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Meditation for Everyday Life

Lesson 20 of 28

The True Meaning of Success Part 2

David Nichtern

Meditation for Everyday Life

David Nichtern

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Lesson Info

20. The True Meaning of Success Part 2

Lesson Info

The True Meaning of Success Part 2

But it's interesting you say eight people here we haven't heard from the camera people maybe they chip into it some point um and we have the two of you we haven't really heard from either one of you want to see either one of you wantto describe your experience well um okay, I know you are putting me on I got through it a little bit and actually you know what stuck out to me was the way that you write it and I and I even was thinking about success and I was contemplating on just how gracefully I had written it and that it was just really nicely played and then and then you were saying it was it was it hard was it was it light and I said, oh, maybe I should have, like, written it harder and I was like, well that's very forcing you know so you know, I actually felt pretty balanced on what words came up uh underneath for me I didn't get past that part because then we were chad you know, but but as far as I got, um yeah, so but we can certainly share some more from the global chapter well, ...

I don't want to throw it out to you out in uh global chat space and invite you we have eight people here, but I wasn't so we have I think thousands of people watching now or how many people are watching you a lot that's why I keep losing my place okay, but of course not all of you responding that's the way that is, but I want to invite any of you who went through the process, which was an open inquiry basically I didn't really buy us in any way as far as I'm concerned say hey what's really sick you know give you a spiritually rap or something like that what's really successful we mean from the heart you know, I just did whatever it means to you and it's interesting I wanted to see if any of those thousand people out there just in a spontaneous process of exploring your own kind of inner workings came up with yeah there's a bunch of bullshit man give me the money anybody income a year is my successful right go solyndra's saying having over three hundred thousand a month a month don't don't say months that absolutely go for it on having the house of my dreams with the family of my dreams where you could buy a couple of families with three hundred thousand a great stuff big star eyes one says success to me felt like financial freedom okay, so this is interesting that, um, you know, we're kind of allowing usually we want to just put a lid on everything and kind of, you know khun constrain our thought process but it seems is that we get more and more expansive kind of the more people get closer to the sort of their own real take on the thing instead of what was programmed into them. So it's a very interesting, uh, karina off, of course there's areas like recognition acknowledgment uh, nobody really mentioned those things yet either that's another dimension of being acknowledged being recognized for who you are. Um and yeah, in that exchange, I offered inspiration and, uh, excitement and into people's own lives and exchange for appreciation to get some appreciation back. Yeah, so some of these things we might be also we might be embarrassed to say, here is just fine you khun the internal processes fine, you might have your own insight about yourself on dh sharing is not necessarily required, and I think the thing I wanted to move on to from this process is a suggestion and this is a homework assignment for tonight. Okay? So adding to the golden dot and by the way, we'll take a minute. If anybody wants to comment on the homework assignment from last night, which was to put the golden dots of where is your mind now and sort of appreciation of the moment which now are all over greater they're everywhere here now and also to do ten or fifteen minute practice on your own so let's, keep those going. You know, for those of you who've been with us for a couple of days, just keep those going like that continue to happen that you get some regular meditation practice in before dinner tonight or whenever and I want to add to it. And you might want to write this down at home if you're getting ready for your homework assignment for tonight and you guys can write it down to, um, there's a contemplation that I would invite you to do and we maybe can in the morning. Just take a quick look at these before we move on. Um, these five topics that you write one paragraph on each topic. Okay, so the first topic I called aspiration and this was a little bit weird talking about what is your vision of your life? What do you aspiring to? What would you like to see your life become? What would you like to achieve? How would you like to be seen? You know what? What do you aspire to? The second topic is inspiration. Uh, what inspires you? You know, we're sort of like what gets you out of bed in the morning? What? What keeps you moving? What keeps your life moving forward and upward are there are there models of behavior that you relate to are there people who inspire you are their teachers, leaders who inspire you other ideas, historical figures. You know, what is the source of your inspiration? Uh, then the third one is motivation. And as you aspire, what is it that's motivating you? Is it's some kind of selfish motivation or self oriented motivation to become a great person? Teo too? I have kind of everything you want. Is there some altruistic motivation involved? You want to be helpful to others, you know, being very honest about it. That's this is an opportunity not to say what anybody else thinks you want. Um, but it's a chance to explore your own on community. I've done this with students. That could be very, very revealing. Um, even though it seems kind of kind of simplistic in a way so out of all that and of your aspiration of inspiration and you're motivation usually afford some kind of intention, like I mean, to pry, I want to practice, I wanna, you know, get better at, uh, my job, you know, I wanted to to get a promotion. I want to run this whole company, you know, there's some intention, I want to really help people, I wantto really raise awareness of global warming you know you have some kind of intention and it's ah focused kind of energy that you want to you want to bring to bear on two things it's not totally casual it's not like well whatever man you know yeah I'll just want to get through the day well if your intention is to get through the day you could say so if that's what you intend and then the fifth one is perspiration what are you doing about it and how much is your effort? Perspiration is effort how much of your effort and exertion is in line with your aspiration, inspiration, motivation and intention and how much of it is just taking you into a completely different you know um you know if you say you want to get in shape this year you know that's your aspiration and your inspiration for that as you see great athletes and they look so healthy and powerful and you dig that and then your motivation is you want to do that for your own benefit but also for the benefit of your family and friends so that you could be happy and healthy and your intention is to sort of get into the gym and kind of get yourself in shape this year what are you doing about it? How much in line is your action with your your intentions so this is like a self little self evaluation kind of process that we can take home with us if you don't get it done tonight it's okay you could try it on your own and just see what look what you say so it's aspiration inspiration motivation intention perspiration and there's no right answers this is for your own ability to sort of illuminate thes these things for yourself but we will maybe when we come in if anybody has a very short paragraph on each one um and it's something you can take away and then you khun you know it's self correcting you just look at your effort a cz compared to it and it's a you know, pulling back from from the sort of sense of just getting through the day and giving life more direction and purpose in that way more clarity um so we'll play with that if anybody had any comment about practicing at home last night or the use of the golden dot uh you know, uh and uh you want to comment now might be a good time to to allocate a few minutes for that and then maybe we'll close with another period of practice any of these things you can go through again like if you think well, jeez, I didn't know the thing about success could include uh you know, more specific things that I really want to put in do the contemplation again what's interesting is from me as I was going through it it was similar to what happened to you that a lot of space opened up there's a feeling of, like almost golden quality of fruition and we don't even dare to I think that this is possible for our lives we won't you know we go like and then I can but it was almost like an expansion of the possibilities in the mind did you have that kind of thing? Is that accurate to say I also make a little comment about it I feel like a lot of the times the fear on going there is that you're going there along and that that's why I felt like I went down to try to grab like, whoever with me and then at that moment I felt like it was in our home, you know? So I can go there if you want to follow me, you can follow me, I have I feel like I'm there, you know, like I am it's so weird, but it's just it's such a beautiful place that I want people to come, but they don't need to come if they're not ready, you know? Yeah, I'm obviously not going to force them toe me maybe myself even yesterday. What a forced mmm mmm mmm mmm mmm, yeah like no, you're coming with me because I don't want to be alone so as you you know, kind of look at your mind without the kind of habitual manipulations what comes up for you who are you? Who are you really behind all the smoke screens who's in there so um this is kind of process that were engaging in and we're not trying to program it actually we're just trying to, like give ways to explore the richness of our own experience that's really the point of the three day program were there any comments coming in from online about I don't normally like to jump backwards, but could you very, very just quickly encapsulate the golden dot saying a lot of people joined us today you know that yesterday so they're just asking they're really curious because they're seen them around the set I would be really chicken just say by the video but let's some be nice yeah, well, just a phenomenal idea that like, you know this all of a sudden you walk outta here and there's golden dots all over san francisco and every goingto happen you know, um but there are golden that's all over creative life and so to sum up what we talked about yesterday it's we had two homework assignments one is to keep your practice going so that we have this nice energy and cauldron here but like on your own to develop the personal strength do you own a meditation practice, and then the second thing was apart. Coming from our meditation in everyday life portion howto had a sort of deal with post meditation. We suggested to everybody that you buy, uh, pad of golden or yellow dots, you know, that I would come on the peace, they come on a piece of paper and they're stuck to it, and you can peel them off and put them anywhere that you like. So, um, when you see one, the ideas you put one in sort of obvious place of transition, where you could either lose awareness or kind of gain awareness that's the thing is, there are certain places we go like the refrigerator door asai mentioned the other day is prime golden dot space, because as we approach the refrigerator, we go into kind of automatic pilot and a hungry ghost kind of mode of like it was, you know, I need something to fill to fill this hole up, and we're looking into the, uh, refrigerator is the kind of mother of all goodness, you know, and somehow going to save us the chocolate ice cream and refrigerators goingto start to look like almost religious in quality, and right there is the golden dot on the door of the refrigerator, and we have a little moment of waking up from that particular kind of momentum then you enter thing and so you could put it on your on your computer on your ipad on your telephone uh you know on your camera will be good for the camera people who just put a little ill dot on there and then you go okay? We're not just I'm not just doing this by rote today, but I'm actually present in this room and actually paying attention to what's going on and enjoying myself and appreciating the situation so it's a little bit of a reminder and it's a sort of technique it's a gimmick but a good gimmick and a harmless gimmick for tony bennett well, it's funny you're saying that in a way it's going to get funny in a minute when I read the punchline but keep going what that golden dot that is another recommending I left my golden dot in san francisco thank you yeah I won't go into that but the short answer is yes okay there's your next big he didn't record it though yes yeah but it was almost here so and of course he's one of the greats while we're on that topic to tony bet bennett duets are something to really check out because working with everybody and all these really famous people it's obvious that he's he's kind of the master in the situation everybody's kind of doing a little bow to tony is kind of uh so if you wantto check those that I'm not supposed to sell product here that's not ours I know that but while you're getting the tony bennett duet album you might wanna go to creative live dot com and buy this workshop here you go so we're kind of moving along just maybe leave some open space we've covered a lot of ground so far we've covered uh why meditate with the ground on the basis of it is how to meditate how to go about it we talked about contemplative meditation is a second variation using the creative mind as we have been doing so much today to focus on a particular topic to liberate insight and cultivate qualities that we want to call two eight uh we talked about obstacles and you know things coming up that seemed to block our progress on the path of meditation we talked about stress and anxiety as strong textures in her life on how we experience those and how we could work with those with those feelings more creatively ah we talked about uh the true meaning of success so I think I'd like to just leave maybe five or seven minutes open for open dialogue on any of any of those topics who really covered a lot of ground so far so um does anybody in the live audience just wantto revisit any of those topics? Ok let's try having first um way talk about practice and we talked about competition and I um I have I have my own thoughts on on the two but I'm curious what your take is um how you see practicing competition be a little bit more detail about what do you mean why? You know we're talking about that meditation practice I want to go to yoga yoga yoga practice and I think the intent and yoga is for, um the instructor to let everyone know that you're no good at being in the in the room um is it is around your own, um, participation in yoga? Um I think about creative live and think about, uh something is like our camera operators and how you know they how they practice and how they work within, um, production um and to me, you know, the more you practice, the better you get something and that to me um there's that could make it more competitive and I don't know I'm kind of jumping about, but I hope that helps sure what's interesting what comes to mind is again, you know, the reason I'm here doing this um it's largely because of the inspiration right? My teacher in passing that through so I sometimes we four back to things that were said there that had meaning for me and there was one he talked quite a bit about enlightened hierarchy he was very interested in leadership in society and things like that and he gave a very famous talk at least in our community called lids and flowers and hierarchy being either like the person of the top needs to keep everybody down so that they can keep their position and they're sort of altitude is his safe you know that's one style of management that you see that's called the lid style of management so the person of the top really is protective of their altitude and they're kind of like living out the other employees so everybody feels like they're just kind of like I think you know a glass ceiling would be an example of the lit it's like you can't go past there that's we don't we don't want you passed there but the other style of leadership which he endorsed it was called flowers which is like more like the image of the sun the sun radiates light and then people grow the flowers go to their natural height you know and there's no sense of constriction on that and in fact it's recognized that an ecosystem that's really a good way to do things and to generate that kind of openness in this situation now that doesn't mean that because somebody thinks they should be promoted uh that's not weird talking about that they would have to manifest but the idea is if they do manifest then there's room for them to grow and I've seen you know, just everybody out there knows who I am I've done a lot of business I mean, I've had three really major careers one is teaching the dharma and teaching the buddha's teachings the other is being a musician in the creative jock, you know, just going around kind of winging it and sometimes frankly, from a business point of view, I made most money by like having no clue what I was doing and just coming up with some stupid song you know, um so I know the creative field, but I've also been a business person and run a bunch of different business operations and the idea of the lid on the flower is profound to me, you know, in terms of running any companies that I've been involved with management level or been involved in working for other people, how do you feel it if you go to work and you feel like there's a lid over you that I guarantee if you're a creative person, you're going to keep growing and you're going to smooth out that's what's going to happen that happens all the time and companies person goes there moving this way and there's nowhere for them to go and they just go this way because that's, what flowers will do that's literally what plants do and then they'll go this way so depending on the vision of you know the business operation and if you can take that principle though it's a good it's a healthy way to examine that principle is the company using the lid style of management of the flower style of management and you recognize in time people are going to go out and do their own thing and you know, if you have a healthy relationship to competition, you'll say, well, I trained that person another competing with me, so this is going to get good because we tend also to you know, um become complacent, you know, we'll achieve a certain level way don't want to be challenged anymore, but the person we train might be the very best person to challenges, and that could be seen as healthy competition, and I guess unhealthy competition would be coming from a sense of lack and you feel like there's not enough to go around, and then you go like, you know, it's kind of road essential, you become like a rodent, you know? You're going to get that not before the other the other squirrel gets it. So, um, these are very interesting questions, and I feel there dar mick questions, so they're really questions that are not unrelated to what we're talking about, how how vast your sense of of the situation is, how much, what your notion of successes and you know these are all things that were all but I'm struck I got to say I'm struck by how much once you open that cannister and talk about these things how much goodness comes through people I'm kind of amazed by it and almost have never been kind of went wow you know this is people are really selfish and greedy and uptight that's what they are that's by nature I haven't experienced that eso assumes there's room for people to explore an open up and expand these things it's things flourish more is that your would you say I think it's a big part of why creative life is successful and why I love my job and why you no wear talk about success the first word that came to me talking about magical thinking was familial um that to me a success and we have that here very much and um so like a clan yeah yeah uh willow yeah, just a thought on money. You know what? What you just several times I'm thinking maybe if you if that question might have been asked fifteen years ago it might have come up more but because of the the way business is right now and so many people are under allude uh what are under a lead by uh bankers and etcetera the whole rest of it people are pretty peeved about er what is success you know uh how about you personally? Oh, I'm personally disgusted by uh uh the way people have been treated, you know booted out of their homes and uh like this it's this is the topic of success is extremely loaded for me I can't talk about it at least not right now. Okay, we'll come back do we have anybody in the online e I find quite fascinating the wheelers had that reaction because in a way assumes somebody first started talking about money and then the room you know took a long time before anybody checked him in that then a little throw fierce debate did start going on right now I mean I won't get into all the names and everything that's being said but people are saying, well, how do you measure success? Why do you think you need this much money? I think you really need this money you know, success is is very subjective, isn't it is kind of, you know, everybody has a different opinion on how you measure it so it's interesting that I I totally agree with your reaction ultimately like a quality of life that we perceive that money will bring us and I think that's what everybody's got their own definition of over the way it looks like for that to two for them to experience that you need them to feel that contentment with quality of life that's definitely personally what I'm after what I'm aspiring teo for, for all beings in this money. But I mean one of the things about our practice. Here's, uh, tomorrow we're goingto movinto altruism. January, like thinking about the will of others. But before we do that, it's really good to not leap to that, and to sort of touching on one's own a sense of happiness, personal happiness and well being, because altruism that comes out of a sense of lack and poverty mentality, you know, sometimes isn't that powerful. Um, so but tomorrow we are going to go there.

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.