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#12: Thupten Jinpa

2016-05-04
Thupten Jinpa may be best known for being the Dalai Lama's longtime English-language translator. But now Jinpa is working to get his own message across. In his new book, "A Fearless Heart," Jinpa touches on the course in compassion training he helped create at Stanford University -- one that has been shown to make people happier, healthier and better able to regulate their emotions.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
From ABC see this is the ten percent have your podcast cast? If you had told me a few years ago that someday I have my very own hard cast an eye bay, to invite anybody on that. I wanted and that one of my very first guess would be a guy who wrote a book called a fearless heart. I would have been a little bit super eyes. But in this case I want to set aside my militant anti. anti mentality, because this guy is worth that his name is dumped in Juba. My pronouncing that grace you got a phd Cambridge, Are you now working with Stanford University, where he's created a secular protocol called compassion cultivation, training or cctv, which is basically a course that teacher people, a series of meditative techniques, design. Build your compassion muscles. Another name for this course could be how not to be a jerk a to yourself and others. That's my branding, not his
this programme cctv is now being studied in the labs. It showed that it makes people happier and healthier and better able to regulate their emotions. and basically, what the been trying to do here is to do Compassion, which already been done for my fulness, which is too great, a lot of excitement around it. Everybody knows that there is an enormous amount of science That at least strongly suggest that mindfulness is good, for you so what I done is helping to achieve, and I really support this is to get the message out there- that there is a powerful site typically validated self interested case for not being a jerk, great abbe Thank you. Thank you for having me on the shore taking gradually book had just come on paper back. Congratulations on that. Thank you very much. I want to get to the book and to the ccd and end to your advice about how people can practices at home in a minute, but I want to start with your personal story, which is really
have you as a child, you, your refugee, from too bad. You became a monk at age, eleven, they somehow made it to Cambridge University, twice and I haven't you mentioned as yet. You also have served as the Dalai Lama's personal translator for thirty years and during which I've actually met you a few times and what I ve interviewed, his holiness, so let's start with that, you? How old were you when your family had to leave Tibet? Thank you. Let me first of all the knob say how deeply Not I am I didn't realize. Actually I was I am the early guest on your podcast caused show such an honour and pleasure. I will barely a year when my parents left in nineteen fifty nine. In the wake of the chinese occupation of Tibet and the Dalai Lama exotics kind of flight to India,
I don't remember at all, but I I do tell my many of my young tibetan colleagues that at least I've had drunk Tibetan water I was born in Tibet, so in the early part of my child, was really spend in India in the northern part of India, and your parents were basically meat, based on what I read your book kind of conscripted into working on doing roadwork in northern India, yes M after the initial kind of resettlement assistance at the international aid agencies, as well as the government of India offered to them a number of Tibetans around? Eighty thousand follow the Dalai Lama to India. So that's a very large number of trips so after the first few months of initial resettlement and assist then of course, people have to what themselves now would you do and my parents generation they don't speak in English at all. They don't speak Hindi and they have never really been outside too bad, so
What can they do and the only they could do and actual they were well suited to do was the road construction at high altitude, because all of a sudden India now had to man a very large international border, protect themselves ranch ideas again chinese and for centuries, because the border was between Tibet in India, there was no conflict, so there was no need to defend the border at all and all of us, now India now has to defend its border against, and you'll chinese aggression so which meant building roads that are militarily kind of you, no viable and many of the Tibetans of my parents generation ended up working on those and they are very grateful because it he's they got employment rights, but it wasn't easy in and you and the kids were worship it is in their parents for x. You you get to stay with your parents at the work cipher couple weeks. We have wild me every living separately, exactly I'm uh, that's the kind of tip, the story of the children of my
Tibetans of my generation lemon. If, if the children are very small offers, they would be with the parents up to each, for and then at our central boarding school at the age of four, because the parents, to move from one side to another site, these at tent camps, as the rude road programmes they have to move camps, which meant that they cannot really look after the in older kids and they all sent to boarding school, then we'll run set up for the tibetan refugee children but the smaller ones. I do remember vividly once I was visiting my parents from my school and they were very small children who were tied two pegs like dogs, with a leash around their waste the mothers can work and their mothers would be breaking stones to make pebbles to put on the road for the ash fault and the children would be fought has to be fine, not because otherwise chips will affect the eyes but there
the close enough so that they can keep an eye. So I remember vividly seeing children's tied up to a pig's so so these can do. She's really were not optimal. Fur human flesh, in effect your mother got sick. Yes, my mother, after the birth of my sister, was the third she became ill and that time also my father was already ill and the in a hospital. So I think she really went through a very difficult time and sooner the birth of my sister. She left the child at the a care or a childcare in one of the tibetan communities and visited my father. It turns out that their, internal bleeding, which could have been prevented, but because there was no and we have to understand that the level of education among depends was also quite wrong in terms of modern age,
so they did not know much about health needs. So, unfortunately, in terms I laughed a few days, he passed away, your name is an end. Again, I'm just getting us from having read your book, but there was actually a number of what must have been devastating and confusing events. Does your mother passed away in and your father went off, enjoyed a monastery sue, your kind of on your own? Yes, I was that Tibetan boarding school and in fact, the first time he came to see me. It was a bit of a shock is he turned up in monks? Robes with clean shaven head and for us and I did not actually revolutionise him and no one had warned me that he had become a monk, why? Why would he do why? Why would he do that? I think I'm going to Ben's a very devout religious people, particularly of my parents generation, and because he was sick for a long time and- and there was one of tragedy, but my mother is dead. I think he did consultations with lamas and men
of them and have converged on saying that you know you'll be or how long term, health and the well being of your children is better off. He might choose to become a monk and Interestingly, you did not long thereafter, you became a yes, I did at age eleven. It was eleven and after I finish my grateful. So how did you you are a refugee. yeah ask your mother, your father went off to join a monastery. You go become a monk during all this. You somehow become fluent in English. Had how did this happen, well the reason why I chose to become a monk was in all. I remember very clearly that a group of monks came and state a couple of weeks and how school boarding school in similar the town in northern India? Does the British some a Kapital, a former British some capital and its beautiful ear? Had sir it's a nice area of not India, I remember at school. You know my
constant memory of school to enduring memories, actually hunger and boredom. So it was not very challenging academically for me Then, all of a sudden we had these groups of monks staying there for a couple of weeks and each class was assigned a monk and the who was the Santa Claus taught elementary monastic debate, and I was ITALY fastened monastic to delete that the debating tradition, which users can call rules, that's the main kind of form of a medium of scholarship in the academic monasteries late. I found out also the monks hat in other stories. They were telling about in a classical India and put his arm in the life of the Buddha was fascinating and cause as an aid nine year old kid I just Would it be like them,
but was a bed, was the main reason why I really wanted to become a monk lobbies that would not have inspired me as an eighty year old, I was eight years old. I was interested in video game, so you definitely especial kid if that was inspiring well because the eye associated. You know someone wearing monastic robes with intelligence and something interesting and You know a sharp and logical thinking in all of that, but the English. When I left school I had a rudimentary English to be able to read. Of course, I was unable to speak and did not understand much, but the time was perfect. The monastery that I joined, where my father was a monk, was in Dharamsala. This was a night in seventy seventy one at the height of the hippy movement. and there were a lot of western hippies- in the area and that meant that I had an opportunity to hang out with them. You know make friends started having conversations and in
I made friends with one particular person who stayed in themselves for a while and out visit him twice or once a week. Spend some time with him and that's how I was able to pick up English and how did who end up becoming the Dalai Lama's english translator. Tat was pure coincidence, it was an eighty five by the time I was based insulting to at least one of the large monastic academic monasteries and them. I was visiting Dharamsala to see my the brother and sister, who were at that insurance village and it so happened that is holiness. Was you do to give a series of teachings and at that Quest of LOS Angeles paste. put a centre but though officials interpreter there had arranged, could not make it on the first day because of the poor, delayed, and they will for someone to stand in for him directly under,
exactly and then the word spread around there's this young man who has a reasonably good command of English? Maybe he can do it. You know wanting lead to another. I was plucked out of my seat by this budgetary and put in their to translate voice ominous but fortune, neither does the format interpreting was so, ten years, which meant its, best love wrecking because there's no stop. they his continues to talk and an end. speaks through Fm Radio said much less nerve racking and the text that he was teaching was something that I was very familiar. That's how and then you know two or three days later. He holiness called me up and I had a private meeting with him and he said I know you you're a good, smaller you're from one of the monasteries and he said how come I do I did not know that you spoke English when we come, given the real deal. Do you ever seem get no bad mood. Of course.
yes, I'm really is ever yogi. Yes, he's a human being the ground. first out the door when it matters most from all across the globe to every corner here at home, he asked for more than a decade he's been right there everywhere David Muir, covering our world and when american jobs are on the line. He leads the charge more. Americans are now watching world news tonight, then, in a decade- and we thank you ABC World NEWS tonight with David Muir. He reports to you.
You mustn't freaking out once entered his orbit enough in its usually permanent way. Well, when he then he said to you know, some people told me that you have an easy English to listen to, and would you be willing to? You not travelled with me if I need your service, of course in. I wasn't even dreaming about this and I just broke down in tears and in a for Tibetan, especially someone off that age in a flash sees HOLLAND is always this very elevated figure and loose like the source of all meaning such purpose. How existence indicate exact community in our of course, tremendously not touched, TAT S a of course I've. Never, even in my dream, I ever thought that I will have an opportunity like that what gives us the real deal. Do you ever seem get no bad mood, of course,
yes, I'm really is every other you he is here. He is a human being and yelled at by the Dalai Lama. That's parallel. Naughty l, but scolded really has certainly not because I have this year would be tat. He is working with him. thirty years. If I don't get scolded several times, then something is wrong. I mean you know you always know. That's was again no bad mood. Well, emanate is a human being. I mean he's an amazing intervene. will definitely, but it then, and any fit for me honestly. When I see him occasionally, you know lose it, and scold me. I actually feel more respect for him because more trying to hide it he's very genuine he's re offending and you know what you see is what you get and, of course, he has a level of mastery of his mind, which is amazing and impressive, but at the end of the day is he's also human being in a he is subject: to all the irritation. Speaking when he's tired,
and the amount of work that he does. And if you look at his international travels in his eye to narrate it's almost every minute is accounted for, and you really got to have a tremendous degree of stable It had to be able to continue cool throughout all of that time, and then I actually told some of my colleagues that in know of any his owner schools you you know you have to appreciate- is because If he is not allowed to scold his staff, who else can school through jokes so I mean I'd. Let me just ask if you more questions but his highness, because I I talk of I've been open about this in my book. I'm pretty sure he had read the book but I approached him with some level of of just reflect, of scepticism, because
I'm me know an agnostic, Shan Western Skeptic pit raised by scientists married to a scientist and the kind of Buddhism that I practice you know is that we don't have smells and bells there's, not no robes or anything like that and you know, and obviously he he's considered to be a reincarnation and he had the term, his holiness entitle, which have never understood, because I read a lot. I read a lot about Buddhism and does not anything about holiness, really mentioned. No, the white? Where does it come from? I think it's You know I'm in that. This is a thing because when heave, I think this term solid as the epithet we maybe using is really a kind of a projection from the west and western European, particularly the british relationship with that I must began in the beginning of the twentyth century so already a pattern was established
referring to his predecessor as these on Mister Thornton Dalai Lama. so and in the rest of you know, you all just want to figure out the highest who's, the lower the ranks matter ends Actually, when you in the kind of journalistic description of another form leader, you need to you want to make sure that we get the title right, so you that this is now the Pope written it well. I think this is how the titles came to be because he inherited because his predecessor, the previous, that element, was referred to as soon as the Dalai Lama by the book, press then autumn, secondly, when the younger than I am also recognised. The title got transferred: that's all but he I mean. If you ask him he would say as the simple buddhist monk you know, and that's and It is truly who use and enter his credit. I've no side with a couple times, and he does say that, and he was the first. He is the first to admit that he is not perpetually in some states. Shall s or anything like that, and so he does deserve credit.
That budget get. Let me just ask you. After all, the education you had all travelling, you ve done you? Do you believe that he is the reincarnation? Do you believe in reincarnation? I do I do honestly and there's nothing in science and philosopher that have done at Stanford and Cambridge and also through the many years of my life work, never in wages. Interactive minded let combined and I've been attitude yet is basically a consortium of scientists you're doing neuroscience around contemplative techniques, such as my exact, and also trying to understand the mind from the perspective of the first person experience, which is what is, he to add to the scientific per person outside so there is nothing in what I have learned from all of these. That real undermines my belief in the rain carnation, because reincarnation in the end, you know, is crowded upon your conception of what consciousness is
If you have a materialistic conception of what consciousness is that consciousness? Is nothing but an emerging property from the physiological processes were then you have a body in a brain. Exactness. Jigs interest emerges then, of course it's very different. The ground you been understandable, reincarnation but if you have an understanding that consciousness is more in the form of an information type, but it it can be grounded, it can have any kind of material basis and there, The continuity of its own, which is more of a kind of a US of energy. Then reincarnation. Isn't that much of a stretch So I dont and all. the basic truth of Buddhism in I'm, I'm a practice and put his still men, the basic truths of Buddhism, really has to do with fundamental reality of human aspiration and needs. And
valatie and perfectibility of our mind. The ways in which we can self regulate our emotions You know that certain qualities of our nature, Can be developed and acted so many of these insights and teachings remain valid. It doesn't really matter what scientific framework you have, though I mean on the latter half of them before first major San reincarnation night. I just I remain respectively, agnostic, respectfully agnostic, I don't know, I don't make any claims it wages way hard for me to how's. It unreservedly was it I just don't know, but on the law her half of what you just said that the that one of, if not the fundamental insight of Buddhism and who deserves a tricky, where it was evident tat. He was founding a religion, and now there are many many schools, but one me common out common denominator among all the different schools is that in this house, important you'd have to be a Buddhist. You not to be anything in order to find this right,
go and impairing, which is that the mind can be trained the mind through which we experienced every we spend so much time on our bank accounts are in our path the core r r cars are bodies, but no time most of us on the one filter through which we experienced everything and it is susceptible to training and that Emmy been taught in Eastern quote: unquote: religious contact for millennia, but that is a that's our birthright screw and also in principle, there's nothing religious about that, I guess and and that's and one of the reasons why his holiness in particular very keen to engage with scientists? and kind of humanistic philosophy. to bring that insight into an idiom and a concept a framework that is religion because you know same thing with compassion and many historically, something compassion is embedded within the villages.
Ideology, and medium and metaphor, but in itself. we are talking about. A fundamental human quality, and same goes for many of the techniques that has to do with training our mind when one the things that I find beautifully. Kind of encouraging. Is that in the in the one of this very important? statement of the Buddha. He says that with our mind. We create our world it's really and we may be all living in the same physical environment, but each of us live, slightly different world that we ourselves created and and what he means by that is the way we see the world around us. The waste we see ourselves literally shaped the wheel. experience it and the wind It's the quality and the tone of our experience than influences our behavior. So in In other words, you know how mind has a powerful role in determining the quality of our life. You you talked about. All the signs. That's happening around this. Have you been
I dare not only translating, but also working with the mind and Life Institute, and also your work at Stanford with CCD, which I want to get too in just a minute, but but justice was the loop on your personal story. You are no longer a monk s, you you you left and you'd, and now our meriting of teenage daughters and live in Montreal. How did that combat, one of the things that term in I struggled with as a monk, was always a kind of a yearning for a family. Probably in a maybe I'm now being kind of slightly Freud. And here, if I tried to psychoanalyze myself, why is there this kind of yearning? probably because I missed family life, a very age and at each for hours and a boarding school. It's nine. My mother died than my father became a monk, so I never really had a real family kind of warm kind of memory. So I think there was a yearning for a family and that really never went away
So when I was my early thirties as I was becoming more and more senior in the Berlin. The monastic establishment and it became morally risk put immoral important question for me to really ask myself: glassy my entire future, but the monastic establishment- or We need to follow my heart and seek a family, because One of the things is the most senior you are. If you leave the more damage it could do to the community that was the decision I made, and I just happened to be very fortunate. I landed well founded beautiful life was in her, she had my values: she's, french Canadians. give you a and you know when parenting experience had been really joy for me, it's they were challenges.
both in the area of relationships and parenting as well, but also I've learned that many of the skills that are required as a month were perfectly applicable and tremendous. Useful, the air while mean that's, why it's so valuable for the rest of to be adopting these practices that for so long when exactly cloistered in monotony formulated, so what talk about compassion and your programme ccd, which is designed to teach people how to be compassion. I think, Just question asked early, though, is what exactly is compassion, how's it different from empathy or sympathy or pity. Is that so bottom cushion, because in everyday English pretend to conflict all of them and mix them up, and sometimes we it was them interchangeably, compassion, I would define as a kind of her the natural response that you expect in the face of someone suffering where you are connect with that person's experience- and
we now wish to do so. in about it So there is when compassionate rises in us. There is the perception of that the person suffering followed by understanding, it is also emotional component, that you actually connect with that suffering. Your moved by their suffering. and then there is also a kind of a motivational component where you want to do something, and You know now in in neuroscience. They also see that when compassionate arises, the mortar regions of the brain also becomes active. So in a lot of things happened at the same time and empathy is More of a route to compassion sympathies, closer to emotions, and when you experience, empathy, you're making that emotional connection without a person's experience and compassionate action or desired? Do that, so there is a desire. That is the added component. So when you're in compassion in some and you're, no longer just emotional state. That's why you know what
The things that people like myself, who are involved in development of compassion training, will we tried to bring across the the point is that empathy in itself, if you're, just trapped in that state is not Very constructive because very draining- it's also because in an even from an evolutionary point of view, emotions are not meant to be enduring. Emotions I meant defeating. Emotions indicator of a message, something importance happening in you in your life or around you pay attention and then you're supposed to do something after it so if you are able to train your mind so that you are responsive enough empathy but then move on to compassion. Then he offered It would be more in the solution, rather than getting stuck offering, and that I think, is an important point to you. You talk very well in the book and I'll give you just do it here about why there's resisting
among so many people, to compassion dead, there's generally been a view in in science that we are inherently selfish. Yes, also, Some people worry about compassion because they think it's gonna make them weak or shielded insufficiently. Tough at my my you, don't know what this is about, but for me- and this is not speak well of me- but I'll admit it anyway. My problem- compassion was that for but you seemed irretrievably savvy and gooey in and I'd I like like a Valentine's day, sentimental and then also I didn't get into meditation to be mother Teresa guys in meditation to make myself less miserable. So I wasn't really in it. You know to do no help. Anybody ourselves, because I was just trying to be less of a jerk. You know Joe myself and I'll. Be less crazy. So tell me why the old me was wrong
This is this is part of the problem of our culture in the west. and in fact I make this point. The book that we in the west on really have cultural framework to understand, compassion potter. that has to do with history because we somehow have found a way to really get compassion either within the domain of religion. Where we expect- as part of a Santee quality of someone that we admire like Jesus or some other all, we relegated in the private domain with family life, where we exe back to love kindness, compassion to your children I'm your parents and so on, and we By doing that, we then leave no room for compassion. I don't expect to see fashion within the public domain of a shared space and that is one problem, because we that has to do with it. Hidden compassion too much with sentimentality,
compassion has both the emotional component, yes, which is making the connection opening up the heart and soul but compassion also has the very go that hardly yes, that's enough Do you know we shouldn't underestimate the power of hot I'm an often one of the things that we do motivated by some kind of, but you know you said something in the book and I'm digressing a little bit here and I don't want to derail you a too much, but I just want to point out that you say in the book that in the ancient language of Polly the language of the Buddha heart and for the same work. Yes, yes, and so that is a key thing. That's true is now it has toll mark the idea of heart, That's warn him. Movie does one heart: this is really the it consciousness is examined, a missile. I would argue that in all, we need to torn down the sentimental dimension of what we understand by the wood compassion, but
size also, the more cognitive, the perception side of compassion, which has to do with action and understanding and perspective, because. Compassion as a felt response, of course, has strong emotional component. compassion as standpoint has less emotional gonna finish dimension, and I think This is an important point, because In all, for example, if we are talking about the place of compassion in a public space, we need emphasis not so much the feeding component, but the prospective complain rich. Is grounded upon the case that we need to recognise the shed commonality of all humans and recovery. But the basic humanity of each one of us the idea behind say, for example, respect for fundamental human rights of all that compassion principle and if you get the universal declaration of Human rights as well.
the american Charter of Declaration of independence, there is compassion is not explicit. listed stated, but underlying foundation that grounds these principles is Riddick compassion, which is a recognition of a fundamentally shared common him. The tea defined by our social nature and why we have both needs as those formidable duties. That needs to be respected and taken into account. That part of compassion needs is less evident in formulations, the way in which we have somehow historically dealt with compassion and you haven't said this- he ever you have building to it there another reason why the old me anti compassion me was wrong. Is that actually compassion using your personal injury examined? This is m here. You sullenness makes a very, very positive point. He said that when experience, compassion and act out of kindness toward someone who says
whether or not that particular action and your feeling benefits are the person which is the object that the kind of your act. Depends on many other factors whether the person is ready, or you know whether it was the right thing to do, but one that cannot be didn't denied? Is at that moment, when you acted, you feel good, so the first beneficiary of compassion is actually yourself and we in the West tend to think when we think about compassion, we immediately things and think in terms of self the fires, in only on the other and all of this, and in but he's making the argument that actually compassion is also in our own self interest. Me look if it for everybody doubts this mean just watch what happens can you hold the door open for somebody or you? Let's, they go in front of you, unlike what is that moment like for you, feels good, didn't legally scored
help Amene happening in your mind, exact. You know you and you you talk about this beautifully in your book. A fearless heart were you You say I love compassion gives us a sense of purpose. Beyond our habitual petty of sessions, you go on to describe it as escaping the prison of obsessive self involvement will, when you are caught up in your the habitual neuroses, as most of us are most of the time. It doesn't feel good. and also when we went out, focuses too narrow and focused too much on self, even more problems tend to assume a very great proportion so they they seem almost unbearable, but we're able to open up that focused a little bit and leave enough space. Think about others as well, then the problem we face in our life. You know they don't go away,
but we have a different perspective on them. They assume a different purpose, within that framework, and that in itself- and this is also one of the reasons why increasing, and now there is some indication that the more compassionate. You are the more you are able to bring into account other peoples and well being in as part of the equation. You feel it s dressed almost paradoxical because one the rational mind would said. I want a minute you're thinking on someone else's problem. You are taking one an additional problem in addition to what you already have. You know why, wouldn't that make you more miserable additionally more miserable, but it turns out exactly the opposite ass by opening up our focus, including someone else given space was someone it some somehow seems to kind of calm down the intensity of. On anxiety and our own suffering. Yes, because the highest.
form of suffering is obsessive self advocates, except an egg you don't trust me or, or north of ingest, examined your own life, so I I I think a lot of people earth are one of the reflexive, avenues of rejection for what we are discussing here among some my listeners may be well, I work in a competitive environment or I'm trying to make my way, and I call world, have room for compassion. It will mess me up. That's true. but on the other hand, I don't think taking compassion seriously and wanted to make passion and important part of your life and a guiding principle should not preclude, I believe, it to compete in a competitive world. I mean we have to invest where's, the reality of the world is competitive and in full
any society so long as it has some idea. Progress cannot rule outcome, listen, I'm in the competition is part and parcel of human development and progress and I recently I wish I was asked to write a special forward to the Korean Edition of my book and in a Korea, South Korea, as one of the most competitive, places scaring the Ashley, especially when it comes to children's education and and might the publisher was saying that day? You know, I want you to write a special for press. Speakers korean audience, I even more sceptical, and so they are highly competitive. What can you say about the relationship compassion and competition, whether or not it will undermine it and then what one thing I did right in. That is that you know taken compassion seriously, has an undermined. Prevent me from being able
go to Cambridge, which is a very competitive admissions, so I think that that, there in a solemn, has talked about a positive kind of competition and a negative come to competition. The positive kind of competition involves you want to bring the best of you. You want to bring them your ability in the optimal level and it's not done in the in the way which you, The deliberately pushed others down. You want to compete in a sense with yourself, so did you bring the best out of yourself there's a way of doing competition, which is actually compatible with a compassionate principle. But the men want argument I would make. Is this if. If you are able to bring some compassion into your life in the end you will benefit because you are you become happier it there you know not much point in being
conventionally being very successful, but it is Tom deeply miserable I mean, then, what's the point becoming successful there. enjoy your examined in their ostensibly an end alive in the interesting thing about life is regardless of whether your happier miserable the life goes on, and Key argument I tried to make when talking about compassion. Is that It's in your self interest to me. But then why life goes on, that life is more enjoyable happier sure The back your point about that deserve the more crass end of the spectrum here on the competition part of it. Not only is it true, as you say why your competing being bogged down by useless hatred and jealousy is a waste of energy. But it is also true that were withstanding the american ideal of a maverick out their boots. Strapping boots
Having his or her way to a successful business or career, actually, we lived and interconnected human beings with other homo sapiens at we need them in Oregon. Anything done his aunt if you're a jerk Alla time it good luck. people to work with us, and I think that's where compassion really make sense is definitely and also. You know, as social animals whether we like it or not, a large part of our experience of happiness and suffering is defined by quality of our relationship with others, with Our colleagues at workplace, without spouses without children and compare is key to this. In a basically what compassion us the ability to take into account. The of our behaviour and thought on others who wrote that What now live, so there make space in in the wind it as part of the equation. and the more you are able to do it. Of course, the more compassionate you are, but at the at the bottom
what compassion asked us is taken- account, their well being and a need and the wish of the other person in your life and if you are able to do that you know you become someone whose companies more enjoyable were to be more of a new Europe. Your become more fun to baby. I'm in so an end and then again Europe to take our word for this. The science seem either back you you up us up, and I just gave my own first person experience While I am actually still pretty of noxious. I was much more obnoxious before started meditating and I do this serve loving kindness, slash, compassion practice every day. I can't believe But I do it because it is so serve syrupy but it seems to work and in and the science is really what convinced me to do it. So, let's talk, how you do it, You have this course: ccd compassion, cultivation, training,
which you developed in conjunction with some folks at Stanford, which teaches that I believe, is a seminary. We course aid. We quietly course. So you can obviously tell us everything in it would give us a taste of some of the practices that one would do, in your course. I'm. The one thing that we emphasise right at the beginning is what we called the intention setting practice: and this is in spite from up. Tibetan Buddhist Approach, where Every morning you find it quite moment. Maybe it doesn't take very long. The three minutes, or five minutes and who consciously set your intention for the day you know if I want to be today, like to be more mindful. Carrying more understanding less judgmental. Whatever you set your intention, and in the evening before you go to bed at some point, you in a sense reconnect with that initial intention that sat, so that's the framing
An intention setting is an important part of the compassion training because, unlike mindfulness mindfulness is practical, mindful has more to do with the cultivation of self awareness and had some sends its when it the value, its neutral, its value. pre kind of practice, harassment talk about compassion, it's not value free, the choosing compassion to an important value in your life, so intention becomes a very important part of it. Idea of intention setting is that by setting you intention, you change your motivation. very difficult handled with motivation directly, because motivation generally tend to be emotional and Oceans are very difficult, immediately switch and change, but changing your intention by choosing specific goal in alive, you kind of
predispose yourself to experience and feel in that particular way since, like a cognitive rewiring of your emotional, exactly exactly so I have to say I was this: is I'm really been enjoying your book, and and and and this was one of the areas that landed most successfully with me- this idea of intentions- I had always thought of intention setting it in the same category as like, making vision boards or doing, or a readings or soul retrieval whatever just kind of new age, he hit novelty gook, but the way you describe it. I actually nothing. I'm probably gonna do this. That's all it is taking a few seconds before your hurl yourself into the momentum of the day and starts at your emails to say what what what are my highest goals for this day, exactly which again serve lifts you above the fray, you can have to throw up into re exerted quickly shall at that. I would imagine that would set a much nicer, Tonia death
even form meetings. I think you know when you have an important meeting special, a difficult one like challenging meeting like with a staff member our colleague again taken that one minute with the intention. It really makes a huge difference so that the frame line tend not to rip this person's head up its or if you, if you are very strong opinion of this particular person, you not to tell you something do not. Let me be more mines. Two reacted in a rush I'm that's the framing and then the first step paste that framing is a basic mindfulness type practice, because all the subsequent practices approach. stop on having some ability to apply your mind. So this is like to State you have you get people to focus on the rest of that their mind is Steve earlier, while countries would have, I was asked the metal tat. So that is the next step and then after that? We then begin with the loving kindness meditation and what we
who here and here the sequence is different from the traditional approach to traditional approach tends to be from self to a loved one, then too Four person difficult person, then all person? Let me just jump in for a second. Some of our listeners might not know it. Loving kindness is kindness, so loving, kindness, again sounds helplessly hope. Leslie Saccharine, but Eighty eight is actually just inside from ancient contemplatives that that compassion is not some like factory settings that you can never change. Compassion is a skill, yes and that you can cultivate it in ancient way of doing that is this kind of meditation called loving this Mediterranean, where you wish as well wish others well in a systematic way, exalt them to mine, maybe even visualizing, starting traditionally with yourself and then to maybe a benefactor too your friend a neutral persons that if a person and then everybody exactly. in the morning the order, so we change the water because it turns out in the west in us
I'm from self is very difficult because for some strange reason, contemporary western culture, we hear about yeah the cell The selfishness of relation is very complicated and it has probably something through with a highly competitive nature of this and the way in which we If you know we have internalized away of judging ourselves from a very early age where we happen. compared with someone else and evaluate assault, externally kind of unique evaluated, and so on. So what we did was to begin with loving, kindness for a loved one. Some of that you, you know, you have no on complicated relationship like her it could even be a pack. It could be your cat or or or a grannie that you really have a wonderful relationship or Or a mental who has been so kind to you, so you allow your natural emotional response to arise so that you and in any in whose presence you feel completely accepted, as we want
unconditionally. You evolved that so that's one Deb and once you are able to do it and even of regular basis, then we move on to the self where, basically, that the God of the sub text is, if you have natural ability to do to someone else that you truly care so now you just need to switch it on your cell turn it on yourself. so we then have a two weeks of self compassion practice, because it's quite challenging in the west and the once the self compassion practices drill down that on average, hang himself compassion because my initial beef with self compassion. I suspect a lot of people listening to this will share. It is. Having an internal cattle proud and internal jockey that we have here horse all time- is the route to success. If I don't have this, I'm gonna be on the couch hildy.
well, it turns out. Actually, it may work for a while, but it's not very sustainable and also the cost you pay is quite harsh and that's the downside of being that kind of you not very strong. Harsh self, critical yourself there, you can achieve what you want by switching it and be kind of yourself, an understanding of the situation in Lebanon, the context of other people's experience as well, so self compassion and it now Laura Research showing that among students who have problems, of compassion. When did faced a kind of a disappointment there It is very difficult to recover many of them, either deal with it cohesion through a denial anger, saying it sucks system sucks Nobody is fed me or turning, one themselves saying. Oh, I'm a loser,
I should anybody care about me. Wiping I don't deserve this, so in our switch I'd into these Malta, none of these turns out to be a very effective tool. Tat you come in on the deliciousness of sitting, reform. On talking about anything, sucking is the first great please give you, Sir, On the one hand, those who have greater self, fashion are able to deal with the situation and not completely universe allies it. When we harsh what ourselves when we are confronted, distribution We needed saying that everybody is unfair, or turn it upon myself. I sighed nothing works with for me. Whereas if you're more self compassionate you're able to kind of look at the situation in concrete terms and not immediately rushed to universal eyes it and it to that particular difficulty and disappointment with a greater sense of proportion and honest
Having said that, and then you learn, and it turns out tat turn from a past mistakes and failure self compassion if those who have greatest have compassion a much more effective. So what is the practice to generate? How do you actually do it had he you, compassion lot. That would involve almost like kind of a generally. For example. you confirmed with a difficult situation safe. For example, you have an argument, difficult argument with a colleague and are you then. After things come down than you perfect up that you ve tried or re. Imagine the scenario, How would I have reacted to this? and because you are seeing very bad now and how did you relate to your own Experience cannot refrain it in a way that is more compassionate, both myself and other person. So a lot of that has to do the common duty, free framing of the situation, so that you learned
Initially it very difficult to catch yourself, because you gotta have a particular pattern. The difficult a catch in the moment, but you can catch of immediately after and re it. but also part of that involves in are they now hear it may sound a little cheesy powder. The practice also is very helpful, is to act while it almost lagree parenting yourself, so Imagine for example, what we call compassion, image or compassion figure in your life, someone in whose presence you really feel yourself. You don't need to pretend anything at all. The feeling of self acceptance and unconditional acceptance. You evolve with that. In mind, real through your imagination so there you know, you know, basically there is of british. Psychotherapy aside. The psychiatrist, who developed a compassion, focused therapy, which especially-
Getting people who suffer with pathological self criticism and he actually he's point was that Laura people who suffered through this have forgotten how to switch on the self suiting mechanism. so in our brain, we have different motivation systems and Laura people, have learned to switch that off when it comes to their own experience and compassion practice is in a way a kind of rebuilding that system, So did you learn to extend that soothing in a mechanism? we all capable when we have two eminent as parents, pet most, well now, when you have child in its infancy autumn, Take it, you don't have to learn this it's enough, but many of us have somehow launder switch. It opened. It comes to our own needs so, a part of the self compassionate practice involved and of turning that upon yourself and searching that soothing and of system so
insisting, I should say that if you want to know more about what exactly these practices Learn how to do them? It's all over the book is its gap. The practices that presented the Let me ask you: let me just get personal for a second, but my end movie just ask you to give you some reports from the front lines in my own mind and it because I I've been doing this kind of practice, not exactly what you teach, but kind of practice for many years now, and I'm still complete moron, sometimes inhabited at last couple days. I was in airports alot, which a great place. See, you know how loathsome you can be in over the basically didn't wanna sit talked at a woman next to me on the plane and ice drugs. I was I was reading your book. I ran a readings but we're compassion when I had finished the book or get further nor did he prepared his interview and anyone talk the woman next to me, and you know, people cutting me off. I was tired. Eighty. I could just see these sort of internal
excise duty ramp up as this was happening part of it is that you know, after having done this for years, I'm still really hard of myself in ways I recognise there aren't super concerned giving I'm really critical of the way look and perform on television. I you know I like you swollen there go. You can't stop beating cookies or whether you know just constantly or you need a haircut. Whatever is constantly on myself about this kind of thing. So did that suggest you these practices don't work or that I'm a terrible meditate or what no actually the front that you now. I this, in yourself indication that there is a high level of self awareness and in the you before the practices, you may not even be in aware that you are being overly self critic.
I just thought: I'd go from the criticism to the edges, go right down exaggerate exactly and, and I think in fact emanate. For example, in some of the meditation text, they tell you that when you first start menu letting you know you might feel in all, maybe a second or third week or maybe a second or third month. You feel that same how your mind is getting worse, because you, you know, you never thought you mind was that restless and thou once you start meditating, you begin to catch come aware how restless estate is so I think I would say. Actually it is a good sign. That you are making progress, but also amendment we humans are very complicated creatures there. So many forces that pool as in different directions, and you know It does now tell us that there are different motivation systems in the brain and when confronted with a particular situation kind of motivation system? We tap into you know, just the wind, which would behave so
over time, I think it will change I'm the sum, unlike his holiness, his default position is non judgment and compassion, but if the situation calls for something for then he is able to do it, but that's the ideal, but it's you know, and and but the fact is, and from your own personal experience, you know that as you meditate, You benefit more from this in a you and in its very difficult to completely prevented emotional reactivity, because we are emotional creatures, but we are able to do it now with greater awareness we catch ourselves before it is too late enough example, I often tell people dead. you know, say it: you have an argument with your spouse. Made it harder than you able to catch before you go further down that pardon and start saying horrible things which you were granted. hangers anger? You know we're emotional creatures when we feel
defensive anger is expression that comes out natural salmon I've seen anger in his holiness as well. That's very human, but the door. says. If you don't have the soft self awareness coming from kind of mental training, then you really go down that path and then using the harshest things to just to make a point. friend, SAM Harris talks were not related, but them he also really were a book about meditating shocks, but that the half life of anger, the indifference, doing the amount of damage you can do in an hour of anger, as both the two men and exert accuracy, anger is incalculable, but so I assume and Youtube actually talk what this new book you, you still mess up. You know you're a dead man of professional compassion, oh god, and definitely eminent and my wife it is in, I I'd that's one of the things I tell my monastic holly, that one advantage of being a married man, then you have your best critic. Next to you all the time in whose presence you cannot pretend and
thing is in. I have found it to be tremendously helpful and, of course, as I said more, a human being. You know they will be ups and downs in I'm in my day as well here. So what is your. How is like asking this question were almost at a time. I want to get a sense of what is you her daily practice wooden, given the nuts and bolts of how much meditation do you do and what are you doing spend about half an hour in the morning and part of that involves I'm gonna end as a tibetan Buddhist. My own personal practices framed within the put his practice So I begin my In addition session seated and then I do little but a breathing at the beginning and then intention setting and and then I have certain types of practices in a large part of which is compassion, meditation areas,
I tantric stuff, they now talk about. Yes, that's part of my practice as well, and then I end with does a beautiful it verse on training the mind, which is an altruistic practice in the tibetan tradition which, is really like. The setting for the day kind of setting the tone for the day and my practice with that and part of the It also involves a little bit mindfulness in breeding. But let me I'm just curious about the tundra, which is basically the seat secret for practices. Why are they secret? because some online, Mainstream Buddhism that you see at that of other tradition, aerobatic tradition, the guiding progenitor of money and mindful and the one that the version of Buddhism that you see in Thailand to relaunch upper MA and so on three buddhism, is more prevalent in Tibet and, to some extent in Japan,
do a little expense extend in some aspects of chinese tradition as well Part of the reason for their secrecy has to do with sudden kind of animal understanding of the role of human emotions including sexuality as part of the labor, dispersal process and if you dont have a grounding in the general Buddhist teachings these, This is, can be misunderstood. You go crazy, we desire so one of the main reasons for secrecy, we could do a whole, our on that at some point in the future, but let me close with this what do you mean by a fearless heart What I mean by feel his heart is that a large part of fear that we have in our life is one can inarticulate said of an inch anxiety a lot of that inhibits out
actual interaction with our particular loved ones. I saw my point is The through training our mind through cultivating compassion, we can get to apply where we can live our life with transparency, without kind of inhibition that obstructs us, you know, was hesitating, always doubting, and that's that's the eye Yet that ideal I happen, I say fearless heart, but still trying to get there I like the way it sounds jumper a pleasure. Thank you very much and thank you and thank you for the one. Thank you for listening to today show even find video of the episode and we about it at BC, news dot, com, taxes, the producers of the show Lauren Francesco Hand, Sarah AMOS Dan Silver
You can hit me on twitter at Danby Harris anytime. You like, if you liked the episode today, and you want to hear more like it, you can subscribe to the podcast rated and leave a review. Thank you for that and we'll talk to you next
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