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Meditation for Everyday Life

Lesson 15 of 28

Obstacles Along the Way

David Nichtern

Meditation for Everyday Life

David Nichtern

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Lesson Info

15. Obstacles Along the Way

Lesson Info

Obstacles Along the Way

So there's this notion of talking about obstacles uh sometimes we perceive the obstacle is external you know I don't have enough money I don't have enough time to do that uh I've got a really bad relationship here and it's sort of take taking all the time out of me pursuing the kind of things that I want to pursue I have my job is very difficult my health is difficult, you know, we perceived the obstacle to us pursuing our intention as an external event of some kind and then we have internal obstacles you know, which could be just some kind of resistance stubbornness, laziness uh you know, negative feelings of self worth feelings about ourselves um and those can be quite powerful because that's like um mixed in right there with our intention is is the undermining their off so as part of almost the same organism and separating out our intention and clarifying that and going forward with it almost immediately there arises to so second tier of commenting criticising nay saying, you know s...

ort of like you and those uh you know, early days the angel and the devil on the shoulder you know come on, david you khun meditating we good for you and sit for a half hour a day you feel much better and you know you do and the other one's gone I'll listen ahem you know we this isn't gonna work for you here to this is not practical this is uh you're not going to be good at this, you know? And the two voices kind of expressing obviously what is expressing our own inner duality um so it's interesting to identify both voices you see sometimes we just want identify the inspirational voice and, you know, and then other people emphasize the shadow side, you know want to look at the dark side, the forces that are pulling you down so both of there's a valuable in in terms of our approach is developing some clarity about our positive intention and the capacity to generate that and what the obstacles are and what they're made of. So one of things that that we like to say is that the obstacles in this particular type of practice can be seen as sort of solid or deep or really or they can be seen is something that we can work with in fact actually they are what we work with is a whole nother way think that if we talk about a path, any kind of path at all in some sense the obstacles are the path they're not in the way of us getting from where we are they are the actual thing that we're processing so in terms of a change of view about what we experience this obstacles we sometimes say obstacles as path, which is a very different way of looking at obstacles um, that another simple way of saying that is that is when we have the opportunity to learn the most is when we're experienced that intense optional situation. So I was hoping we could take a look together had obstacles and taking the view that there a all going to be workable, you know, there's none that are insurmountable from from a kind of warriors perspective obstacles are just a form of challenge, but not considered, um, insurmountable s o they awaken us in a way they aroused our spirit. We need to rouse our energy, teo, to meet those but even going further that sing the intelligence in them and this sort of, um you could almost say diabolical brilliance, like one of things that, uh, that, uh, my teacher trump temperature used to say, is that, uh, laziness is very intelligent, you can't just be lazy without being kind of ingenious about it, you know, even if you want to just lie on the couch and you know, you might you might well, this this sort of feeling I want to escape from everything in line, the couch with your remote control, but you lie down on the couch, you know, and you realize you left the remote control on the other side of the room with the tele where the television is and now what she'd really like is a remote control for the remote control like if I could only have another device that would levitate the remote control having come towards me so there's this kind of cleverness in terms of our lazy uh yes it's it's um you know we have to set up everything perfectly to be properly lazy um so even in that there is a kind of intelligence operating uh and if we look at our emotional obstacles you know what we call them in in the traditional language clay cious or sort of obstacles obstacle rations things that are blocking us you know anger could be one of those pride could be one of those jealousy could be one of those um craving could be one of those and also a kind of pattern of just deeply ignoring what I call the duff actor just make it all go away uh I'm told that men are particularly good at this particular one you every wife and every girlfriend over theo so the you know the idea of just kind of actively ignoring you know the kind of vibrant and communicative environment that we are on dumb those sort of fundamental uh emotional really their emotional energies and all of us and we you could be too angry to meditate you go a pest, you know, maybe when you think it's somebody else you know that I was there the other day and this other person who's supposed to be all peaceful, and I hear this a lot look good meditation did for them, they're just a bigger schmuck than they used to be. And yet now you angry about that? So then you're not going to practice so that you showed them, didn't you? You know, we might have envy. We might have too much pride or arrogance. You know, these things appear very vividly to everybody around us is going wow. That's deep that person's really, really arrogant, you know? But we ourselves are so enmeshed in it were so caught up in it that we can't see it, and we can't let it go. Um, so there's, some kind of entry point here of what we would call humbleness, you know, uh, if we could just ideologically dial down that quality of arrogance and pride, uh and and and look it with a softer eye at what might be good for us, you know, um and not be the smartest person in the universe for once, you know, that could be very, very creative, so kind of humbleness comes into play there, and the other thing is to like, take on the challenge of these um obstacles arising and not be defeated by them. So um obviously if we're kind of very lonely and kind of craving and kind of we feel like I know I shouldn't be practicing I should be really online it love dot love partner dot com you know, looking for a friend this is what I really need or what I really need is a job what I really need is this what I really need is that but somehow our meditation practice could just go right through that like, you know, a train going through a tunnel going through a mountain the mountain is not in our way what the mountains still there but we just go right straight through it and there's a dimension to practice that's exactly like that it's like a train going through a tunnel going through a mountain of whatever emotional experiences were having that ordinarily would just block us and shut us down so this kind of discipline is some really essential and it could be married to inspiration. You know, our intention and our inspiration could be married. So um you know, sometimes it's other people that inspire us you know, we see somebody who has been practicing for a long time or whatever or teacher and we keep them in mind when we think they could do it and we could do it also and um other times it can be our own heart you know kind of longing uh you know there's a kind of poignancy in all of us to connect with with the people in our life that we love that you know, maybe these kind of obstacles are getting in the way of us really being a good family person or a good um partner that could work uh, you know, a good employee good employer. So we're talking about developing qualities they're so fundamental to everything that we do and really looking, you know, deeply into our own kind of habitual patterns which can have tremendous power. So even though we know in our tradition our shambala tradition, we say that we have this kind of innate quality of basic goodness there's still a notion of things that are kind of obstructing that and blocking our experience of that of that basic goodness and, uh the analogy that's uses like the sky you know, when you see this guy that's really beautiful blue and open I forgot that we use this particular graphic here uh but if you look at this these clouds these dark clouds are like the obstacles right? But behind them is this still the sky is there so we lose track of the sky when we see the clouds way lose track of our openness our spaciousness are good heart and in the foreground we have this sort of intense kind of energy going on of some kind of eruption off resistance, resentment all those kind of things that really are not really that creative or productive um when you I have a group of people working this way on themselves and they come together the entire group situation khun reflect that capacity for working with the understanding the clouds better on dumb you khun sort of move towards a kind of blue sky uh environment which is very clear and open and very natural actually it's actually more natural than the other thing oddly, we have just grown accustomed to this kind of cloudy day mind but the nature of the mind we say in the traditionalists is the blue sky it's very open our mind by nature is very open and very clear the idea of practices working gradually, right? Uh too many people I think we're too addicted to sudden transformation here and it goes along with the idea of, um sudden happiness you know, by buying something you know and it's sort of a materialistic approach. Now even if you have lots of money, you could be happy or not happy if you have all the things that are advertised that you want you could be happy or not happy and some people don't have very much and they're extremely happy so the issue of contentment uh is a powerful issue that cuts through our own dissatisfaction and if we look at the engine of our dissatisfaction it really has very little to do with accumulation that's a very mean it's observable so um that could lead to a kind of uh we're not set point of view you got like I don't want to participate and all that stuff anymore but it could also lead towards a very worldly point of view in which contentment is allowed in which you actually allowed to be satisfied and content with what you have and that's of course a very powerful theme in terms ofthe even these projects that we undertake here in this kind of environment to get more and more things more and more things under your belt more capacity is more capabilities the idea of doing that but at the same time having the mind of contentment as you as you as you develop capacities and capabilities that underlying it there's some kind of fundamental peace contentment and that comes from working directly with the mind and no other way so um we really basically coming down too the corps or the root of all of these upheavals all these obstacles is one's own kind ofyou could say negative habits and patterns that have accumulated over our lifetime and the biggest notion that we have is that they're not permanent we take them to be oh, you know that's his personality or whatever um of course that's true to a certain extent that we you know we identify each other by our obstacles yeah this president's difficult in this particular way but what if they said that they would would even would we even recognize them if our husband or wife didn't present themselves that way? Would we even still know who they are? Would we know who we are without them? You know who are we without them you know so there's a sense of comfort and security and kind of fear based clinging to a certain attitudes and visual patterns that is something that we begin to see through really with meditation practice but it's very gradual you know takes a lot of time and if there's a lot of dedication you're not really working with how fast can I do this? You know and uh what the results are because you're more process oriented so the notion of obstacles as they incline us towards process you know now you gotta work work with this situation of being like let's say too angry or too resentful can anybody identify with that particular kind of energy pissed off and resentful and it's sort of a nice little bundle of goodies right there and of course one approaches you could analyze the hell out of it and figure out it was clearly because your mother to this your father did that but you're holding it right now you're the one holding it it's in your basket, and so when you look at your basket there it is and maybe it's helpful to see where it came from, but it's also, you can look directly at the experience and without necessarily trying to dismantle it right away just kind of used the information that's in there use the feelings, and, um, the meditative tradition is really based on bringing more awareness into into these kind of things. So when something comes up, for example, there was a very famous, uh, buddhist teacher in india named a t shirt, and he's also credited one of the several teachers credited with bringing but isn't in tibet in the first place from india, and he liked to practice, um, patients that was a practice for him, you know, there are there are some cultivations that we do have just developing basic qualities like generosity and patients and discipline and awareness, those kind of things that's really ground level, so he was getting good at it, and he was pretty patient, you know, which which one of us could say that that's a very rare virtue these days real patients, so but he felt he hadn't perfected it yet, so he had this assistant, um and in in in those days the assistant would make the tea and which is called chae this particular kind of tea and so it's called a chai wallah in or tea boy so a t shirt had this been galley tea boy who was very irritating you know, kind of like the present working the cafeteria you know who's irritating annoying in territorial and kind of bullying you there's nobody here like that unbelievable! I don't know you know, this is maybe something we had to import into creative lives we might need our chai wallah coming but this principle is usually an act herbal in all situations there's usually somebody who's the team, the team boy or girl and they're annoying the heck out of everybody else with their sense of self importance and kind of, you know, trying to look good but really they're obstructing the whole situation with energetically so his table I was an endless source of practicing for him to become more patient the room isn't built in a day kind of approach so then they invited a teacher to tibet and uh he was happy to go there because the rumor about tibet was that the people are kind of really benevolent and really happy and cheerful and then he's always looking forward to going there and meeting those people but then he thought, well, yikes uh I won't be able to practice my patients there because there were no um there wouldn't be the challenge so he um I said I got the solution I'll bring my tea boy along with me and then I can always use him to practice the patients and the end of this story was that he didn't get to bring his tea boy but there were plenty of tea boys in tibet so nobody even if we're in a very benevolent environ there's always this tea boy principle of somebody who's kind of irritating annoying but that's the exact opportunity to practice patients or generosity that is when your practice is really taking hold so as serious, you know, meditators, we're not really looking for ideal circumstances anymore a there aren't any in this world that just doesn't happen that way, and if it does, it happens for a short period of time, you know? And then we're back into the kind of like, hey, this presents irritating me, they're annoying me and that could become a very solid story line for us, right? We might have a really solid storyline about somebody who's irritating are knowing us, but if we flip it and look at his opportunity for us to practice some quality of personal cultivation, how we relate to it you know, might be precision might be, uh, clear seeing, you know, clarifying the whole situation should be, um being more generous of spirit, but the main point is that we take that obstacle obstacle and we transform it right on the spot into an opportunity to develop ourselves more so it's a very advanced kind of point of view it's a very um kind of conquering mentality because even if you look at obstacles which are normally on things we go I'm off my game here as an opportunity uh kind of you can never really be defeated um it's sort of what we call victorious it's it's there's everything that's coming at you is included in your sense of practice so that's a very powerful point of view so I want to look at one obstacles do we experience in terms of even if this is not your way of cultivating? Everybody has some way of cultivating themselves you know it's part of part of human life to improve oneself, to develop oneself. So in the context we're talking about we're talking about meditation and contemplation practice is an important part of that but what do we experiences obstacles? Why is it hard to stay with you know, I think that people in this room are sort of have some sense of wanting to do this kind of practice and maybe some of you out there are hearing about it the first time or it's something you wantto participate in more what obstacles do we face? What what's in what do we take to be in our way in life okay, so I'm gonna throw that out here and then if the online people khun lob in some, uh some thoughts on that as well so we'll start with julie in here uh just a complete belief that there's not enough time mmm like believing that wholesale and not enough time to have a sip of water even write exactly it's it seems like when I'm away from that moment and look at it it seems crazy but in the moment I believe it completely do you have any water with you? Yeah, I have a sip right now felt too indulgent like I should be focusing on tactical things that are going to make things better for my family and actually I really felt that this the contemplated thing really help me frame this baton because uh now I'm starting to think that the mindfulness practice is sort of the strategic rule set how do we do this? And the contemplate of technique is how weaken solve our problems, our challenges or explore our challenge is better then maybe I'm doing than I'm doing now. Sure. So I actually think that this may that the combination maybe an interesting framework for me to fit this into my life there are famous contemplative practices they're designed exactly for what you said that actually will turn the mind towards practice and we'll do one of those uh this morning we have time contemplating things like the nature of suffering uh impermanence um how karma works you know how things actually come into shape how did they come into play? How did what you did yesterday affect what you're doing today is going to affect tomorrow to really look at those things all of a sudden you see a that life is short that's an inevitable result of those contemplations who's to see that life is short no matter how long we think it is it just seems to keep slipping away and also to see that our actions have consequences you know that uh how we construct our world and how we communicate with people will have consequences um and also to see that um certain parts of how we've constructed our reality are conducive to creating suffering and confusion really clearly seeing that so when you have those contemplations you know there's this is a very classical ones in the crudest training it's called the four reminders and you use those and then you start to practice so before you practice that you do the contemplated practice and then you actually start to do whatever cultivation you're doing so yeah that's a really good point of contact contemplation can actually sort of turn our awareness towards re prioritizing willow uh yes believing my own opinions about things you know it's a great place to get stuck uh okay to stick solid belief and sure you know and even though it's possible to look at it and see that there's it's not really much there but a simple opinion but hanging onto it for dear life by that that you have that you don't trust in your opinions or you don't trust in your police or are you saying that you are so strong in your beliefs that they get in your way yeah it's more like not trusting in in my own intelligence and being able to see that there's really not much there uh and and it's probably a kin teo uh clinging to old habits and patterns yeah it's interesting point you raise because an opinion can be coming up out of a sort of intelligent appraisal of the situation and sometimes we need more confidence in our ability to generate an opinion on the spot but I think the part that will I was talking about is what you get stuck with an old opinion like you wearing clothes that don't fit you anymore uh I don't mean that literally that's an analogy there no don't anybody taking personal okay? Yes. Uh I felt a general one and, um and even a lot of what I appreciate about this practice and not having music and not having, um something else to focus on but just using the raw uh re sources of ourselves of what we have and that is what we have um whether it's I don't have a car so I can't do this you don't have enough money I can't do that you know I don't have this shoe so I can't play basketball I don't have I don't have it don't have black yeah yeah that's an obstacle that you your house a couple one is complacency and I it's almost like what if I am the tea boy and I kind of like, well, I don't have that much to work on anyway sometimes he now so I don't really have to do this and another one is lack of faith in the fruition, so not and it relates also do what you were saying like what I really need to be doing is going online and finding a date or a job or whatever else those are the really reason, but you know, I haven't been able to achieve whatever it is I want to achieve, so my time would be better served doing that rather than engaging in this practice where I'm not really sure I don't have clarity about what the fruition is going to be right that's great really clear there's some online activity we do and they reckon exactly what our audience is saying jennifer very lance is saying my obstacle is my own mind literally it won't stick to the discipline of what it needs really echoing there yeah, I do actually uh g twenty three says I'm so grateful for what david's talking about right now I was in a good place with my practice and just yesterday I got extremely angry with a neighbor abusing his dog the feeling actually haunted me all day and influenced me and even at the end of the day I still couldn't shake it off yeah, well of course the interesting thing about those things and we've all experienced that is then you say, well I'm not gonna practice because I'm so angry so I would just say what there's a slogan we have that whatever you experience join it with meditation so in others yeah people could be going through a very challenging circumstances, you know? But then you do your practice and then you bring it you include that so that anger is becomes, you know, part of the atmosphere in terms of which he's sitting down now taking your seat and paying attention to breath and so forth and then you know, you were talking about this being a continual practise something you walk in and out of every day walter in says I can't ever seem to get the things settled or figured out I'm always telling myself once I get this problem figured out I'll finally be able to relax and get it together but then something else always comes up mmm yeah distraction so um that's a big one I think for our modern world it's just we got a lot of things we would rather be doing or could be doing and the way julie was talking about it boy if you're going to sit down you got your iphone or you know handheld device with you um the temptation to just stay plugged in for one a couple more minutes you know and then all of a sudden it's like now it's too late I'm meeting my friend for dinner on somehow the sitting period just dissolved into into that so it's going to take a lot of a lot of discipline really tohave us you know good solid practice in this in this day and age but um what other obstacles air coming up from people that anybody else thought it was a really interesting one that seems to have sparked off a little bit of a chat between some of the guests in the rooms of it started by lorraine again in the uk saying people who are in positions of authority seemed teo get in her way they seemed to annoy her that she feels they have no business being there on many other people seems team to be recognizing that associating with that so somehow we're subordinate to these more powerful forces and that's why we're not practicing right? Yeah so this is, um what else any other any other tone's coming up I think that's you know that's generally where we're going but we'll certainly you know always welcome your comments please keep sharing is about are the obstacles get in your wage heavens what a pleasure riding in a car with me knows that I'm not the most patient driver and one one tip that a yoga instructor gave me is when you're when you go to the when you go grocery shopping next time find the longest line and get in it and I did I still do that and that that in a weird way helps that's your tea boy right there yeah right that's interesting yeah well that forces you to kind of be more mindful because now you're experiencing your impatience for a longer period of time right? So I've always evolving said to people if you want if you want to develop patients just wait it's kind of inevitable but that's uh interesting you're willing to do that um no three more thoughts on that coming up yeah, yeah I feel like a big obstacle is um when I do practice like being patient or like someone's really pushing the limits with me and I'm really trying to practice it there is this whenever I make a mistake of like just snapping or whatever and then I'm just like I know you know like um like I'm being the teepee like they were being the tea boy uh and then I'm basically just like taking their, um their position you know and that, um I just feel really bad sometimes because, um they didn't sign up to practise what I'm trying to do, you know? So I don't want them to we'll do something that they're not you know they're not prepared to do whatever it it's my own um it's it's one way where I title someone as might as mighty but okay they are definitely teaching me how to be patient but then sometimes I take that and that and a and I reflect that towards someone that's not signed up for that that's not thinking this way and it makes me feel like I can't be that person toward yeah, so this is a classic one which is as we, you know, study developing virtue for ourselves a virtuous attitude it flips around and and we're going well, I can't do because that person is kind of not doing it and from this point of view we take one hundred percent responsibility that's what it teaches talent tell us take one hundred percent responsibility for working from your end doesn't mean you're a fool about what other people are doing or naive about it it means it's in a way either irrelevant to your own cultivation or actually food for you no it's productive for it so it's kind of ah a shift of viewpoint there there's a classic there's a serious of slogans in buddhism um which are one liners basically that have been developed over the centuries um they actually date back to twelfth century um a d so some of this stuff is quite still alive, you know, continuously alive and transmitted but it's a serious of slogan center really field slogans about howto work with situations in the field, you know? And they're one liners so you can remember them and then you can kind of reflect on them when they come up in one of them is it's called dr all blames into oneself which essentially in modern times is take responsibility for that with going on? And the classic thing I like to say is in the buddhist couple, you know, is having an argument, you know, and one person saying together you should bly dr all blames into into yourself, which is the opposite of the media you're lecturing the other person to be to be cultivating some kind of compassion awareness and the whole definition of the slogan is that we should be we should start the process from here, you know, so that's very profound. And you know, when people are deeply steeped in this it shifts around some of the some of those feelings so, um in communities in which some progress has been made into this and they're rare. I just want to really go on record saying they're not that common, because now you're talking to a group of people cultivating something together like we're doing here, you know, every culture, every community has a culture, like, doesn't creative life have a culture when you say that's a fair thing to say, and what are some of the hallmarks of that culture? Well, we stand upon the same principle, which is, you know, creativity being the new literacy see, we unleash the creative potential, and I think it's on that tenant that we derive some of our energy to collaborate on these workshops. So are you encouraged to be creative in the name of creative? Yes, yeah, we're encouraged to be free and creative, and we are all supported, and everybody here always has a smile on their face. So yeah, it's a fantastic, supportive, conducive flowing environment for creativity. Absolutely. So when we create a culture around a particular organization, which we couldn't, you know our country, our our regional communities have culture of different kind. New york has a certain culture. San francisco is a perfect example of a culture in which sort of individuality is respected er, you know, over the years and creativity, um, and, um you know, probably it's historically been one of the most tolerant communities in america, wouldn't you say and kind of leading in things like awareness of ecology and things like that? So whatever the culture is is a personal culture, but it also connects up that we have sort of group obstacles and we're sort of working on those together. But the idea of starting with oneself is kind of a very profound idea. And that's, what was reflected in your in your comments? Yeah, we're not waiting for the the other person to to initiate the process. So, um, just looking at some of the obstacles that we experience, I just wrote down a bunch of them well, before you do ok, sure. Actually, this it comes from jennifer of a really intense for brilliant it's, actually a brilliant over because I know a jennifer brilliant in new york, you know, that's a great name. This is her french consul. Or it could be her code name to the thing about developing discipline is that it takes discipline. Lack of discipline is like the snake eating its own tail. How do you develop discipline in the first place? Yeah, well, you've got this. Stop eating your own tail. Just interrupt that process, you know, that's, insight and that's, you know, kind of discernment um and we call it prasanna we talked about yesterday kind of discerning intelligence, you say, you know, she's just given us a very good example. She said this kind of lack of discipline is as counterproductive is a snake eating its own tail it's that destructive. So once you have that inside, then you gotta act on it. And that's where what we call exertion comes into play. There's no riel formula for its it's a funny thing, you just kind of pointed out and people who either do it or they don't in some, uh, context once somebody's subjected themselves for the discipline, there are a certain kind of practice environments. Uh, well, they'll help you reinforce it, you know? So maybe there is, uh, kind of in the tibetan monasteries. They would have a master of of discipline and they would kind of reinforce the discipline but let's face it, somebody could just say, I'm out of here. I don't want to be in this monastery anymore. So there's no way short of our own kind of motivation that we can really, really, uh cultivated which puts it back to us, it's up to us. Um uh really, um my my teacher often said, uh, it's really up to you, but you can do it there's an encouragement that has been done you can do this this one that's a very important point other people have done it it's doable it's workable even to the point where it's not really uh it's very workable the kind of things that we're talking about maybe not you know we're not talking about like quitting your job and leaving your life and going to a mountain cave that might be a very high degree of difficulty but taking twenty minutes a day to meditate is very workable or even taking one right one minutes will get you one minute closer to heaven but, uh, you know, talk I mean, I'm glad you said that even one, um because I think we're talking about more than that at this point that you know, that still would fall until I can we can we watered this down to the quick fix level of reality and what we're talking about, something more organic. So, um, I think that it's safe to say, as we said earlier, yes, you can practice in the field and you can kind of have short bursts of energy and attention attentiveness and it's a very sophisticated way to practice, but if you don't create the base camp and you don't do the work uh I think we really join a line in the sand here for our our friends here and our friends online if you do want to take this on just carrying the ideas around is not really going to do it you have to do some work so it's interesting walter emma's joining us thank you water saying it doesn't feel so much like distraction in their life but that life is never totally settled eventually something always comes up to knock me out my sense of security, my sense of happiness and interestingly flicka responded to that saying that that comet really resonated with them and then think went on to say their obstacle seems to be in in incessantly preparing and gathering information without ever really moving to the practice itself that's uh we talked about that right that's um developing the few remember the first day we talked about telling you but not doing the practice so who's that person said that that was flicka like a sow flicka um get to it time to go time to sit down like it's your decision at this point and but you've identified it so I think if we don't listen to ourselves we won't listen anybody else either if you've already had that inside it's time the time is has obviously arisen the fact we're having this conversation look I'm talking directly to you you see me follow your own insight to it going back to the tea boy and snake eating table analogies what if we're our own tea boy uh wallah boy and eating around I I'm told I'm very patient was a friend but you know that's one thing that people always say oh you're very patient with others but with myself I think I'm the exact opposite one always think I should be more effective more more something you see that might be patients but it also might be compassion to yourself because you obviously have the resource to be patient with others that you care about and you see the benefit of it so what the obstacles in terms of applying that to oneself it would be interesting to look at why am I not applying that to myself? I'm so good with my friends and this way I'm so patient and accommodating but I don't give myself that same benefit so the practice we're going to do tomorrow is about like actually start opening up some channel of working with the idea of compassion or kindness towards oneself and then kindness towards others as well so you know that might not be a patient's issue okay, I'm looking for two so um you know, moving on time just uh one of the great things about meditation practice if it has no other benefit, is it actually khun slow the clock down to uh uh times when we've done long periods of sitting you look at the clock and you would swear it's not moving and uh for whatever reason, I've used this analogy of, like the bell ringing at the end. Sometimes it's, like you're in the ring with mike tyson, you know, and he's wanting you and even the heck out of you. And then the bell rings, honey stops, you know. So the meditation bell can feel like that to us. Sometimes we're looking over the clock, and we know we're going to be sitting toe, like, you know, ten minutes to twelve or something like that, and we look over and it's, like only moves one second since the last time we looked.

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.