing this any different than people did in two thousand years ago there's you know, that's it's the basic thing now having said that in the west many of the high lamas and great teachers and stuff are working with scientists because western people like scientific confirmation of things so I think it's also interesting you see? Well, what is the state of you know, some of these you can see pictures of, uh mingle empathy wired up you know, with with electrodes and they're measuring his brain white waves while he is in a meditative state so I don't see anything wrong with that but you know, it's it's sort of a catering to a kind of intellectual approach where you need you need to have you know, that kind of information before you even like, you know, if you taste soup, do you need teo teo you know, to download some data about the soup you know, the taste good or it doesn't taste good yeah so I think I'm more old school if you really want to know the truth, but I'm interested in all this stuff and I love technology and um look what it's doing for us this weekend this this course so um but you know, I think it's an individual choice and our approach is that you have what you need to do this already and by searching too much for those technical things sometimes we missed the obvious well, that's actually possible you have a question that from l b well just to follow up it's it's about having what you need but then also taking away things that you don't need like ld says I keep becoming distracted by the text and email alerts should I ultimately be trying to create an environment free from just practice not how bold how brave with something it's sort of like withdrawal we all know this this electronic communication is addictive and it's been written up as such so of course if you can spend twenty minutes and just turn your cellphone off and not even hear the beeping from it uh you know it what do we do before that it's like the person is still gonna be there after twenty minutes and we're not saying go back in time to you know where we shall be walking with wheelbarrows and pitchforks and, you know, could have organic gardening and this is the modern world but to leave some time and some space for, you know, just kind of a sense of open this knees I think it's highly recommendable juliano I'm glad you're speaking to this because it's it's been knocking on my door for several minutes and I feel like about that what you're talking about about post meditation, those air values that I have I like tasting the soup and noticing the butterfly and um appreciating colors and conversations and smells and I feel like um developing a mindfulness meditation practice is going to help me do that more and I want to just call out that I feel like my engagement with my smartphone has has changed my attention to those things and sometimes I feel like it's changed my brain chemistry and I feel like kind of like I'm addicted to it and when it's in my hand I go down, I go down the sinkhole into it and I don't want to demonize it because it's also made a lot of things in my life a lot easier and you know one thing that I've done is I've decided and and I don't do this all the time but most of the time I've decided to not let it be my alarm clock anymore because if it's my alarm clock and I pick it up in the morning all of a sudden there I am I'm in it and I just I want us to speak to this because of me it's a it's a big thing it's going to get bigger and if you if you and I want it, I want to be engaged, and I want to taste and smell and talk and you know how long I long for old school? Sometimes, you know? And thankfully, thankfully, I grew up in a time where it still was old school kids played outside and there parents called them inside for dinner, and they didn't have cell phones, and there was no mtv and, you know, like, I'm grateful that I do have a tied to that time. So how do we balance what is with you, how we want to roll it's such a good question, really on duh, I think, you know, in preparing this and talking particular this topic, I really didn't want to be the answer person per se uh, I just that we all know not that anybody else should feel that necessarily jump into that space either that we leave some space for, um, contemplation ourselves individually as individuals and as members of a society in a culture, um, and just to allow for coming to some kind of wisdom about all the things you're talking about, and I do feel as we're moving heavily into the future here, that these kind of conversations are important. I personally think that that's why I'm interrupting the creative, you know that do this do that howto get better with this and get better at that, I think it's very brave for creative live to be putting something about how, um, to work with the more contemplative dimension of life as an important element and a balancing energy in terms of all that activity. So I thinkit's not so much a question of somebody's going to say how it's going to go. I have my own personal takes on it, but I think all of us are going to shape the future of our our own individual lives and culture. Um, and the contribution of shambala is too lean one piece of it back towards basic goodness of human beings and the kind of more simple virtues you know, but not not by saying that we're going back to the stone age. We're never going back, folks. It's not gonna happen. So, um, I have a few more things can't wait. Are you good? Okay, just as I got to cover a few more things. So if you book market, we waited it hit that tomorrow. Um, I wanted to say I wanted to recommend a book for everybody at home, uh, that a friend of mine named michael carroll wrote called awake at work and this is actually a very seminal attempt to really talk about the workplace. Is a very specific environment to cultivate mindfulness and awareness. Um, and he's, very rough, straightforward, kind of guy who practice in my linens, but also, you know, has worked in the corporate sector very intensively as a human resources guy and worked with a lot of people in environments, you know, big corporate environments and how you could bring this kind of principles into the workplace. So it's called a wake at work by michael carroll. Really, really good trying to thought there. And, uh, one of the most feet fun people on the planet to go on an expedition with of any kind.

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.


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.