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Meditation for Everyday Life

Lesson 27 of 28

How to Go Forward

David Nichtern

Meditation for Everyday Life

David Nichtern

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Lesson Info

27. How to Go Forward

Lesson Info

How to Go Forward

So we are into our last session david you did say of course before the break it's a little bit more free flowing we will be taking questions please take us away. Well, I thought we could take a opportunity to just review what we've talked about it and just, uh have a look back because we've really covered a lot of ground um there's um tradition that we have about presenting a proper buffet before you sit down for the meal in the buddhist tradition getting a sense of what all the possibilities are um so um then of course you're going to choose from those what's gonna work for you and you know, something one carry forward um starting with I just thought I'd do that fast, you know, the tape we want and then go forward with it. All right, so what do we start with? We started with the notion off the ground of our getting together and being together as a sort of fundamental expression of our, uh, gentleness and non aggression towards ourselves to begin with and that we go back if we get lost...

, go back to that ground that's where you go back to, um so along your path as you practice and go forward with your studies and so forth if you get lost, you just go back to that ground of non aggression and gentleness towards oneself which includes the idea of making friends with oneself uh properly now that you've been properly introduced through the practice of meditation shaking hands with your own mind and it's amazing how ah how sometimes um the final frontier is not outer space but its inner space and just getting to know ourselves a little bit better it's amazing the final frontier you khun send somebody to the moon and back and they still might have this practice that did who at the end of that uh so this is a kind of profound inner practice that we're really looking at here along that lines we looked at the uh first thing we kind of looked carefully at the er most basic practice of sham eta or mindfulness meditation of being willing to sit down, leave some space we talked about taking the space for yourself taking the time taking a good posture and then having direct experience of the present awareness um which is kind of we say it's unfettered it's not blocked by anything actually you're touching into something that is vast and open and then at the same time seeing what arises for you uh in that vast sky of openness, what comes up and being equally friendly and open toe looking at that so that's uh that's a process of them mindfulness meditation we're looking at the quality of being in the present and we're looking at the quality of from how our own habitual mind has sort of generated whatever imagery we're working within our life whatever themes have come up whatever so whatever dramas have come up for us and we're looking at that in a friendly way without judgment or any kind of critique uh so that's a very profound kind of looking um it's looking with awareness an unbiased kind of mind so then let's see what did we go too then um we started looking at uh some of the ideas off contemplative meditation what's it like to use that creative mind and that thinking mind that's conjuring up all these sort of day mares uh nightmares and day maris and look is there a way to use that mind creatively? Um which is called contemplation to explore and understand more deeply with the point of generating some insight or also becoming more familiar with or cultivating qualities that we would like to develop in our lives so that's the meaning of the contemplative meditation uh and we've done a whole bunch of different contemporary practice during the during the time and we've also feathered in the mindfulness practice is that kind of steady hum you know, like we turn toe return to base that's our base camp that kind of just a simple quality of awareness and cultivating that but in the contemplation we looked at things like feeling of stress and anxiety, understanding impermanence, virtues like patients and generosity uh, and then today we looked at drawing the mind towards the topic of loving kindness and compassion for ourselves, for people we love for people were indifferent to and even for people that we don't care about presently. So, um the other topics that we looked at, kind of as worldly people looking head on into the headlights, you know, it's like, um sometimes in our lives, we might feel like a deer in headlights, you know, and it kind of like, just stop by the brilliance of it and, uh, this case, we're sort of taking a moment and looking into who was driving that car that's coming at us and, uh, you know, developing some feeling for the major issues of our lives as we framed them. So for many people, the idea of success is a very important idea, having being successful, um, living in this world, there's a drive towards being successful in whatever terms you constructed and framed them, and we tried to look at the biggest frame possible for success, what would be a successful life? And what would you yourself come to, including within that? And so within that we did a little homework practice of, um looking at our own aspiration, looking at our own inspiration looking at our own motivation, looking at our own intention and looking at perspiration in the sense of what are we going to do about any and all of it? What have we been doing, what we we continue to do. We also then looked at the idea of taking the meditation practice out into the world and, um, mixing the quality of mindfulness and awareness with everyday life, which is really probably the main thrust of our of our time together here is if we take something away. Um, it's, how can we, uh, intermingle skillfully the cultivation of both a kind of quality of being attentive and present within our lives and cultivating the very best qualities that weaken we can muster? Um, so within that we came up with our fabulous golden dot to take over the world and we have a dream to see golden dots all over san francisco. You never know these stranger things have happened, but when we in our own house just placed the golden dots. This is sort of a little project that we invited everybody to participate and just get a sheet of golden dots, yellow dots and placed them like there's one right here. Um there might be one in the kitchen and so forth um in a way that in the middle of our busy busy lives we go oh oh there's the sun there's the um a little dot off presence and goodness that we can just sort of stopped pause for just a moment and appreciate where we are and that's called the infiltration that's our fifth column you know we're infiltrating into the into the active world that we're living in and sort of dotting it with now nous so the golden dot is the golden dot of kind of now nous and um and delight really you could say appreciation and delight then we took we tackle the big one uh in the last segment which is the whole idea of happiness altogether and of course that is an interesting topic because on the one hand we could kind of be cynical and hardened going that's that's kind of not hip enough happiness is not hip enough you know um let's talk about shades of you know uh edgy kind of suffering and you know grunge you know um it's funny the grungy is band of the last twenty years was nirvana which is named after nirvana means happiness you know and um you know it's interesting contemplation there even in that people are still naming uh um there been nirvana so nirvana is this buddhist state of kind of transcending suffering and uh sort of lasting happiness so we're looking at our own version of that and trying to come to some terms with how we could, uh um frame our existence in terms of our understanding of what it would mean to be happy and fulfilled and joyful um, which doesn't exclude suffering it means you're getting, um the true meaning of suffering is to the true meaning of sufferings to learn how to transcend it and, um, that was the journey that the buddha took that's the journey that we're invited to take is to engage and understand our suffering and confusion with the sort of ultimate aim of liberating ourselves from that. And, uh, so what the buddha experiences actually called nirvana or parent nirvana entrance into a state that is not no longer bounded by sort of self centered, confused, anxiety, stressful, driven existence on duh, that is why we follow that particular example to explore that possibility for ourselves. So, um, moving beyond that, I think the purpose of this segment is to look and see what of those things jumped out for you as viable because I'm not here to sell any particular thing on dumb, you know, I'm sharing my life's experience my personal experience because I moved to do that. So, um, how to go forward as it shows they're, um somewhere out in those mountains is your life, and, um, you know, I'm curious to start with in terms of us really working together what jumped out for you what what kind of do you think you're holding at the moment from from the three days and and then looking at um you know, seeing how we can kind of take anything like that and begin to uh craft and into some kind of um forward moving direction you know? So I'm going to just ask everybody in the online community if you've been with us even for just a couple of segments or if you've been at the time to spend during the whole three days what would you like to point to as sort of a highlight for yourself for something that jumps out at you that you feel like you'd like to continue to pay attention to and work with and so while the online community is gathering we leave a little time for that maybe we could start with a friend's here um is there anything that, uh that you feel was uh salmon for you in the end the three days and it's bhangra makki used to say first thought best thought okay well uh they the reason why I really wanted to do this besides of course to see a friend and meet new ones it was because I've been through many transitions especially within the past ten years and uh and how to proceed forward in an intelligent healthy way and just to be able to go through this from from the earliest basics and whatnot has just been excellent anything stand out as a highlight if you only remember one thing you know uh a little more focused on contemplated meditation you know the contemplative front yes. The contemplative practice okay, uh you know tung lin another practice similar to my tree sort of uh you know, I'm familiar with that and I appreciate that but contemplative iss yeah and using that thinking capacity towards really yes developing some clarity and direction yes, thank you. Great, thank you but I also know you have the lowest hand raise I am very sure to no, no, no, this is relative I know and I'm very sure this is going to sound funny but I'm pretty sure there was something that I could talk about but I think I labeled as thinking and forgot about it, sweetie, we'll just let that leg just as it did. Yeah sweet that's funny definitely contemplated. But today the loving kindness practice was very interesting to me because it gave me direction on how to use meditation in my relationship with lots of different types of categories of people that I know people that I like myself from people that I don't really know people that I don't really like yeah, so that kind of stood out a little bit yeah give me a nice frame work okay, well, as I stand in between, you know, it's very well new to this is this is all new to me, I suppose. Um so it's been an interesting introduction thoroughly enjoyed and going forward, eh uh I think the kindness loving today as well as compassion for self um exploiting that joy and happiness bit a bit more so maybe revisiting that having another look there yeah, I'll take a few looks under the hood yeah that's interesting areas because it has some murky patches in it too. You think I'll just go right to the kind of like sunshine moment and then instead we're sort of looking at the clouds but I'm looking for the blue sky behind the clouds yeah there you go okay, well something blue sky that's what you can take home with you yeah evan, um I go back to the first time I, uh put my mat down in the yoga studio and hot yoga studio and that first time all I could feel is the heat on how hard it was, how difficult it wass and now when I practice I don't I don't feel the heat I don't it doesn't affect me the way it did and I I kind of do that too this practice meditation where there is a really difficult times the last three days in terms of um getting through the meditation, understanding the meditation and being patient with myself and it just reminded myself that get on, get on the mat and practice every day you know, do it yeah that's so becoming more familiar and, uh, working your way into it? Yes, yeah, yeah that's very good advice for self and others morning talking about the aspiration, inspiration, motivation, intention, perspiration you gave me two assignments having to do with that and it had to do with concise ignace and keeping keeping it simple and you've actually mentioned several times throughout the last few days keeping it simple, and I think I I will take away the need for me to simplify my thoughts and my practice and also today with our introspection about happiness, my happiness in relation to others and the obstacles that are in the way of my happiness or that I think are in the way and what needs to happen relevant relative to those obstacles. So taking away assignments, I think, is what I'm going forward. Yeah, sort of focus um your closing arguments yeah, it is sort of like a closing argument. I have to sort of sum it all up and kind of get to the get to the point so that you can distill down to the essence related to clarity to yeah, great yeah, I'm so grateful thank you creative life thank you, david thanks so the class this camp it comes at such a perfect time in my life I've been running it really high rpm's and I've been sort of shouting out to myself and to friends I want to slow down I want to find some kind of practice that that that fits for me and then I heard from evan about the class and wow these three days were booked up and I thought at first I thought and I would have to fly to seattle afterwards and I thought I can't and then I just slowed down and said yes, I can and so even before I got here I was I think lining up with like, unwittingly lining up with the values of this practice and then every every one of the three practices that we've taking a dive into has really resonated for me each one and I'm excited to show up and get on the mat and I think that, uh I'm so disciplined about some things in my life, my music and my work I'm I'm so focused and yet things like yoga and meditation I just had such a hard time finding my discipline and immersion really works for me just having been able to come here three days in a row and do this and have such a um I'm really such a moving experience with everybody and with with the practice itself wonderful julia know grateful thank you and we go to meat, which is so delightful, really? Yeah, yeah, that's like added bonus thiss this echoes what you're saying. Julie laurie says this has been my first chance to do a retreat of sorts really spend the time and focus on something so dear to my heart, I would love now to doom or retreats online and in person, so this has been a retreat, uh, for the folks out there as well, yeah, yeah, it's it's kind of, you know what? As we hurtle forward, I don't know, you know, I'm I'm a futurist, you know, I may have mentioned that, but like I I'm not somebody who's going, we've got to go backwards, I think we have to go forward intelligently, and there are some indications that it's going to be quite a sharp and fast rate of change in the next bunch of years in terms of how we, uh, related technology and so forth. So it is interesting to see that this is basically a positive use of, you know, I see sometimes the kids fretting, putting away a whole life times their whole years of playing video games and and so forth, and I'm not saying there's anything wrong with video games, but the idea that we could put more tempered and constructive type of information and offerings onto that superhighway that we have now is very inspiring for me yeah just thank you for that lawyer and you know in the way we feel like I think both creative live and myself personally feel like hearing you say that is helping us to fulfill our particular approach and mission about what we're doing here so um you know, I would like to take that shard that you dropped about getting together live I don't think this is ever gonna replace uh creating that heat in a room and there's going to be there will be contemplative centers where people gather physically to do practice is uh even after the singularity if you don't know what that is that's the total fusion of technological and biological intelligence that some people are projecting over the next twenty or thirty years even after that I think we're going to be still sitting in meditating in a room together but there's this wonderful way of getting information out and getting the practices out to you guys uh so I'm glad that you made that comment there are others we got lots of other comments as well but we've got questions coming in but I will just run through uncommon that I picked out which wass from life lost it then you guys have a good one kenan ke says to simplify I've had a perma smile these three days especially with david's buddha laugh which is my personal yellow dot well yeah, which is great and, um you know let's see here we have uh, laurie again saying enjoying your tuesday night podcasts and again on the laugh and jennifer was saying something that resonated with me is the amazing insights from david as a whole but specifically that sometimes it is okay to disappoint others as you go forward with yourself yeah, it was interesting and lots of people are asking when is the sequel so throw that one to michael car shopping content producer the chap you want to see david back? Yeah, I haven't idea for it. Okay. All right, yeah, the sort of continuity of the live energy that we're generating here, I think is a very interesting idea in general, like got the way our lineage has sort of throught thrive in thrift thrived it's the past of thrives uh, j k o would say through thrived right has thrived is that a certain amount of mo mentum gathers in terms of peoples practice and inspiration from what we call the buddha or the teacher and the dharma and the teachings and the songs that will mention the community and buddhism has arrived in community that this kind of practice has thrived in community so to whatever extent we feel inspired to sort of go forward together I'm kind of totally up for that um however that comes to be um so are there more comments coming in there? D d fifty was saying what jumped out at me from the three days is that I need to work on my fears and confronting those I feel the loving kindness of magic tae shin can help with that by being more kind myself that's what's been lacking in their life are people seem to be, are there any cranky people out there? Have you guys been filtering those out wearing two people in the corner? They go on the naughty step, to be honest, that hasn't seen that many. Sometimes we do get some people who might be questioning, for example, but I honestly haven't seen that I did see something very tongue in cheek on the first day, they said, I don't think I could take seven hours of this, you know, somebody else came into simple don't worry because it's three days see that kiss and that wasn't even cranking way we've had such a positive reaction from my audience, I think people have really being in tune with this. And actually, uh, sap says I was cranky before this, but now I'm happy well, whose sap s a s a p okay, like the tree that fell from a tree? Yeah, these are like, uh these names are kind of interesting turn, they're like um cv handles you know what you call it when people truckers yeah um yeah, so coming back in house I'll tell you what between the two of you decide who's gonna speak I'll go okay, wait give imagine for a moment there thinking all right um talking about cranky miss and our meditation with happiness uh I realized that I'm not happy and but I felt like I was happy before I got here I don't mean I don't mean it I feel it just made me realize that even though it makes me happy to help people there was like a difference in when I was meditating on happiness I just realized I'm not happy at the moment but I am doing what I wanted to do and then I realized that it was because they were asking me to help them versus me wanting to do it. And but that's I just want to say I was happier before I got here, but I know this will make me happier longer in the future um but I would just want to say something cranky ago eyes it's interesting point because I think probably meditation practice is injurious to casual happiness it's deeper it's looking as a deeper look, so if we're looking for sort of superficial happiness, I recommend going out there and kind of skipping around with the rest of the folks out there but it is kind of going down a notch deeper into this fundament and usually in the classic buddhist analogy what we actually discover is suffering that's called the first noble truth is what we first discover when we look at that our existence is the truth of suffering in that there's some kind of underlying anxiety or dissatisfaction that is permeating our existence that we haven't fully acknowledged, you know and so the second noble to this toe actually then look at the origin of that suffering and where is that coming from? How how is that actually happening once we've come out of denial, then we're looking at the cause and the third is that its possibility to cessation of sufferings is the third noble too and the fourth is the path eightfold path that's how you go about doing that so I was going through depression you have to go through it rather than around and I said it sounds like going through depression and you go through whatever you have what whatever you actually have not what you've kind of become accustomed to, you know, not the coping mechanism but the real underlying uh sub strata of that when we look deeper, we khun sort of start to feel ways in which where you haven't really totally been in sync, you know, but that's an important step that's called the first noble truth that's like after he got enlightened that's what the buddha said that's the first thing he said truth of suffering, so but you got to keep going with it because then you start to look at the cause of that and that's a very that's the kind of enquiries we've been doing is to go down a notch in the elevator and see what what's really going on what's the cause that and then they could be liberated that's that's the path that we're talking about uh, way might want to talk about this later when we have more questions if you want to go forward but a couple times it's come up, how do you means it are their tools to maintain a deep practice in the face of people who rather than go through the discomfort of meditation and analyzing suffering opt for casual happiness? We encounter a lot of people in our everyday lives who possibly are not doing yourself analysis are not trying to be aware of other's needs. I think this was one of the fairy first questions that was posed from our online audience being angry, seeing people out and about in public who do not necessarily share the same deep practice are there any tools that you can use to maintain a deep practice? I know compassion would be one of them, but in the face of people who opt for casual happiness rather than really going through that portal of suffering so there's us and them from them I'm coming from a place of judgment here and I'm I recognize that and it's a question are we us or are we that something I need to work on and being judgmental puts me in the them category but I think it's safe to say that we are them actually just quite literally were them us and them thing probably is a is a false a straw dog they're them with them were us and they're us on uh the more you practice, the more other people practice automatically whether they do or they don't your view is going to shift to seeing, um the basic goodness in every situation the resourcefulness, the possibility in every situation and our responsibility is is really to start the ball rolling down the hill ourselves once once you tackle that that the ground of that whole question is going to move around I found I found that it's I you know it's you come up and you realize that and then something will happen and then all the sudden it's like this new trough of frustration perhaps it's a bunch of tea boys well, we are the tea boy that's the final transmission that's a lot, you know they'll probably the greatest in last teachings are to, uh, practice with the tea boy within because that's the only way you can make all the t boys really go disappear so this is you know, a deep a deep topic and of course the more you know uh practical level if we can be in situations with support our sense of practice and going along with um deepening our own practice it can be very helpful toe work with others and being a community like we are this very three days here we joined together with like minded people who want to sit uh have have this kind of introspection and this kind of process going on and you know, if, uh if we're out wherever we are and whatever workplace we're in and there's a kind of callous disregard for anything that we considered to be, uh meaningful you know, sometimes we have to look at the environment that we put ourselves in and make make the right shifts so that we get support and that's called sanga that word has come up a bunch of different times that we have some community even at home, you know, it can be tricky sometimes students about practicing, they begin to practice quite hard and then they look over at their family situation they feel they're not supported in that that can be a real moment disappoint a few people yeah, but using my feeling is if you're practices really genuine, it makes it easier to bring other people along into that genuineness at least at least you can have a genuine sense of disaffection as opposed to trying to hold everything together in a very surface sea level. So I think if you look how these kind of things spread, they do spread person to person and a very individual level it's it's there's no riel you know it's interesting in terms of sake on me palm who was my teacher now and holding the shambala lineage he was given the mantle of trying to create enlightened society that's really the job of the chamalla teachings is not just individual enlightenment, which is so the buddhist teachings worked with that. But how do you create a whole social context for it and it's ironic but he started working with just people talking to each other he said that's where society starts just two people having a conversation already is society the way our two hosts are talking to each other that's that's society, you know and that's where it starts and you go okay, we're ripples out from there to to um you know how we treat our families and how we treat our other people in the community and uh so but just starting with the small, you know, the simple thing off, like having dialogue with your partner or your friend um and um that was a revelation for me that was interesting to me that somebody who's carrying that level responsibility is saying well really this starts with the kind of more intimate aspects of society and it ripples out from there because outside in thing doesn't seem to work all that well if you have some big idea about how things are supposed to work and forms and things like that that doesn't seem to really maybe that's important too but you know the organic part is very, very important yeah it's really making me laugh I don't know why it's making me locked it's not even that funny but you asked for cranks so that they've come in they've come on board craig thank you I don't know why I'm laughing so much it's his defeat except she just says I'm menopausal black out she said my husband would say that I'm crank but here's another one who says I'm cranky but I'm happy with that that's from teacher tom we know something she's married to teach tom so is he is he cranky? Kelly thank you for all the crates for sharing are good for the crank defenders of the world think david you wanted to come in here um uh this idea of ah identifying our suffering and deconstructing our suffering it's scary to me a little bit I mean there is a lot of peace and blissful ignorance and as we leave this classroom and go around and we try our practice I mean, is there support structure available is anything you can recommend to help us if we start going down this rabbit hole of starting to find out who we really are you know and are we going to be there alone? Yeah. I mean, there was something quite beautiful about the original matrix film I thought it was kind of handsome some pretty clever ideas in it but the idea of taking the what was the blue pill of the red pill you know and if you take the blue pill the dream continues and maybe having a pleasant dream but it could turn into a nightmare at any time by the way, if you're dreaming and you won't have control over it um or do you want to wake up and of course waking up in that movie they woke up into a kind of reality that had a lot of rough edges to it, you know, did you see the movie? Yeah. And then the one guy I decided to take the to go back into the drugs right? That's right? And so that's really our choice you know, in a way was I thought it was there was a lot of spiritually metaphors in that movie in a way but uh you know that choice is going to be maybe somebody khun convey the wisdom I forget which pillars which uh taking the wake wakeful pill and in a way that's the teacher's job is to model for us you know what it's like when you do take the wakeful pill because first will you see somebody whose life didn't fall apart? You know, in my case with my teacher I'm looking at somebody who's actually mastered their life and manifesting beautifully in a lot of ways and it's more intriguing you know, almost then the then the people are taking another pill and sort of sleepwalking and you know so I was going back and forth to be honest between this kind of very wakeful powerful environment and another kind of environment that had a lot of juice to it which is the entertainment business but I really quite felt that quite a few people were sleepwalking through it and maybe somewhere having a good dream and this is here's here's the argument for this if you're having a good dream it cannot last because of impermanence. So this is something we call the god realm of the devil oka in the buddhist teachings that you can have a good dream but it's not gonna last so the, um argument for not pursuing that is your ultimate goal in some spiritual dimensions this is the ultimate goal is to have a good dream positive, you know, positive experience but if it's going to end, what is gonna happen when it ends? If you're having a really good dream and what they say in these teachings is that there's a kind of crash from that room because you've been addicted basically to the good dream and now reality, which just has sort of some rough edges now presents itself as a kind of hell run to you it's got its you're not used to it you you've gotten soft in a way right by dreaming makes you soft but being wakeful makes you strong and tough so uh, of course we have to look carefully at that and the other interesting point about being awakens its choice lis because we are fundamentally awake our fundamental natures what's actually calling us to practice and to return home, you know so many people have described there when they practice there's a feeling of eventually coming home to a feeling that they recognize like the fig fig you know there's something there that is calling us, you know to it on because it's our own nature you see so even as you pull away from your own nature, you create a lot of tension actually and takes more and more effort to stay asleep so of course the drama of the spiritual path if you want to look at what we're talking about here is essentially awakening and uh, you know, there is a drama to it you know, times you feel like I don't want anything to do with this this is scary there's a too much you know? So we don't try to paint it is a rosy thing we painted as a vivid, realistic, compelling thing that actually already happened and you're just pretending it didn't you know what I'm saying do it um I do everything you talked about since you've been here our stuff you already knew let's say we're in the summer and the kids are on summer vacation and they're going to aa private school okay? So that somewhere time you know that you really want to go through this practice or whatever, but you know that it's there is a time where this thing that's driving you crazy will go away you know? But you really really need to like go in through something like three depression or through this thing but you're so afraid that it will last so wanna open the can of worms and then it would affect these people or something bad will happen. I have to tell you and this is my job you can do it or all hear me when I say it's all workable we can do it you also said, like, look look at the people that someone like you are your teachers and you've seen that but what about the people that didn't go to that point and they went to the opposite point where they're in a mental institution on drugs because they got lost somewhere and they got stuck and there are drugs that will prevent them from going just as a little exercise right now label that thinking all right and come back is this making you stronger or weaker to do that? I think it makes me emotional stronger or weaker it just makes me I don't know well contemplated okay? Because that's what we're talking about the choice you're talking about is coming back or not coming back you know? And the argument is a kind of reasonable argument for um if you didn't explore this, I'd be disappointed you know what if we don't? What if we what was that thing we used to say his kids let's not do it and say we did ah so that's six I'm just lobbying you know I'm not hitting fastballs here I'm just loving it over the net you guys take your time but we're looking at certain things to be very authentic, you know? And since I resonated I have I have a baby boy to he's thirty five years old and he's also put his teacher and a very good one ethan nick turn and author of three books on this material and I actually coat teach with him but I look at him and I still see a baby you know, you kids when they grow up you know that will never change so this summer you know, I had a beautiful community of friends in east hampton on we were spending time together and talking about these kind of things you know, having good dharma we called it the dharma hang you know, just regular people different kinds artists and uh you know, different people doing different things uh but somehow we got kind of drawn together and having this level of conversation we're having here which is very, uh rare in this world and one of the women and her husband in the middle of that I got a call I was at a friend's wedding our daughter who is fourteen years old that was part of that whole environment in which we're all sort of like frolicking in the summer and you know, this is the other end of the fig tree is the other side of the victory she got hit by a car on a bike and I said, what happened? Yeah, the woman instead of hitting the brake hit the gas and tractor thirty feet and she was gone later that afternoon, you know? So we can't control all these things and then you have to look and say even if we think we're managing and controlling our reality actually there's much bigger forces at work and our job is to be a cz awake and compassionate it's possible no matter what happens if we put that off we put it off at our own risk I personally I'm just sharing my heart with you here, okay? You can put it off and we do put it off, you know? So we gathered around, you know, um and that's what you do you give your heart into those situations do you do the best you can? But I think any dreamy image of what life can be is a little bit subject too uh, further analysis in terms in terms of the light of our own sort of real awareness of what of impermanence and how things were going and s o there is, you know, the title of the book comrade is called awakening from the daydream it's like really puncturing that but my own experience in the teachings that I study say that no matter what comes up it's completely workable this you can work through even things like that it's workable. So I don't think you have to hold onto a dreamy version of reality to be happy that hasn't been my personal experience that is a way to suffer actually because sooner or later it will dismantle so I respect this that's what we call it the path of the warrior and it's kind of a fearless the path and when you're on a fearless path what comes up fear that's what we work with so we don't get fearless by avoiding fear you know that's not how you become fearless and we don't get fearless by avoiding reality and you know tony's sidestep reality so this is just something for contemplation of everybody makes their own choices moving forward um s so what kind of how you want to shape your own life so keep coming david what else you want to say like, uh, twenty years ago as a young man I tried some meditation and I remember at one point lying down on the baseball field looking up at the stars and say what now and I didn't have a teacher you know I picked up a book and borders and you know it didn't and there was a lot of dogma in the book and I exchanged one fantasy for another fantasy and I walked away I was like this and a couple days ago I said the thing about being bored it was part about being born part about being walked down a primrose path and being okay so where where do I go next week when you know where you are where are friends online go that aaron I'm gonna get a little texas I'm gonna leave time for that and the two things I want to say is you are a young man right now so just be polite thank you if you're old what is that generous yeah this town I'm an old man no probably in your eye what age are you? Forty two yeah you're in early forties they you're not ready even have some of these conversations yet you know I mean because you're such a baby that was a blessing that the other thing I thought is there you are lying on the baseball field you know, contemplating the vastness of it all and I saw a baseball we're going to california could have been your big moment for waking up, you know? Yeah so thank you so much though I really I don't wantto one thing is you know, as we look into these things please everybody this is straight from the lineage to us don't lose your sense of humor, you know, we can really get joram ourselves into paint ourselves into a corner that way there's a lot of play in these teachings even and if you get to know teachers better a lot of times it's it's a very playful kind of environment of course sometimes when we're genuinely playful heart ego can't really get the joke, you know, that's the part of us that doesn't really get the joke so uh we'll talk more about the had a sort of create some kind of, you know, framework for continuing to practice it's very realistic and very easy that it will not involve getting you into a looney bin on dh, you know, and having these the situation's blow up but a very sort of straightforward, and I just want to say the students that I work with, they're not heading for loony bin so I got to tell you, uh, it's, not where that's, not where this is going at the moment and it's a gradual evolution of developing more awareness, more mindfulness and more compassionate life. That's what we're talking about here, not radical, we've got a great comments, great questions as well interesting that you say should never lose your sense of humor. I think your sense of humor has really appealed to the online audience isn't breaking up is hard to do is that neil sedaka? Yes, I was under this one of yours. No. See that's a nice bag songs I wish I wrote, so you're gonna give us a lift it's called every song that was ever hit that's what I thought was neil to talk about I vaguely remember the partridge family having a hit with it, so I was confused for a second, but, well, we got to go with the corny jokes here. Lori says it should be sung that tune waking up is hard to do o through the online jeff, we got this sense of humor going but actually talking of the music because a few people have been asking and cattle swampers has got this question how has your practice of buddhism and meditation impacted your art? Your music, your creativity yeah wow well I think I mentioned that have taught this workshop creativity, spirituality and making a buck because those air three big dimensions of my life that I've tried to integrate you know, I've been obviously very involved the creative music community and film community um I've been very involved with kota quote spiritual community on um business world those three things and weaving those threads together has been a big part of my sort of daily that's what my daily life looks like so they created what we did was we did the workshop and I wonder if that might be a fun works up to do with your audience you know at some point because the each one has its own province and what was interesting is I spent several hours just looking at creativity and the mood like the flavor in the room shifted tremendously like creativity is something where kind of you're being called to it is the way I experience it and there's this notion of the muse you know that some people have that kind of you're not doing it that it's being kind of pulled are invited out of you seduced out ofyou almost in a way and I heard a neil young give a talk at south by southwest that I loved so much because he talked about the muse and he said when the muse called him like a song was there he just had to go it's like she was running the show and if he was late to pick up his kid at school or whatever it is too bad because he placed that at the highest level of priority so the creativity seems to be this kind of sense of willing to be very, very spontaneous and I think creative people that's why it's fun to hang out with musicians for me anyhow creative people because their wacky and and they're making stuff up as they go they know that we're fabricating the whole thing there's nothing there you know you just you just make it up and so there's this kind of playful quality and I would say the part that the practice may have helped me with the most in terms of contribute that is just allowing that space to be completely as it is and not worry too much about what other people are thinking or or ah you know that they like it or not like it or reading the reviews that's all that's all way later from the creative process the creative process is much faster than that and more spontaneous and if you want to play in that league you have to be willing to go and just play along with it. So you know, I would say meditation practice eventually dissolves this heightened self consciousness. You know where you just always need to be checking back. How are you doing? Which tortures us really? If you look at it it's weird, you can just see we ourselves and everybody we know is just tortured by the need to check it, check on themselves all the time and so nobody's flowing with there being and just being willing to just be themselves. So I think as an artist that the great artists are really willing to be themselves and just express themselves and, you know, you just take your shot, so I would say there's been a wonderful interaction between those two things for me and I even play, you know, this artist that I play with this krishna das now, and anybody in the yoga community knows who he is, but we're doing sort of sacred music in a way, but it sounds like pop music, you know, it's it's, an attempt to bring the flavor of practice and museum quality of playing music with great musicians together and that's a really that's a really new frontier. I think that kind of notion of music that's not just about like, you know, watching yourself watch yourself on tv, watching yourself watch yourself watching yourself and how do I look, you know, there's, something more alive and music than that that will survive all of this. So I hope that answers the question, okay?

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.