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#184: The Zen Priest with an MBA, Marc Lesser

At just 21 years old Marc Lesser took a year-long leave from his education to explore meditation. His one year leave would turn into 10 when he became the director of the first Zen monastery in the western world. He’s a Zen priest, an avid meditator and teacher, the author of several books and has been the CEO of several companies including his current company, which aims to integrate business practices with mindfulness - also the focal point of his new book Seven Practices of a Mindful Leader: Lessons from Google and a Zen Monastery Kitchen. The Plug Zone Website: https://www.marclesser.net/ ***VOICEMAILS*** Have a question for Dan? Leave us a voicemail: 646-883-8326
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
For maybe see ten percent happier blacker than her we're gonna, get to the episode very quickly. I have to brief items of business. First is we ve got a new meditation up on the app the ten percent happier app letting go of the outcome with one of our most popular teachers or in so is all about? How does not be so far stated on getting your way and instead staying open, especially in a and a work context which is quite relevant to what would it be talked about on the show this week, and I struggle with this quite a bit, so I'm gonna be using that that meditation by the other thing. I want it quickly before we get to the to the interview this week to our guest
I just want to give a big, robust shout out to the folks who have joined our insiders feedback group. This is a bunch of listeners who were given us detailed feedback on every episode, as we continue to try to get better at what we do. That feedback, which I see personally, is right, we meaningful and incredibly helpful, so big, thank you. Aren't let's get to our guests, who has an awesome resin may he is both Asia and priests and he has an MBA from New York University, and why you, our lesser eyes, Prof best known as one of the architects of the the famous meditation course that they run for Google employees called search inside yourself, and now it's is run that corporations are all over he has done much more though he's founded three companies, including his current company
you called Z Ba, which teaches helpful. Integrate meditation their practices into their work, life he's the other for books and as reference before him an MBA from New York University. He also began his work career as a resident of the San Francisco Zen and centre, where he was a then priest for ten years. He's was gonna talk about that you'll hear him talk about that, and then we get after we talk about how he got into meditation what it was like to be a an priest for all that time and why that experience, It had fallen in love with work which somehow, seems a little in Congress, but he makes it he makes it makes sense but then we get into his latest book, which is called the seven practices of a mindful leader by leader he does not mean some helicopter, using c o he needs all of us in water.
Or a context. We do our work. Many of us that's in the office, but where others may be at home or in volunteer organization or whatever, and we talk about, some of his ideas about how'd it go about working in a way that can actually be meaningful and can be measurably less miserable. He, in fact one of the seventy talks about is that you can love your work even when it sucks he talks and we tackle quite in death about how it it is not useful to think you are an expert talk about being what is the utility of being connected to your own pain in your life and connected to the pain of other people with whom you work? How can that help in a work next we talk about the the intensely. Collaborative nature of workplaces these days and how meditation can make that collaboration even better and- and I let him explained this- he talked a lot about.
feed the necessity. The value of the continuous work of making work simple Mark lesser is a fascinating guy would really fun to talk to him. Here is great to meet you nice, to meet you, actually no, we have. We met very briefly at an airport. Now we we at a conference? Very briefly, we read a few different I'm not even sure which one it was New York? her Washington DC or a conference where you were speaking at eight I might have been doing a workshop at that conference several years ago. Yes, we like them. I will a conference but were at the airport, leaving your oh, maybe so somebody else, maybe who I knew where you man, maybe that that could be? Yes, that's! That's there any that's the memory and then there is a there is an male chain that we were on together for some time having to do other than that. The people. In this might from this business,
world were on this email chain in a while. It's good to see you too, How did you get into meditation I was. Twenty one years old, I took a one year leave of absence from wreckers, and I went initially to San Francisco to a small community called the here. this institute. Why would you have done it. Ah. I was then I read a book my first, my first book that, drew me in this direction was Abraham Maslow toward the psychology of being, and I I had to read this book for college I discovered that book kind of woke me up to how asleep I was reading about that this concept of
self actual position, and this idea that certain people were more emotional were happier were sadder, were more comfortable in their own skin. What is self actual zation me? self actual position. That's that's a good question. While I can tell you, I think, that Maslow would define self actual decision As someone who is high level of emotional intelligence a high level of being more. fully aligned as a human being being more com people in your own skin being comfortable with one's emotions, not being so tossed around by one's inner critic being b. Having the ability to have really good quality transparent.
loving relationships that are fully failure. Emotions but not to be owned by them, yes, there would be a short, a short cut. Another way: listen just sing high level, a high mindfulness quotient, I might for discussion, though, then I would, I kind of maybe even broaden, I think, mindfulness in oak could certainly be defined as right, high level of self awareness, ability to deal with difficult emotions, Our standing, your own motivation, things like empathy, and this whole broad realm of communication skills in and social skills, yeah. And then I think, if I use more the more, the older language of mine from this item if it as knowing yourself and going beyond yourself. I, like I, like that language, which has some old old. No then language, I tell were were far afield from your
chronology here, but when you say going beyond yourself, I can imagine a listener. Getting hung up on that. What do you mean by that how do I go beyond myself? This is all I've got yeah yeah. Well, I think, there's somali simple ways to talk about it. One is that you actually care for real about other people. Imagine that actually, really caring about people and that the world isn't only me what's good for me, what's bad for me, of course, where we don't have to worry about, losing that, of course we have to take care of ourselves and we need to We need to have that question about what's good. For me, it's not good for me, but I think going beyond. Ourselves is on in relation to other people is Billy caring about other people,
I think it even goes beyond that. I think, even beyond other people, its having a sense of a sense of connected this a sense of belonging to this earth. This place that we're not so always caught up on. What's gonna, be are our own getting ahead and our own achievement, so we feel a sense of safety A radical sense of safety would be so I would say safety. a radical sense of needing anything right now and and connection that those three things which, in some way from a psycho I think would say these are three basic human needs that we have. I don't need you talk to things that came up in my head. First, following you talked about
belonging to this earth and all that stuff, my my inner policemen of like don't talk. That way goes off like up what? What does that mean? Blindness that does like the the kindergarten teacher Who is making me saint combine, I would say some stuff like that too. I get that a little bit, but then I also would I What comes up is a little bit of first time I went on a meditation retreat and I wrote about this and my first book of first time I went on a meditation retreat. We don't do enough, meditating all day, I hated it first everybody. I ahead. Everybody told me to do the thing I hate just with filth, Hayden, resentment and frustration mostly really it myself for being unable quoting court unable to meditate. But then I had this for lack of a better word. Had a breakthrough Where I thirty six hours of really, I had really stopped struggling so much and and was very much right where I was, and
If I had to whittled down the intellectual take away from the door, what what was well we're fell. A lot of it was beyond conceptual on and firmly in the perceptual, in that I was just seeing hearing smelling whatever There's a lot when the metal chatter goes down in your actually living here: life as it presented through your senses, at a given moment. That can be a couple with a lot of happiness, but the intellectual. The conceptual thing that I did I member was everything's. Ok, I just everything's fine and that came up. For me, as you were talking about this radical sense of safety and belonging on this earth, which again part of me bells against any It is any of the foregoing, make any sense you totally totally so think in some way in the very practically. This is where I think that
meditation practice and daily life come together right to me, the experience that you were just describing the sense that everything's ok right now the mental chatter kind of quiet it a little bit and- and there is something that you that you felt to me- it's like that's great, that's that's what happens. Often when you sit retreats when you set Multi day retreats you get sick of yourself, you gets you get completely sick of the thing that we call I and me, and your own story there's something about you get to see that. At some level it's made up it. It's it's it's something that we create the story of of me and I and you just get a sense of it by you? Get you get us so when you sit for multi days, so imagine that you let that permeate
into Europe bones in a way and that there is some of that in how you are the rest of your life as a leader or as a husband or as a sun, or anything that that it's just it's it's. It's really small- and I know it can sound a little in. Oh come by us, but I think it is potent it's a really potent life changing experience. If you can of that experience in meditation, but also, happen. I think in other and other way something that really grabs your attention. And shows you that things are not quite as black and white the story is in quite a solid as what you thought it gives you great. I think it gives you a kind of flexibility and and power too little bit. Like people often say you know what life is short right. Life is short. Therefore, you should live in a certain. You should live as
Oh life is short well, that's easy to say, but its harder to do, and I think this is the same. Sensibility that what you're describing in meditation is that life- and you are quite what you had thought. There were three days before when you started this retreat guess thoroughly derailed. You but you will start again. Yes, let's talk about you, but I want to get to how we can. I know you have a lot to say about this: how we serve operational eyes. but how we, how we can have his insight in first place and then how we operational as it and are left I wanna get to that, but I first want to walk through a little bit of how you got to where you are so. You read this book by mass low and you're twenty one, and you realize that you'd been asleep most of your life and it was
enough of a jolt that it got you to take a year off from college. It was a jolt think it got me to read a lot more. It got me to start red likes Finally, I was passionate about reading and learning which I hadn't been so much and I started reading everything I could about human- psychology, an existential is, and even a book about Zheng Alan. What's the waves then came my way, and all of this was like wow This is amazing stuff. This is much more interesting relevant. Then the courses I was taking, and at rector's university, in New Jersey and and the result. I think too. I just feel like I need to go explore this part of my life I found out about a programme in sex Cisco of a friend of mine, older brothers came back from San France go the land where people were actually doing. Petition and stay?
being eastern and western mysticism ended business. Seventy this isn't it yeah and I'm I decided to take a year leave of absence to go, explore went to end it was. It was a particular programme that the time they were connected to Sonoma State University. So I could sell it to my parents as I'm gonna go right. You graduate school, even though I hadn't finished my undergraduate degree and then, while I was in San Francisco eyes when handed me, a book called the PTA Sahara Red Book and Atossa her bread, but bread is a book about baking. Bread. That happened to come out of a then monastery called Ta Sahara, which was part of the San Francisco Zen Centre and this book it not only was it about baking bread, but it was about studying yourself and going beyond yourself through the practice of baking, bread,
It was also had a sense of humor. It didn't take itself too seriously. and all these things attracted me to this place called the the San Francisco send Centre, and I was looking at the time I had a job downtown San Francisco, just doing office work and the bus, the six masonic bus every day? One right by the the Zen centre on the corner of page and Laguna, I of the bus one day and walked in, and I completely felt like that? I felt at home in this place that it was. It was beautiful and smelled good and felt good, and it was very clean and the poor, were super friendly and, and they have basically, there was no proselytizing at all was like our door.
open every morning. Five thirty you wanna come sit meditation, you can always come sit. I started sitting meditation at the centre and ended up. Staying, therefore, that when you leave of absence turned into ten years and and it wasn t never finished out. I did Africa after ten years and came back ten years later came back and went right to business. I got an mba degree because a during that ten year time work became a really core part of my private. and the relationship of meditation practice and work practice were very much integrated, so images for you you go We spend ten years at the Zen centre and then you spent You go back and vanished college it is another ten years of work and college in India
And then you go back for another ten years and none of it, no, so not just on the tens ten years at this end centre went it, went and got mba degree and then I started company starting companies, and drove into the world of work. Where did you do your MBA York University right here in this lovely town and what companies Greece I started a publishing company. One of the first come he's in the world to make things out of recycled paper. This was in nineteen. eighty nine. I started a company called brush, dance and yeah. I. My first job out of business. School was in San Francisco working for a distributor of recycled paper. So I had this idea. I mean I might my strong idea was one there. Must be a way to bring this these,
access is that I had been so involved without the Zen centre so I have one of the things that happened at the Zen sooner was I kept getting asked to take on more and more responsibility in different areas of the organization, including Roy being a kitchen in ASEAN monastery and this in mystery turns into a resort. In the summer time this place called Ta Sahara and they have reputation for high quality, vegetarian gourmet, vegetarian food so. This kitchen was like a pretty serious place of learning to cook learning to produce the highest quality food. Seventy or eighty overnight guests in the summer cost. In the summer time it turned into a resort and conference centre still is, and I got to say prince of of loving work right in the midst of what was basically a commercial kitchen with tremendous amount of pressure intensity.
going wrong people working closely together. It was hot and yet there was a way that the work was very intentional about learning to, Oh about yourself going beyond yourself in the midst of this work practice? Were you a monk? I was a monk, I mean a monk. A monk is someone who lives in a monastic setting now this was a? U S, California, monk, very different, when you say that word there were men and women practising together and me knives and friends resent priests and their merit. Yeah, so it's not like a week. We use the word monk in the western contacts we think celibacy, etc, etc. I'm has increased I married. I have children I've been ceo of several companies. I'm ceo of a company right right now, so I
I very much live a life that kind of integrates again what what I think appears as two separate things, these contemplative practice and and living out in the world. To me my duration is to have it be one world. It's the world is the world of bees. human being and showing up as as fully as best as Compassionately as responsively as I know how, but did you come back here ten years for a second in the monasteries you're a monk, but you also working so we'd reading long periods of retreat two know how much meditation training happened, a lot, a lot of meditation training and a good deal of work were happening at the same time. So I did I've done many many a seven day retreats I've done, oh at at us, a horrible
core practice is ninety day retreats in which there is maybe five hours a day of sitting practice. If you work in the kitchen like, I did maybe only sit for three hours a day. There's There is less meditation there's more focus on on work practice may end working in the kid you have to talk. So it's on a silent retreat, that's right, yeah and- and I would say people who are working in any parts of the of the organs mission are are talking there's a lot of silence, so pretty much every day from from dinner time, starting at dinner. Chill. Generally until midmorning. Maybe the next day is silent time. and then there's a work meeting and you're in a more more normalized, although even the sensible
He is that the talking is less chit chat and more talk that you need to have in terms of the way. and there is also time for connecting with and being a relationship, and there is also a good deal of can achieve your student discussion and send talking about what you were working with, the the dish, tradition. So I go on vacation retreats in the Theravada tradition. even within terawatt, it's hard to be overly general because their lots of schools with Inter vodka, the terrified for the uninitiated, here's one of these or schools of Buddhism is, Theravada then Tibetan holy man. Lots of land pure land, your land, this man, there have been many many others, many school- oh, I don't know, I said for so anyway.
Because a bird observed terawatt has kindly old school, literally it's the oldest school, and in these retreats that I go on your note, I mean no talking ten days or three answer would arrive. I've Glaucus I've done is eleven days, but people go three months ago longer and what you with his own, at least with the partners. There. There are many schools within then too, but then tradition you are a part of their is talking. So it's if such an interesting a way to a difference in the way to approach a retreat. So in the is in tradition that I'm part of familiar with there are retreat. six or seven day. Seventy retreats no talk. They're called Cecilia Codfish genes right seven days, retreats called fishing. There would be no talking there.
But when you do a ninety day practice period, there's there's your people, especially the funk, especially emphasis on functional talk, because work is such a part of the practice. Is Oh, you brought this term work a lot and I haven't I let you expound upon it. But it seems to be really important to shut something. You got and not in the pejorative, but it cannot be in your bonnet about the connection between practice in work during these ten what? Why did that become so important to you. I found that I I I just loved working. I loved the the work that I had an eye. Remember! Even while I was the time when I was living at the Zen centre. There is all of this statistics about that. People didn't like work that that there were
but now in others. I think that you're probably seen all the latest statistics. Of course, your next week at this right that that two thirds of American workers say they dont feel engaged in what they do the level of things not only in this. Judgment but suicides and people feel incredibly unhappy in their workplace, and I I I had a strong sense that a war to change. This is the end. Great, more the sense of meditation practice, contemplative practice with with work, I know you said that after business school you went and started some companies. Were you trying to put into practice this sort of philosophy that you were working on? I was, and then I found out how hard it is it's hard I mean there is there is. I talk about it all the time, there's a natural tension that exists between right
meditation practice, contemplative practice right, the practice of of being more being this and the practice of gettin stuff done of getting things done in the world of meeting goals of making money of being reached. possible for financial statements. There tension there, but I think it can be a positive and healthy tension idea with us a lot. I'm sure you do. But there was a lot, but not only here at ABC News. I have two professional homes ABC News, then ten percent happier, which it is it company growing and and and their people. Really take meditation much more seriously. Although there are a lot of it, tears here too news the whole company attackers and happier is geared towards meditation. And so yeah that tension, and my style being raised in. You know this.
Please ABC News. I've been here for nineteen years when I first got here. It was very hierarchical, sir, militaristic, tough, very kind. It is really. Change is much more we're collegial now than it has ever been button. That's in me and I acted out some thousand people alike especially in the minute, a ten percent up here, so that that that marriage is something that's very, very much a dynamic tension in my life, yeah beautiful. I think it's a. I think it's a really important enchanter to recognise, and I think this to me is it an accident that work plan this is all over. The world have adopted a motion: intelligence, because they can see the world is really changing right, the world. Since that long ago, when the militaristic sense, the this the
There is an assembly line, and there still is in many places when I think of as an assembly line mentality about work that the underlying assumption, is you need to take the humanist out of people and just get them to do their job now. This may be true You know it's maybe two on the factory floor. Actually, I don't think it's even true there anymore that if there is more and more evidence that the Mai or we can bring in humanness good good communication skills, a being more aligned with yourself in what you are doing is good, for business is good for work is going to solve. It isn't gonna completely solve this, this innate tension that we're talking, but I will go a long way to making it a much healthier than more data. Workplace. What do you mean by humanness? I feel like? I couldn't evolve into a bromide if, if we're not specific about it,
I mean emotional intelligence, I mean understanding Europe I mean. Basically, I mean Sulphur essentially self awareness understanding. So, we're just talking about you. Have these particular proclivity is that you bring in its partly it sounds as problematic. the nation of training that you had before when when the business was more militaristic and is probably I'm guessing just your own. Your own, it personality that that shows not only at work but in all parts of your life and if you're lucky enough to the UN relationship and, if you're really lucky to me, I think the most advanced practice. If we really want to practice being relationship and then if Europe and then have kids and then you'll really find out your own level of emotional television so really find out as a brief aside, Jack habits in the legendary meditation teacher and other. When I had-
Bianca and I had our first child four years ago, he said to me: the Dalai Lama just moved into your house yeah. So I think, oddly enough work, but can also be Advanced practice can be, can be a great place to learn about yourself and cultivate greater. I mean it's good to be. I think it's really good to be in really difficult high, pressured situation, where there is this tension how do you show up when you know? running a company and you don't have money to pay payroll. How do you show up when you know you find out? They know you The new product that you just launched is totally failing and and you need to raise more investment money or any in. Oh, you have a difficult boss. How do you deal
these. These are such, I think, such rich things such real, rich things to deal with as opposed to pretending that they don't exist or to run away from them are due to feel are to feel like you're, the victim of this difficult situation? So that's what I mean in answer to your question. That's the the human this is noticing. What are natural tat since these are what are proclivities, are and then finding skillful ways to to work with them, or so I have a million questions, but I and most of them from a very selfish standpoint. That's like I want three you're, so they often do, and I reserve the right to two to revert to that, but I think maybe the way to approach now you can set the table in the way you have no way to approach. the S a conversation would be through the lens of your new book. So let's do it.
By what what's the title. What went? What's what? What's the content with the conceit here right, the title is: seven practice of a mindful leader and the subtitle is lessons from Google and ASEAN monastery. Kitchen and when you say leader, I just want to put into practice people. Might they wore to of amnesia? Would wonder what I don't need this book? Yes, so everyone's a leader its again. It's a bridging word in that. Yes, of course, there are people who are in roles of leadership or, have been or will be so there. There are some particular skills, competencies that go with leadership, but I think of it as much broader in that letter it is essentially about influence how how do we influence other people and we all influence other people, whether on a team, whether wherein a family but there's a sense
Again, leader implies a sense of the work world, so I think that the focus of the book is about how to how to integrate might from his prey this in our lives at work and for most people most people spend more time at work than any other part of their lives. I did so a dive into the book, but in reading in reciting your subtitle. I realise that I left out a key part of your biography, which is Google. Do you not only after business school started founding companies, but then you, if I understand correctly moved into really bring these price. This isn't a major corporations. So can you just described them? but if your life anymore, I promise, will get back to the book. Yes, yes, so I ran Sub, this publishing company that I mentioned for fifteen years and an eye, I stopped a executive coaching practice, doing some consulting coaching and found myself Working with some of us
coach to several Google engineers and and right at the time when this Google engineer name Meng. He had the idea of create in a programme that brought mindfulness meditation into Google and at at the time, I met him. He only had the name the name. He knew was a joke was kind of a joke called search inside yourself, and someone introduced him to me saying that he felt that there is this guy who had met. Men to introduce me as having ten thousand hours of meditation practice an mba and started and ran several companies, and that's it exactly who he was looking for to help develop this programme inside of Google
I found myself as part of an early team of people creating making up this programme and and this challenge of how can you bring? mindfulness, meditation, emotional intelligence and teach Google engineers, and that was so, that was the that was the challenge. Mank an eye and a few other people started this programme and it became they took a little while it wasn't. You know it wasn't exactly and overnight success, but I'd say your two or three. Suddenly it had become more and more successful and we notice that people were They would announce that we were gonna. Do one of these programmes at the time the seven work programme and within didn't and literally within seconds, it would be so out and there'd, be waiting lists and then there are waiting lists of hundreds and that's all. There is
of mouth, that there is a programme that you learn to meditate and that you can get some of the basic skills about how to communicate better with the people on your team, as a combination of well being? activity and leadership skills that we were teaching in this programme. I want to put it, I want to say a few things to first of all another person on your own It was mere by Bush Amerika or whose she's a recent guest on this package of people want to listen to mere buys perspective on all this. You can go back a few. Episodes in here that in men himself has been a guest really early guest on the show, so you can also, I also want to say- and I wanna put opinion this will come back to it- has been so kind Everything around man himself, which I discussed with mere by, and we should talk about as well as it does relate to workplace cultures will give acted at, but thank for filling the gaps in the Google, and I should insurgency yourself. It still exists if I
percent not only with Google but also working with other corporations. Yes, so in in the year when he twelve men and I decided it was time to bring this work outside of Google and we create did a an organization, a nonprofit called the search inside yourself Leadership Institute. I was the ceo man was the chairman of the board and off. We went to, work on. How do we expand this work and we were incredibly successful like right, from right from day. One week I'd organizations, the timing that Women couldn't have been better, so great timing in terms of mine, this being more and more accepted and also having the the credibility that this programme was developed inside it Google didn't hurt at all. Either I do and more of our conversation is on the way after this better help offers
licensed professional councillors specialised. A wide array of issues like depression, anxiety and grief, conduct with their profession counselor and a safe private online environment, it's a truly affordable option and listeners can get ten percent off your first month by going to better help dot com, slash happier fill out a questionnaire to help them assess your needs and get matched with the counselor you'll love I back the book. Yes, yes, said the book. Yes, so you don't wanna things that I wrote this book in part. because I felt that there was a lot of misunderstanding about what mindfulness was that it was people were more and more skimming the surface when they talked about this thing called mindfulness, and then I thought there. even less understanding about the idea of this this integration of I ain't for Miss in the workplace, and this had been
My life? I've been doing this now for thirty something years, and I wrote the book as aware of addressing that that issue, and, and what I realize now often people will ask me, will what do I mean by mindfulness? What's my definition, and I think that the seven practices that I talk about in the book are a pretty good way in two describing what I would say: mindfulness practices, so my foes practice love the work. Do the work don't be an expert connect to your pain, connect to the pain of others depend on others and keep making it simpler. Artless walk through these Love the work so love the work, unlike people often think that what it means is to love the particular or role that you're doing. That's, not what I'm saying a lot of us hate, while I dont but but thereof,
any many people and I have compassion for them who are second jobs. They think the actual doing the job. It is hard to love right. So the beauty of this practice is this- is loving the work of meditate loving the work of mindfulness, loving, loving self awareness and loving, knowing yourself and going beyond yourself, loving that work that work of self discovery to fall in love with, as a as your real as your real work, and see that you can do that in any job, even a job, you hate, you can still the enemy. It's actually very empowering when you take on the work of knowing more and more about your own proclivity. In your own way of how you- embody your own power. How you give away your power, how you feel like a victim, how you don't feel like a victim, all those all those kind of
human tendencies that we have to love that that work. How do even begin to love start? You noted gun to our heads. How do we start fallen in love with this work that you describe it? I think I have feeling down that you were, as you do, strive, your first retreat that you did that you kind of fell in love with this work. When you, when you say I would find it hard to force yourself to do that. You can't force yourself to do, but you can't, but you can experience it. You can create a conditions where it's more likely better. That's right! So I would say that yeah! So do what you can create the conditions to love the work which might be from sitting a seven day. Retreat like you, did attend a retreat. Seventy seventh attended her one day, retreat or or just start said, just have a regular meditation practice and read and spend time with.
and some time with, maybe listen to us and podcast, listen to us and higher costs that are there. So many listen up hard cash. Listen to our sun, spiritual pictures that around it or people who are who are involved in and doing this work. So this is the practice of loving the work. But then the second of the seven practical elements there loving the rugged because basically you're describing, is just Europe the courage and what happened to you at age, twenty one, a record your basically saying, love the work of waking we walk around and we're sleep walking. Most of our lives were on auto pilot and eighty is, in my experience, infinitely interesting to wake up I know that, but if you keep falling back asleep and so that we can leave it and you, then you wake up to new levels of it in and over and over learning how to actually He alive is an interesting job. Exactly you got it right.
Learning, learning how to be alive. How of loving the work you might make. If you want to replace love, if have trouble with the word love, you can say appreciate the work like developing and appreciation for being alive appreciating being alive, appreciating even the things that are difficult and ornery and end the appreciating the the that we have in in our work and and somehow it's it's it's Small subtle, but major shift in oh I'm in a different relationship with with this job. Now this now this job that I'm not liking. I get to ask: what is it about what what is it What am I doing? Is there something that I'm doing? What am I bringing to this situation now of? There are two,
six situations. I don't want to let you know there are people who work in toxic situations and- and it's probably best to look for ways out of that. Mostly though people we all bring our own particular proclivities, our own, our own habits on assumptions deep, deep assumptions again. It's in your very psychological, very spiritual, but this is that this is the work. It's the work understanding ourselves as human beings appreciating yeah and I would say, based on my own experience, it just talking other people that seeing the difficult stuff particular about you herself. There is in some ways the delicacy right, the you don't mean like you need to do it delicately, but that is also true. I mean More, like the most delicious part, is the this seeing you know what a capacity to be a monster. You have because when you see it that it no longer has such an outbreak. own you yeah. I mean I M
I get to see it all the time right, so I'm there's a joke amongst mindfulness teacher, how stressful it is to be a mindfulness teacher right is or how your preparing preparing to teach can be, can be stressful, and how do you deal with that? I have my own. My own house standards my own inner critic, and yet I am I'm really good. I'm really good at teaching people how to quell hotter. Camp and down your inner critic, and I know this is strong, unimportant skill to have, and yet it's something you it's part of being human, so you you're, you beat yourself up, so I do. But what mostly oh, I would say, about maybe the about finding and feeling my own sense of power, the core
For me, an ongoing question for me is what is my real power, and how do I express it? What do you mean my power in contact? The foregoing, yeah What I mean by power it mice, giving aid to another? No, no! It's! Ok! It's ok d! and a ruined every everything? That's good! That's good! I love it. I love it's actually it's what we are asking you head cos, This is my next book. I'm really I'm really I'm really entry. did in the subject of power, and fact I just I just wrote a blog this week in which I tell the story of I was twenty six years old and One of my teachers at the Zen centre looked at me and said mark you have a way of giving away your power, her pissing away or power, and I knew this wasn't a compliment
it doesn't make much expensive than training. I how, however, it was like what power Did she see in me that I was too really unaware of as a twenty twenty six year old. Now I've been adding power power, basically is the the ability to self actualized going back to that word and the ability to influence and in a positive I would say that positive power is to influence in a wholesome and positive way to help people. More themselves to help people see more reality. We often we in a week we live in a yo yo thanks, I loved about a to the books that I've been recommending a lot lately. You ve all Noah hierarchies, books, sapiens and and homo deus, partly because He sees the world through the lens of fiction, any
This is that language that we live so much in the world of fiction. So it's a power living in the real world. Power is being able to see more reality and not being so caught by the stories that we tell ourselves, but most of us think of parents. Being able to get other people would have been to our will hear this that may give this is the negative rap power has, but I think power has a very positive sense to that now, especially for people who are in positions who are in roles of power? This is getting. after what you were saying earlier about the militaristic way of work. This is no law, you're cutting it, but now to find out how we can influence in a different way without bending people to do what most of you when you beat yourself about up about your own use of your power woody. What is that? What is that look? Look at it, for me: it seeing ways that I feel like I'm not completely trusting myself, I'm not
completely aligned in my own sense of war. It is, I want to accomplish what I'm doing. I think my my on my own early training as it as a child was to feel like I'm the victim. Ah, I grew up with they manic Depressive Father and I grew up in a place where and of course it was never talked about nuff everything was always fine in my child it was everything was always find. Anything that was difficult was always swept under the rug, and I think I I learned a great strategies. Are pushing away. What was difficult or or stressful, so part of my waking up. back! You know when I was in my early twenties and this is
part of my waking up today is to turn toward what's difficult, just look at what's uncomfortable to not pretend that it doesn't exist. So that's I'd say that tat. I give away my power these days is by turning away from what's difficult and with that look like oh wow, it looked like a lot of ways so like here I am in I'm in the I'm I'm thinking of how can I have the most influence, an impact in my life right now? What is that? What is that look like and so what being fully empowered for me would be being completely comfortable in my own skin, and not not overshooting what's possible and not.
their shooting, let's possible, to fine where's that where's the place. One of one of my questions for myself is Where can I have the most positive impact? How can I best use my own skills my own abilities and Other question I have is, and what do I most love doing? What do I do, we enjoy and then the third part of that for me is, and what sustains me find. Chile. What does financial sustainability look like? So those are those Jimmy Alignment and my and being in my own power looks like having them its positive impact. I can have loving what I'm doing and financial sustained a new fines and has it because it that, when you add in finance, that's where the tension can come, you find that try them trying to do all of this. Well,
you pick on yourself a little bit about whether you're doing enough job. In this context, in a way I mean I can, I can see the decisions I making like sometimes sometimes, maybe I'm I'm I'm really loving this, but it's not really having as much impact as I wish. It would end in not not financially sustainable, or finding. Oh I'm doing this thing, this thing really pays well, but really am I Do it do. I really want to be doing this particular role with this with this particular organization. So, yes, I'm somewhere between, I think the positive I'd would meet with be assessing how I'm doing and the negative side would be beating myself up about it right. Well, I think we all walk that line most of us probably well. I don't know how to speak myself that I often are on the side of beating myself up but
you talk about is essential, you're talking about that you use which, in from when I was hearing tight about power and in a sense to talking about motivation and lead this dead. That's what I heard It's I heard it just because something I think about a lot, my own life, that I wish that as I by aspire in my own life, to think about what my job the planet? For my remaining time in the within the context of how can I help the most people is essentially, but I heard you say with the third thing being remuneration, financial. But I I kind that there are other that finance if I'm being honest, looms larger, sometimes that I'm comfortable admitting and also than this is other thing around
my ego ago in an and then you know, people coming up and say hello to me in an airport or whatever, and and that's a whole thing in here too in it, that's an interesting thing for meat in Arabic, It is I that's. That was what was coming up. My head, as you spoke sure sure you know, I think From a societal perspective, often people are are just asking the financial numeration question right that that often drives what people do and then they wake up and find out that they're not so not very happy. This is pretty pretty common experience and not to not to downplay the financial numeration peace is it's it's a big one. It's not a small one, especially- and here I am in in New York City and seeing take some real money if you wanted you, want to live here. If you want to do things here so back to the book. Ok, the number two was do the work do the work. So so, first of
I want to just say that The way these seven practices emerged was in the context of training. A group of Google engineers how to be mindfulness teachers and as we are looking about how we could spread and scale this work within Google, We decided we needed to train some Google employs it to teach this work and that would be one way ticket to spread it. and this was the first time that we were doing one of these trainings ass. She was kind of a kind of funny story in that. I was sitting next to Meng was on one side of me in this room of a dozen go engineers and we bring in a man named Norman Fischer, who is a leading, zen teacher. poet and writer. Yes, it s book to be on this by casting an excellent, excellent, Norman's, wonderful, so We invited Norman in two to talk to that group and as the meeting was starting. I I looked at the agenda and the
thing that was supposed to happen right after we started the meeting where it said Norman gives talk about mindfulness I had a pretty strong feeling. No one had told this too Norman, so I just the agenda- and I put it in front of him- and he very nonchalantly- got out a piece of paper in a Japan and took some notes and proceeded to give a talk about These are the seven practices that he was recommending, our most important too. body to value as a as a mindfulness teacher, and I thought these practices words right on we're just perfect, not only as a mite for this here, but I immediately thought this is how I want to run my company this. How I want to run the institute that I had started. And even brothers. In that I thought this. I want to live my life according to these seven practices, so I wrote them down I put them on everyone's desk. We had about twenty employees at the time and I started
beating. I started writing about them and talking about these seven practices and a book started to emerge, and maybe a cup for years into that. I I called norman- and I said Nora I'm feeling a little funny now has a book is starting to emerge about these. practices that you described at Google a couple years ago, an Norman says what seven practices he He literally literally had no idea what I was talking about. I read Norman the practices and he said those who does your pretty good and good luck with your book at. So that's that's where they came from and and yeah. So The work, then the second practice is, do the work, which is that you
We need to have a daily meditation practice. I liked to break the work into two big buckets dedicated practice. An integrated practice so dedicated practice is, though,. Than the practice you're doing when you step outside of the stream of your daily life, meditation, Journal, writing might be a dedicated practice, walking meditation and then the other big bucket is integrated practice witches, when you get up from your cushion or when you stop writing. How are you bringing this work into your your relationships? Your work, all parts of your life, so this is do that work is to have these these practices. Third. Third, but be an expert, so this is theirs is an expression in then beginners mind I'm out. I suspect that that's what you're saying I'm saying that. Yes, yes, it's the fact of.
out of the San Francisco sent Centre, the famous book zen, mind beginners, mind where, where says, he received famously says right in the in the experts, mind. There are very few possibilities by in the in the beginners mine. There are many possibilities and I think again I like to clarify of course I want my surgeon and my car mechanic to be experts at what they do. However, I want them to have fun. Accessible enough minds cheap to be able to be creative if something were to go wrong, but beyond that beginners mind or not being an expert is much more about relationships. None of us are experts. Anyone who tells you that their an expert in there relationships? I would. I would run the other way and and whether you are a leader or
team, member or in any relationship. It's this, this human. This human relationship thing it really takes a not being not being an expert and and there's no one. Who is an expert, I believe when it comes to mindfulness and meditation and you want someone who has a lot of experience, it's good to have a lot of experience. I've been, you know, I'm not getting any younger than I am I've been sitting pretty much every day for the last in a forty five years, and I still feel very much like a beginner when it comes to my meditation practice. My might from this practice. Certainly my relationship practice. My my wife thinks it's areas that I'm teaching emotional intelligence right as this guy I've I feel,
like I, but I've learned so much from my work roles that I've had you know, starting with running then monastery kitchen. I was then the director of this place called us. Aha, yo of companies? It's just a grey incredible, learning place about about yourself and this again, this back to knowing yourself and going going beyond yourself, so dont be an expert court core practice for connect to your own pain. Again, it's you know, you might you, you you're enough of a student of Buddhism that its Buddhism one or one it starts in other. The first of the Foreign Opel truth is, life is hard done, fits essentially saying, don't push away difficult, don't push away with difficult in fact, connect connect to its difficult on on all levels. Connect to what's difficult about
things you're getting that you don't want things, you want that you're not getting a bit. Then there's, though you know the bigger questions of if you're lucky your subject to old age, sickness and death. So it's recognising that our lives are limited, its recognising that being a being just a tough gig? It's a tough gig and its power of our common humanity of seeing how there are many many difficulties and in being human- and this goes nicely, into the next practice, which is connecting to the pain of others, which he could talk about again, there's If your research oriented there's tremendous amount of research saying in the work world of the more responsibility we take on and in work, the less empathy we demonstrate that we connect we
connect less and less with the common humanity with it with the pain of others. This has happened to me. At times in what I am really working on yeah. How does it happen to you that well, I've talked about this network has been forced to some were familiar with this, but about. Nine months ago I had a three sixty review, which is when, where ever you know what you ask people who you work for our Europe, There's people work for you and then, in my case also people, my personal life, those like MIKE, I call it three. sixty bordering on a colonoscopy where sixteen people give these anonymous our long interviews and then a report is written up and handed to me and it was very clear to me that out when I knew some of this, but I didn't know it has powerfully is, is when I read it that I was I was in. and I am well- I've been working work on a lot overloaded and taking on too much ABC News Ackerman and also with this growing,
Albania and giving speeches and running books. Was making me a hard to be around It was also making me hard to be me, so I do is, I think those two things are inexorably inexorably connected so. Yes, I resonate with that and very common. I mean I've had it, and I have also been through many many of these three sixty Is this anonymous surveys and its it? It can be hard to collect the data to see the ways the way we think about our self, maybe then how other cs, I often say I'll, be working with leaders who who think that they are good listeners
if everyone around you says: you're, not a good listener, you're, not a good listener, so connect to your pain and connect to the pain of others than the the sixth practice is depend on others, which again goes against what I like. These practices go against the usual conventional grain. You know where our culture is so much independence and no do it yourself, but so much we're talking about this little bit earlier. So much of the work world these days is about collaboration, almost everything we do where, depending on others, the victim studies that show that actually work has moved very powerfully toward project based. a collaborative projects die sauce. I saw this paper the study that came out of Harvard, and it was like Calabria fishing is like the new word. I'm amazed
I go in these days to corporations like Google or essay p, and you see just looking at who works there, its people from so many different cultures, and, if so, common that people are working in different cultures and different time zones and needing to get stuff done with other people who have increased a different values and backgrounds and so amazing that the importance of depending on others such a core practice in others eight article in the New York times- I read recently- I think it's a couple years old, which, from the New York Times magazine a try to put this charter member, to put this in the show nuts about a study that was double big study. That was done. I think the author of this article was the guy who wrote our habit Charles to him, and he rode- and, I think, was maybe an excerpt from his following book- wrote about the
that is their we're done, a Google about what makes a successful team- and I get it boiled down to this concept of psychological safety, which means are you comfortable speaking up this sum. This study is in that chapter, depend on others. In my book it's called Google AIR Aristotle right in which they they spent a good deal. of resources in time and money and energy into the coming. To that conclude, in that it was also one of the things they found, that that there were norms in groups that there were hard to identify assumptions and how people worked together, so the one you're putting your finger on is that right peoples, book at about the same amount of time. No one, no one took over a particular groups right, psychological safety net the big. Let learning for me and my three sixty was: I was not creating psychological safety, so I've been really a tune to that yes and really hard. It's really hard to do it takes it. So you can,
It has to be more than idea. You have to somehow embody a sense of I think of being more comfortable in your own skin and then actually caring about these other humans. Beyond what their roles are again, there's always tension there, because people at work do play a role. They do need to get stuff done. But at the same time their human beings, citizens, you, I don't know where we have to get to seven right. Yes, well, ordered one, but but the so one of the things I ve about we're doing a lot of this work internally Jen happier of committee set up around diversity and inclusion, but is also really veering heavily into our culture and The idea of you know did now George serve platitudes here, but like allowing people
shut, bring their whole cells to the office and as sometimes this can look I can get a little too Loaded word triggered by some of this, because it could come off as pretty Trickly? You know, oh, I'm out how we're gonna start every meeting with everybody talk about other doing it and make it lapses in all these, you know discussions about the personalized which action I really do deeply see importance power of this, but there's something. style about alike. Can we do without sounding, like Beavis and butt head. This shift is like a teacher and beavis and butt head is an aging hippie and it just sounds. You just sounds like hopelessly of kumbaya Do this without lapsing into that, is something that, on my mind, yes, yes, I think we I think we can. I and I think that
You know it's interesting. How Just tell you, I think, maybe even before we got started that I feel completely schizophrenia. In that I am, I am really a business sky. I love. I love business. I have an mba degree I also am this: you know this former, then monk and and and and a lifelong meditate her, and I think I think that if we can become more and more comfortable with what looks like these two worlds. We can find fine skilful ways to walk walk. What feels like that that edge of withers, if there is a focus on results, there is a focus on what needs to get done but at the same time we find ways skilful ways took to have people connect with to find ways that people can you know
maybe not their whole selves, but that they can bring in themselves that they can show up as humans. We can do a little. Having just a little bit of no. What what are you two bullets? Let's have little bit of a conversation about what are some your challenges, whether some things, your findings. once in your life right now or I like I like even you know starting a meeting with. You know just for two minutes: what's prizes you about your life right now, just to bring in a sense of that we don't have to go right for the what's that strategic plan. What are we going to accomplish that? I found again and again- and this is one of them- I think the real paradox. of this world, of whether its mindfulness meditation emotional intelligence, it's actually good for productivity. It's really good its people are so much more
productive when you allow them to face what's human, what's difficult, but they what they really care about me. I tell it grew there, but I guess question is too, can we talk about it in a way that had returned some iron me. You know we're we're. Not yes, bar drawing up. Are you know viscera all the time, or we can do that, but we can also have a say humor, we can make fun of each other and it doesn't become precious. I think I think said yes, that the sense of humour part and the lack of preciousness, I think, is a really key thing and I think it takes a being really comfortable with the way that you are presenting it and what it is you're trying to accomplish its sense of humor is that there should be no. That should be practice. Number number eight. I won't what seven seven is: keep making it simpler, which in a sense I I would say that in order to make it simpler, having a sense of humor
about things simplifies things are having a sense of what's really important. What what really? What really matters to have a different relationship with what our problems are anti to keep, but I think core practice is coming back to what really matters what's most important and also to be careful of the the religion of business that is such a poor part of life here, and not only in the United States, but all over the world, one of the stock recital in this chapter. Is I'm I'm just getting this? Is I was ceo of the searchers, had yourself leadership Institute, I'm getting onto us Kate, meeting with a man and a woman who we're talking another from another company and assume as they came on. The woman looks at me. Says, are you is busy as we are, and I said I thought to myself I can take I: can
I take a risk here and maybe a little bit of sense of humour, and I said no If we don't do busy here and- and I guess She looked at me and I said what we do is we do focused engaged and spacious and could see her partner. The sky was writing down. Oh this is this: is good they're not done there, not just gonna blow me off here with my trying to the teaching moment- but there is something about recognising that business just makes things more complicated and and do something about being focused, engaged and even spacious, even practising assent, that when we notice that were tight when we notice that were stressed in the middle of a work day just to take a breath and just have practice for a moment a moment of space, business in the middle of a busy day. But how do you business what, if I don't, have a choice and we were gas bosses breathing down our neck, we ve got
is at home there to do a lot of pressure on us he's up, there's a lot, pressure and an end one things that I've noticed. I work with a lot of Second, if you have trouble turning it off right who they go home based its still like their work, and they can actually be with their kids. I think this is really a problem, It's something that meditate meditation practice and and developing some practices and habits to be able to turn it off. Even for a few seconds in the middle of a busy day, but, Sir they during those those core transition? So when you getting in your driveway or walking in your door of your house to have a practice and a habit of of taking a couple. Breaths and
putting it go and allowing yourself to fully now it's time to be home now, it's time to either just take care of me, take care of the people I live with, be with my be with my family or even if it's, even if you live by yourself, there's no, very healthy about being on all the time to turn it off turned off as a way to reduce some of the sum of the business and its its challenging. There's that again, going back to theirs. There is that that tension about attention about caring for people and getting stuff done is a really interesting core tension. The tension about self care, spaciousness, Anne and stress. There's this tension. There's not like I'm going to be spacious all the time. That's not that's not going to happen, but I don't want to be. I don't want to be stressed and tight and going full tilt all the time either. I want to be able to pay attend.
to my energy. I wanna be able to notice when I'm feeling stress when I'm going really hard and and be able to say you know it's I mean it. I'm gonna take a minute, take a minute here, just to just relax check in notice, my own, my own body, my own breath, and get back to work. There's no silver bullet here, but it's about navigate seem clear. do that this tension exists in doing your best to achieve some sort of equipoise, yes and having an. I think where these practices play such a great role. So Part of it is loving, loving the work of noticing of noticing when I'm aligned and when I'm not aligned is even if it's not I'm not aligned not like an ok, I'm I'm still I'm noticing this is. This is a little bit like following your breath. You know thought thought thought in meditation. It's the practice of remembering the practice of noticing.
Falling asleep the two questions in closing, as promised, I do think it's worth talking of a little bit about We ve invoke the name Meng a bunch, so he gave there has been some controversy around him. Can you can you just tell us what that was and what your thoughts are about that, given that you have a long relation. Remember also that more we're talking about how to show up at work here. I actually know very little because I was, I had already left the organization of that, I really know is that I think that that The surgeons hide yourself board, asked him to step down. As the chairman of the board, and I think that there were some there had been some accusations that he had made some people uncomfortable, when he was an engineer, Google that that's, I dont, not at searches, edges of more all previous all previous yes- and these had to do when my understanding was
people uncomfortable in a sort of whose gendered yes, that that's again that's about what I know But what does this tell you a bit about, because this is a big part of how we should but workin and were in the me to era now, which I think is a very important thing and what will come? lessons. Can we take away from this and an me too, by the way has swept through through the Buddhist meditation world in a big way for her guests on the show have really gotten caught up in it, I think, being being human being being human is really hard, no being a woman being in the body of a woman being in the back, the other man, the sum of the assumptions that we have about how we treat each other are now. I think very importantly, b
rate reexamining reexamined, especially no I mean I, I I've been it business conferences where they were how about people being awakened alive and over and over again there'd, be mostly men behaving badly, and at least be it's kind of mine blowing to me and at the same time, there is a lot that we need her, that we need to learn for our selves and- and I think I think, This'Ll. I think men have a lot of work to do to in terms of appreciating supporting men and and women. I agree Finally, file question is, and I call this kind of second facetiously thee. A plug zone. Talk just! Can you plug everything, you can start with a new book, but are you written other books and anything else you want to know about social media senator.
I can plug right seven practices of a mindful leader and my I my website is mark less Emma our sea Ellie assess e r dot net I've written three other books. The book that I that has done the best of minors have become less. The subtitle is accomplishing more by doing less and at the moment I'm out there doing trainings workshops keynote talks. Coaching, that's but I'm doing now, until until the next company, can feel in me, like I like starting things, I like taking ideas and making them into things and I'm I'm a dimension that to my wife and her eyebrows go up like really start another companies like, I think I think I might have to add some will say. Thank you very much like to thank you once again, big thanks to mark lesson.
time now for your voice, mail, Sears number one, then my name is create gotta fella work compliment month in two meditating. It I can already see a big benefit, but in any case search my questions I get. This point is what is your cake on seeking out a person ah for me education or take a practice and in person practice mercy but they're using Europe or any other wrapped about a man like Robin. Ah, what would you take on? Actually, you know being with someone one on one, a benefit to diversify the app I'm sure other listeners may have that fathers well? Secondly,
one of these guys that things away too much and that work under the planter and before I start meditating sometime about two or three minutes in those thought. You know prior thoughts before sitting and meditating can a creep its way into the meditation when you thought on, like taking to three minutes just to write down into your mental dumped on a piece of paper, just to get it out or is wrestling through that crime,
that official to the medication exercise, if you all- and I guess that's pretty much yet I'm curious- you thought appreciated that keep up the good work. Thank you. Thank you proceeded to questions there. I think the first one I've talked about before shall keep them one quick and gets the second one. The first one had to do with the value of in person meditation teaching as opposed to a reading a book or you, you said you use the app I think in person is great and incredibly powerful. The real reason to to build apps, as far as I can tell you, is that you note mostly either to have access to a great meditation teacher to have the time, I am to go sit in a class if you
I live in a city where there's a meditation centre in your attracted go to the way they teach and to go, sit there and learn from the teacher. I think that's a fantastic way to do it. I think that's the optimal way to do it. Do I think that can coexist with a practice that you're doing on your own either you just do it and self guided meditation or using an app whether it be Arthur, so the other excellent apps they're out there yet absolutely, but but for sure but there is immense value to sitting with a great man station teacher in my own practice. I do all of those things I do, meditation. On my own, I use guided meditations on the terrace and happier app, and I have the enormous privilege of being able to talk to Joseph Goldstein one on one. So Gopher go for it. If you got the option, is that question has to do with the fact that you're you gotta be yourself?
up for thinking a lottery meditation. I think you know what I want to say to that which is don't. I mean I do it, so I'm a huge hypocrite, but try not to beat yourself up for. Thank you do much during because, because that is the human situation work, you know we're thinking a lot and that's not gonna stop. So you asked whether it would make sense, because you're you're, finding that the stuff you were thinking about as you Hetty into meditation, often shows up in meditation which, by the way, I find zero percent, surprising I don't mean that in any way, dismissive where mean it to encourage you. I think it's totally find that that's happening, but you are. Whether it would make sense to- and I think your phrase was to do it like a mental dump of of all the thoughts on a piece of paper before he sits meditate. I've done that, but I can see why would hurt, try it cried out, see if it works
in the coming back. Let me know, but I wouldn't be surprised that, even if you did that those same thought came, rushing back in in meditation. I guarantee you of those, thus no comeback russian back in meditation. Some other thoughts will come rushing back in. Then it's time to do the job of meditation, which is to notice that year, distracted from your breath or whatever it is you're you're, focusing on in your meditation, noticed that some thinking is happening, but what a kiss make a mental note of of a wound. Thinking- or this is eggs. Eighty years and fear, anger and they go back to the object of your meditation breath or or whatever over and over and over again, that's that the moment. You notice! I know you ve we say there's a million times, but you can hear I can't hear enough some say it for myself to the moon
wait. You notice you become distracted. That is not a failure. That's a victory victory. We refrain this whole thing. It's a victory when you notice you ve, become distracted and you should pat yourself on the backing go back to the breadth and why or whatever it is your meditating on an and wise it a victory, because and again, I know said this a million times, but I can't help it. It's a victory because, when you notice that you have this crazy tumultuous inner life, this the voice in your head- and you are all of your unseen, urges and impulses, and they can.
don't you in the way they did that they have for all of your life and that's massive our. It sounds like you're practice ago well from from my semi educated perch. Thank you for the call for shaded. Let's go to voicemail number two faded menus, Brett thanks so much for everything you do. We do have the show call you from New York City. I am probably like many of your listeners sort of classic career person. News recently got into mindfulness, and my question is what lies in between the ten minute today that a lot of upper probably trying to carve out and appreciating, which is great- and you don't think, like your upper, wonderful
But what lies in between that and thought of, enlightenment, which I don't think they really in the cards for me, but are there sort of levels or gradation of expertise, kind about not on that journey enough progression, or is it just like? You know every day, hopefully help you a little bit, and you should appreciate that tells you that my question cannot be their sort out something to look forward to over the course of years, or is it just kind of Vienna, whatever you get out of it? In can that day, though, thanks very much appreciated, I think there is an enormous amount to look for two, no matter what you're dosage is whether doing just ten minutes a day or whether over time you gradually increase, add or decrease it. I this is a skill Working with your mind, explore your mind not being so yanked around by whatever your ego is coughing up. Is the skill and
Just you will you get better overtime, doesn't necessarily happen in unbroken upward line can be a wavy bumpy. line but overall, in my experience and in the experience of the people, I know the trajectory heads in there in the right direction and you know I'm stuck, as I said before, her with math jokes, there s my life, because I wrote a book called ten percent happier, but I You know, I believe, the ten percent like any good investment compounds annually, and you will notice that you're ability to focus and your ability to to self regulate gets better. More time and that's just immensely valuable is, is enlightenment in the cards? Look out I don't I don't know, I can't make any clothes what an experience I have not personally head. I find it incredibly interesting and you know to talk to Joseph Goldstein who, by the blue again my meditation teacher who, by the way, is going to be on this puck s very soon,
So Joseph you know has told me that the many of the people he seen expire in some of the earlier stay, stages of enlightenment cuz, again in Joseph School of meditation, its accounts for stage process that these are? use his term regular Jos, people who just made the decision to commit to doing long retreats over time. So you know I do now- that you're gonna get there from ten minutes of men. Station a day and by the way, I don't even know if there's a quorum quote there there anyway, so, but sure that it's at accessible for banana dosage of ten minutes. day, but I think a lot is, and that is just gradual improvement over the time overtime getting becoming a better happier, calmer, human being Joseph We can of Joseph, like my colleague, Samuel Johns, whose one of the ace producers on the show sent me a list of quest
is that you went when people start worrying about the state of their practice. Joseph has a list of questions that you can ask yourself that will give you a sense of you know. Are you making progress? Has this thing worth it so Her ten questions, others ridicule one is: are you Es immediately reactive, too difficult for stressful six situations, both in meditation and in life, two overtime. Are you generally becoming aware of the wandering mind more quickly in the sittings three in daily I have the feeling of rushing is a good feedback that we're ahead of ourselves. not being settled back in our bodies do and that you're rushing less often are becoming aware of it more quickly. This, by the way, is just a huge thing for me: I notice because I'm over scheduled that I'm rushing all the time in its very powerful just to notice the rushing my first since it is often to be myself up, forbidden pretty quickly, I'm like oh it nor on the Good NEWS, is you noticed it and then actually maybe take a breath in and then
a nanosecond or two you're, not rushing in then it cycle begins again. Here's the question here is number four or from Joseph he's there more awareness with your speech but refraining, a little more frequently from angrier judgmental speech still working on that personally, five Is there a little more openness in being with other people, more willing to listen, six hour, it becoming a little more familiar with the qualities of calm and concentration in the practice? Seven: are you using the tool of mental? Noting? Is it becoming a little more continuous, at least for periods of time? Is the tone of the note becoming softer, just guess you're new to the show mental. Noting is just the the the technique of using a soft mental note. When you notice you ve been distracted, might notice, you might say anger anger in mind. A little whisper in the mind. That's a scowl, a skilful use of thinking to orient you toward your direct experience
so you can use that in your formal practice or when you're in the middle of a conversation is somebody with he's really annoying you in and notice angers arising might make a little mental note in your mind and then your less likely to say something that you regret, perhaps here's question number eight. Is there a little more ease and being with whatever arises in your meditation practice? Simply noting it for what it is nine? Is it a little he's here to sit longer ten or even somewhat more aware of the changing nature of all experience and holding onto things a little less so just back to your question about what is there between ten minutes a day and enlightenment Just I just want to double down on my unhesitating answer that there's a ton there in my experience- and I think those questions going to luminate the vastness of what's on offer here and the worthiness of this work. Why we love Joseph
thank you so much for your question is really appreciate. It keeps coming. The number is in the show, notes, hall, call and ask, anything we really really love those those question. I want to thank the producers of the show, the aforementioned Samuel John's grace, Livingston and the ACE Ryan Kesler, who I'm looking at through a class right now and late in the evening and I'm keeping him from his family. So I should shut up soon. Thank you again for listening us There's not a person in America who hasn't been impact it in some way by the corona. I was pandemic, but it every community there are pockets of people who were soon.
Every day. This is my Monday last day of the cylinder stretch, photos from one about these or America's essential workers, the people who are keeping moving. I turn into a homespun mom and now in a new programmes from ABC News you gonna hear from damage. Was she went back to my office on cybercrime because he is not here and making sure that our community hostility smiled faintly Lorraine? This is the essential inside the from the emergency room, the police cruiser to the czech outline. You hear what this pandemic sounds like the people putting themselves norms which is always a risk. Your brain is home to re. Kids are my husband or my appearance. Listened to the essentials inside the curve on Apple podcast, River podcast, him.