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Meditation for Everyday Life

Lesson 25 of 28

Happiness and Joy

David Nichtern

Meditation for Everyday Life

David Nichtern

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Lesson Info

25. Happiness and Joy

Lesson Info

Happiness and Joy

I want to just continue on with with this uh third segment today which is um entitled happiness and joy now some of you may be thinking well this is a real downer why did you bring that up? Some people really don't want to talk about happiness enjoy and um I think it's unrealistic to do so you know I know people like that they say okay this is where I get off the programme and some people are very attached to talking about things that kind of a billion way but I think what we want to do is take a grounded look at our own sense of happiness and joy because whether we're aware of it or not that's what we're going to try to steer towards um you know, one of things that darla la missus is that everybody and all the buddhist teachers everybody wants happiness um and nobody actually wants to suffer and that's it it's only a profound you you would um you would look at it and say well um you would never know that toe look at how sometimes how you were behaving you know that that's what we want...

but all beings even even if you look at this coral who was borrowing its way into my house which is now creating some mild suffering for me the squirrel is only trying to create happiness and well being for itself so when you see things that way even bad behavior is sometimes we say, it's, my friend krishna does he says, you know, everybody wants to have anybody happy, but maybe some of us have bad aim, you know? So if you see that people are sort of steering towards that kind of, um, happiness in their own terms, uh, it can it can make you feel more sympathetic towards, um, and I have a deeper understanding. Um then we also say that, you know, we can become confused about how to achieve that and also had have clarity about what we even what would even give us real happiness, and sometimes people have goals and aspirations and things that they think are going to make them happy that actually create further suffering. So, for example, if you asked a junkie what's going to make them happy, they want their next fix and that in their mind at that time is that will make me happy. But we're looking for a kind of happiness that maybe is not based so much on miss apprehending the reality that you're in and understanding the consequences of particular thing. So that's a truer kind of happiness where it's not it was actually in sync with things so it's interesting to look at our own. Like if even if you were talking to somebody who was a gn addict and said do you actually think that will bring you true lasting happiness and even they might have the insight no I'm suffering terribly here and this is the only way I know how to go about it so we all have our own version of that kind of missing missing uh our aim being not so great but looking at it um I think afternoon and the program in general were advocating idea off pulling back a little bit sometimes from being highly engaged with life and developing a contemplative frontier for ourselves where we can look it are take a medal look and overall look at our our lives our goals are aspirations obstacles et cetera and not to dwell therein a kind of contemplative space because you can overcook there you know but the idea of pulling back and having a retreat like we've had for the last three days and then re engaging it re entering and um in the buddhist training there's always the idea of re re engaging humans people do very long retreats you know one of my teachers teachers was in a cave in tibet for fifteen years um that's recent history that's not like the old days of something like this can say so but then he came to bhutan and he was just so available for so many people had so much to offer for, um truly magnificent example of human being. So even if we do deep personal work and development, we always know that we're going to come back out and sort of offer the fruit of that and re engage our lives in the world. So if we take a pause, we have that in mind. Um, so I think if we all look and I really want to get into this is an active process for us, how do we organize ourselves for happiness? Like, if you really look at your lives and say, you know, this would make me happy, that would make me happy. Um, and I think we might find that it's a little bit project oriented, a supposed to just kind of allowing spontaneity and sort of energy of the moment to give us that kind of contentment and feeling, so I thought I'd take the example of a vacation, you know, people people go on vacation to be happy, don't we take a vacation? Because we think we'll be happier there, you know, and, uh, there's such a concerted effort on a vacation to be happy and we planned so hard, and we think, you know, we'll go to this hotel of that hotel or, you know, this island you can see people I used to teach a workshop in maho bay in the virgin islands, which is paradise as faras human that earth is concerned if you've never been there it's on st john in the virgin islands and you could see the people coming from their urban existences, you know, and they'd be on the boat from, you know, there's, only a ferry goes to saint john, you can't fly there and so they would all have flown in they have all their gear, their well organized going to a retreat, but kind of like vacation, spiritually retreat and the boat you see them are we there yet you know you out in the middle of the water going towards this beautiful in this beautiful tropical environment and you can't turn it off. So even the vacation time that we take, I can tell you for sure from personal experience do an hour of sitting practice, better vacation than a week in the virgin islands because really, if we can't change our mind internally, no matter what we do to the external environment, it's only going to be a temporary relief at best and maybe even torment us further, you know, now we get there and we had it all planned out, we're going to go to the beach and scuba diving and so forth, and then we get down there and this clouds across it starts to rain you see people on this's one out of four days I have here this is my vacation is being ruined so you know um this idea of working with our internal environment towards happiness and not focusing on lee on the manipulating the external environment is a very important thing that we're going to look at even our spiritual practice khun take on this flavor of the project mentality I've seen this over and over again you know, people are doing practice where you have to count, you know, do a certain amount of ours a certain amount of days and it's like becomes just like another project and there's no real sense of a penetrating into that kind of hard in essence of what we're trying to do which is why I hate to say it but fundamentally the most deep instruction you can give somebody in spirit training is to relax and if I just told you let's just relax he went around this building and just said everybody relax just keep doing what you're doing uh you know it's not so easy for us they go okay? You know, so eventually we put you through the wringer in the spiritual training in the buddhist training because that's the only way anybody that we're going to really be able to relax you have to beat them up first there's a lot of great stories are very tenacious practitioners you know they're so training so hard at the end of the day they finally just sort of let it go andi um they begin you can't let it go properly you say relaxed him somebody who's very tense they can't really do it kenny you have to kind of wind them up a little bit more first so giving it back to you what makes you happy that's what I'm asking I'm asking our friends out in the online world truly let's take a chance here what actually makes you happy and what is your notion of happiness? Umm you know, in bhutan I don't know if you know that country but it's a small country north of india that somehow it's escaped uh sort of crush of entering the modern world uh and it's a buddhist a little tiny little buddhist kingdom it's kind of very sweet place and they actually have something there that has been written about called the um uh the gross national happiness index g n h you know how we have the gnp here gross national product and that's how we're measuring, how are we doing? You know they actually are using a different measurement, but how the rulers of that country are are trying to figure out if the people are happy enough there and how to make them happier um I mean I'm not saying it's a perfect place it's on this earth they have their own problems of course uh but just this orientation towards thinking about the well being you know off of our lives here and not just a mad crush towards some kind of project success you know, I think this is an idea that's happening all over the place and we're just going to look at it together here today so what I want to ask is what's your ph I today you see what that would be and how do you measure it? Um and I want to lead us through a series of contemplations at least just even think about the possibility that you relate to this idea you can define that happiness anyway you like that's the first rule we're getting off that spiritually judgmental kind of like uh you know my ideas or the highway however you wanted to find happiness in this case um is up to you and I want to ask you a serious of question's that well married it on together uh and maybe we can do this is a contemplative practice and then have a good ripping good conversation with both are a live audience are online people so if you will just indulgent is go on this ride with us for a little bit if you can take your meditation seat this is sort of a contemplative kind of practice and I want to um ask a series of questions you don't have to write these down but just sort of process them through your mind as we're talking about them how happy are you that's the first question really think about your own happiness and are you happy are you miserable are you sort of happy are extremely happy in general oh the general tone of your life sort of in this time of your life how would you define describe your happiness how do you like your job you work how much do you enjoy being at work are there obstacles there for your happiness are there things there that haram that you enjoy more than others what's the overall tone of your relationship with your job how happy are you with your family life you could include your extended family there you parents grand parents children cousins how happy are you with your spouse your partner in life your nearest and dearest if you don't have one you can think about that a little bit would you like to how do you visualize that how happy for you about your body do you like your body does your body give you joy to enjoy being in that body being with that body how about your personality how you express yourself in the world are you happy with your personality? Are you happy with the amount of money that you have your relationship to money in general the relationship, the livelihood career and any topics that kind of relate to any of those just sort of scan your life and sort of see which parts that are kind of lighting up as you know radiating a sense of health and wellbeing in which ones feel like a little bit troubling. So with that in mind what would you change if you could change it how would you like it to be different than it is? And if you can see those things that you would change to be happier what's stopping you from making those changes what's between you and actually just making those changes and the overall question what kind of activities could would you consider engaging in in order to help make that transformation? What really in your heart of hearts do you feel would be helpful to you would make a positive contribution to that to becoming more genuinely happy and more joyful and your life and try not to add an extra layer of evaluation we're just sort of innocently trying to take a look at our own existence here um this is just one sort of way of doing that so if you can avoid getting old tourney up and whether this is a good idea or not just go along with the exercise how happy are you with your job your family, your spouse, your body, your personality? What are the obstacles to your happiness and what would you change if you could and what's stopping you from making that change, you know, with no judgment, just sort of look at it and see what you can discover, so that was the chance to really just kind of scan didn't take very long, it's very honest, hopefully, interest, innocent exercise. I see your faces are all in different shapes of the moment kind of bewilderment, which is good. We should we should let ourselves get a little bewildered every once in a while. So, uh, let's, I really want to hear from our online audience when we can, but usually they take a minute to kind of rev it up, but we did have some reactions when you first pose the question, what actually makes you happy? What is your notion of happiness, etcetera? For some people came up with some very simplistic things, which are very charming, lorraine was saying, walking in the park on a sunny day for her, uh, jennifer h said, ease of being wherever I happened to be, we have a little song for you from becca. I don't know how the tune goes, but happiness is here and now I've dropped my worries, nothing to do nowhere to go I'm no longer in a hurry, the song sung by monks at I can't pronounce that that they attended which um always brings happiness when they sing it to themselves so that from the first little part was a tune maybe thelonious monk wrote the music not think not han thank you take not on is a very famous vietnamese buddhist teacher probably one of the most popular buddhist teachers in the world lots of great books out which are certainly recommended and their community is very much in the field he's the one I mentioned the other day who just in the middle of the workday well just you know somebody with a cell and everybody just takes a moment and just appreciates where they are then gets back to work so they have a lot of those kind of techniques in their community um so but how about here in this very room with these very people did anybody go through the process and come up with anything they could share willing to share? Ok willow you know uh along with happy for me is this feeling of gratitude and uh, grateful and happiness seemed uh you can't have really one without the other and I'm uh of course grateful for being here and with my brothers and sisters all around and in the easter uh I I'm grateful for having children who are out in the world bringing goodness to their life into others and um I'm grateful tohave songs along with me as I walk, so for those who don't know song is a a word that means community truly did you go through the steps here? I did yeah, and I noticed that a couple of your questions my mind wandered a little bit, which is interesting um I'm really happy with my uh in my home life and with my sweetheart and that's been a huge journey for me I was on the road for over twenty years and it was, um it was always a challenge for me to stay connected in relationship and um I'm not on the road anymore and I'm with a beautiful being who I love very much and I notice how uh having that foundation of love and home with sisi just uh gives me so much I'm not sure what the word is um it gives me so much juice and be out in the world with and so that's I'm very happy there and I am also happy with the work I'm doing there are things within it that I find challenging and sometimes I get, um overwhelmed with that's where some of my anxiety resides um that's where some, uh some of some of the stress that I've been talking about um and I just feel on the path with that so when it comes to what are the obstacles your happiness and what would you change if you could, um I don't wantto gonna waste time while I remember where my mind wandered and drawing back um I think some obstacles to my happiness or themes that I've been touching on the last couple of days where I am go into anxiety or stress or taking things personally you know or even depression where like I said yesterday my imagination goes just leaves me and I forget that this is a moment in moments pass um and and the cool thing is that I'm remembering that more and more which that this is a moment and mom task kind of like you label thinking sometimes if I if I find myself in an anxiety I will remember and say this is anxiety or this is a moment and it's going to pass and it's going to be in a different place then so what would you change if you could change I think I would be able to do that more okay so you're on the right track and want a past but better batting average yeah I'd have a better batting average b you know further along in the practice and and I have to say I'm so much further along than I was even sure go tonto five years ago so things are good and I think one more obstacle that I want a name is sometimes I um I have I think cem reluctance to be my the fullest bloom of myself because I don't wantto I don't want to outshine my family or my twin sister or get as because what if I'm a cz bigas I khun b what's gonna happen to them and that's that's ah it sounds kind of irrational when I say it out loud but but it feels even in a very, very very quiet little room inside of me that fear resides thank you did you know that was true? Yes you've always known that I know I know I didn't always know that was true not in unnameable way I was uh I have a great psychic who I see once at least once a year on my birthday and uh and and I was trying to uh well this is that's a long story I'll just keep this really focused she said let me look at your family and I was being really quiet and I was it was actually seeing her this was years ago is trying to figure out my my fertility whether I was going to try to have a baby in my lifetime and when you're on the road all the time that's a hard thing to figure out so I wanted to be intentional about it and make a decision so I didn't wake up when I'm fifty five or fifty seven or or fifty and say oh, I forgot to choose and now I can't so we were just looking at me and my family and she went in and looked and she came out, and she said that I saw a very powerful picture ofyou swimming away from a burning boat and in the boat is your family and you don't you're confused about whether to swim back to the boat and help them get off of the boat or to swim back to the boat and get on the boat or to keep swimming, and and she said, you, you, you need to be on your own swim, you are swimming and and it's something I think about a lot, so it is something that I knew that's a very powerful image. Yeah, how much our happiness is maybe connected to others it's very food for thought provoking I'll just say one more thing, I have an identical twin, and so I'm very tune into other, especially my twin, but I think just having, you know, shared a womb and come up into life and through life with somebody, I I do feel attuned to others and sometimes that's been hard for me to know where I stopped and they begin, and I've done a lot of work trying to understand what my edges are on it, man it's a process and it's a path on them on it, and I can say today I am happier than I've ever been willow did you wanna I I just wanted to say the similar and how you feel with that julie at my entire life I don't have an identical twin or twin at all but I've felt like a filter for people around me uh or people that I meet I have always felt that way uh that their emotions that there it just goes right through me I really feel it strongly people's happiness peoples grief people's thoughts so this is a home powerful dimension here of like how our happiness is related to others you know how how do we frame our sense of happiness is our happiness because we can distinguish ourselves mothers because we feel connected to others it's very much a personal contemplation I wanted make sure we include our online community because this is a very personal kind of discussion but I want to invite them to join in if they feel like it. So do you have any buddy perking and we are getting some comments and it's very interesting they are echoing exactly what it's been said here about how almost you need permission to be happy sometimes chemical who is somebody that we know and love she seemed the chaplain to dan saying the last exercise also gave me much gratitude for how much I have grown over the years it also reminded me that I am the only one that can allow myself to be happy to me it's the secret itself care and then she goes on to say happiness is a choice I think that's very interesting and some other people also read it recognize that it's a choice and they're also just commenting on how emotional this course has been and that they love that there's a lot of stuff coming up and um and the realization obviously that we place an obstacle in front of our own path yes an obstacle to happiness is a lack of acceptance on not being willing to just be open towards whatever it is okay well for online audience please I'm inviting you to participate in this conversation any part of it that you want explore uh or express um one of the insane things is just allowing each one of us to frame are happy so we're not trying to say what it is and what it isn't you know any kind of way um which is sometimes you know, if you study buddhism to formally it becomes like well it's you just want to map your experience to the grid so eventually at some point obviously we have to make the whole thing very, very personal. There are certain universal principles that we can study but then it becomes extremely personal but that particularly think of what's between you if you are able to formulate a notion of expansion and happiness what's between you and that and what's the obstacle and in a way um what is holding you back you know and could you how would you go about changing that if you had that clarity let's say you didn't have that clarity it's another thing but now you have some clarity about the process by contemplating it now you feel like you're seeing something clearly what could you change I'll tell you honestly for a lot of people who are who undertake these practices they say I just need to deep in my practice this is very common in a certain point of people use the path of meditation is a way of developing a connection to these kind of issues and a deeper connection to themselves into their world the idea of deepening or extending once practice as one understands it is almost inevitable conclusion uh certainly conclusion I keep coming back to is just to go deeper with the path that I'm already on um so to find some way of working with your life situation energy and then go as deeply as you can into it but that's not a foregone conclusion uh I'm curious what if we focused on that piece for a moment and inviting the online audience also to look at this what would you change if you could and what's between you and making that change so we'll start here and then we'll go to the online folks while they're gathering their thoughts I am really bound by fear of other people's judgment, and I feel that if I could deep in my practice enough, I could be happy without butting up against anyone else, so maybe I don't have to change anything if I could just it's counterintuitive, because it almost feels like if I could be present not enough to realize that I need to change some thing with in this situation, that I don't have to affect anyone else's judgment of me or their happiness by changing a situation, I could just be happy within it. Okay, what if you took another approach, was maybe you need to disappoint some people to be happy, would you? How would you feel about that? Wouldn't it be so much more comfortable to figure out how to not disappoint other people? You know what, if that's the only way forward? Yeah, I mean, I think that is probably the case, but dealing with the feelings of discomfort that come along with that in the short term, probably are not going to make me happy in the short term. In the short term, I think this is a very interesting question to go forward with for all of us, how much are we looking to sustain our comfort zone, and how much are we really looking to grow and expand, and this is something for people who do this kind of practice as I've said so many times during the three days the comfort zone is considered uh you could say a danger zone normally that you know people look at this kind of pakistan will extend my comfort zone but we're actually looking at extending your clarity and awareness and compassion and sometimes that is a direct ah front affront to the comfort zone yeah you know what I'm saying okay one how much are you owning somebody else's disappointment how much are you making that your fault rather than allowing I mean that was my I had a similar happiness meditation in terms of um putting so much of my happiness which even was in my aspiration homework assignment putting so much of my happiness on other people being happy and other people being content a couple of times yeah weekend so and that's been like even my relationship with money has been sort of judgmental and like I'm not it was hard for me to think of things that I wanted cause somewhere in my life I hit a bump where I I told myself that was bad or greedy or um selfish you know and then made things and uh purchases or items you know it's hard for me to to develop my own desire for things things well I do think you're the most fashionable dude in the room thanks that borrowed a lot of these clothes from sahar really? Uh, ladies and gentlemen, you had creative lives way we're creative and we are live, so thanks for the laughter because it was going to come somewhere good. Thankyou. So maybe we can, uh sahar will come back to you in a minute because I think we gotta recover for a second on let's. See what's happening the online community for a minute. The online community are being very cheerful themselves, and I don't want to share this is this is I'm not false flattery of offering force factory here, but so many people said that what makes them happy is your laugh. David, somebody saying you sound like the damn alarm is something that is a very happy buddha laugh. That's been working well, but I wanted to read this one because we've got a little bit not necessarily heavy, but very deep into what has been making us happy but here's something that's very simple. This is artie fact who's, actually in copenhagen, he said denmark chocolate makes me happy. Chocolate, chocolate one of people. Exactly on also learning stuff being creative while eating chocolate now it's interesting he's gone further to say I live in denmark, which is almost as good as bhutan of course, scandinavia's bean much in the news this week because it has a ll these surveys that often come out sweden is apparently the greatest place on earth to grow old on denmark is one of the greatest countries just to be happy I don't quite know how they measure these surveys but anyway it's an interesting one however however, however they measure it I would have to agree in my travels those two countries actually stick out of my mind is sort of representing a lot of the principles in some way that we're talking about in this shambolic community and denmark copenhagen is a cz anybody been there? I was actually there in the spring. Yes, we have your back and well, I've been there many times it is it's a wonderful place scandinavia does have a feel that you I don't sense anywhere else that's certainly not in europe yeah, but people don't seem as stressed out it's the rest of the world and there's sort of some dimension of a manageable size operation comes one of the things I think that's stressing this all out it's like the whole thing has grown to the point where it's kind of unmanageable global warming it's not just like a heat spell. It's, like the whole planet is overheating and seven billion people and, you know, just it's kind of mind boggling in away how we're all going to deal with this, but you go to some place like denmark and it's like, you know, you're walking down the street and there's like eighteen people over, and they kind of have a friendly feeling going on, and they also both of those countries have a certain amount of isolation. They're they're not unsophisticated in terms of worldly things, but they do have a certain container in which their life goes on and orientation towards some of the things that people have found over the centuries that do make you happy, like taking time to eat a proper meal. Uh, you know, getting good exercise and things like that are kind of normal there, so I appreciate that I do think that is a magical place, and maybe, you know, we could import some of those things, but we have to figure out a way to bring those principles into this huge, monolithic world that we're in, and I think that's, the challenge we're facing is as contemporary warriors, if you would, is how to bring that into this huge battleground of this modern world. So I really appreciate that comment yes it is interesting I like the fact that it is perfectly ok to be happy about something just a simple is chocolate you have some other coming I actually do it this is a little more deep uh flicker seems to centre field some regret I feel like if I had the connection to my spa spirit that I have now I wouldn't have made choices I made in the past for instance my choice in spouse or and other life choices it took me time to get where I am now and now parts of my life don't seem to match up the past and the present I'm not laughing at you flick I'm laughing with you yeah I mean, uh of course things change and uh and then we have to adjust and reassess you know that's there's no way around that is living beings you know we can't just go with the past formula and keep going and I think we're all very sympathetic because that's a powerful thing to change if you need to change that I've changed it a couple of times myself so it's uh it's something that you have to look at and say you know can I work with this situation? Can I bring it along or do I need to make a change and that comes up from people at work you know, work situation that comes up for relationships and also comes up for different times of life that sometimes we need to change the way we're handling a lot of different things because we're at a different time in our life um so you know I'm very sympathetic with flicker there that's a very powerful thing that she's sharing their yeah evan even go into the room from one interesting thing came up near the end of meditation and um the meditation kind of stymied be able but because I kept on thinking yes, there are things about my life that make me happy and my job at home um but not whole holy I don't but the thing that came to me was, um this image of a ah fig tree my grandmother's yard when I was a kid and um now I can grab a fig taste that fig and it unhappy hmm because I think of that time I think about that abundant tree you know, there's some very famous story about the buddha and, uh, very closely blade to what you're saying so just try to imagine one of us getting kind of intense about our practice and going no, I got to go all the way through this I've been dilly dallying long enough here and but it was like that he was intense practitioner if nothing else of course a lot of other things but there was a lot of focus and heat and the way he went after this you know, and he's sitting he tried in india at the time there were a lot of ascetic practices that were very popular, you know, going on very little food so they say if you starve the body the spirit is going to emerge you know from that so he theoretically was down to one grain of rice a day you know, uh they would even meditate in camp fires you know, to sort of torture the body and these practices air extent today to some extent in certain traditions where you go, if you could just turn the body off and torture the body then somehow you can get to the spiritual dimension of of of the reality and he tried all those things what's interesting is that he was an experimental kind of person so it tried all those things and he was sitting there and supposedly and other great meditators to have tried these kind of things like the miller raper that we talked about yesterday so he's obviously very gaunt at this point and kind of fragile as you can imagine, you know that's kind of not enough food for a human body so he's sitting there like in this kind of intense haze of austere practice and he hears this I imagine it this way actually did this on one of my records this maiden named sujata is she's sort of carrie's she's selling it would be my version would be the good humor truck by modern telling you have been tail thing the good humor truck but she comes by singing and she has this kind of rice cruel yogurt kind of thing that she's selling and she offers it to him and goes he just says I've gone as far as I can go in this direction let me just have something to eat now and he said and he feels much stronger and much better and much better able to meditate so this is credited the beginning of the middle way you know it's not a question of like stuffing our face and like you know, lunch is over everybody come back in here we're going to talk some more meditate or the other extreme of like, you know, starving yourself and kind of really denying any of the sense essential activities of life so that's supposedly then he from then on he had a sort of more middle way approach of avoiding too much the extremes and the thing that then having that relates to your story is he was sitting there practice and he's still in the mental dome and he's trying to find out where is this space this enlightened space where is this enlightenment everybody's talking about and he's looking everywhere for it you know and and then he has a flash memory off his childhood just like you the fig tree in his grandma's backyard whatever the equivalent was and he just has this simple memory of being happy as a child and running around playing and he goes it's right here this feeling that I'm taught that I've been seeking every river is right here I've already experienced that I have this wellbeing I can reference my own experience I can come inside my own experience and find it so it's so similar and myself I really resonated with that tremendously because when I was eight I was on shelter island with my family and we used to just ride our bikes around and remember orchard I don't even know if I've looked for it now I don't even know where it was if I could still find it but we could just ride our bikes in there as far as I remember it eight years old you could just ride in there and pick fruit off the trees it was like the garden of eden, you know? And yet there was no snake and no, none of that other stuff you know it was just you could do it you know, nobody's going to like whacked you at the end of it, you know you could just pick a piece of fruit of the tree and eat it and then get back on your bike and go down to the ocean so I was inspired by that I did an album of music called memories of summer as a child, which you can buy online if you want to. I did it with my friend christopher guest and cj vansen and it's, just a tribute to this kind of feeling of the innocents and sweetness of childhood, not to dwell on it because we're in a much more sophisticated world now, but to taste, re taste that flavor and bring it forward. So that's, a really good thing you're saying they're evan that's, like you could recall that deliberately. At times you just go, like, let me, you know, and they even say, you know, even in hospitals these days, they say, if you're dying, go back to a place like that. So your mind opens and relaxes, and even the most stressful situation, um, and we are with when we talk about my tree, we are talking about that exact feeling you could. You could start your meichtry practice with that, that kind of contemplation

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.