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#218: The Profound Upsides of Mortality | Nikki Mirghafori, PhD

2019-12-18
Nikki Mirghafori has been an Artificial Intelligence scientist for nearly three decades. She never intended to become a Buddhist teacher, but after establishing herself in her AI career, she devoted her time to extensive meditation training. She now teaches Dharma internationally. In this fascinating discussion, Nikki details her extraordinary life experiences. From growing up in Iran during the Iran-Iraq War, to writing a thank you letter to a tick that gave her Lyme disease. She talks about her meditation practice today and how it has evolved from when she first started. And she dives into the process and benefits of one of her more challenging teachings, the Mindfulness of Death. Plugzone: Nikki's Website: https://www.nikkimirghafori.com/ The Most Venerable Pa-Auk Tawya Sayadaw Bhaddanta Acinna: https://www.paaukforestmonastery.org/about-us Podcast Episode #10 Leigh Brasington: https://podcasts.apple.com/my/podcast/10-leigh-brasington/id1087147821?i=1000367352158 Ten Percent Happier Gift: https://www.tenpercent.com/gift Ten Percent Happier Podcast Insiders Feedback Group: https://10percenthappier.typeform.com/to/vHz4q4 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 the ten percent happier vodka in her the guys before we get started. I wanna put in another flood for a giving gift of sanity this holiday season. We ve got two big forty percent discount. If you wanna give somebody a subscription to the temperature happier app just a quick note about the app we ve got. Five more than five hundred Gulden meditations on all sorts of topics, from anxiety to parenting, to productivity and focus who get all these sleep, all section dedicated sleep, gonna, wholesale dedicated to these many. I call them like what steam bombs, these little five to seven minute long. Talks from some of the best teachers in the world were really new content all the time we ve got these great courses that go up that use a mixture of video and audio. This has become one of
the main areas of focus for me in my life, this company, so would love you guess, check it out and and or give it as a gift so you can. If you want to do it as a gift, you can go to. ten percent, all spelled out tee and p r c n t dot com, slash gift, ten percent, one word all spelled out- dotcom, slash gift Gee, I m T will put a link the show notes and again we got a forty percent discount going right now. Ok, let's do the episode this week, I was Really blown away by the raw intelligence of our guests this week, Nicky nerve. Forty she's got a phd in besides, it is a computer science she's, an expert in artificial intelligence She is also a highly accomplished buddhist teacher shitty,
Jesus. It's been Iraq, meditation centre and incite meditation society at the insight taken centre in Redwood city in which is right in the heart of Silicon Valley, he's all over the world. In fact- and she holds multiple patents and has authored more than forty scientific research article, so she just achieved excellent. To really tricky fields. and in this episode we talk about, we talk about her life story, which is very interesting and We talk about her practice history, where she did a deep dive into a kind of practice known as the Jonah's, which is will shall describe it rather I do but it's a fascinating, somewhat magical somewhat controversial area of practice were very interesting, This can happen in the mind. We talk a lot about a big focus for her in her teaching is about death, which, as we know
thus in the show before can sound supremely morbid, but her argument is that it actually adds an enormous amount of vividness and electricity to our actual lives to take in our own senator. So here we go hears Nicky murder for great to meet you thanks for coming on lovely to meet you also so outlived just start with you. certain. I love that bad question. It's the origin story of how Jim. It's the origin story of how we gonna, and so did. I it into meditation, so so I'll answer that actually little differently. That I answer in terms of how did I get into this today, Inter Vida tradition and mindfulness practice because met it mission there. So many different types of meditation
I used to do Herbert Benson Relaxation response, meditations, breathing, meditation, breathing techniques, and you know he had a Look on that long time ago, and also guided visualization a long long time ago, so, but I do so consider that meditation. It was just kind of a practice, but the way I got into this she ended her via tradition mindfulness. Tell you that story. I think that's kind of more relevant to where we are today and and and all my practice had really happened after that. So two thousand to two thousand and three I had finished my dissertation at Berkeley, graduated got my patient computer science and those was working at At the start, up in silicon valley- and I was camping and high king and was really outdoors person and
I got really sick I really really set for about a year and doctors couldn't quite figure out what was going on with me I was really tired. I was quite exhausted I thought it was my know that that level of fatigue was was showing up and really couldn't be diagnosed so by the end of value. I continued to work full time. I don't know how, but anyway I continued to work and towards the end of that period I was quite desperate to try anything. And a dear friend of mine who also worked at once, but that this company with me, you are a historic, annoyance communications when he was a start up speech recognition company, which is my expertise. So this fund and this dear friend had done in a couple of meditation retreats, and so she told me about the value of meditation and she took me
two inside meditation centre and redwood city for a couple of knights to just kind get, basics and near dormer talk and now I teach had. I am see by the way, a footnote social. Took me there and then she took me a day, long to spray, a truck sigh learned, the basics of Meditation and then within a few each month, I did my first ten day silent, meditation retreat. I Auschwitz tree with Jack being my first, the Jack Cornfield being my first entered The teacher practice, meeting, teacher and ten day. Retreat was just profound it in blew my mind. It opened my I into a world. I did not know exist And as a scientist, I was fascinated: it seem like the mind could see in its own workings from the inside a wise
it was fascinating, was amazing in and I was hooked So that's how I started in this practice and and years ago by the way it turns out that that the illness that I had about ten years after actually I first got. big. I was diagnosed with lime, disease and its it spending. Biggest teacher from me on my path. In fact, years ago, when I was really sick. I remember, writing a thank you letter to the tick that bid me, because if it wasn't for that take four eight I wouldn't be here it's a completely change the course of my life for the better, I would say not and I dont want to to- your score, whitewash all the pain and and challenges and suffering and physical pain and emotional pain, and all that
change is all the challenges that really this illness has had. I could write a book about it and I grown in ways. I never thought possible because it has pushed me too. places I didn't want to be pushed and that's how we grow, how we growing compassion, how we grow in in wisdom, It's three challenges we we don't want by we embrace them. They big in just so so I am grateful to the take in a very strange way. Now that I wish it on anybody ever his changed, my life. So that's. That's me origin story. did you once you got interested in meditation. Did you you have as background I'm? As I was saying before we began, recording that I was reading your bio and bull, I wrote the word
down I'm blown away by this via the gist of the incredible vastness of your areas of expertise. Show you mentioned before that. were we, you are working in a artificial intelligence voice recognition. So people like you for that we can thank for syrian unlike certain hey, Google are ye. Did you continue network, even as you drove into the world of meditation, ultimately becoming a teacher yeah. I did continue that work and pretty intensely Ashley for many years after new ones. I I left and I went back to Berkeley and I was a research scientist at the International Pure Science Institute at Berkeley were.
It was doing. Research shows publishing papers being the principal investigator leading in advising graduate students, pcs post ox, so I was I was really in that world for a long time. I was doing meditation retreats here and there in rescheduling them when I could practising, but it My life was still as a scientist as as as an academic as as real time nerd. So so around, I would say two thousand and six is when I think of it. Append ways for me and for each person is dead. but for me I had they exist. And shall anxious. Ever since I was a teenager. I was a kid and- and I grew up in iran- I remember reading, the poetry of, fasten roomy in Farsi when the teenager and and
quite understanding them but understood, but getting that there is more to life than be in a terrible anywhere a wheel, and I would a steady ful, philosophy issue, one of my minors as an undergrad, was philosophy and an psychology. So I had this substantial axing curiosity about the world, and what is this all about? Why are we here? Why are we doing this thing anyway? What's the point so while I was a full time, nerd at Berkeley, doing this research thing and establishing myself in my field, which had been Michael existential answer. an inquiry and curiosity became more and more alive and it I am came that I feel like I had established myself in my field a day the way at one or two I was in the quota quite in crowd of Nordic, conferences and students and and plenty of good
and money, and I was well known in my field. He had established myself like ok, I've made it okay. Now, what all I can continue to do, more and more more publishing, more student it's com- France is more and any was great, not to say there is anything wrong with. It was intellectually really really satisfying. And it was also really really fine too, to mentor and support their students graduate students and Bostock. But then the question came up: ok, now, white. So what ok? What what's the point of all this so at that point I decided to take a leave of absence and dedicate myself too adaptation and contemplation for an entire year, so it took leave of sensing, basically with all the Anderson and all the projects
I'd manage them in a way, so that in I could I could step away, and doing doing time. I did allow but a meditation retreat. A lotta reading writing both in the terms the tradition also studying in the chain tradition, the Chinese, Zen tradition and After about a year of that, it seems like it I was just getting juicy. I was just getting into it. I knew I wasn't done so I, took one more year? They leave of absence and continued this practice and he was doing, that time that I I did a three month retreat, who is with my teacher parks iota the burmese meditation Master, Minnesota, POW Oc, saw Yoda site eyes, basically burmese term for great meditation, teacher, exact clan power is his name? Yes parked,
Oh yes, I had I to be more exact. This park is also in the name of his mind, history so Park Toya Sire exactly. I know him because context in which I've heard of him is through is and I've just maybe too narrow to define the scope of his teaching but I've heard of a message on a teacher, so yeah and yes, yes, and so he is considered to be the Living John Master, but that is the first part of what he teaches He teaches Jonah's in order to Try not to do which is I use the term without explaining what the term means he ask those we ve talked about the job as before in the show, but if you're not a complete list and having listened every episode or the term without explaining what the term means he ask those we ve talked about the
as before in the show, but if you're not a complete list and having listened every episode or if you listen to the EP, said Borg forgotten worth defining with the John Ass far ass, I have heard them defined as kind of well. It's it's a kind of meditation that a home our ability to concentrate and at once the mind, gets really concentrated this very interesting thing happens and I'll have to say, allegedly have not experienced it myself. But its people talk about it. sure will hear you talk about it there was a lot of consistency about these kind of interlocking. A friend of mine who use this term before these kind of interlinked Rooms in the wine that you can walk through to their these eight levels of John, a practice that you move through the more the mind, is concentrated on something like the feeling of your breath, going in a growing out matter. Practice loving, kindness practice in ascending these phrases you may be happening, etc, etc. Various targets
Mine can also get you to the Jonah's, as I understand it what I am hearing you say is that the soda gets the minds. Students very concentrated through the John a practice and then turns that power examining the nature of reality to be a little grandiose in inside or if into practice. Yes, oh reproduction of suits us enough pretty good. Child Dan NICE job here so to do. Also say a little more about that is so basic cleaner in in this tradition in the term Vida tradition, concentrate in practice, a somewhat practice is precursor to the passenger practice of summer to practise translated as often as concentration, but just to say. I really dislike that translation of the word. Some practice is, it gives up it brings about a fee think of of hard work
Work forward. Brow concentrate like do your math Homeward concentrate now Dan WWW, where is actually a bit the them more appropriate translation of summer time, is to bring together to unify to collect. So if you think of sunlight apparatus, just as a way to collect the mind unify them. And settled the mind com the mind stabilize the my old there. Also another virtuous tranquillity break its yes. Yes, it s exactly so so that, in order to make the mind malleable to me get really malleable, so there it can, as you were, Shea penetrated Conklin penetrate the nature of reality to see differently, to see deeply for Anna also try clear, as to see d key to see with insight to see differently in different ways,
so when the mind is really stable. Com elected malleable. It can have inside it's more prone to seeing things differently, not seeing them the same way same old same also so in in in the buddhist tradition, somewhat tougher, This is the unification, practices, olive oil, the seaward practices are always time- not independently under own, but always as precursor to the passenger, because that is concerned to be deliberating practice and a new problem no this story, but for four for those who listening. So it is said that in buddhist time he I studied the John as these deep absorption. These practices is sick, it's a mind when the mind gets very, very stable com, it,
Sense of absorption arises in the object of meditation and, as you were saying, the object can be can be Deborah. It can be turn loving, kindness. The fear feelings of goodwill could be what while the casinos, her other practices so color MR some colors, that this practice is done with or the four elements- fire wind or wider and earth. So there are two different option: in fact the vis, duty, Magua, the path of purification, which is this one thousand page manual of practice. A put together by better go, Sir Bicker Politico said Beth, I think a fifth century, its ape the mind. So in the west we often just use the breath, and they list forty different summit to object four unifying the mind. So in the west we often just use the breath of it. Some time
I'm sorry, when people here metal- oh, you can actually com and unify and an to someone practice with met time, the other Brom of hers, the other four heavenly abodes, loving kindness, vicarious joy, compassion and equanimity also, but There are so many other objects for unifying the mind, so the forty so anyway, so so many directions. We can go from an item retreat but a year ago, from the time of recording this with the spring awesome great message. Teacher was just the two of us actually was a real privilege for me to do that, and I I don't know if I hit the John pretty sure the first John of it. just vibrating with the what's called p p. I t I wish you the sort of pleasant bodily sensations. I come from a unified, my hair here, so that I as a really powerful unifil?
yeah, yeah yeah, they concentrate and potential it. Now that will put it out it s, writings Agraea, I will use. I do use it. I will use in myself too, because that's how it often translated and people think of it is, as the concentration been. Yes, so when you sharing is at hand done the matter practice with your mom. I am getting more calm and stable and collected some the Jonic factors, what are called the judge factors arose for you, and one of the jonic factors is. Haiti, as you were saying, this basement bob Lee joy that can arise or sense of economic show up as Rapture as this energy. Neither can move through your your body in your mind, can show up in so many different ways or five different types of rapture again according to vicinity. My big we're going so many directions, yours
I would say to my guests in a safe place through a degree- actions of all right, and so don't don't worry about that, Ah so silly t worry lit slits, I'm gonna try to bring it back a little bit. We had to thread- or I So yes, the threat was your practice I know how we got so far. Here we are at a real threat. Was there you went to study with power side? Is I it out we use in the scanners and then some binds them with an insect. So basically so so right, yes, Sir, said the reason why you and your saying that you you ve heard of him. As being a John master. So so he too, is both China's and envy persona, but He is so strict about. His definition of the John is that most people only managed to study the John as with him and and don't ever get to the proposal. because he still rigorous so that get us to the enemy,
the controversy or the differences in in and the janitor definitions. tradition, because then there is the John Elite that light tee. I like a janitor backing prowess famously by Lee Brazing TAT who has been on this shows up. Put the linked to that vote is an utterly fasten. It s a great guy, and I were him if you're interested in the job, as I think pairing this discussion. Robbing now with the break in discussion is a good idea here and then where is the suit to John, is and then there's the facility Muggah China's, so the vicinity Muggah China's they re the bar so high and that's what my teacher Pox iota teachers just to be clear. The suit her generosity of John Alight, with represented by the present in the suitor Jonah's, is, I believe, the way the Buddha talked about it in the text as the suitor. and then the vicinity, Margo Jonah's will be the key. The Buddha ghosts
version dates, are super nerd version. At our epoch veto you have to have attained a unification a level of unification. Slash concentration may tat is a very high bar to meet. Yes, am I to take from what you did with your time with pop power, sighed out that that you were to meet his definition of the job as to a point where he said: go: do the personal work? Yes, yes, he Taught me the before for John is and then actually the eight John. So all the agencies, and then when he was satisfied. When who is really satisfied, then we moved on to two to practice. the passenger, and actually that's really. That was the bulk of my practice within the Jonah's richest preparatory? which is to warm up exercise, is really s, whereas he's concerned for his path. So how did you not go? This is definitely projection world
about to say it. How did you know if I got through the eight Jonah's with power data so, in other words, if I was able to get through such a rigorous set of expectation, I would have a lot of ego around that. How did you know? How did you manage that or did not show for you. What happens is actually if it pass into practice. Is the part that you get to see both ie turn, impermanence unsatisfactory news and the Non self nature of all things So it's not me, it's not mine, but I guess Yes, but I will do what I would say that even before the depositor part, I don't think it came up for me, I don't know, maybe there's something about the practice. Maybe there was something about the practice itself: in the way that actually that's it. Ok here
reflecting I'm taking the pause in them, reflecting as I'm speaking with you this actually what was mice eight of mind practicing, and I think part of but actually gets in the way of people or people get in the way of themselves, is striving for the is absorption where these beautiful states of mine, which are really healing that can be also addictive, but there, sense of striving innocence of identification system. Striving identification actually gets in the way, and I think in my practice and the micro and in a macro level while he's doing them. I realized that need. Of those who are going to work- and I just had to give myself to it. It wasn't me, wasn't it was in mine. I I didn't Oh hi was doing it Dan. I I In doing the practice, it's hard to say it's hard to verbal eyes, all I for this I is wisely
was putting the conditions in place. I was can putting the conditions in place completely, giving myself whole heartedly lovingly to the practice with curiosity, interest, devotion, dedication and three, still it was really not mine. These trap doors just open things that I had no idea how to do it. It was done interest unfolded. So with that spirit, with that way of doing it. There was no ego to connect to this thing is just like this is it's it's like it yes, it's like a little birdie of grace that sat on my shoulder. Why thank you I don't know. They could fly away any time. That's so interesting, and I guess we thinking about something- I have often said about our practice, meditation generally, which is its
I got a fascinating, yet frustrating video game where you can't move forward. If you want to move forward, you have to put the car in the clutch into neutral somehow which is, and then it just happens right in and then in that's exhilarating and you can stop the process. By thinking look old more more, my god, look. What I'm doing right now and then are all genitals apart it can learn that over and over again, but it's it's real, Lee Humbling in the truest sense of the term, because you come to see what you just said: by which is this a couple things one is. This is just had I'm just kind of unleashing forces of nature here right, I'm not doing this. There is. There is no real me here in this picture. Now I hear in this
and then the other thing is just that the jobs which I have not experienced personally. He shall fascinates me ass just from up and I'm not a scientist either. You are, but just from a scientific perspective that if you do this practice, this concentration, reunification practice, certain things certain phenomena will arrive in the mind reliably and predictably, these aid, flavors of of concentration, of these eight states, will unfold up currently reliably unpredictably that that that that's something that nature has created in some way is fascinating to me anyway. I'll stop rhapsodize. None of you have anything to say, been yeah yeah. I really appreciate your shame, because, especially the for John, as I would say, especially the first for John, is, I think, There is a way for the mind to fine,
their way into them, and and of course, especially the genetic factors. I would say even more so because the genetic factors pity we talked about one joy Rapture Circle, which is bliss sense of bliss throughout the body and mind, and the other two which would actually the first two you'd one dozen. The other three arise on their own, so the first two being guitar in future, which is connecting with with the object and disdaining the attention with the object. So those are the two that we put in place of attack of it connecting sustaining connecting sustaining imagine. Your rubbish bull, so you connect with the ball. You you rob. The boar cannot connect to sustain connect sustained, so Those are the first to Johnny factors that what we do and then the
there are three pity the joy that the rapture arises on its own. It just comes up, you don't make it happen. It happens on its own. You have experienced its wall. Where did this come from bliss sense of bless, that's more blissful than anything else imaginable are sensory worldwide wow worded this come from warded, as is this possible is am I right he's still alive in this room. By up this is bliss. Ok, I get familiar with it and the law, ass, one being echoed gotta, which is often translate as one pointed, Miss again, not a great translation, but it's the sense that the mind is not movable is not moving from the option is is like the object as if it were a magnet and mine is fast tracked to it. It can not move, even if it wanted to there's a sense of such debility. So
though these specially these get experience. the date the arise and and and the John is these states of absorption? It helps to have it guidance from a teacher to to support see when the genetic factors arising, how to support them, how to how to guide. So having a guide is really really helpful, and these various states and various factors that that arise in fact, so. I was born in Teheran, IRAN and enter to a liberal muslim family and when I was it you sure I remember I was reciting the Koran and I was praying never so deep in in my prayers meditation that there is this this corruption of light and energy issues, explosion, in my head in my whole body- and I had no idea what has just happened- and I didn't talk to,
anyone about years later, when I'm doing some atop cracked and- and DE is arising. Explosions of energy and rapture throughout my bodies Oh, that's why that was so. They arise and are so many mistakes, and so many different traditions that talk about these Johnny factors, are, these states in very different ways associating different meanings with them, but they are part of this mystery of being human, that that our hearts and minds bodies open up to. With your permission, I would like to turn a conversation out to something that we talk about beforehand. Of, of what one of the great interests your when you're one of these people, who are, we could do as I
mentioned earlier. We could do for different podcast right now, because you have your interests, are so vast and fascinating, but one of the things that you and I talked about before we are recording that might be interested at interest, but I dont know you can tell me- and you ve been working on presentation from my fulness of death that I would love to dive into these serve nine benefits of this practice, which is super counter intuitive, I would imagine that the tick contributed to that interest, but I don't know you can tell me you ve been working on presentation from my fulness of death that I would love to dive into bed. They serve nine benefits of this practice, which is super counter intuitive for most of us at the upside of our mortality, does not occur to most of us. So are you comfortable diving into that? No position that we missed at its heart We can go any direction of any in all directions, element so many places we can go
I will come back to port I join a practice we pass in our past. Lice practice will do with ass lives right now. We're gonna do that ok, I want to hear about that lets lives. They were the current life for a second. Let's do that. That sounds good. That sounds great so so you're you ve, been working on contagion around my fulness of death, as I said before, a lot of you will know what to think about that. We ve talked about a lot on the show, and you have developed this list of nine sort of benefits of doing so. Can we can we start coincide with those nine to channel, but first, though let the was, I write at the tick contributed, get into your interest in this issue, or was there something else not exactly was it was a black, listen, listen! The tag here that I didn't jump in new there ve been many other interests
says as many other sources for this interest. You know it's I think part of it is so so so I think the bigger picture as I said, that the existential carry a city interest about life and death, so that that's the, I think, that's the framework and then perhaps have been life life experiences that have led to this option I'll one with you. When was so. I mentioned that up into her own and when I was a teenager, still terror. It was during. Did the IRAN, Iraq WAR and there was period. Where is she Iraq bombers were coming to Tehran and and there would be sirens and we would get it back. I remember the sense fear of running down the stairs and getting into the basement of the house
and through said quite a sense of fear, but knowing where the bombs would be dropped so remember once actually, I think, was but twelve or may be thirteen quite young. That the sirens went off and we got into basements, I've got a bit basement, and we here I could hear I could hear the sound of the the bombs. just the artillery. That was also quite loud and deafening, but the sound of the bombs bad were hitting it sounded. Like close by and it sounded as if the bombs, getting closer and closer and closer as the glass Windows shock harder and harder, and my teenage mind. The sense was, I think this is hit. I think this is there.
of my life. I'm gonna die now, so I held my breath I think I was packing my mom and and held her in and held my breath and and said good bye to the world Thank you. It's been nice. It's been great okay. Here I got held my breath said goodbye, and I didn't I am- The lights came on and I came back, upstairs home added to our fly, to apartment and and there is a sense of how precious life was a precious precious life was. all? Colors were deeper? The tastes
we're sweet or a more intense, seeing people I loved and cared for was just everything seemed so precious such a gift to two to be alive, not to take it for granted. There was a sense of wow I'm alive. This is amazing, is so amazing till we completely he changed my perspective and and being a teenager. Twelve thirteen news. It's quite, I would say a turn point in in some ways. So In many other experiences from me, many other influences having lost people that I love throughout my life, my twenties, thirties and it is, and in a way contemplating there being mindfulness of of death of people who have been so close to me so dear to me, so that has been another way that has come into my life and I had
another experience of almost dying in the strait of Magellan on a little boat. Better Thea fell and plenty of influences plenty of reasons, for this is become an interest of mine, to say, because against another another layer, of interest. Is there was a time doing that two year period of contemplative leave of absence that I mentioned earlier from Berkeley and during TAT time, if, during the first year of it actually my practice, was going into very near ballistic spaces. They the practice of the realisation of, and not time, not self rekindle going off the rails internationalism like what is this all about us, it of being grounded in the middle way. So to this day
space that I was in this dark space of time, night of the soul. I remember practicing trying to figure out how to how to wake this- is not an uncommon stage here in the practice where you just here, I think, sometimes referred to as discussed it different yet defend its it's so yes, so there there is that candy honours the than colleges them there. Challenging knowledge is, were discussed and- and fear and, and it didn't they. They arise when o when the mind opens up to the bit the challenge through them gets to see reality in a different way. I'm not quite sure That is exactly what was happening to me at that point. It's it's kind of unclear its body
I swear to you- but it is- it is common in practice for these challenge. stayed state of mind arise which are actually not depression, but you know cause life is perfectly fine. There's nothing defended it just or something, but nature of reality that that is is hard to witness, so took the these. These states of of challenging states doing practice. So, yes, fear and discussed are one of them, so So when I was in this state at that point I sat with a teacher. I sat a retreat with a teacher and and their recommendation at that point was just really funny the recommendation to do mindfulness of death practice in that in that period that I that Nay listing pray period- I would say so- it is a little different, perhaps from the they fear
discuss states, but it was in the illicit take. It was basically really in that at that time it was the unknown tongue. After rails. He wasn't so much to fear and discuss into Kandian as I've. Only me at that point, so tat, not a meaning. You will see that there is no substance. It is this concept of. I hear that that we build our lives around yes, but again. For me at that point, it was going to nail. I am not in a very constructive way of what's the point of all is exactly so was not exactly construct because the buddhas main opposition was once you see through the illusion of the self that all these, but you know you can stop building up. Defending your ego. Compassion emerges on contrived lots of positive things happen when we stop clinging to the self concept, but there's a there is a trap door, not a good one, which is nihilism, which is a pitfall. The path which is our final exam
best was appointed any exactly so I think it was too early in my practice. I didn't have the basics already was before I had said, with Pox iodine sale. I was kind of an early meditated. I think I'd that point still in in some way active waves but sir how these insights had come up come up for me and they had destabilized which, which happens for other people too and then later, when these insights actually came up for me, when my practice was a lot more stable, a lot more rich and grounded. They were actually really liberating to actually see that there is theirs not to self. In that everything is impermanent, it's so in a very different way so bite. But going back to that. So this this, this teacher suggested that I do mindfulness of death in order to to get out of this nature list period, which seem like fighting fires, fire ice.
Can quite understand. I would necessarily recommended to anyone today, but somehow they recommended that and I did it more extremist victories each way, so so mindfulness of death became a primary practice through me for why that this could be my last breath. This could I could. I could die any moment that one of the practices that the Buddha teaches this could be my last pressing. So as your doing everything every bite! This could be my last bite. This could be. My last step is to really really bring b on the impermanence of your life. I too your minds. I just to put a fine point out what you're saying that these these are met at this is a meditation practice that one can do in the context of a retreat. Where sure everybody at every meal is, as you were saying, this could be my last bite. Every breath is your feeling it, your cousin play
It is an element here of using discursive thought that we don't often used in meditation of this could be my last breath. Yes at her, it s exactly exactly so so in a way, seeing em too soon her impose a particular way of seeing eye phenomena, that's a rising, but all this could. This might be my last in breadth right here right now I could I could die. This could be my last out press, I so really trying to drive home, the reality, the feeling, because we we don't we know we know we're gonna die. We know it up here and our heads, but we don't really really know we don't really feely widow. We often many of us. don't live our lives according to that truth, and there's plenty, a resource that supports that sir.
And it turns out that actually being mindful of are limited time in this body in this form is, is really official, the same way that other mindfulness practices are beneficial. You know there's no saw tee mindfulness, there is chaotic atrocity mindfulness of the body as a practising others gittin poverty there is mindfulness of the mind would take any teaches that we lied their different. Mindful answers in there's more, Marina, Seti Mara, necessity, Marina Mara, the Lord of death, Marina, Suttee, mindfulness of death, so Myrna Psyche has become something that I practised alight during that time and have continued to practice both as a formal practice on the core and also as an informal practice waking up in the morning I got. This could be the day that I die. What if this was the day that I die when I get in the car, I could
of inaction, and I could die right now and for meets. Not morbid is just away till I had this is pretty This life is short, its precious it's it's it's not infinite. Tonight, an infinite resource that I can just waste my time. It's there are so many benefits, and, and also now I've I've been teaching actually is. And day our modern society? Mindfulness of death retreat at spring talk for the past few years, which has been, I would say, the most profound and most profound of the retreat that I teach its its powerful, really powerful. I remember last year a gentleman was a doctor in and during the lip, the the retreat in challenges to
two in in in in facing death, and just a lot of lot was coming up for him and then at the end of the retreat he stalk me and and and said you know, how do you put? How do you put a value on coming in with a mortal fear of death and leaving with peace. So if, if just one person is moved too to have more piece about their death and more quality and in the ways they will both affect them, fact, people around them in the way they live their life. My work is done. Stay too. conversation is on the way after this better help, licence to professional councillors specialised in a wide array of issues like depression, anxiety and grief connect with your 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 Let's talk about the wood. The benefits here have we before we actually before eleven. Have we made clear enough how one can practise this, so you just you just described this idea of this- could be my last are there other mindfulness of debt practice, is that we should know just as a as a foundation all serve table snakes here, oh yeah suit, so I would say the best and the primary practice is. This could be my last breath and doing act consistently and let me just a couple thinks about it, because it's really worth saying Palmer things, and that is doing it
she taking it on as a formal practise what tends to happen. at first, maybe like oh, yes, and if I may, I should know, is not really my lot blast breath. No, no! You kind of like the mind, egos link, not relay disavowed my last but come on and you can keep added and part of what actually is happening as been termed by psychologists as get this. Tear management theory I like that, it's pretty cool, isn't it so There is this theory that the ego cannot fathom cannot contemplate its demise, its own death and it is, so painful. It is so challenging, save psychologists and T empty Term asthma, theatre theory that we eat comes out with so many different ways to
pushed away out of consciousness. No, it's not gonna happen, no, no, no I'm! So it's just really hard to do so an anomaly engaging in also lots of different activities. We check out which we go shopping. We drink alcohol and many people do not productive or supportive. Things in their lives. In order to and forget about about this, this their mortality. So so so, as as one is doing, this practice Term management theory- innocent, oh no assent- really happening la now, so so hanging in their hanging there and finding ways at some point, may be imagining that you know this is what I do usually on on which way is like okay, Majin a asteroid is about to hit earth and it can happen
It's about to happen now. This is your last breath. Ok, say goodbye in a way actually has a talk with you belies kind of conjuring up the image I had when I was twelve or thirteen, as I feel like the bomb was hitting about. Was it say good by this? Is it this thing, next one. We don't necessarily recommend doing a continuously, but sometimes people can hold your breath a little bit. If it's not really. the registering that this could be there last breath so finding different ways discursive. Ways took to really connect with the reality of this could be your last breath and It's not your last breath its prey, a similar to what your last breath I'd be anyway, and then what tends to happen is if it and he gets going. A sense of terror actually comes up. I'm gonna die why I put this and so once, mortality really registers, when this prize
this really gets to see, gets going and then at that point ground to tightrope to really stabilize and just really make peace and comfort be comforted. Would it make peace with with with dying? I am going to die. Yes, it's it's, ok and an droopy sense, a peace and then deeper layer show more and more layers of now- and I do this practice is like all we have done. This for so long, I'm completely comfort with dying, and yet there are times that still it goes deeper to a level. Why there is this, this primal not wanting to to die so so dealing getting to those lairs would work Emily barge in the room right now than eighteen, forty seven for you yeah, you know a K. Forty seven is: is it
scary thing in general, so, but I am actually care Emily. So I will try to to protect me too So here's the thing, I'm so glad actually bring that up because working with with fear of a with both fear of death, and mind once of death doesn't mean that you don't want to live that. I would want to live I would do everything I can to protect myself to protect you from from the bullets, because I want to continual if this is pretty awesome and yet, if I'm gonna die, if I get hit like I'm curious. What's it going to be like this mysterious experience that I have witnessed? You have my loved ones go through and everybody succeeds. Nobody feels a dying. We all know how to do it. I'd be curious,. But yet that's a really really interesting point that your raising- and I think that came up for me actually in
legally, as I mentioned, the Strait of Magellan story where I was an observer boot and and read. It was really really bad weather. This Le Zodiac taking on water and was practising, I was practising it- was com really com like this. Could be it? Ok, I'm gonna die, if I get into the water. I have four minutes before her. Throw me said: SAM, I'm just gonna, relax and her something deep with me like actually I'm going to try to keep myself warm, I'm not he'd have dying, there's no fear, but there is this desire. There's this deep wish to to live. So mindful of doesn't mean, and it shouldn't mean that you you won T die, does not make sense a few practices urine, and this could be my last month. I said a little more about that to fill it.
about seeing how, as used before precious, it is to be let you each have the opposite effect of suicide. Reality should make everything more vigour yeah. So shall we talk about the the better Finally, we ve been setting it up why she wait. Yes, so Still in answer to a previous question completely, you asked about a few practices, Yahoo and This could be my last breath. I said a little more about that, to fill it out with holding the breath, etc, other ones. One is important one that I really should mention is its challenging to mention, but I shall mention in any way is corpse contemplation. it's actually a or charnel ground contemplation, which is a big part of buddhist practice so and its I have actually interesting Lee enough. It's in the suttee per tonne us it
the four foundations of mindfulness NATO, which is most of the the secular, mindfulness teachings have been drawn from this teaching of the Buddha reaches the phone, so that this is the suit as our sutras, depending on which Lange Would you want to use Polly or sanskrit? Are the alleged to be that words? Are the Buddha alleged because He said this stuff twenty six hundred years ago, allegedly, and then it wasn't written down. It was kept orally and passed down that way and then it with
written down, and so there's some dispute or some suspicion that one could bring to this whole endeavour anyway, Saki without a suit as one of the sectors in which he laid out the four foundations, the four ways of developing mindfulness end. This idea of contemplating corpses were in back in those days. You could find a corpse it wasn't that hard these. They would lay them out in church, so called charnel grounds, and you could sit there and eyes open meditate on the decompose, mission of abiding harder to you now it is in my time exactly my job, though I see quite a bit of death and Israel I see you know I've seen and over time initially, I didn't really take it in but over time, as I become more of a practitioner now I will users
opportunities, worryingly skulls or bones to really or even an animal that's been killed on the side of a road. I really will try to turn toward it a little bit more. Just as it is it's a healthy reminder, I think truly healthy, remind of my finnish attitude, which is undeniable exactly beautiful? I appreciate hearing how I you don't turn away use these opportunities that arise in your in your life in. the two to become closer to to lie being limited, this body being nature, this body will die. This body will go back into nature. It is of no, there to die and white we actually do under their retreat. Myrna Sadie retreat at spare truck is weak, of a powerpoint of images of corpses, a difference, peaches of disintegration, which is what the contemplate
and that is in the per tonne US tat in the first foundation, the first establishment it's actually laid out contemplate. A body in this stage, and then in this stage and then in the stage and ah away to bones scattered here and there everywhere so constantly and the reason for that is really not arise more. It's morbid aside disgusting. It's just that this body is nature, this it's it's no different than any any else. Any other trees they die of they. They go back into earth, so tat she developing nor should develop a very healthy relationship with the body and with this body is and and humility with, beat you. We have such a sense of ownership of bowed bodies and also all kinds of putting-
so destructive relationships to it, but the so soap contemplating corpses that's another and another practice that I would, I would recommend for somebody's up for it. Another. One is the five daily reflections the two in the morning and the five day the reflections they go I am subject to eating I have not. I have not. on beyond aging, I am subject to illness. I have not gone beyond illness. I'm subject to the effects of my actions and I'm not free of their effects. I am subject to death I have not gone beyond death and allow. One that everything that I love and is dear to me will become separated of me separated from me. So these I've, contemplations, two of which have to do with death reminding ourselves every every day. every morning that I haven't sure, to die. I have not gone beyond dying and that
everything that we figure we disagree. We feel two hours. It's not really hours its richest past, through this world we just using everything for a while travellers. I love this. This sir, by data my life, for rent, Ard Life's our lives by for rent will renting this body. That's another way too It grew renting these shoes. These is just everything I'm way like no may watch, I'm just worrying it for a while. I'm I'm not owning it. the traveller: shall nothing that you really own or you love true, the yours they'll be separated of you, so these are some practices and making up our own practices at yours. As you were saying, the news reports, or whatever else, the that that comes up during the I'll give you another example. I have a four year old.
More taping, this in San Francisco, this episode and my wife and son came with me for this trip, I was in the pool with him this morning and you know, having four girls great, but it's also incredibly boring. If I'm to be with you in sitting in the pool, I'm a little cold for doing the same thing over and over again is boring and that Ghek, I think any parent will understand that that kicks in quite a bit of it, my god Cougar. We can really do this again and yet also you know where that my father other is in ill health, and you know he probably had moments like this with me too, and I looked out, my daddy was so. You is used to run the marathon you so vital and and I'm just at a similar phase with this kid and what that that I was in with my dad when he was younger and healthier, and just
Keeping that in mind in Riva via the whole situation and get me out of the what's coming next bore a few nanoseconds. Doesn't that permanent? But you can re up it exactly how you need that might have reminder yes being aware of it. So I think that's probably stepping ahead on some of nine point say let's, let's get there, we are talking about an age of your seats here. Ok, here we go again, it is the first one really is that mindfulness of death has an amazing way of aligning our life with our values and our play. Research studies I, when it actually report here refer to hear one is there? Was this they done in two thousand for I know
the prize winner, Daniel Economy, where they surveyed a group of women and compared how much satisfaction they got from their daily active he's, and these are to voluntary activities. So so and you gas right, which would guess he would guess that what you choose to do would align with level of satisfaction you get out of them right now be rational re revolving Teresa. Ok, not so so it turns out that the women put it that they derived more satisfaction from prayer, worship and meditation than watching television, but guess what they spend on average five times longer, watching television then engage any spiritual activities with described my life to select it turns out in might actually be even worse.
than that that the factor of five may be an underrepresentation another survey. It's called the the american time you survey from the birth of labour statistics. Shows that on average and american adult spent four taught us four times longer, watching television than socializing and communicating and twenty two longer on tv, then religious and spiritual activity, so not five, but twenty times longer does so sounds right. Yeah is isn't that interest, so these are voluntary activities that we do so so So the result that this the solution, however, is not to make a resolution to say: ok, I'm gonna stop wasting time. I'm just not gonna. Do that and we will we've all made resolutions and how well did it work and for how long did it work too? in a way resolutions are like carrot. Like sticks, you're, like don't. Do that don't waste time? Don't, whereas actually
what really works is to bring the scarcity and their preciousness of. This scarce resource, which is time to your consciousness, to really really make it felt that time is short and guess what does that mean for avoiding exactly mindfulness of deaths So if you, if you realize that that time is short that is really one way to raise the scarcity of time consciousness, and then you find yourself your hand reaching for the remote and maybe some percentage of the time it kicks in a year This is not going to make me happy, is meditation or talking to my children, or talking to my spouse, may make me and given that I have limited number of hours on earth, maybe I'll make a different decision right now, maybe
But what, if I die tomorrow, I guess that would be another thing: what if what if I die tomorrow? This is how I want to spend my last evening on earth again being easy on it? You don't want to make it to two stop swollen cannot but getting zionist from from this mindfulness of death practice purchase, keeping keeping death on your shoulder, as I think harvests, and they cause the NATO, as keep death on your shoulder as a wise adviser key death on your shoulder as a wise adviser. This makes sense. Sam Harris has a great quote, something about you know like king a bad movie for the fourth time were bickering with your spouse. These things only makes sense in light of eternity. So if we had eternity, these things would make sense by doing these things but we have eternity and we do things that obsolete do not make sense so mindless
of death really raises the scarcity of time and l and supports us too. To live aligned, with our values, with our deepest values, caring for our relationships, people there really care about in the world, which could be everyone so soon another benefit. A second benefit, I would say, is also to live without fear of death for our own sake. As I mean and that their retreat and who- and I see many treatment and retreats indifferent people talk to it. come in person doesn't want to talk about. Death is just scary. They don't want to consider that there is a sense of anxiety. actually when when we are not afraid of dying, it frees up lot of psychic energy so that we don't have to engage in these various own
term management theory activities of of trying to push it aside and trying to numb ourselves too, to the pain, to the idea of not being here which, by the way, you know we're, not gonna, be here too, to see what it's like for us not to be here for it here, but I get there me. No. I was just thinking about his I've done a little bit of my fulness of death, a little bit. Not an initially as much as you indifferent, a seven day retreat which actually I'm not thinking approach, should do it. I'm definitely scared of it that so much of being dead, because I won't be here to be scared of that. But the process of dying is little scary. More though scary, depending on
How goes that were Miko, but also just sad. You no words were approaching fifty in obvious to me that this shows not gonna go on forever. It's just a kind of a bummer, so I don't know. Maybe I'm not practising well or enough, but that's the truth. My experience with it it's a different way of seeing it meets the tooth, have life anyway, who hate it's the truth that that we're not going to live forever, but actually seeing it seeing the sing it from the other direction that death gives life meaning and if we didn't die. The tedium of immortality is something that I had never considered, but there is this idea of tedium. If, if you live forever and had done everything and that son had seen everyone when all the care people you cared about common, go in
it's just an ant needed everything there was there would be a sense of tedium of living. In fact, there are these stories, hypothetical stories of of people who are a lying in the ditch and just there are not moving at all to do anything because their immortals. There are plenty of time Do anything they wanted to. So why should they bother do anything recently, just ages ones perspective about life it it is. You know that the time that you have, for example, with your child, for Europe is he's not gonna before your old right its precious. You know it's pressure if he was four years old forever and you were today this poor seals they catch. You know I can do this later, maybe maybe right there would not be. This point business of the scarcity scarce resource
That doesn't necessarily mitigate my fear evacuated. The thing with my son only heightens my fear and a bit in a way. The sadness of sadness is different than fear, but he had a feel somewhat late. He is so that's another aspect of it, so so another, I would say not benefit actually with a death contemplation is when we feel comfortable with own death with it, with no our life being limited. Not only is it a gift to us, but another benefit is a gift for the people that we care about, and we love because Take lessons from us we're teaching others from the way we are in the world so I'll get it example. My mom passed away couple years ago in an was not afraid of dying. She knew that she had dementia, and yet I knew she would. She knew what was going on with the type of dementia that you have clarity, but what was going on it was clear she was saying goodbye to friend.
Who are visiting, and there was just a sense of complete peace and ease of letting go and get some about my mom is it I knew all along she wasn t afraid of dying, because she had had a near death experience, when she was young. Before I was born in. Apparently she had an infection. She had a really really high fever and bomb she says they took her to the doktor and, and she heard today doctor say we have brought me a court she's already dead, and she said she was screaming. I am not dead, I'm still here again whether you believe one believes in and near death parents or not. This is what she was reporting for in her experience, so I ll to hold it out with it, don't know mind, but but her
he said that she so wanted to come back to life, because she had a young child, might my sister and they plunged into cold water for her the fever to come down and she comes back to life and and since then she always said you know, this is a machine and one I'm not fate of dying, I'm not afraid of data. So coming back to to this other stir, I know that for her, there is no fear of death. It was just a sense of ease and for me that was the biggest teaching. Someone that I loved could give me experiential with a sense of peace and ease. It felt like she was holding my hand through the press, I was holding her hand through the promises of supporting her creating com space for her in and she was holding my hand through it like it's. Ok, it's real soon. teaching our children and p. What are we love through the work that we do because
you know they stand that the work that we do with mindfulness. We don't do the work for ourselves. We do it for everyone whose life a comes in contact with us. When were calmer. When we're happy, when we are more content when, when were less reactive, it's a gift to the world when were more loving when we're doing better practice. Similarly, with death contemplation when we work through our own fear of death- and we really make peace with are in with our own mortality, it's a huge, left for people who love us and also at that stage we can be more present for other people for loved ones who are passing at their deathbeds. If you know, if I hadn't done anything all his practice with death contemplation I'd, no, how com or present I would have been with my mom's passing accepting it completely loving her you're, not letting
family members force feed her when she didn't one to eat clearly was just respecting her wishes. Let her have com peaceful passing. This is beautiful. Roses is respecting her wishes? So back my mind, I'm thinking while still scared of this- and I think the answer you would give is practice- he's nodding her head. She would keep go through, the benefits were proposing. It threw them Kennedy in in mixed ways, but other out of yellow legacies couple years, but our own ambition, a couple of other wines as that Think many, I would say is a mention me maybe a little before, but a sense of gratitude arises when death is not fear it. It's not considered a mistake. It's not concern. an injustice, but its content considered to be
a natural part of the cycle of being human, this coming and going then. There is a sense of gratitude for having had the chance to live for this consciousness for having come together for it. It's like a book. You know you A book is bound. The characters in the book are bound, and I think is its think. Stephen Cave says this philosopher vote that the characters in a are bound by the coverage of the book. It does an extent but but he knew, as you read the book, it's aren't you grateful that the book was written and everything in its in it exists. it's, it's an interesting philosophical argument. I won't go through. Look I got I will continue that line too far, but by the sense of of again it's. If it's,
not an injustice if it doesn't feel like him mistaken of universal mistake, but it feels like the way things are again: it frees up energies. For or more appreciation and gratitude of what is it a regretting money wanting there to be more is the same. I guess it's the same idea with it with the practice of wanting. You know that when you want more of something you don't appreciate, why'd you already have, because you want that something else describes most of my meals.
You're not tasting. Are you reading Dan hit me whatever you not facing the way? You're really right now, because I M climbing might act by air. So that's an interesting, interesting thought. So what if we thought this is. This is the meal. This is in this fight. Is it maybe when, if there's no point after this list is connected to yes, because many of the things that were discussed example exactly and it's another mindfulness in its another site in practice? right side, heaping Polly word for my, but which also may be better translated as awareness some scholar say, but that's another conversation will leave that for another time, debt, so nothing another cup of things it gets, which is also touching into how how mindfulness of death, also Europeans are lived experience. It can really sharpen both both her right. Appreciation and sharpening the sense of experience their raw,
I experience alert to the other mindfulness practices that in mind for us the body and mind from some mine, so so this is another one, but few What other advantages are few other benefits that I would say one is that in the bigger picture, Sure of why we do the these practices is towards awakening. Translated in from Polly Nabon Eyes, they enlightenment freedom. You know whatever their so many different context, so many different ways to think of it, marina site is also a practising it practicing for waking up for more freedom. For more ease in our lives, not just on the cushion, but in just then the way the day that we live our lives nothing. This is us anymore, nothing! Contracts, us anymore. This descend, the feeling of asked at the thought of s not being here anymore, doesn't phase us, it doesn't count, creates a contraction and, in fact,
It can lead to more awakening more freedom in life through the practice of letting go because A minor cited is practising of letting go, letting go letting go letting go so letting go practice It can lead to more ease and freedom in our letting in our daily, not life, not Thus, in the moment of death, which is another way actually, this practice can be beneficial thirteen things out. There is in one suit teachings to and not a pin the car thou wise. So I not up Pinnacle, was one of the supporters of the Buddha and on his death bed. He receives these teachings. These death actresses on the deathbed about letting go letting go letting go very systematically. He is gone.
eight it through letting go letting go of this letting go of thy leading of sight, sound consciousness, this bad and and at some point actually it's it's in this suit? He's craw haste I his weeping and I think it sorry put- I remember correctly says- why are you weeping? Are you in pain? Are you? no I've, never heard such beautiful teachings before, given to allay person like this beautiful so inspiring to that girl. Let go let go So these letting go practice in the moment of death can he liberating just the ultimate letting go instead of dying with a sense of fear alike are or it's gonna up nice. I don't wanna go. Why don't you leave me ah letting oh letting go into peace into ease into happiness into a joy into just jump. Rejoice like wild. This mystery fascinating. Why
I'll letting go into it and the moment of death act we can be a moment of liberation in two. Nirvana into freedom, both in despair a tradition and also another traditions to its concern. Specially that the tibetan tradition is considered a significant moment of letting go so can think both for your own sake, so that you get to enjoy the process at this mystery that nobody has come by life to live. It really fully with purpose with alignment torrent to your values, with with granted food with with freshness with intensity with present. with a lot more presents being available for people that you love to hold their suffering, and their passing their death with more ease, because you're not disturb Ireland? So not only so many
benefits in no way you actually show up in the world, but for the moment of death but you'd die. Without fear both for your own sake, did you get to enjoy the process at this story that nobody has I'm back to really tell us what happens exactly com and and also for the sake of your loved ones. So in that, They can hold your hand and you can hold their hand and there's a sense of peace, and and, as I say, that, I am reminded again my mom's passing through as this feeling of peace and grace, and everyone who came into the apartment at the threshold of faith hospice, nurses and and staff there was the a sense of peace and is in the room. There was cool created from her sense of peace. These are not being afraid and and also me being a supporter on her journey, creating a sense of peace,
lidocaine. Ok, it's not a mistake that she's dying it supports. This is what supposed to happen right now. It's part of the. the natural, lawful unfolding of things so that so yeah tweezers some benefits. I would say of this unusual, perhaps unusual or radical. I thinking in our society might be considered a radical directors guess we had all the nine. I think we did a good enough are at last question for me. Please there's a big one. Ok,
But I was wondering whether we should do a bill is. Do you brought it up before pass lives practice? Ah, ah, ah, ah your scientists, I love you. I love it. I just look here: it's let's go there! Why now let's go there, so they have to give it up preamble about the suit. This is so having practices parks iota so and an end to say also practice with him twice so set three month retreat twice with himself to practise William Toll of six months six, he teaches Ivy Dama related to be the higher teachings as well as a which are written in the vicinity. Muggah and Indivisibility Muggah the path of purification put a closer at every mentioned earlier, so
after the mindless re malleable. There are different practices to be done so before actually even getting into the parson out, which is seeing the three characteristics of impermanence, not self and and unsatisfactory in this of all phenomena. So, in the middle part, after Jonah's before VA personnel. What he'd does the part of his own in this misleading Muggah style practice. Basically, would the with mind being so cod and traded. the John is the mine this being prepared where in the world so Parkside, where collecting requisite we collecting were seeing all all the different Nature is a reality so that in the next phase we see the three characteristics of them so based
Equally, we collecting collecting everything that's possible in the field of experience through in all, Spain's of hearing in seeing and tasting and touching and and and thinking both in this dimension and potentially what has come before and what might come after. So that, when we're going to see the three characteristics the impermanence, the not self and unsatisfactory of everything we can to see it for everything this that give a sense so so that There's nothing left in the sphere of experiences. Oh yeah, myself is self, is their hidden marriages so that AIDS is actually even more rigorous- is the most rigorous part of the practice. I would say seeing so so part of that practice.
their instructions specifically given to meditate or when they get to leave the part of their practice to to go back moment a moment by moment, mind moment by my mom and an end to say when the moon It is so. I dont use would concentrate in so unified. And The way of seeing in there with access to way of seeing things is so differently in the way of seeing, time and space. It's It's very interesting and in ways that is not quite access, to normal, normal state of conscious, as I remember there instead, they were written, for example, the lines that the practicing within was was grey was get like getting it. Peace, the seriously there were the instructions were written pages and pages and pages and pages. So I would read them
access them. That would read some more owed practice. Then I would like an end. I was on a tight deadline. Every twenty four hours. There was an intense, intense practice, and sometimes I would reap instructions. They would make. No sense. To me, but then the instruction was to get into the fourth China and then you're supposed to come out of the forest, China and then do the practice and then turn your mind to these practices, because then the mind is really sharp. So but read them not understand him like ok, whatever owed near the mine, which would it would get into for China and then come out, and then I would recommend, like Ojeda, make sense, of course, and then I would practice some like. I had this their hero cafe, seeing reality in a very different way. There was not accessible before so all of this it is to build up to so one of the practices was to go to go, at the moment by moment by moment, to the moment of birth and to the moments before that, so and I did
all of these practices with the very member everything happened. Your life took up until the moment Third, there are ways to do that. It is very interesting yeah, so so like where you had for breakfast on your seven part. Not exactly not. Nine exit doesn't exactly work that way, but but to say the, access to memories becomes a lot more sharper and otherwise available in a non concentrated mind. So, as I interest we know and so as a devoted. Practitioner did pox iodide me I I love this man, I'm not devotional. Being a nerd and biggest scientists, devotion is not. Re has never been big for me, but it's very something v very special about this teacher? Really really special, my other,
mentor, teacher friend, Guy Armstrong home you met yesterday. He says that is how we recorded in Uppsala guy as your aunt em I love him saying that of all the meditation masters that guy has meant paw excited or has been the most Buddha like with this and self met and love and just specialness theirs think special about this being so tell me to do this. Ok, my which I will do my best to see how I could accommodate and with it don't know mind so it I am sharing with you abide. The code unquote pass lies practice I still hold as it don't know, mind. I'm not ain't that it happened? I am not saying that it didn't. I dont know, and in so many ways I dont care, but what
Ebay came out of the practice thats. What I care about, and that's what I like to share with you and the, and so what what came up was experiencing first hand withered or false. Again, I don't care dont, know mine, but the sense of experiencing life first hand as different beings as different human beings who live? be it. Is it so random in so many Is it so random in so many their pain first hand. As my own feeling, the Rejoys first hand ass. My own again and again and again, and seeing the comings and goings of this life Cummings goings, again and again and again, the tv. I am of
many lives, this human life again and again and again, and the effect of the practice was feeling laugh. of separation from mothers. I could have been born as you done. You could have been born. As me, it is it's so random. In so many ways we don't choose our parents, we don't choose, our genes would wish figuring out, who we are? Who this self is that's, making all these decisions and has this predilections and fears and loves and sorrows it's it's this and so separation and feeling sense. compassion the sense of lack of separation from me. Just it's completely change through their practice. So, As a scientist, I dont care whether I've lived before. you have not lived before. That's not the point of the practice really and who I was
This I was that I was a queen. I was this. I was a pauper. Who cares it's really what the practice produce. in this life in the way that we show up and in the Hey that we relate to others. You ve been very patient with all my questions, its business really fascinating to sit with you too little question before go well, maybe not, but one is. Is there something that I should have asked but didn't really feel like? We ve got through everything you had on your mind, to save the day. I'll say one while say one more thing actually beginning question like where about my background and being computer scientist and a nerd, I would say Who would say one more thing, I never tended or wanted to be a buddhist teacher. Its is that that's one thing I share, because it's in narrative it's come up. So as I was
sitting with my teacher Pox IDA O both times. I would go to the practice meetings with him and he would point finger to me: you must teach you must teach dogma, you must eat, dump the university. The thawed bubble was white meat, teaching, Buddhism, teaching time, are you kidding me no way? I'm a nerd, I get eighteen computer science Oda by Anti dear Sir venerable Sir Eighties Computer Science said because he would the UN's kind or or rude to say hell. No, I'm never going to teach so, and he planted a seed of that too. And kept changing my life in interesting ways. People want to learn more about you, our places on the internet. They can go to read or hear more from you
I do have a website and it is Nikki murder for mocha for his heart to spell the Lincoln the shoulder Nicky Merk, afraid that com- and I have I have lots of idea recordings of my past talks that have been recorded at Spirit Raw can. I am see in other places and videos and and schedule the teachings and blah blah blah? What a pleasure? Thank you very much. Thank you such pleasure. or to meet you dead and have this car. Relation with you really lovely thanks again to Mickey urge to cook the business here, for, if you're really interested, which I suspect many are in the issues she was discussing. If you wanted, more about the Jonah's episode. Never and of the show we tackle Lee bracing ten, where he talks a lot about the Jonah's and then, if you are, If you want to learn more about Pollack, Cider Nicky's teacher, there is
a website that we ve added to the show. No three can learn more about him. I let's do some boys mouse years number. One idea in my name is unfair and I have two questions for you. First of all, thank you so much for your pockets, fear not crazy for liking limitation as much as ideal to my first question is meditating per everyday products. but I really like it, I think I might one thinking about starting with a teacher- and I have my I had a couple teachers in my area I was wondering: is it like a minimum affected dosage for sitting with someone like one who we are once every other week. My second question I was also thinking about going on from paper
They retreat and I was worried because from time to time I have low back pain associated with I'm sitting without support till his wandering have seen any accommodation made on retreat for people with well back. and if so, what about work like I'd, think scratch Base some so two questions there, one about the minimum of effective dose with sitting with a teacher. I think, that's highly individual. That's really, I think something you're enough to fill out for yourself. I do work with a teacher myself. Joseph Goldstein has been on the show. I try to go on retreat with him once a year. We see each other couple times during the year, but it's sort of episodic. We just had an event together in New York City, and we did an event before that in April around both of those. We got a lot of face time, and thus I get on the phone every couple months to talk about my practice, but that we ve just
fallen into a rhythm there that works for me and if I think, if I wanted more time of the Mai, could certainly ask all of which to say, I think you should feel it out for yourself. I don't think there's any. I don't think there's any need for to be overly prescriptive there, but good on you for for tackling this issue, because I think I think Having a teacher being in a room with somebody, who's got a lotta Question time can make can make a big difference second question about Lord but back pain with you fellows effort and, yes, the to places where I've sat meditation retreats richer incitement. taken society and then, on the West Coast Spirit Rock. I am in Massachusetts effect. I just go back from I am ass. I was therefore, nine days here, I was actually cut a dropped. It as a guest in the middle of date. Every year they do a three month. Retreat witches blows. My
find that there is such a thing that, like a hundred people, they break up the two six week chunks, but some percentage of the of people do both six weeks chunks. Six week, chunks and so they are there for three months today. It blows my mind that they hand over their cell phones. For that significant, a period of time and they're, not you know, look at her the room. I didn't know any them because nobody was talking, but they look like just regular people. They didn't you know in there all either some young people there's a middle aged people. There were some older people, he was a real mix and having come back from there. I noticed their people sitting in all sorts of positions. There folks John, the ground, with a few cushions and sitting of the way which you would imagine, people sit with you in the traditional posture of legs cross titter. It I saw like me, many people sitting in chairs
Then there are a few people who are actually lying down during the meditation session. So, and then the occasionally you'll see somebody just get up and stand either because whatever go pain, if they ve got, is too intent or because there too, tired I'm just guessing. Those are the two reasons why I would stand so we know it goes back to back that, as has been mentioned on the show before there are really classically for positions in which the Buddha talked about meditating, sitting standing lying down or walking so yeah and I'd thither, they're, all sorts of theirs all sorts of paraphernalia at the you at the retreat centres. I've been too cushions and blankets in something called back Jack's where you can give yourself support. If you want to sit on the floor, So I wouldn't worry too much about it. If you're, if you got lore back pain, I think they got you covered outwardly doing one voice mail this week, because there are two questions in there:
but if you want to leave us a voicemail going forward, there's a number in the show notes give us a call and either I will answer it or even better will get an actual meditation teacher to answer the questions to one of our favorite features of the show before we go, if you want to think everybody involved in putting the show together, rang Kessler, Samuel Johns, Grace Livingston Lorn, hard, chug, Tiffany, Omaha Andrew. We got a new person working to boards. Today, her name is Dana. Thanks as always to our Pakistan insiders, whose input. We get on a weekly basis and comes to me and It's extremely helpful, sometimes humbling, but that's good, and in closing this is no. The part of the show where I say I'll, see you next Wednesday with new episode, but for once, actually it's gonna be seen next Thursday because Wednesday because they, of course, Christmas, so we're gonna post our next episode the day after christmas- and I should say, the beginning of a year special series we're doing we them love Sears on the show. But this is a special see
we're doing around healthy habits because work is nears and everybody making resolutions etc, etc, were going to tackle all sorts of habits from exercise to sleep two meditation to food and diet infected echoed this woman were bring an honest like the anti diet maven and who has really opened my eyes to the lot of the. pathologies. We have around eating and so we can start off with Kelly Mechanical who's. Gonna talk about habit, formation generally and also specifically around exercise, and you I can't tell you how much value I've derive from Duffy's interviews and hearing about habit formation through the lens of sir of mindfulness insanity Also wanting to you know be healthier. It's made a big difference for me, so I'm excited to see how it lasts. If you guys, so, I will see you next Thursday. Merry Christmas,
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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.