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Meditation for Everyday Life

Lesson 13 of 28

Digging Into the Practice

David Nichtern

Meditation for Everyday Life

David Nichtern

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Lesson Info

13. Digging Into the Practice

Lesson Info

Digging Into the Practice

So good morning everyone good morning online audience good to see you again so to speak um I'm goingto take the point of view that maybe some people are joining us for the first time today memory do you think that's the case it isthe yeah I'm seeing some new handles we have someone from bulgaria that just joined us so yeah so what we'll do is kind of catch everybody up if you're joining us for the first time that's going to be fine because we're going to kind of recap a little bit as we go forward um I thought that thea group here did a wonderful job of kind of uh recapping what we spoke about yesterday made me feel good was clear you all were paying attention you know s o uh the workshop that we're uh teaching this this particular serious here of these three days has a very simple kind of framework to it and the ground of the premise of it is what is meditation? Why might it be interesting for you even if you've been doing it for a long time, you still have to retain your interests an...

d understanding of what the what the point of it all is and um how did go about it? So this may seem like, you know, it's simple at a certain level but um more we would think of it as a foundational um program in terms of just getting your basics together about how to go about meditating and why it might be useful for you helpful to sew along those lines wait I'm just going to a brief review we did talk about starting where you are so it's interesting that's always couple with the notion of a fresh start like even though we were all here yesterday as as as julie said you know we have to begin again and we can always take a fresh kind of sense of being present and what we're uh how do we feel today this morning so uh we tend to you know, wake up in the morning with a sense of like some kind of mushy history to our lives like there's a vague sense of having been through you know and even in your sleep sometimes you feel like you've been through a marathon you know people have dreams about their whole life sometimes doesn't make a lot of sense what is coming into your mind but the idea of kind of really waking up when you wake up in the morning and actually coming into a sort of full sense of presence and wakefulness is a very powerful engine for moving forward in life uh yes it's sort of uh feeling clearing away debris uh and um awakening your senses on your mind uh and starting afresh day so this is a very powerful uh part of us is, of course we have history, and of course we're anticipating, uh, future events, you know, we spend a lot of time really reviewing our history and anticipating future events, so of course, to a certain extent that's a reasonable thing to do, but usually we do more than we need to sew. The meditation component is just allowing some time to tune into the present, you know, like, very simply stated that the art of being, uh, where you are at the very moment so in that in that sense, it's, kind of extraordinarily simple and direct and when when we have some experience with doing this kind of practice and then we bring it into a life, uh, the fruit of it is that there's an enjoyment in appreciation of what's happening in the present moment, and maybe we become less, uh, obsessed, you know, with our past storyline and kind of plans for the future. So I used to call this relaxing your agenda, you know, it's like, if if your agenda is a muscle, you know, and you're always planning and always sort of contemplating just to not not to get rid of that, but just relax it a little bit onda ventilated with a sort of feeling of being, uh uh, actively present and we have these kind of resources we sort of referred to a number of different ways that sort of more wakeful kind of state of mind and also that there's some fundamental goodness in us in that way that way certain kind of wisdom comes up and also compassion allison you mentioned that um the idea of um that as we are you know we're kind of ready for prime time that's the basic buddhist message is that we're ready we're all ready for prime time the prime time is the now and we're ready for it we have all the resources that we need so it's a it's a fundamentally extremely positive uh message about human beings and their nature and who we actually are and then maybe the second tier that we talked about it's like being willing to look more deeply into who we are and into ourselves and we've talked about that is making friends with ourselves and uh being kind to ourselves in the ground of the whole practice being gentle and kind to oneself to begin with of course then that as we talk more over the next two days we'll see that ripples out towards how we treat others um which is of course a n'importe part of this this whole this whole practice so when uh when we're creating a ground of meditation practice we talked about were actually becoming more familiar or more intimate with ourselves and that's uh rather than just trying to create you know, some ideal uh, state of mind some circumstance some peaceful uh you know, superficially peaceful state were more open to the hole the whole arrangement of who we are and in in our terms that's true peace you see you're not just making friends with a piece of yourself but the whole thing and then when there is that kind of openness and and, uh genuine spaciousness then there's a kind of peacefulness that we would describe this kind of indestructible it's not based on the cause in condition of like well, if if this goes smoothly or if I you know if I win the lottery kind of mind, you know goal oriented mind so um we're really touching in on the ground of our whole being so for those of you who are looking for uh uh you know, productive, active kind of, uh results uh I don't think there could be any better result than if you actually have genuine peace with yourself because that's gonna influence everything you do is what everybody here has a different livelihood different relationship drama is going on, but if there is some sense of acceptance and openness and creativity and fundamental resourcefulness uh, all that becomes workable at that point whatever situation you have, even if it's quite challenging so sometimes we find that meditation is very helpful for people who are having a lot of stress a lot of anxiety ah lot of pressure and in their lives and even illness on dh even very serious illness so what we're really looking at it it's our state of mind this kind of ultimate jule you know, uh of course we get things done during the day and you know evans the head of production here so he's got a lot of management issues, you know? Well, everybody has their own sort of arena off to do this, you know, getting getting it done but, um if we ourselves have some sense of harmony and ease about our situation then the to do list doesn't become, you know, and an s and m kind of thing I wanted to do this is cracking the whip and we're going up give me more give me more it's kind of a crazy way to live in a way so um we're looking at you know, at the end of the day we talked about how does this meditation seep out into our everyday existence which some of you also mentioned and that's really the, um the main point of the workshop is to not separate out this practice from all the actual lives that we have, so, um we talked about some ways to continue this feeling of cultivating mindfulness and awareness in everyday living um we talked about the gap a kind of one of you mentioned that uh today um excuse me acknowledging uh kind of pause or spaciousness in everyday life so that it doesn't become like um somebody mentioned a durable on the wheel another day we're human beings so we shouldn't be driven that way it's not necessary to even to accomplish great things even to run a country you know, there needs to be some space there needs to be some ability to hear to receive information, to pause to look, use your sense perception see where you are so we're kind of in a way this practice is an antidote to the what we call the monkey mind or the I could I like spaghetti mind you know, just this endless stream of thoughts that sort of us trying to chase our own tail in a sense and in a way part of the practice is to recognize the non thought or open space quality of the mind which has a lot of consciousness in it. Sometimes we think if you're not thinking, we're not aware but often the opposite is the case sometimes when we were thinking less there's, more awareness and the awareness is coming throughout sense perceptions right? You see you hear you smell you taste you touch were, um multi input io ports as human beings so thinking is only a very small piece actually of our consciousness on dh but since we're used to thinking sort of quite a lot, the early stages of meditation practice is intended to kind of work with those thoughts in the first place ah nde es create some kind of ventilation in that in that wall to wall carpeting of thoughts that we've considered you know, taking to be normal and also that we believe those thoughts to be really true andi have some look at the kind of quality of the thoughts that are coming up and see that there to some extent projection of our own mind on dh there's all kinds of, um clumping together uh based on habitual patterns that we do so it could be a simple is thinking people don't like you and maybe they do maybe they don't but you know, we could become obsessed that's someone that doesn't like me one of the places you could see that is when you you know, have a romantic uh, situation and you imagining so many things about this other person so many projections and then you go up to him and they didn't don't even know who you are oh yeah, you're the guy who works over in the marketing department over there nice to meet you and you've already been around the park and, you know, married and divorced six times so that kind of mind which I also called the james joyce mind yeah, james joyce might for those of you who know that famous writer, there was no punctuation, no paragraphs, no beginning so an existing stream of consciousness so when we first start to meditate it's almost shocking to a lot of people how how close to james joyce their mind is in terms of a kind of flood stream of consciousness and, uh, kind of almost random quality. So there's a great word in the tibetan tradition called con talk, which means random fixation and that's describing that everyday mind we just and it's sometimes it'd be like a frog and we're just jumping around from topic to topic um and obsessing on it then it's not even it's not even, uh, casual theirs. You could be like, thinking one minute oh, yeah, I wanna learn how to meditate and become a great enlightened person next minute you know, you having sexual fantasy the next minute you're hungry the next minute you're thinking about your job and you want to quit? Uh when you look at the mind on meditation would be almost funny to press to do a video under the hood of somebody meditating, you know, and I I've simulated it some, but the idea of that is your mind, you see we're not trying to throw that mind out that's a big big mistake that really is like throwing the baby out with the bathwater you know where we begin to make friends with that mind but also permeated with some kind of awareness and that in essence that's our our practice now for those of you out there who are wondering if this is practical or for you I just would suggest the thought that that's the mind thatyou're making every other plan with and every other project that you're doing this coming out of that mind so uh it would be like taking your car into the shop and I want to keep driving my car but we're driving our cars into the ground, you know? And we need a tune up every once in a while so I think it's a fair way to say that we the meditation banks is like taking your car into the shop opening the hood looking underneath and kind of making a few skillful adjustments changing the oil filters, the filters air all you know clubbed out and and in a way we're doing a tune up of our mind. So yesterday we talked about the idea of fun tuning up our physical body seems obvious to everybody that's not a hard sell maybe we don't have the discipline to do it, but I've never heard anybody say, well, I shouldn't be in shape you know, uh so but the mind is more powerful uh, you know, arguably I guess but when you think about, um uh how your life is being shaped, you know how your whole state of mind and how your world is being shaped, the mind is a hugely powerful component in that and we believe in the meditate attrition that you yourself have the wisdom to look into it yourself and we're only providing catalyst for the process, you know? So we're not trying to manage that process for anybody, you see? So the analogy I used yesterday was like training somebody in scuba uh, diving um and at first, then start is very hands on right and sort of giving you the method and making sure you don't drown because that would be a lawsuit right there. So not good karma either, you know, but a certain point you have the method, you have the gear, the gear in this case instead of a school mascot's, a cushion and a little space in your own home in a little time that's all the gear you need for this very simple practice and then you given time to do the practice, and I think probably by the end of these three days, I'm willing to say that many of you will have an experience of yourself that is illuminating in the sense that you recognize how to some extent how your mind is generating ah lot of what we consider to be our obstacles and obstructions are actually internal we project them out onto the world but a lot of it is something that we ourselves are generating of course, if we then clarified that remove those, um moving through the world this is a very elegant and kind of powerful because we're not just bumping into ourselves over and over again, you know, we actually can then meet others and constructs situations that are kind of clear and, uh understand dynamics and situations you know, beyond our own projections about them. So I think that's fair to say that we really learning a lot about our own mind in the meditation practice and bringing it out then into our world the activity that's the full that's the full ah arc you know what these teachings first we look tune up our own car, clean up our own room and then we can go out and it's in a different way sort of more in balance um moving moving out from there and then lastly we talked about how to remind ourselves in daily life uh that that we want to pay more attention to be more present um and that we suggested a if you don't have any kind of steady meditation practice going extremely difficult I'm not going to say impossible because there are meditation techniques that are very much organized to be in the field you know and how to be a kind of wakeful and click in in a way to a more present kind of state of mind while you actually doing your job and so forth there's a lot of techniques and we talked about some of that but we also suggested that if you wanted to participate um you could, uh just use this little technique with buying strip of golden dots yellow dots excuse me that our, uh symbolize a kind of a little moment of uh uh kind of you said an ah ha moment it's kind of cute because ah ha means like you're wide awake all of a sudden because something occurred to you in a way that sort of stimulated you into being, you know, present that's really? What an aha moment does and also giving shape and meaning teo teo to your life so the dot could be saying ah ha without any big storyline just ah ha! You know, here I am and the dot is saying to you, where is your mind right now and just enjoy this very moment for a moment right now so um could be like smelling your food before you start to scarf it you know it could be looking at somebody to see what they're wearing before you start talking to them uh it could be, um becoming suddenly aware of one's own kind of intensity and, um anxiety on the spot you know, there's a moment of kind of ah pure awareness that it just comes like a little daughter little golden dot golden sun so I noticed creative lives the people here are I don't know what expression uses beyond on the ball they're like um what would be past being on the ball? They're actually working on a new ball ball s so as a result, when I came in this morning first all have beautiful breakfast for the staff and it feels like a very harmonious place, so ah lot of the principles that we're talking about we're going to be talking about, um are quite natural teo human beings when we're not stressed out and pressurized so even in the workplace sometimes there's too much pressure and stress on people so they can't actually be creative and they can't really be live either. So it's deadening it's uncreative and it's dead in me you know so but it came in this morning and there was little golden dots on the refrigerator and in the cafeteria there's one on jae ko sum computer and uh uh tashi has one on his shirt there and, uh, you know, this is not a gimmick france this is kind of like a little moment of delight and wakefulness that we can actually tap into um then you could go back to worrying you see you know being stressed out anxious but at least we've punctured permeated slightly you know? And we all know that if if we're too overwhelmed and this is going to be something we're going to talk about a lot today if we have too much stress and anxiety it's quite dead knee and actually are alive this is really threatened by this kind of thing and too much pressure so we're kind of the antidote brigade you know we're trying at least if we can't dispel the whole thing puncture it with a little moment of um you know, kind of present awareness and so from that point of view in our tradition you know the sense perceptions are are considered to be extremely sacred in the shambala buddhist tradition and so for you artists out there but I know there's a lot of photographers involved with creative live or any kind of creative work you do or any kind of work you do and you do it artfully there's a notion ofthe taking too light in a in a single simple moment of experience and if we pumped you are reality with that it begins to kind of really you could say undo uh this kind of wall of stress and anxiety and depression and you might know if you have somebody a friend who is very, very depressed you know it's hard it's hard to show them the golden dot because they go like a like probably said this is just stupid you know what called in that you know, and maybe you could put it on there far ahead when they're asleep and they wake up in the morning they look in the mirror and they would see it I don't do that but it's the element of surprise you know, humor comes from this space right people love I've been fascinating lately by how much people love if somebody could be really funny I have some friends who are really, really hard core black belt funny, you know, and actually could get paid a lot of money for being that but there's a sense of, like, something coming out of left field just kind of a little you know, that wasn't I wasn't expecting that and then we laugh, you know? And that, uh I think it's one of the few things that's an involuntary response maybe the scientists out there you can tell me but laughing is, uh just you can't make yourself laugh it's not funny, you can fake it, but you so it's actually the element of surprise and kind of waking up on the spot to some quirky thing wakes us up so in our world, the sense perceptions are kind of like that they're always inviting us to be awake and to be present and that's why artists so wonderful? You know, we talked about the the flower arrangement it's just basically so much of an invitation to actually show up and be alive and, you know, great beauty has that that's why we love music and heart things like that, but in the shambala culture, we say that should permeate everyday living, so we like to create an artful environment, you know, in terms of, um, working with the sense of style, sense of decor, all that is considered part of kind of wakeful way of living as opposed to something that draws us away from it so that's quite a subtle difference there we're not afraid of the sense perceptions we're not afraid of everyday life. Um, we're looking at is a kind of opportunity to really express the best part of who we are as human beings and so to do that and connect with that properly were saying there's a certain amount of cultivation of ourselves individually, somehow we can't get past that point and people want to jump into the theory and start projecting it out, but we have to train, so I think for those of us who know about training from other things that we've done, this is no different that's another thing that we talked about yesterday there's no difference uh so you know maybe it's not that comfortable to sit this way or even sit still a lot of people go I can't sit still for even one second I say that's worth looking into why is that what he really saying there that you are not comfortable with yourself just to be quiet for a minute? What what what is the rub where's the rub so we also talked about developing some curiosity about who we are and if we have stress and anxiety and if we have a powerful kind of negative current running through our existence um maybe negative self image or those kind of things we trump all that by becoming curious about it january inquisitive is the most powerful engine that we have is really uh becoming curious about who we are, what circumstance we find ourselves in and uh so in this kind of training that can be a major engine for discovery and we're talking about a process of discovery here that is ground level will influence everything you do from there so um and it's kind of a through line you know, of course we have project after project after project but we're looking at the projector not the project in this workshop so it should integrate well with the other project oriented workshops that we have here because we're looking at who is doing the project and uh that could be very helpful you know and that process of discovery I think is being brought into a lot of business environments these days so that if it's not just a mad helped her skelter towards whatever you know on dh nobody's remembering what the why anymore it's just get it done you know? So ah lot of things got lost along the way of getting things done and we forgot why we're doing it you know? So the meditation is ike I think of it as a very practical um um component of life and I don't think it's the whole answer and it's a piece of a larger puzzle about howto live all together you know so um but for a very speedy you know, intense kind of culture that we live in it's um very antidote and I think once people get that idea it becomes totally not esoteric not strange not a weird thing to do but you just you know, consider and kind of uh settle down for a minute I think that's the most important thing is the settling down and then there's a very creative way to work with your mind as you're doing that so that's uh what we would then went on to discuss is the meditation practice itself so and we're going to pick up from there today so that's a little bit of a summary uh uh kind of where how we got to today we're one day later and hopefully for people who are just joining us, it's kind of catches you up into and we can go forward from there. So maybe if we pause there for a moment and just if you have any questions or comments so far and then I'm going to kind of cruise ahead with our with our workshop, we're happy to hear from anyone in the audience has any thoughts they'd like to share this point of the morning. We do have us a summary was saying earlier truly global audience again joining us from all over the world thank you for being with us today, and we'd love to share your comments as we go through and of course, post your questions for david as we go through today and of course, tomorrow, but if we don't have any questions right now, I think we'll move forward. Is anybody online? Well, they're they're they're perking up there, actually helping one another and and expanding upon what you're talking about in the recap, so yeah, they're like, yeah, I thought I'd also just offer first off I got this little read off the tee uh, that I put took today and it says oneness is achieved by recognizing yourself and then I thought I'd connect yesterday with today um, with julie's uh, closing remark about uh the iphone and when to pick that up and how much it's uh interfering are coming up into her life is also a flashback on boredom and how we dissected it into something that's uh frustrating are annoying they experienced some people have versus contentment and reflecting on how all these devices and the chaos that I don't call it chaos but dizziness of today's life and the discernment that I've been applying is anxiety versus excitement and if I go to pick up my phone because I'm anxious about the information I might be missing or the next thing that's up or what I forgot to do then I kind of like put it off and I let it be if I'm excited about it and that becomes also like a discernment like boredom um then I pick it up and I check it out yeah, these are all issues that were all wrestling with and I think I mentioned this yesterday but my teacher was, uh tibetan master named william trunk room but a very seminal force and bringing put us into the west founded in a ropey university in in boulder um lots of shambala centers all over the world lots of books from all the sacred path of the warrior cutting through spirit to materialism trained some of the most seminal teachers around pama children was a student of his for those of you who know her work one of things he would say um quite frequently there's a number of like frequent flyer comments you know and one was your guess is as good as mine so that's interesting thing that's really what the buddha said at the end was as he was dying he said kind of uh you need to work on this and figure it out for yourself and that's why our tradition is sort of said to be not really an answer tradition the sense of like uh somebody's going toe if you just believe in them they'll take you there it's not it's not umm it's more recognizing the intelligence that people have and sparking it you know, sharpening that blade so um we welcome all of your comments were really exploring this together um uh but there is a tradition of people have a lot of experience with these practices and sort of putting them forward so there's a lot of the same time there's a huge amount of respect for that that's really the kind of double double take on that um you know, I think I would like to next just review very quickly and lead us through the meditation practice that mindfulness meditation practice which is only the first but the most basic and most important thing that we're going to learn this this workshop if you don't take anything else away but you learn how to just do this basic sitting practice that I would consider it like a good good outcome and, um even if you got curious about it, I'd consider that a good outcome so I'm going to review that you you khun, get to downloads one of which is two page summary of this particular, uh practice so it's called taking your seat simple meditation instructions for ordinary people uh, no insult intended uh, more the other way around it gloriously ordinary people um meaning that there's nothing special precious about it. And that summary is something that you can download if you enroll in program, but we're gonna walk through that again today. And then what I'm hoping is in a certain point we can just kind of ring the bell and say we're going to sit for five or ten minutes that would be the normal course of events and then everybody all of a sudden has its got a much clearer idea of what they're doing and, uh and just kind of drop into, uh, meditation practice, so to review that all kind of guide us into it, if you could a cz the class was sort of very clearly recalling the first step is three years, three steps the first step is taking your seat so review that a little bit today, which is the seat can either be a cross legged uh posture on a cushion um for most of us it's going to be desirable to have a cushion and under cushion so whatever you can approximate that with now at home uh and you could use a blanket and fold it up or use two blankets and cold the other one up smaller, whatever you have or a pillow. Uh, if you want to do a lot of meditation, it might be good to, you know, order some cushions, but it's not necessary. And then in that position, you want to make sure that your needs are lower than your hit points because otherwise you're going to strain your back so if you need more cushions, you can put yourself up higher and then you can just drop your hands onto knees thighs if you prefer. If you're uncomfortable sitting on a cushion you khun uh sit on a chair, a some of our in house uh, students are doing, and if you're doing that, your feet are flat on the floor in front of you. Um the way julie's doing two shows a cushion underneath her feet to make the right proportion of body to tear. You know, uh and then, uh again rest your hands and knees and the third option is, uh you can kneel, um um and either use the cushion is a supporter of benches of support. So sahar is sitting that way, just sort of in a kneeling posture with a cushion underneath and supporting so any of these postures is fine, you know there's no, uh it's a kind of economic posture uh, and it's intended to create a kind of stable upright, uh, situation, uh, for you to do your practice and then torso, you want to extend your spine so that you have a long spine, say, and also that eliminates a lot of congestion in the organs and muscular tension khun khun dissolve into this kind of extended spine and so it's not a question of tense or operating to title way throughout, we say not too tight, not too loose that's kind of a general guideline and then talking the chinen slightly the mouth is relaxed either lightly, closer, slightly open as if you were saying the word are you khun rest the tongue on the roof of the mouth palette. And as we mentioned yesterday, the sense perceptions in this practice senses the mindfulness and awareness practice, since perceptions are open so and soft. So if you can imagine just receiving sensory input but without seeking it out or in without commenting on it, so the eyes are open with a soft downward gaze, so that's it uh the first step taking your seat getting into a proper posture you might want to check your shoulders to see if there you can relax a little more if sometimes you pull them back a little bit then release we'll begin to really it's a very subtle posture begin to learn a lot about your body just by sitting like this where you're kind of blocking energy and where you could relax more and where he could extend more eso having taken you seat the second step is placement of attention or placing your awareness and attention on your breathing in this case the breath is just the object of awareness, so we're not trying to manipulate the breath or control the breath or in any way make this about breathing it's just that we're becoming aware of something we're developing what we called one pointed nous yesterday a sort of a focused awareness which is called mindfulness where the mind focuses on one object to coming gather and collect itself that object is most commonly the breath awareness of the feeling of the breath so there's no need to get analytical about it but you're breathing. You're being you're feeling the breath going in and out either at the tip of the nose or with the feeling of the stomach a rising and falling you can place your awareness there or you can follow the full cycle of breath throughout the body in breath and al breath with a light touch of awareness so this is an important point that we're going to talk about in a minute this is, um not hyper mindfulness but just light threat of mindfulness like you know how a mother watches a child playing in the playground uh you know, there was a sense of being aware of the whole situation but you never mind is never that far from the child uh, experience so you're touching in on it which is quite different than running over and tryingto climb the jungle bar with them that's too tight and your kid's gonna get messed up if you do that but your kids also gonna get messed up if you don't pay attention so it's that kind of nice balance there uh we sometimes say twenty five percent effort it's enough and then with the rest of your awareness it's okay to kind of just be present with the sensations the atmosphere of the room sound and the kaiser's about four to six feet on the floor inform you there just resting in a soft focus. We're not used to this. So this may take a little bit of getting used to we use either bugging out with their eyes and kind of gathering a lot of information or closing them and kind of chilling out somehow we're going to discover a middle way with this practice was soft focus but very wakeful uh but not active so sometimes we call it seeing without looking there's looking part is this dialed way way down and if you like you can choose the spot but just rest your gaze I'm poor too say feet on the floor in front of you and then again being mindful of the breath coming on out now as we move into that kind of simple awareness you might experience a lot of relief in a way there is no stress or anxiety at that moment it literally is gone but because it's a habit of the mind we're going to start recreating thoughts about the past and the future that's the habit of the mind that's our response to space let's create something let's create a drama let's make a soap opera so our minds a lot like a soap opera actually since I scored a couple of them for twenty years I thought this is the closest thing to meditation there is on television that's his daily life people going through their little dramas and this one likes that one and I don't like this I wish I was over here and I'm scared of this and uh you know whatever you have down to the smallest details of like what's for lunch up to the biggest dramas of like I hate my job my parents screwed me up whatever storyline is running when you notice that that's where your attention is, we just simply kind of wake up from that particular daydream on the spot there. And when you notice that you just label it thinking it's not meant to repress the thoughts it's not meant to suppress the thoughts, but simply recognize them for what they are thinking, and then with that you bring your energy back, bring your awareness back to the breath. So it's a process of this is a very, very important point for you out there. It's not a process of eliminating thoughts or squelching thoughts. That's what a lot of people think meditation is, and then they're very, very frustrated that they can't do it. That happens so so much, you know. So this is a process of kind of recognizing thoughts as such and also being very friendly and na jin non judgmental towards them, but just seeing them as they are labeled thinking and then coming back to them attention to the breathing. So step one, take your seed step to bring your awareness to your breathing. Place your attention on the breath. Step three when you notice you're gone without judgment or any kind of further manipulation, just label thinking and come back to the breathing.

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.