« Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris

#145: Light Watkins, 'Simplify the Approach'

"There was more snowstorms than meditators in Alabama when I was growing up," said Light Watkins, who started a career as a working model before switching gears to become a yoga teacher and then dove into the world of Vedic meditation. With his newest book, "Bliss More, How to Succeed in Meditation Without Really Trying," Watkins, who is now a meditation teacher and lives as a nomad, said his mission is to "simplify the approach" to meditation "and help people start something that they can get excited about."
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
From ABC, ten percent happier. Vodka, Dan Greg. Yesterday, I often get asked about the difference between mindfulness meditation, Auntie em or transcendental meditation this week, the we're talking with teaching him light. Watkins, who teaches in the basic treaty which is the tradition out of which transcendental meditation emerges and he's been doing it since the late nineties, I'm trying to keep a positive attitude about him because he's so damn good, looking that it's annoying, but other than that he's fantastic and ethics love his story and what he has to say about what meditations done for him: amend and for many, the people who worked with so with light and second also yield real you'll, find out how he ended up. Taking the name light, look at him
in the second, let's do your ear. Voicemail first and her usual the caveat, I'm not a mental health, back expert or meditation teacher- and I haven't heard these calls in advance. I just do my best to answer them from the stem. Whenever a writer and reporter and practitioner here we go call number one a damn. I'm seventeen years in the same job, looking to get out, make a change, but really dont know how to proceed. How do you think meditation can help me in this effort? Appreciated thanks? That's interesting Eighty eight ain't gonna fix all your Brahms. I've said that a million times it's not like you start meditating in this and that the solution will become radiantly. Clear may be. That will happen, but I I was certainly when guarantee it, but I do think is it helps you. I do think in my personal experience that it its help me make better decisions when it comes to my career, because I
can have a better sense of what's ego, noise and, what's actually true and an don't get me wrong. I can still fall victim to the ego noise because it's pretty prominent, at least in my case, but it just give me a leg up. I think it gives me an advantage and it makes me a little less. It makes me better at hearing you know I seek and hope, he'd other people's advice and so on I have a little bit better at seeing when I'm getting defensive when I've, when I'm not getting the answer I want- and things like that, so this is the dead. Is in the same driver. Eighteen years of joy, I get it, making a change. I got really scary and but I do think having something that is there, boost? Your we're over all sense of com can boost. Your focus can help you be less
act around by all of the powerful emotions that come into play when you're talkin about career, because because it goes right to identity, and it goes right to finance- is a gift of its a sensitive issue I do think meditation is a really useful waited. Second US surf all of this stuff, rather than get it and engulfed by it. But again it's not. You know I as regular listeners will know, I'm very sceptical of of talk of some sort of miracle cure, so good it's a big. Did the big thing you're trying to do, and I do think meditation will help, but it many other things will help to like finding people. You trust to give you good advice, aright Colombia, to her, then
carefully arm. I love everything you do with medication ass, our tv. Thank you so much for all your work. I have a question concerning a comparison between meditation by focusing on the press and on transit nettled at it, patience would the benefits be greater through one or the other or not. I guess it's. The I want to know. I know that there are various types of these are two of them, so I'll be interested in hearing your opinion thanks by so disapprove, The way that I definitely don't hear. These calls in advance, but my very smart producers know I have two calls to line up well with a guest. What which is, which is better for you transit dental meditation or my voters meditation, I you know, I don't think, there's really an answer to that. There's been a significant amount of science on both from my point of view, a little bit more science
a little more scientific research done on the mind from the side, but I don't think that means by upon us is better. I just think that it's just that practice scientists have gravitate towards more, probably because it's more secular but but I write They do think it's worth if you're Canada's hemming and high. I think it's worth perhaps trying both, but I would give each a a real shot. First, because I don't think it's the type of thing. You can do two days a one slash two days of the other and and you have a sense of which one is doing more for you. I will give you know I would spend a couple. Months, if not a year on each one and then make a decision, I am personally, I've never actually been trained and trends. Then material. I understand what it is its. It uses a mantra which is a word. You repeat yourself, silently
as awaited to blot out cursive random. He go chatter whereas in my from meditation generally to beginning what you're doing is focusing on the feeling of your breath coming in and going out and then when you get strategy start again to theirs overlap in the Van diagram between these two. So there are similarities. But what I like about mindfulness- is that the fruit of the practice really is this thing called mindfulness, which is the kind of self awareness do familiarity with the workings of your own mind that enables you not to be yanked around by your mind. So if you understand, if you're able to see anger at the beginning, rather than by the time it's going to become a tornado or less, key to spend hours and hours NEO, acting in in a blind rage. You might near might say one sharp thing, but then cut yourself apologize and let the anger pass. So some of that-
You will get some of that benefit from. In my understanding in experience of talking other practitioners in and took of, forgive me tee. Devoting if I've got this right and you'll get some of that benefit from TM, but it's it's. It's not really the focus in the same way that my fullest training is, I think, Understanding GM has a different set of If it's that again also drop in my photos, but are let little less emphasised, which he had around you know the sort of coming, focusing of the mind that that a lot of people feel really I've heard it the it is you know, doing twenty minutes of Tm Day feels like they got two hours extra hours of sleep or that their accessing levels of creativity they have been able to access before. So I think there are compelling cases for both of these men. I I don't think it makes a lot of sense too.
Be overly sectarian about these issues and I'm just trying to be clear about where I am, but I don't know we ve got without lots of fifty imposed on this Pakistan. I am doubt it speaking of GM. So, as I mentioned at the top ten, emerges out of a vague, a tradition which is another way of saying the hindu tradition, whereas my fulness emerges out of the buddhist tradition and city M is literally a trademarked kind of a vague meditate There are these teachers, some of whom actually started out in the TM world, who went off to teach, should have and auntie em Vader, meditation TM. They do. Give away a lot of trainings, but but most people have to pay and it's a thing. It's me a thousand dollars, something like that and so Vader these basic traditional practice you jus art. Then the TM world have more leeway to not charge that so there's some folks were drawn to that. For that reason, a way, there's some pretty probability
using in the Vader tradition, including our guess this week, like walking, who's been as his Bio says active in this space, one nineteen. Ninety eight he's also yogi teacher and a former model which will try not to hold against him he's written book called bliss more, which is right now and he teaches all over. The place is also a no mad release, Tee is for now he's just trying it out. You'll you'll hear what that is when he starts. Fucking. Speaking of letting him starting to talk, let me do that. I'm gonna shut up and give you light work in Syria. Well, nice to meet. You yeah. You too, thanks for coming on thanks for having me as an honour well in a privilege, right back at you both count. You have such a big megaphone in meditation world and I've been in this world for about twenty years. So it's nice to see someone like you out here really.
He popularizing it and making it accessible for people. Thank you for that. It's either via a just for people listening cause. They can't see you you saving in this for twenty years, yet you look like you and your late. You're. Like my I started in the Spirit World, it was incarnate, Now you don't know minutes, sir, now. These things is, it causation is correlation. I don't know, but for whatever reason I am, I happened on it for quite a while, I gave a twin brother, I dont now that the only way to really tell rising, like it's broken. What's ironic about that, is that I'm from the South and from Alabama and I'm a pretty big families so bus total. When my immediate, actually my media, and we then I haven't us half sister, nobody meditate I'm the only one of my family that meditates. So they look I'm off
confused for the younger brother. I would imagine, and technically the second and lie so ever go he'll show. How did you get into the medicine? racket I started in the Riverside church up on the upper West side, living in New York. I was working in fashion was modeling at the time. This is back in the mid nineties and I got was getting into yoga, and this is bad You know when they're, only two equinoxes one on 19th street and one up on in Amsterdam now that love is brighter, looks like Starbucks, but I was going to the one on Amsterdam And- and I just I was lifting weights cuz, that's what you do when your model, that's part of your job out of I've had the record- and I notice it. These are really attractive. Women were going into this grew better size room with no shoes on in these little role that things, and so my curiosity got the best of me one night and I went in there and that's how I got introduced yoga and then you know, then they didn't have these kind of
we can or whenever my long teacher training their actual pretty legit teachers teaching in the gym. Because that's really the only place if they could teach they weren't a ton of yoga studio. So I got introduced meditation through yoga and I will do all these things. Experiences go to these yoga teachers, houses and sit down in an them and then eventually found the village voice classified ads. There was the them. Notation group. I think it was the Zen group that I was going to up in the Riverside church, so I started doing that, and that was my first sort of formal introduction to meditation, but I never really felt like, they was happening and arm For whatever reason I kept going back because I just felt like it was a really interesting, an odd thing to do, and you read all the of the spiritual books everybody talks about it, so you figure, there's gotta be something to it, but I just found a bunch of frustration
and then eventually, I relocated to restoration, because you- because nothing is happening, so I'm thinking, Is it a situation worm having to use my imagination or is there some? I told you have to arrive at me. I'm asking all these questions is: there's no Dan Harris out there too, to the Roma. As each year as the riverside there was, but if she was like a facilitator and we were doing this thing. Where were we would listen to music and we were supposed to feel the energy in. I quote energy moving around the body and I just never really felt like I was doing anything other than seeing their listening to some opera sounding so anyway long story short, I located to LOS Angeles. A few years later I started getting into the yoga seen there. I became a yoga teacher and then I became the person leading meditations at the end of the yoga classes, but at the same
I'm I wasn't right. I've never been trained to be of meditation teacher, and that's one of the big misconceptions is that people think that, just because you go through a yoga teacher training that Europe also a meditation expert, but I, No, it's like psych physicians, don't get any dietary training yoga teachers usually get any meditation training, but everybody parity opposition who doesn't Riga and everybody Jack's onto them out that person is meditation. Experts on leading meditations now, basically parroting what I've heard my teacher say and arm and feeling like a sham. Because, again, I don't know if this is what suppose we have or what the deal is. It's like the emperor's new clothes in everybody's talkative this thing. I'm on the procession is well talking about it, but I'm not Having any kind of experiences so Actually I start practicing make meditation I got introduced to Tom knows, the basic meditation teacher who's been out between I lay in New York and I learned
meditate with him, can you keep yet so late? They waited meditation, which is basically a generic form of transcendental meditation. So Tom was a TM teacher for about thirty years. A lot of those guys apparently went in depend in the nineteen eighties, and they started teaching but then to him said, look whatever you can do, whatever you want, you just can't call it transcendental meditation, so he was teaching under their moniker basic meditation, which means ancient India which means a meditation that comes from the vetoes, which is the ancient indian body of knowledge from which we get yoga. Are you beta and and and dumb waiter the strategy and all of those different systems from, and so the basic premise of that system is that everything is connected right and that you can. You can beyond your surfers mine and into that sort of oneness aspect of yourself within yourself right so again, sounds kind of flu, flew. Ok, I whatever one listen- and you start
going through the actual process and it was the first time that I felt like I actually had a tangible experience of something other than staring at the back of my eye, and I was hooked became really enthusiastic about it started. Where were we to her question? What are you doing in your mind, invaded meditation right? What and what was the experience that you reference so here the differences in what I experience with that versus what I was experiencing before before most of it, Russian, was really centred around body position sitting comfortably sitting with your back straight. You know and dumb, and then said the level of focusing your mind on a point or or different verbal props let go of this now, visualize that etc noticed this witness that end with a v8 annotation approach the whole, the horses?
them is based around sitting comfortably so and what that really means is just sitting with back support sitting like who had set if you're gonna watch television, and then you close your eyes. And the reason behind sitting comfortably, so that your body is not a distraction to the settling of the mind and so Your eyes are closed. Europe. Surface awareness, which is where everybody usually starts, and that's where the Mai is really really busy and racing and then you use a sound which is collectively known as a mantra its sound you Making in your mind, silently you're thinking it not just silently, but also passively passively, and this is a very, very important point. Because if you go back- and you read say, I'm Doctor Herbert Vincent's book, relax station response, which is the sort of ground breaking research on that specific form of men, Tatian, where he says you have a completely different,
nervous system and physiological state can get very rested and all of that he uses the word focus, but he got that far. A transcendental meditation instruction in and in that body of teaching they don't really use. The word focus because focus is a different styles of handling the mine in handling the mantra. So but you can forgive him because he's not a teacher he's a doctor and that's what happens, so you uses mantra in a very, very passive way and what that means is the technique. It's not centred around focusing on the mantra it's about using the mantra to initiate a settling effect right. So what does that mean? It means you start but the busy surface and then you to do this sound passively. So, basically, instead of trying to stop other thoughts or exclude other experiences, experiencing that sound and your also aware of other things,
happening around you and then eventually without looking for this to happen, the mantra will cause the mine to start settling which ends in a real world way. It feel like your meandering away from your surface and you having more thoughts which may feel like you're thinking about the year to do list or conversations or you start to feel like you're having dreams or you start to feel like you're fallen asleep and eventually you can reach estate were really nothing is happening, and I mean that literally you're not having any thoughts. There's no mantra you're, just in this kind of avoid feeling now- you don't know you're there while you're there? So it's not until after the fact were you start to regain awareness and thank you been sitting there for five minutes. You look at the clock in you see that actually fifteen or twenty minutes of past- and you also feel this. This sense of
energy or you know like you're being cradled, or something like that, and it's a very, very different experience from what I have the three or four years prior to that when I was going around, you know trying to focus my mind: and is not to say that that's a incorrect approach is just that. It doesn't feel it didn't feel like. It didn't feel as tangible as the one I was having with the basic meditation approach. So I had my first sort of tat. Double experience of something other than just sitting there waiting for the timely finish in it. Just really blew my mind because, like you, I consider myself to be a healthy sceptic and I do not know I ended things that are acquiring meta, believe in them or me use my imagination and end, and so I realize that there was something to this this approach, and so I did it again and hit that state again, and I did
again and I literally went from being a reluctant meditate her you know knowing. I should do it because it's good for me becoming an enthusiastic meditate her and I started a shadowing- my teacher around an appeal kissing him, and I don't really know what I was doing. I just knew that I wanted to be around when he was teaching other people, because I wanted to see if other people were having the same kind of experience and then a few. Years of that quickly passed and then I I opportunity to go to India with him. Some of his other proteges and learn how to teach this stopped. Other people- and I did that I was away for about three four- HANS came back to my one better, parliament and was Hollywood and started teaching all my friends in my yoga students and everybody else, was Having that same experience- and I thought this is amazing- and this is a more but what the experience is yet assist is just again allowing your mind to settle away from the busy monkey me no surface, that people typically complain about
and getting into this other state of being the relaxation of what it would. It is what it's it's, it's it's a sense of oneness. It's a sense of of nothing. Yes, you're, not really thinking anything. You literally are experiencing gaps in your and you're thinking process. You know One minute you are aware that Europe, you rehearsing some conversation ex minute. You're still hasten the conversation, but then there is a gap in their. Let you dont know, and in the closest thing I can I can describe, I can use to describe it when you're lying in your own, you sitting in your bed at night, reading a book and you, to that. One line in the book time goes by. And you're still on the same line in the book, except now you Can't really remember what you read before that happened to me on ambient right exactly so it's can nature sort of ambien type of feeling, and but it doesn't have you no side effects of taking. Pharmaceuticals are using
other, stimulants or or relaxation things? It's just. You just feel good. It just feels really good and, of course, when you go back and you you You look at the research and you see all year, I'm getting serotonin are dopamine or you know, whatever all these different bliss chemicals gonna makes sense that that's kind of one I'm feeling, and so I started Mr Purvis. I start doing that twelve years ago I probably taught three thousand people now personally and one of the things with the verdict, meditation or tm? Is that once you teach somebody use, you keep in touch with those people and you can see them chain, over time. So you have a real world sense of the aggression of what happens in addition to your own changes as it does the practice and you see these amazing things- you hear these amazing stories- you see, people from all so life who are having these very profound experiences and
And you say you know it's possible and now I got to the point assisting us is almost as its obvious, its expected that that's gonna happen at some point. If someone gets a chance to sit in a room with me and so a few years ago, I got approach by random House and they sent. Can you put this into a book and I in writing that book bliss more how to succeed in meditation without really trying, because that's essentially what you're doing is you're not witnessing anything you're, not focusing on anything you're, not trying to do anything just literally you sitting there, I uses this generic sort of mantra which I refer to as a settling sound in the technique in the book. What is the Vondra a hum, a hum from a h, H, you him, ah hum So that's it just you know, you'll find that in yoga circles, deep October uses it in his twenty one they challenge, but it the primordial sound, which is of what a lot of those Montrose come from
primordial sounds from the Sanskrit language and meaning does not arbitrarily assigned to a meaning or like we have in the english language. Like the word red doesn't necessarily mean any primordial as this color that we now associate with red, but patently in the in that and or indian tradition, all the sounds that were discovered through people meditating and what not have soared primal. The essence, which means that they contain the vibration of of that sounded nature, so a home, or, I should say the most common one's own. I say OEM is the sound of the universe. To what that really means is that it can. Hence the vibration of that of the universe right now, Can you study this in science? Can you measure it? I don't know Prob
not a never seen any studies that say this, but that's where the whole system based on so we're gonna agree that any thing in that system is true for us than we have to at least be open to the possibility that it could exist right, even though technic We can't see it or smell it. Tasted her feel it, but from my own- cracked experiences with using my mantra, which I can't really talk about, because it's my own personal mantra that I got from my teacher but its there's a is definitely an effect and and dumb. And yet it's a beautiful thing. So just get back to the technique for second see you're you're. It sounds like at least at first. There would be some effort because you have to have the wherewithal to repeat the mantra to yourself and then, when you get distracted, which you will, I would imagine
you need to have the effort to go back to the mockery tourism there some effort there. Yes, it s, absolutely right, there's some militant, those minimal effort right. So it's not so that you doing absolutely nothing. But what happens is over time you become less monitored, dependent. Because when you have the first few settling experiences you're mine as it does, because it's very plastic, it starts to recognise the patterns and it starts to go there. Its own with less and less effort, and so after a while, You may find yourself having complete twenty minute meditations. Which is the longest you ever want to do it anyway, where you I even have a mantra is just that. You sat down with the intention to meditate in the end this is this is said to be close to the experience of you know. How do you get a child? sleep at night, maybe using lullabies, maybe you, you know, read a story and things like that and that's kind of life
what the mantra is used for to induce a shift in the state of consciousness wise twenty minutes, the longest you'd want to do it, Herbert Benson back in the nineteen seventies. What he said was that your body can only sustain that relaxation response for about twenty minutes, not technically you committed as long as you want, but apparently when you go beyond twenty or thirty minutes, your body starts to revert back to your waking state of consciousness. So that was documented. I dont dumb. I definitely like the fact, there are meditation studies out there that can verify lotta thing but I think that a lot of these studies you know are, can be a little bit big you as well, because there's meditations a generic term, so you know you talk about meditation when I talk about meditation when someone else who does crochet meditation export meditation. They can be all different things with different applications.
Indifferent methodologies, indifferent time in know length, but to the to the pedestrian observer. Think, we're all doing. Basically, the same thing. So if you look at the fine print of the studies University Davison, is doing a study on something he's, probably studying something related to mindfulness, and I going to study at the mind body Vincent in up in Cambridge they're, probably doing something base Moraunt on his technique of the rich, taxation response and there a two different ways of meditating, and so one thing works in one way. It I don't think it necessarily means is gonna work in the other way, in the same way that you know of your playing ping pong and I'm play basketball they're, both sports, but there don't they don't have the same effect. This vader technique that you're describing the tempo
this, they say you can't you the only way you can learn his face to face with a teacher, but you wrote a book, so I would imagine you're saying you could learn verdict meditation through the book. He knows it sing about that is again there's a lot of sort of politics. In the meditation world and if you really wanted like look at it objectively, and this is where I really appreciate it about her. Robinsons research. Allow people to realise this, but her Robinson wasn't a meditative. He studied meditation for thirty years, for years wished to say he was a Harvard harbours. A cardiologist cardiologist wrote this seminary surgery. Reference did earlier, had sold four million copy attitudes and the second is Yosemites early in early seventy, I knew what you can find it Alex Yes, that's right day and it was a basically did. He was looking at TM meditated and he basically gives you in the book I'm here with one of the first meditation books ever read.
He gives you, like you, say the word peace or one in your head, as your mantra discovered that you don't need a t, a mantra in order to elicit relaxation response, but all of tat hymns. Research is based on Herbert Vincent's research and he he for him. The relaxation responsible, Fraser coined, as are the opposite of distress, respond. Yes, that's right, so he saw that the stress response was the most cited, the nervous system can become, and the relaxation response was the most rest at the nervous system can become, and so, if you can illicit that through to him? He said: what else can you distressing That's can be initiated through many many things. What else can initiate the relaxation response, so he started exploring. How can you say a prayer if used in comfortably and being passive and meditation. Can you do this? Can you do that and he saw that the. The things that were required was comfortable. Seeding position being passive in the mind,
and having some sort of point that initiated the I told you earlier. He called it a point of focus, but in team doctrine. They would never use that word for those rare because it implies effort, but arrived there is some effort areas, some minimal effort, yeah so what they say as they use least effort, and I had a little bit of a friendly beef with this misunderstanding over this word focus our concentration with Bob Roth. I hardly interviewed yes above wrath, is the sort of TM teacher you out there. He teaches us. Let meditation celebrities and meditation bothers Letterman calls him, and I was symbol classically you. Consider a mantra, concentration technique and he got him he resisted that. I still stand by actually my standing is: it is a concentration camp technique in that its autumn. Mindfulness. Take me, you know, you are,
picking one thing bring your mind, your centering in your mind on that, and then we extract to start again, whereas my fulness is much more open to whatever is arising, but anyway we couldn't come to an agreement agreement you and I won't either, but I don't know, I think, that's the great thing about the fact that I'm not associated with an organization so to speak, as I can really talk about this very objectively and it there anything out there. That proves whatever I'm saying to be enacted, bed or that someone can have a better And when I say that word, I'm implying more enjoyable, meditation experience if you have to be the first one to work, to try it and into incorporated into my teaching, So far, I haven't really found anything that creates a enjoyable experience and what I ve been practicing and teaching, but that not to say this is the only way to do it. This is the right way to do it. When I find in it but you ve, already kind of highlighted in your work is that people are struggling people. There really really struggling to meditate lotta people
don't really know you know what to do. There's a lot of a big pr problem as you said in the past, around meditation and and my whole mission has just really become to simplify the approach and to help people start. Some that they can get excited about, because the only way they're gonna do it on a regular basis to get the benefits from it as if they on some level feel some tangible benefit from the beginning Maghreb, which means a kind of has to be a joy what enjoyable to some extent it whether they're getting d it's because their meditating or there's some sort of kitchen table problem, that's being solved in meditation, and I don't have that much discipline to to force myself every day into this thing, but just for my own direct expire What I found is that when I started enjoying meditation, I became a enthuse ass to meditate and I'm not special is nothing special about me. I'm from Alabama there's more
go storms and meditated in Alabama. When I was growing up- and you know I Didn'T- I was gonna working in the jam. I was didn't have some long yoga history, my parents, weren't yogi. I never heard about any form of meditation before my teacher- I just had an x areas and I really enjoyed it and, and it was able to be replica, replicate it through other people from my teaching and and That was one life, got really really exciting. For me, I have more questions by your life, but I just want to cut you off before you could fully answer that. About whether somebody can learn the beta technique without yeah yeah? I mean there's people I've been getting reports. I can I kind of bought into the same indoctrination of all. This can't be taught through a book and end. The truth of the matter is no one, who is teach meditation, including yourself as mastered it through a book for an app. You know everybody has a teacher,
of it if of whatever their lonelier. If you're a t have your cavity, if your teacher, you typically have a teacher right so depends on what people want to experience. They really want to understand the nuances of of the technique. Then you pay really want to find a teacher. But I don't think that means that you shouldn't have any exe oh sure, at all, and that's why I wrote the book that I wrote: and dumb and I've been see up. Unpleasantly surprised by seeing a lot of evidence that people are having these experiences. There is one woman on on Amazon who said this is my first view. I had to write a review because I just came out of this meditation. I went to this place. I've never been before and she start describing it and it was actually the same experience it I had, and I thought this is fantastic. You know so that, means that now people have to be in a room with me in order to have an experience if they are willing to go through. You know with reading a book about it or what have you and
It makes it more that that democratizes this technique, that, while people think we'll have to go with this thing and pay all this money and Bob LAW might even make it Alabama yeah, exactly exactly emulous been all over the world so far and it's not a bestseller yet, but is gonna getting a lot of traction and people who experience it either super fans or you know they just they just don't know about it yet, but that's I've been saying some really excited about, and I'm really again an honour to be here talking about it, because I do appreciate
platform that you have in the perspective that you have on medication, and I thought that that could be a really interesting conversation from Europe. Your experience, it has ensured listening to this experience, yet for sure I mean I think this is an interesting discussion between them: Buddhist slashed, mindfulness, world, Andy, Hindu, Slash, GM, Slash rating world, and now I am also of the view that into both, but I'm really of the view that a friend of mine, a former colleague who wrote a book about working out and losing weight, was called inspired. Name is Maurice Gibb, Ocampo and just a great person, and I was talking to her about working out and was asking her some questions about a certain kind of work out, and I wasn't sure if it was hard enough and she said, look best kind of workout you do is. That is one you actually do, and so that's my view and meditation,
where's the train, a mind, the fall under meditation as long as you're, not hurting yourself or others, the one that calls you the one. I think you should do much more conversation red evidence, the break brought to you by indeed used by three million businesses for hiring where business owners and h are professionals, can post job openings with screener questions and sort review and communicate with candidates from an online dashboard learn more at. Indeed dot com? Slash higher there's a lot coming at you right now. Turmoil tweets an insane about of chatter. I'm pregnant. With ABC News, and I am here to throw you a lifeline interview. Podcast called start here or our exports give you on the ground action the biggest stories of the day. We're gonna give you some context, some clarity among the chaos twenty minutes every week day subscribed now on
podcast or wherever you get your blood cancer and start here. Tell me about you like, because you are a model and then use these two guys yoga and then all of a sudden you jumped on the meditation train, pretty aggressively somewhat it. What did the practice due to your life has changed you? What were you like back when Europe, MR lifting waits model guy? How would you believe From the persistent in front of me right now news funny, is you hear a lot of really amazing ass stories about how people to transform says is your story. You know having a panic attack on air and then getting into meditation, etc and you're very about how you still have you noticed o grapple with things like that, an anxiety and what knight, and yet I have to
hey that I haven't really had a whole lot of that in my life, for whatever reason, I don't really understand why? But I just as your like six five and a really good factual. No, but I used to feel shameful believe it or not, that get your life was that, haven't. I had more drama and yeah darkness and all family, the family yeah and everyone's very supportive, but at the same time, are you not? Obviously your planet earth, you still grappling with with something and I do have my you- know battles that I fight all that, but it's not that I'm coming from stressed out place and and Thou meditations made it all better. When I would it meditation to doing is enhancing the b. What call the still small voice the voice of intuition and making it really loud and unambiguous so that I can take risks or what other people were perceive as risks, I would perceive as me. Listening to my heart, following my in my inner guidance, and so I ve been
able to do things like you know graduate myself from from from them Fling or you now take the leap of faith and becoming a meditation teacher I can two thousand and two when really nobody was talking about migration and early. My own family was, you know, embarrassed to introduce me as meditation, really yeah. Of course, they would say this. Former he's a former model. You know they kept saying that for ten years he's a former model until people, like you, mate, meditation, more popular and now They see it on morning. Talk shows in on the news and read it. Newsweek then Now it everyone's excited about and have a book out now that always an author, but you know in places like light, your given name or do you have a different name grown up, so I had to do named growing up and down light became my name in fourteen years. I came in with a year, but the irony about that. Is that it doesn't associated with my work.
It was. This is literally born out of a conversation on me. I really identify with with with your whole attitude in perspective about these Spirit. Things because I kind of economist cut from the same cloth in and I was having a conversation with a friend of mine one day in the farmers market, in LOS Angeles, and we were talking names and you know how and allay people tend to take on these Why is- and I met at met a few guys recently in the yoga seen who had changed their names. There was a guy named mother. The guy named the truth. There was a guy pineapple head, and it was really pineapple head that inspired the converse. Because when he introduced himself he had such confidence. Is unable unattainable invested how else is you know what people really on their stuff? And I was too my friend this and I and I- and I am I posed the question you can change your name to something some word like
pineapple head will do said you had to do this. You have to change your name. What would you change too and he said ocean? and he said, would you change your nature and I thought about it. I can't think of anything. I don't know. I would do something like that and he said well just The first thing that comes to mind? That's it nothing! Can you start counting down five for three two one and I just blurted out light, and It can was another situation, it start percolating animals that vary from we are feeling the same feeling I have when it quit my first job. This filling a hat when I bought that one way ticket to Paris. When I was you know, start is as a model the same feeling ahead when I moved to allay from New York, and I recognise it as that how you this is some sort of inner guidance situation. I don't really understand it, but I know that when I followed in the past it things has tended to work out for the best. So I just decide: right then, and there I was gonna. Do it. Somebody told the Pre yoga Ben.
Pressing ninety million years now. What what was your name back then I don't like saying it on the tell you off the air- ok, perfect, just because I just don't at our the honesty and clear yet, but I just don't know if it's really all that important, it's fun and people. Sometimes Ask me in conversation, let's say is John Right: ok, so, but here's what you can I understand that I liked my name. It's very unique nor had never met anyone else. My name and I really really liked it. So it wasn't an easy thing. An easy decision to make immediate family upset now they were there once the jump on board and was really great every cause. You like everybody, calls me light here. Bessie now milk, as it actually corn with the emergence of Facebook, so was able to change and on Facebook, and everybody was on Facebook at the time. So people could just see. Oh Watkins lay Watkins like Mackinson people, just our calling so, but what is interesting is the first day I announced it. I was teaching yoga that morning and I thought this would be a great time too
The big announcement is my birthday. Had a big deal, the class I was teaching, and so I taught the class. At the end of the class. I said: ok now, from now on, I'm gonna be introducing myself as light. You can still call me the other name, but I'm gonna be colony. Self light, because our the advice I got from you know one of those China just just start, calling yourself wherever you want what pineapple had think of light, our conventional, no armies into it. You didn't do it, you still use done up I do not know what am I hope, these united he's my text thread. But what did I know? I know I know working find him. Ok, so he still governed by Vinyl YAP swiftly s, his name, that's his name, but in that class this woman I'm comes up to me at the end of the year ass. If she says- oh, my God, early this morning, my son, my five year old son interest in, came into my bedroom and set mommy. I had a dream, I'm gonna change, my name. She
well. You can change your name to honey. This is that morning. I want to change my name to light the kid had a dream that he wanted to change its name to like this woman, who had only been in my class two or three times in the span of like four months, happened to be there that day, and she told me that story so again, stuff like that doesn't happen to me very often, but when it does happen, psych, oh, maybe maybe that's what I was supposed to do. I don't know, but it's pretty pretty obvious. You know you tell me, before we start recording that he tell me something about your personal life now that that I'm intrigue because it It seems like another example of you following right is actually all I've always exactly, which is you your bet, you you ve, decided to become a nomad exactly yet I just I just stop turned forty five on May thirtieth youngster on May thirty. First happy birthday, thank you on
four April thirty. If I turn in my gave my thirty days notice to my mind, this beautiful to bed, room apartment right and like the Venice, Santa Monica area of LOS Angeles my thirty notice, which meant to have thirty days to give if everything that didn't fit in carrying on bag. My backpack then so I started going through all my stuff selling whatever I could sell giving everything else away. I challenge myself no storage, no letters, no pictures, nothing! No, no certificates, nothing and in finally road, a little carry on bag out of their own on on May thirty, first in and Now I have about a week's worth of clothes and down my meditation little meditation teaching kit witches district, trade in some incense and things like that and in my laptop then why? Why do you do this? I don't know if it's just it just came through, and I decided to go with it and are a lot of
things I've been dragging around for a long time and I started to get the feeling that my home wasn't really. My home is just a place where I was staying there. Is it bad, combined but the fact that we now live in the shared economy. You don't really need to own any. Do you have anything married. I dont have kids yet so I admit that it would be a lot more challenging yeah. If that was the situation. Ass kids are not minimal right at all and dome and oh, you know, and I wanted to just in and also my book just came out, bliss more just came out, so I've been doing a lot of speaking gate and it's in, and I do a lot of retreats around the world, so I just figured why not just try to sow and anyone me else am I going to do it in a life is short, so all reasons I just said: let's do it, let's at least try it out. I can always rebuild if I'm fit, if it only lasts
months out just get a place in real start over? Where do you go like worries leaving tonight? How do you know what I say and urbane bees? I stay friends places. You know it's only up only been doin it for about a month, so so far been staying at friends and people with extra bedrooms and places, and I just do not pay people is not about saving money is just about really just being current community and in just being me available to opportunities to help people in teach people and what not, how far you have this mapped out means you know we're gonna be next week. I don't The plan that African you out the plan is not to have a plant. Will you know you said, thing. I remember this interview you have with the Dalai Lama or U S You said your wife is got upset with you, because you were, You were telling me you were minding her that ever the impermanence of life and now she can't be happy because she knows it's not going to last and that really stuck with me and you know there
all kinds of uncertainty that comes from not gnawing, what's gonna happen next and I think that's probably the biggest one that affair most of us, if not all of us, on some level, and I think if you can find comfort within that, the real comfort is inside right, external circumstances, change and and arm. So, if you can find that comfort in tat into an expanded and grow it then I think you, can be anywhere and you can be completely fine and I think, the real superpower, so I have to a meditation with kind of at least given me a foundation to take that kind of late because I don't know about what had done that. Otherwise, I think by probably would have succumb to pressure from other people say you crazy. That's not you know. I'm really thought this through all the way have people said that you know
and actually the opposite. I think people were people, it kind of highlights how much people are kind of attached to their external circumstances, for their happiness, we, I don't find it attractive at all. Yet I am I can imagine you said before. Where else am I going to do this, and I hope you at your people saying things like about you know like that about running a triathlon or jumping out of a plane or whatever that I can't get, but he I was in southern France, which has a high class problem with my wife recently, and I was some so happy to be home right couldn't get the food. I want I couldn't stand my routine. The way like to state my routine so being nomadic strikes me is, maybe I'm just. Terrible meditate or better, yet only limited stoking the twisted, I love having placed come back to I love comfort and convenience. And arm, and so that's that's part of the practice, though you know, is just
I can get on the road cannot survive on the road. In my Buddha with my family. Absolutely not you know. I was I can't do that. You're producer learn about this You know she was tell me about her relationship with her family, and I was saying you know if you can give you can have that spaciousness that we from meditation when you're talking to your mom. Now you know you. Really truly arrived and I'm not there yet mountains, Those I've loved, my mom, you of course. Of course you noticed, check your mama now. That's just what they do this job. Your job is to worry about everything and to give you unsolicited advice and she magic merit. Mad. I think she wants me to have kids but she's, not methadone, that Mary cause she's not merit anymore, something she gets that but Tom,
then I'm workin on all that with some cigarettes like the one thing you can't really control, though Dennis what I realized tat. My forty five years. As you know, I can express interests in attraction for someone, but I can't force them to reciprocate that interests. I can't imagine, that's been appropriate, is not, but you know you ye. I am at the luxury of choice of electric being picture than than I probably should being that Maybe they are part of the problem. I am being honest with myself absolutely clear and then you now this lifestyle that our chosen in the Euro The meditation teacher now nomadic me? That's not really the grounds for producers to settle a stable relationship. That's how it is that so she's not gonna, go back and dragged her father. How guess what he's these nomadic? Now he it can be anywhere. Did he die? He doesn't like to make plans. You said you said before about how your life has been pretty common, but I'm in a vacuum.
You sound like your mom and dad might again divorce near they got their set. Some some turbulence yet, but you know recognize it at the time they got divorced really late. They ve been married for thirty two years. They probably should again divorce. Fifteen years before them see and end up getting divorced, but you'd incense that unhappiness when you were yet. I think that's probably one of the reasons of em. You know probably my therapy sessions. We know that up comes up in his eyes- unlicensed therapy dishonor, whatever his license very that at best guy yet come up in that something to take a look at as well and in that's that's the great thing about operating at This level of you know in this in the sort of meditation community, as you see that, just because people meditate, even if they're like decades long the tears didn't. Have it all figured out. Their life is not perfect and I know people meditate who are sex attics, who are still smoking drinking and doing all kinds of things, but that's not to say that
who they are, you know, but that's an aspect of them that is still for whatever reason playing itself out and you know what you were but just getting a little bit better and again- and you know so, would I premeditation. I got the awareness that this is not is not a game of perfection and and it's cool school to have a therapist. It's called it to work on relationships in you know, try to figure all that stuff, and and and not put that kind of pressure on yourself, because I think that another problem that a lot of people face is on top of not having a level of inner, come in their external circumstances, good or bad. They also can we compare ourselves too much to other people and People may look at you look at me and think what you know these guys it had. This meditation practice were, however, long they ve got it all
figured out, and I am happy to tell people I don't have it all figured out rising, that's good. I see that as a strength on your part Rikers when I'm sitting with meditation teachers, distant regions, breathed people like that on the show, but but when I hear from meditation teachers or spiritual leaders that they had never. Yet to a bad mood or that an air there not subject to the S today, vexations of exhaustion as factors that that to me we life will still happen to you. We are all die right. There were all on a mission to two not being here and dumb, and I think that the more real we are about that the more accessible the practices will be and the more will ensue other people- and I tell people all the time and I'm teaching them. I say that you know: you're you're, you work at a bank you're, a comedian, Europe, grandmother, you're, you're gonna have a bigger effect on getting other people to meditate than I am because
as people look at me and that all these assumptions that here the name they see the profession they see all his at no man, of course he meditates. Of course. This is easy for him right. They don't they all those decades of property can leading up to these choices. But if someone the grandmother or they work at a bank, and they happen those set aside some time. Every data meditate, that's a lot more interesting to their friend group. There circle of influence, because friends understand their priorities and they know that this person is a lot like me, and I note that they like watching the voice or they like watching the game or they like going to their children's play, and yet they are will spend time meditating, and I think that's amazing and maybe there's something I should try. So again, that's why I think is really Orton for people like you to continue doing it. Did you don't jerk you not getting paid for the ten percent happier? Podcast me? can probably sustain your lifestyle just on this podcast or on your books, but you do it because you stand the importance of it and and the effect that sir,
one like you has whose really open about your sceptics, and about your internal experiences, and I think just more people need to hear that. Thank you cut more questions before I let you go the consent. But the book as I'd feel getting give you enough of a chance to talk about. Yes, so the book, the book bliss more, is basically the book I wish I had after those couple years of struggling to feel it The thing in meditation- and it really is a nuts and bolts- manual for taking someone who doesn't know anything about anything or if someone has been practicing. For a little while and they still feel ass, confuses they felt on day one taking them from that place to a point where they really feel like, they understand meditation in a comprehensive way. So we talk about every single angle of the practice. Nothing is arbitrary, the way you sit the time today. You do it the types of thought you have
how you handle certain thoughts, none of the thoughts how you handle things like sleeping, looking the time or monitoring the time. All these things can have an effect on your turn experience and most of the of the sort of conventional approaches to the meditation I teach the opposite and and dumb so I tell them not to not to judge anything that they have experienced up until this point as being created or discredit to their ability to men, take and just to go into it with an open mind. Had the experience and see what happens, engage everything on your own direct experience. Don't you We can take my word for it. Just follow the instructions split tested tested again, Have you been doing and try what I'm asking you to do and use you'll see for yourself if it works or not, and then if it does, keep doing it and if it doesn't try whatever else you don't, let's do what I call the plug zone. Less plugging kelp tells, but both your books
I know you have a self one one earlier and where we can fire and social media and a week we can't elsewhere redefined you in. All the five minutes for now, but we were virtually one could find you, so you can track me at my mostly on Instagram Light Watkins Elijah, Hd Watkins, W eighty k I and ass. I feel fine online Light Watkins dot com. The book is his bliss more how to succeed in meditation without really trying that's the most recent Vulcan it's all about meditation. I've been saying it The for our work. We premeditation so helping you optimize. Your practice Harris has been on. The show was right and the other book that I wrote. The first book is called the inner Jim, a thirty day programme for strengthening your happiness and the premise of that. Cosette, unlike what a lot of people say and the yoga community, I dont believe that happiness is a choice. I think that happiness It's like a muscle that you have to cultivate and strengthen and that
if you want to be able to tap into that in the end, in a real way at times where you know, circumstances may not be favourable so and those two books are both available. On on Amazon agenda. Yet- and I am now touring around giving talks- which I call meditation from a meditative and and I'll, maybe I'll be in a city near you on one of my talks, I like it, you talk about yoga, I'm still in this, getting stages of my yoga practice am struggling with, but cousin up propose yeah we're where are you doing your yoga with a studio or if someone coming to you I have theirs is making should give her? She deserves a plug should just gave her brother a kidney, so she definite allow a Jane Alexis. You can find her on social media. If you look for her at a great Instagram cat anyway, she I was
going to the equinox across the street here two years ago and she was teaching spin classes and I thought she was really mean. Could shoot cheviots screamin at us and them? my wife at the time I thought needed a trainer, so I asked her if she would work my wife and then I realized she like really sweet, so icy, organ where two once a week, she'll come kick the crap out above me, and my wife and and and she D, former golden gloves boxer, she was teaching boxing and strand training cardio, and then she asked if I want to start doing, yoga have always been against yoga, but because relax, jaded, she's cool. I thought if she doing it, maybe maybe I will do it and why were you against the ogre? Because I don't know I'm an idiot all the all the stuff round yoga ideas, part probe, why it now. So I don't, I do a good classes once in a while, but most of what I do is with her and the add. I really do tell me
but with flexibility in an posture and my postures, terrible, but I've still, you know what people say to me: I'm bad meditation, I kind of disregard that because everybody bad meditation, it's about you at least my fullest meditations about just I am struck into my entire, but you can be very yoga and I am definitely bad, but I'm really barrier well. You know, I think I love is Denzil washing some movie. He was any the woman like I'm better swimming. He says you re the train or your untrained, and I think it's just the process as yet becoming more more trained. I have one question for you: what Have you now gleaned about meditation from having facilitated all these interviews with all these experts can be combined with your own direct experiences. Has it changed much at all, or do you do? How do you feel about about the practice now I've, I mean the core inside for me that I definitely written.
The one that got me interested in the first place nine years ago and that I talk about incessantly and it comes up on. This over and over again something that is inherent in the titles of both of your books. The inner, Jim and Bliss more, which is that the mind, is tradable. Yes, and I just think that is that's the gospel, though I think the gospel literally means good news right. That's a good news and So my good news not revealed wisdom either. It's just the truth about the nature. Our brains and mines, and just going around telling people that as loudly and in his many formats and in many in many ways possible. Is that's my job on the planet. I think that in being the daddy are you gonna go had become a meditation teacher linked to one of these training they anywhere its centre left.
Also being a teacher right, so it in is specifically. I can only speak with some authority about the school which I've been train, which is kind of old school Buddhism, Terawatt Buddhism, that that training process is really intense, really really intense him in and medium guys and and women who are you, know the senior teachers that tradition have done years of silent, meditation retreat right now. I've done, a reasonable amount of silent meditation retreat and I can give I can give instructions to beginners. But you know in this tradition. America physician. My wife has so many years of she'd, now again pre medical but then met school and then I think, five years of postman. Cool training and in residency and a fellowship, and you know the meditation.
Teachers and in the care of school. They have comparable levels of rigorous training soon, I'm not I'll think given, Adam Forties, almost forty seven years old that I'm gonna do have the time to do that. But I you got some level on the train. I'm a teacher in that I I can you on rent people to emigrate, wager yet know that that makes total sense and and I think that it is important to have people like that out. There, who are just kind of you know shepherding people, into the door and in an let reminding people that it's not it can be cool or it can be accessible or useful in their real worldwide. Well what real world waste. Thank you so much for doing this to keep up the good work you too, ok that does it for another edition of the ten percent happier podcast. If you liked it, please take a minute to subscribe rate us all,
If you want to suggest topics, you think we should cover our guests, that we should bring in hit me up on twitter at Danby. Harris importantly, I want to thank the people who produce this paragraph. Or an Efron Josh Co Hand and the rest of the folks here, any BC who helped make this thing possible. We have tons of other back ass. You can check them out at every single time, casts dot com. I'll talk to you next Wednesday. There's not a person in America who hasn't been impact it in some way by the corona virus pandemic, but it every community there are pockets of people we're suiting up every day. This is my my day last day of the cylinder stretch of quotas from one of our time in these or America's essential workers, the people who are keeping moving. I turn into a homespun mom and now in a new plants from ABC News. You gonna hear from damage
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Transcript generated on 2020-05-27.