Skip to main content

money & life

Meditation for Everyday Life

Lesson 23 of 28

Compassion and Mindfulness

David Nichtern

Meditation for Everyday Life

David Nichtern

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

23. Compassion and Mindfulness

Lesson Info

Compassion and Mindfulness

So the second session of our third day here is some really continuation off the first one because we've essentially being given to very powerful traditional practices which is thie mindfulness practice and awareness practice and the loving kindness of practice so I would say going forward and even answering in part one of the questions if you khun in the course of your weak do these two practices that b a very positive outcome from having taken this seminar just going forward that you get familiar with include in your daily life thes two practices in some way I like to think over a course of a week that you could do one or the other practice four or five times a week is a really great beginning point and that it's really part of your life it's not just something otherwise it will just be like yeah uh you know it's like they kind of uh you know how you see somebody on the street and it makes a strong impression than if they're gone you don't think about them again so it's by regular pra...

ctice and kind of really immersing ourselves that we can kind of get familiar with these with these practices um but just since we spent quite a bit of time on the mindfulness practice already wanted to spend a little more time with the loving kindness practice and maybe uh start in reverse with a little contemplation a little side contemplation little sidecar um I thought I'm going to ask you a kind of tricky question uh out there you two what annoys you most about yourself and to really think about that not come up with just a short answer but we're going to sort of spend a minute and think about ourselves not as the person was receiving the wrongdoing which is easily what we dwell on the most how were the victim of everybody else's, harshness and so forth but looking from the other people's point of view switch your perspective to the other people in the room, the other people in your life and also from your own point of view what annoys you most about yourself and what would you most like to change about yourself? And I just thought we go right at that as a sort of ground for going and then we'll go back into the country practicing more death. So maybe you could just, uh to on that for a minute and we could just to whatever extent people are willing to kind of come forth with it and well, we're all friends here and in the atmosphere acceptance and loving kindness you know, uh this is a really powerful contemplation to put the shoe on the other foot, so to speak without any kind of blaming or harshness that we're not looking for ah way of being negative about yourself but if there was something you could change and you see is something that might be an obstacle for other people too extend you loving kindness what would that be? So I'm just going to give us a minute here and you can you know sit up as you as you like and just contemplate let your mind run through that topic for a minute uh what annoys you most about yourself and what would you most like to change about yourself if you could so again this is a contemplative practice sister allow your mind to sort of dwell on that topic for a minute. Wait so while the folks in cyberspace are gathering their thoughts on this matter very simple kind of approach um what annoys you most about yourself what would you most like to change um if you could so let's start with live embodied folks here then we'll go to the online community anybody want to take a shot? Ah okay. So are you ready? Yeah. Um I feel like maybe it's the lack of patience and I think it also comes from me not knowing how to communicate things uh the right way english is my second language so just very hard for me tio keep going yeah. Why don't you say it in arabic? We have an international community know the idea is that in in arabic what I mean is when I tried to have a conversation with someone uh the vote the my conversation skills is more in english and then my vocabulary is is in arabic so just comes in like but so lack of patients yeah, so I feel like when I talk about things uh but I just I'm always struggling with trying to get the right word and then and then um I think it's me being patient with myself and then I and then I get annoyed by myself and then I assume that the person is losing interest and then I get more aggressive and I get louder and I talk faster and that that is the the thing that annoys me because I get louder and and then people just can't hear me anymore because yeah, my phone too loud very clear and I guess that's what I want to work on uh I mean, I've been trying to work on it as well because that's why I do art is just too better um or further uh communicate with people and other things than then language thank you. Thank you. Anybody else in the live gang? Yeah. David him heard from you so much today. Um uh I feel like I'm too aggressive with people that I really care about the most and I think that it has something to do with the stress and tension that I experienced during the day internalizing it because I don't want to let it out around people that I'm not comfortable around and then almost just waiting around for the moment tow happen with someone I care about that I feel safe with and even if it's not a big deal not like not like so hard raising the level of volume of intensity in overreacting to something that didn't require that level of aggression thank you. Um I think I mentioned that on the first day but compartmentalizing um uh as a way to manage stress and that's something that I find annoying by myself the company make compartmentalizing compartmentalizing holly manage my stress today okay, so I think it's similar to what david's saying um no not bring it all with me not being able to communicate it the right way. Okay, cue allison you had your hand up? Yeah, I don't recognize others contributions in a home situation for example, I will think that I am contributing more than other people because I'm not able to recognise when others are contributing around the house that's a very tangible example and then I become passive aggressive. Okay, thank you. Um I experienced inertia uh and I think it's when I am feeling stressed and anxious it's hard for me to start something and then it's once I do it's hard for me to end something so that affects my life and it also affects my partner's life and um you know, so sometimes that means saying yes to two anythings and then having that inertia and um so that annoys me about myself and I think it really it is well I was trying to look through the lens of other people too in it I think it's something that affects other people and I would love to change that about myself and I work on that a lot okay, should we go to the online we can't we got some very quick answers are so thank you for sharing I'll just go some brief ons and jamboree has two more in depth for becker said self doubt and then lorraine and cattle swampers both said dito it's the same for them says our who's with us in mexico said being impatient d c t says d c t design said my stubbornness, laziness and chin hair and leslie said I'm not persistent to focus on goals I tend to lack clear direction and cattle swampers sense that I'd like to be taller too, which lorraine said so would I so would I actually I'd like to be shorter let me share some more in depth ones with you uh lori says I'm annoyed by my morning depression and I interrupt too much when others were talking I want to be a better listener uh there's another person cesky being stubbornly argumentative over points of principal also being self critical and compounding that by having a sense of being doomed not to be able to change that or how I feel about it and then seth cesky also says laziness and procrastination as well and we got lori don't take me for glory before so welcome I'm annoyed by my morning depression I interrupt too much when others are talking and I want to be a better listener think that's something I definitely could could practice wonderful cute little exercise teo look at ourselves that way without, um the usual harshness of judgement and heavy handed quality just taking a light touch um uh look at ourselves and understanding that all these things are pretty workable oh, and when you hear other people's you over, that doesn't sound that unfamiliar to me, you know? So, um the important point is as we emphasizing the beating and all this is in the context of a kind of general atmosphere, gentleness and simple sympathy rather than a kind of harsh, pushy critical attitude and that is my treat by the way, when you do practice the loving kindness meditation, that atmosphere can move into this kind of sympathetic feeling where conflicts could be worked out a different way and without without so much a question, so I'd like to direct this again towards the loving kindness practice um and maybe take um another guided meditation with that just so that by the end of this then everybody really has the feeling for it and then on your own after we conclude the workshop you khun take this practice home with you and do it at home so sometimes they say don't try this at home you know? But we're saying yeah do try this at home that's uh that's the general drift of how we're learning here so again I'm just going to do the guided loving kindness meditation if you if you joined us in the last segment, you'll be somewhat familiar with it otherwise some you if you do own these tapes you could just run this and do it with us but otherwise and even in that case you khun just run the practice yourself and just take the amount of time you have you could do the whole thing in five minutes or six minutes or seven minutes um so it's not really time consuming practice or you can if you have more time you can stretch out and spend more time with it. Um a cz you see fit, eh? So we start with taking good meditation seat everybody could take their seats and again just take a few mindful breaths just to kind of settle yourself in and then with the sound of the bell just remember that uh, quality of just being present in a wake so you just listen to the bell that's how we actually be presidents we just hear or see what's right in front of us now bring to mind somebody that you love or a mentor somebody for whom the heart naturally opens allowing some spontaneity to happen is good here so you might find that just somebody popped into my mind a musician that I work with who's no longer with us this came into my mind like that very powerful loving feeling of appreciation of that person, their energy, their contribution to your life you can close your eyes for this practice because it's more of an internal practice we're working more with our thoughts and imagination and with that person very present right from your heart center you just send out the first of the wishes may you be safe again. Let the feeling come maurine the emotional area rather than conceptual area just let yourself feel your way into this. This is somebody you love and care about and you're wishing for them to be safe free from danger and you can either repeat the slogan over again maybe save me save me or ah you can contemplate or think about that in relation to that person what does it really mean? What is it even what contribution you could make some way for you to interact with that just at least sending them the wish for their safety but maybe maybe you can participate in that and again it doesn't have to be big fancy thing that could be very simple little details of life may be safe maybe save the second one second wish may you be happy I'm sorry may you be healthy and this is the body level physical health and wellbeing maybe this smoke maybe they shouldn't maybe they need more exercise better rest next one may you be happy thought this would be holding them in your mind thinking about what would make them happy like my mother used to love it when I brought my son to visit had made her really happy and she would have like seven or eight flavors of ice cream in the freezer that kind of happiness maybe a tease again you're bringing your mind back to this exercise that's where the practice element is and seeing what arises for you and being very open to what comes up you don't have to add it our sensor it just included you might have it inside about some dimension of this just let it come up well, you might just feel sort of more tender and more open or you might feel cranky you're practicing loving kindness and you feeling cranky isn't that cute cute you're a sweet little cranky person practicing blowing kindness maybe at ease can we're thinking of the loved one may be at ease sending that wish out either repeating it are actually thinking it through and then just let that present dissolve into open space it's kind of like in that screen in your mind it just dissolves you khun dissolve and then just come back to a you were being present you have being here in your being very present I can feel a few breaths I mean going and now the second category a person we bring in is ourselves in this case get a vivid sense of yourself the same person who was trying to figure out what's annoying about you also what's great about you what do you look like? You know how old are you? What is your body feel like today? Just really opening up to a feeling of being individual person you're unique opening your heart to that person pretend you're your own mother and you're looking at yourself through your mother's eyes may I be safe strong wish for your own safety free from dangerous circumstances threatening circumstances safe and secure comfortable may be healthy yeah on your way to your physical space there's ago wellbeing feel your body how does your body feel sending out a kind of a radiant healing energy throughout your whole body be healthy may I be happy? So in this case happiness is really being able to experience joy kind of celebrating your own existence, wishing that for yourself either repeating the phrase or contemplating what you need to be happy, what would make you happier, what's wrong with being happy? Who said you can't be happy and finally may I be at ease is maybe just release your breath lacks the whole body and the tension you're experiencing just let it go and now just these off, let your concentration on yourself go release it and took an open space take a couple of rounds, relax for a minute now bring to mind the neutral person. So this is somebody you don't know that well, and, uh, maybe somebody at work or at the gym are, uh, market school wherever, somehow you can call them to mind, but it's, you know, you don't have a lot of details and you're not sure if you like them or you don't like them or anything, any of that I don't have a lot of information, but somehow there's that being right there, it could be, um, a squirrel on your property, it could be a deer, it doesn't have to be human being it could be a relative you have been seen for a long time, so just again, let some spontaneity happen and let somebody come into your mind it's a playful kind of thing it's a creative type of exercise you don't have to worry about doing it right or not but pick somebody neutral person and with that person in mind may be safe either repeating the phrase or contemplating may be healthy healthy so whatever comes up just include that in the practice just take note of it but make a definite effort to bring your mind back exactly to what we're doing and focus on it with your whole your whole heart may you be happy hey maybe elise e so again you might want to put your hand on your heart for a minute I just feel what's it like to come from there what's the experience like there now with that soft and tender heart we bring to mind the difficult person sometimes called the enemy somebody who's challenging you right now it makes it hard for you to be feel compassionate and kind of hope and maybe they really give you a very difficult time right now good to choose somebody from your life and recognize that this is kind of something's happening now doesn't have to be somebody who's permanently in the penalty box but right now they are one day the president could be the loving person next day they can be the enemy that's how emotions run but choosing somebody right now who comes to mind again being creative about it come up and they're sort of keeping you a big pain in the butt uh or worse make your life really difficult and feeling that person in your heart may you be safe e may be healthy e may be happy e maybe a lease e is then released that person come go can is this feeling so being present without any particular thoughts in your mind open you can feel the outline of your breathing it's your moment and now coming back to the heart center kind of if you need to re trigger that feeling of openness and uh softness and loving kindness think about the person you thought of first loving a loved one and let that feeling kind of fill you up just, um bathe in it for a minute and then it begins to radiate out from you and touches people around you and then it begins to radio made it out further and reaches out into the whole space around you whatever neighborhood you in our community. So wherever you are hear we're in san francisco you start to feel all the people in the walking through the streets out here and moving outward from here. So wherever you are just make yourself the sort of center of that radiation radiates out all the way out to the sort of edges of your country that you're living in including all the beings that are living there all the human beings and the animals all the different kinds of beings. You sending them the loving kindness, and then just go as far out as you can go to the all the beings and people and beings of the whole earth, countless beings in there all going about their business right now, doing their things. And you're saying, maybe safe. May you be happy. May you be healthy. Maybe annie's may be safe, maybe healthy, maybe happy, maybe a tease. And then just gradually, um, let that visualization go dissolve into open space, but keep the feeling that's been generated. There's a sort of general atmosphere. Open your eyes and come back into your seat. Present situation. E so, yeah, take a stretch, everybody here at home or drink of water, if you like.

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.