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#243: Can You Be OK With Uncertainty? | Jack Kornfield

2020-04-29
On this episode, a bad news / good news situation. Let's start with the bad news: human beings are not wired for uncertainty. It short circuits our system. The mind wants to plan, to work things out - and, in a pandemic, that is basically impossible. The good news: meditation is perfectly designed to take the edge off, if not more. Our guest this week is Jack Kornfield, a pioneering meditation teacher, prolific author, a former Buddhist monk, and a clinical psychologist. We talk about: how to use meditation to embrace uncertainty, the importance of getting in touch with your own "tainted glory," and why we shouldn't fear the schmaltz. (That last one was mostly for me.) Where to find Jack Kornfield online: Website: https://jackkornfield.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/JackKornfield Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jkornfield Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jack_kornfield/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5JayBKk-Bynk6XnUnU7vLA Other Resources Mentioned: Lady Gaga Kicks Off ‘One World: Together at Home’ With Performance of ‘Smile’ / https://variety.com/2020/music/news/lady-gaga-smile-together-at-home-1234584282/ Spring Washam / https://www.springwasham.com/ Ram Dass / https://www.ramdass.org/ Neem Karoli Baba / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neem_Karoli_Baba Wangari Maathai / https://www.greenbeltmovement.org/wangari-maathai Preah Maha Ghosananda / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preah_Maha_Ghosananda Dolly Parton’s Poem / https://www.instagram.com/p/B-xdJu6FCR9/ Insight Meditation Society / https://www.dharma.org/ Jack Kornfield’s Meditations / https://jackkornfield.com/meditations/ Tara Brach / https://www.tarabrach.com/ Additional Resources: Ten Percent Happier Live: https://tenpercent.com/live Coronavirus Sanity Guide: https://www.tenpercent.com/coronavirussanityguide Free App access for Health Care Workers, Grocery Store & Food Delivery Workers: https://tenpercent.com/care Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/jack-kornfield-243
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
How is good, ass, tat sort of where we're going that I might just have to wait and see what I don't have an answer to that question? I love this is called the practice of uncertainty for maybe see the tent and happier blacker than her below you're, just listening to the great Jack Cornfield Tina, they are pre show banter. What emerged really is the theme of our conversation we'll get to that in a moment. First one announcement. As you may know, we ve been offering free access to the ten percent happier app to healthcare workers, including doctors, nurses, text, custodians, empties, Folks are working administration and more without nearly thirty thousand people sign up which were really.
really happy about, and now we want to expand free access to people who work in grocery stores or in food delivery. If you fit that description, go to ten percent dotcom, slash care to learn more, that's the same website by the way for healthcare workers, and if you know somebody who fits that description, please send them the link ever people in both of those fields. Thank you we work. We would not survive this thing without you. Ok, now to the show and a bad news, good news situation, let's start with a bad news here, meetings are not wired for uncertainty, it short circuits our system, the mine wants to plant. Things out end in a pandemic that is basically impossible. The good news though, is that meditation is perfectly designed to take the edge off. If not much, much more are guess this week,
is jack, cornfield, a pioneering meditation teacher, prolific author former Buddhist monk and a clinical psychologists. We talk about how to use meditation to embrace uncertainty. The importance of getting in touch with your own court unquote tainted glory, and why we should not fear the schmaltz that last one was mostly for me here we go Jack Cornfield so thanks for doing this, I really appreciate it. I am delighted to be talking to you again and so thank you, my pleasure. You know before we started boarding. You said you were interested in talking about how this situation is an initiation, and I have no idea what you mean by that. But I'm really curious. What do you mean by that. What I mean. Is there every human life. If we are to grow in consciousness and understanding
We will go through what are called initiations and sometimes there deliberate and sometimes they come to us, as a blow as in Greek, they call it a Cata where, all of a sudden, you get a cancer diagnosis or someone close to gets in an accident, dies or your business goes belly up, and you have to deal with that. Anyone, traditional cultures, a young person, wasn't considered ripe or what eyes until they gone through initiation, so in the Messiah people in EAST Africa, They were traditionally send a young man out into the wilderness with a spear bring back a lion and show that he had the staff to be considered an adult and, of course, for young women, the great initiation was actually to give birth, which was both men. If the same and dangerous in that time and to become- a mother from being a girl and
their initiations in cultures all around the world for people to prove themselves and we we longed for it as young people. Even if you look wisely at the elements of street Gang- A lot of it is trying to prove that there are a man or woman tried to be. The shaded into something to show, you belong to something in a very strong way, and it turns out that, of course, in this case we could call the corona virus. We're going through a worldwide initiation and if we do it wisely, if we do it consciously there are some things that we can learn from that we almost couldn't learn any other way and alone. read you a passage a bit of a paragraph from a teacher named coffee Durkheim,
He says the person whose really on the path when that falling upon hard times will not, as a consequence, turned to those friends who offer comfort and encourage their old self to survive, rather they. Seek out someone who will faithfully and inexorably help them to risk themselves. So that they may endure the difficulty impasse courageously through it only to the extent that a person expo does themself over and over again to annihilation. Can that witches indestructible he found within them. This staring lies, dignity and the spirit of true wakening, we see this in the health care workers who have chosen to go in the nurses and doctors. Knowing they and their families are risk, but also saying this is what I took my oath for, when I was a young medical stood,
our young nursing student. This is that the oh said I talk to protect now. Let me live up to this end. It will change them in profound way, is as it will all of us. If we take this as a place to grow in heart and beer it, rather than as something that simply being done to us. This makes sense you it does. I have a million questions, but it does make sense. I just noticed. Maybe it's because of the digital Connection here, maybe I'm reading something into it. There wasn't there, but it sounded like you are getting emotional. When talking about the sacrifices made by the health care community, I was you know what I watched the other day, lady Gaga as eight hours of performers in musicians around the world, raising money for the W H
among other things, and I do have to say that in time a pandemic to not found the w h- oh just boggles my mind, but in any case, The parts that were most moving to me, where the videos of people on their balconies and in York during their healthcare workers at the chief change, where the videos of the physicians or it didn't matter, the truck drivers in the people stocking the super archives in all of those that I found to be you humanity stepping up, in a way that we can and must do this together and somehow in the midst of this tragedy, there is also something new that wants to get born at its both outward for we see that were an interconnected world in ways that we had not been willing. to acknowledge- and we have this field
globally, weathered the climate change or the health care system, but equally so inwardly that we have to grow in new ways in our hearts to feel connected with something deeper about what matters. To us and in a way, damn you know, as a mediterranean teacher people think meditation, in some way. Maybe it quiet the mind, it helps reduce stress which all the Neuro side shows. It helps with emotional regulation and stress reduction, then and so forth, but it's really an invitation to some deeper, which is to remember what truly matters in us to live from that place of presence and a kind of inner courage and dignity in and love. No matter what you may have answered the question I was going to ask but ask in any way which is.
In response to the first question about initiation. One of the things you said was: if we go through this wisely, believe was a term you used. Then it is a chance to grow so What do you mean by that? If I hear something like that, us again how I want I want to go through this wisely. What do you mean specifically? Let's speak both collectively and then individually. Because I know when I meditate at the end of the day and I'm gone my day, doing teachings and podcast like this, you know, tending the house and all the things that we have to do. What I said and quiet myself I find it underneath that quiet There are some very deep feelings. There's fear there is a kind of grief, there's a sadness. That's it there, if I really to name a who was a deep love and carrying all these kind of powerful emotions?
and a lot of it held in my body, which is kind of taking up The environment of this epidemic and going into fight flight or freeze like me, no being chased by some foe, which we are in some strange way, an invisible wall and when I let myself sense that I'm part of it a great her whole. can allow myself to hold that with mindfulness with mine. For love awareness things open up settle down, and I feel more steady and timeless way to be present for this difficult passage. This initiation, that's both personal, and this also collective and universal but if I don't do that, and I just let it build up and me is fear anxiety and anger. About it and loss and become reactive.
in some way, I'm not taking less than a month going deeper. We don't do it collectively then we blame whoever it is. You know W H over these people are that the Chinese are, you know, We blame people who are closing the country down on this earth. Do you know opening or whatever their doing, because we can bear the things are out of our control. We bear the laws The emotion or the right, how of things the way they are the neurosciences call the development of wisdom in part that you asked about. As expanding the human window of tolerance, and I love this phrase because it has kind of double meaning. If you will allow me were able to tolerate our own uncertainty,
our own insecurity are over mobility and there's no one listening isn't vulnerable. As the poet Roca says, something like altered Philly, it's upon your vulnerability, that you depend depend on their health care workers and the people carry. our groceries to the store- and we depend on the people found who were sequestering themselves or keeping a social distance. We depend on each other, to survive so work. honourable, and when we can tolerate vulnerability mobility. Then we don't projected out on others but we become more stable and steady and in the end we actually become more loving because were able to be present for what Oscar Wilde, Wild called
the tent and glory of our humanity are fully humanity was, do you know all the joys and sorrows that make us a human being, so it's out or tolerance were otherwise. We blame other people, and I guess I have to say this politically cause it's him. James Baldwin Road at one point He here believe that one of the reasons that people claim to their hate and prejudice and racism so stubbornly is because they sense that once heinous com, though, be forced to deal with her own pain, and so we have as a culture periodic Clearly, the enemy de Jure, when I was growing up what was the communists? You know that back around was a good enemy botaniates, the Muslim
the emigrants from the Mexicans or the gaze of the black, sir or whatever, because we can deal with it. The economy of the world is changing or that the world we knew. It is not the world of our childhood him New things are happening, many glorious things and difficult things with our own insecurity, and if we and then we don't blame at all others. But we take our see if you will, with some dignity in this life and become able to be present, for it was a loving heart pick up a term used were taking your seat, because I heard you describe your meditation at the end of the day have atoning into what's happening with you used the term loving attention, all of which can produce a kind of talk, parents that can change the way you show up in the world. Gonna channel of an early stage, meditate horror or meditation curious person. Who might ask how
Oh do I actually do what you just described and it's a little unfair. Could you be doing this for fifty plus years so get second nature to you, but for a rank and file meditated? Dewey Tune in the way you described. I love your phrase rank and file meditate, her those who have just joined the union, nor the team or the trial I don't even know whether they want to join the damn team, but they see people I feel that they are what the hell I'll try it. I mean it's a really important in color essence, question so take your seat. Of course, meditation isn't just sitting. You can do walking meditation even do a meditation, mindful presence with another person in the world, but in this case you take your seat and the first task. just to bring your attention to where you are to bring
the body and mind into the same place, because one of the descriptions of the meditation masters I study with we asked him all? How does the modern world look to you lived in the generals in the forest for her your whole life and he said, lost in thought, You know that we wander around but were not actually where we are James, Joyce Road of one character. Mr Duffy lived a short distance from his body so that the first task is somehow to bring our body in heart and mind into the same place if we're gonna be present for this life and risk and in a way to its magnificence and its troubles, and that means you so quietly and you find a way to inhabit your body and it might be to feel you breathing? That's one very common meditation practising to say said over and over from some time, and as you do is, you feel,
the old unnatural rhythm. You don't slot to become a good breather, but as you feel the body radio itself. Then you notice in the background the thoughts rise and fall on the emotions come and go, and you feel how the breath reed itself in the middle of it, and things begin to saddle and stabilize. But there are other practices to you can do a practice scanning through your body relaxing each part as you do and again whatever you used to study bring mind and body together all these other things will come and go as waves around them. Then, once you began to quiet yourself a bit. You have the opportunity to turn that capacity of mindful attention, one, I'm calling mindful loving awareness to begin to notice what cooking what's happening. and it might be emotions and fear, long your lover,
anger or disappointment or impatience, might be sensations in the body. Were your bodies accumulated in your joy on your shoulder as in all these places all the tensions of the day of the week and then the meditation doesn't make it worse. But what happens? Is they display themselves? They show themselves. Can you go all my shoulders, there's pain and there in the back and so forth, So then, the next step is to bring this mindful loving awareness and say it, Let me hold this with attention and kindness and see what happens the five. Instead of running away or being busier ignoring or hating a blank go away. I don't want tension, I dont want fear, you know
aid, all this judgment, but what's that is more judgment and more aggression. So instead you say all right. Let me actually be brave enough. Courageous simple enough to take the sea, then after calming myself a little bit to go first to my body, and so what's in here one my feeling and invited it actually open. This is a kind of deep trauma were quite honestly in which you allow the energies in the tightness to show themselves and as you open and let them not to get rid of them, but The orange show me what you're holding you discuss The loving awareness itself that spaciousness allow to untangle in their own time allows the body to soften, and you can even say thank you. Thank you for trying to protect me with some compassion. Thank you. I'm off
For now, and you go to your heart, you notice the emotions and there is the fear or the grief, further loss of your business, sir. The person that you know that's died. you know and all the judgements of others, judgments of yourself areas- mindful loving awareness, you say: oh tears grief, you can name it gently and let it often say let me feel you Only let me know, what's inside the tears It turned to a whole ocean of grief for the fear may turning to panic, a new name, fear paddock, restless running away, and you you name each thing gently to acknowledge as if bowing to it and you, become the loving witness of it, because what you discover is that you can become.
what my teacher called the one who knows you can be the wise one that knows What's going on in this body the difficult things in the beautiful things you can do what's going on on the hard to grief, but also the love and along in the creativity and the beauty, and you become the knowing and as you do, that expanding the window of tolerance. You become the space loving awareness that can then engage, in the world and respond to it from a place of steady lesson from a play. it's not so over, run or lost it. Everything that arises that the very long answer and I could certainly teach it teachers in the podcast,
I haven't you know on my website, you probably due to your website practices of studying the heart, but that's the beginning of how one might practice you're gonna, welcoming safe place for long answer, so don't hesitate there. Do you not to pick up on a thing. praise you used a bunch, this loving awareness, which I feel like a camera. I mention this to you in any of our prior conversations, but I feel like but part of my prayers. Yes, blinded me to the power of that expression, because I found it to be small, see yes, so what I was doing, I this to my own practice suit. And I really didn't notice until I got deeper into loving kindness, meditation in large part through your your students bring wash em the great meditation teachers brainwashing that my mindfulness had a certain clinical
Cold is verse IV flavour to it, because I was you know, looking I would said, watch my breath and then notice whatever but it was I ray. I wasn't that excited that the panic or fear or a lot of selfishness was coming up. And it was only when I started this sort of warm up. My inner, whether through loving kindness practice, that I started to realize how important. Loving awareness, as opposed to just awareness, is an idiot. I don't like a loving weren't, you can call it friendly awareness. Rarely awareness kind attention, the other five I mean it is a little bitch multi, but it turns out to be the reality, looks as without it- mindfulness not only becomes dry, but what you point out is it can become unconsciously away of. Judging oh there's fear
I don't really like that. There is really no anger. I shouldn't be angry. There's judging or I should stop judging, except what's that it's just another judgment, and what we found over decades of teaching, especially we here in the west- is that there is a tremendous amount of self judgment along with judgment of others, and then it becomes impossible to actually see what's true because you're always saying I like this at all like that in your ear at war, with the experience of your life, rather than actually open to it. So there comes a kind of you could call a kind You could call compassion even forgiveness. I love this poetic phrase from an old Tibet Mamma. He says my old friend like snow falling on warm ground. It's a disk. pictures. You know
our follies but not clean. in that judging adjusting yeah there. We are all human and you can feel the the warmth of his heart, saying yes, just as its you're with some friend that you really care about. Maybe they ve gone through a hard time in your there and you judging them, you're, hey, buddy, you're, hey sister, you know, here we are here. We are human beings with railing our way, we can't see the future, but we have to feel each moment like Brown and there are some deep respect and whither there comes. a kind of error, not just, war, but in our well being, which is partly what we
grow into or sea can find in meditation. What one other things that's held me recently with my own Tendencies towards aversion toward my own, the uglier facts of my own. You know repertoire is shared in the way. You sometimes talk about our difficult emotions, which is to look at it as the or in ISM trying to protect you. Yes, absolutely then you can. Thank you. No fear is trying to pretend to you, no anger version they're trying to protect you. Thank you for trying to protect me, I'm ok! For now but you see all these judgments in one of the things that people find when their neophytes may begin to meditate their therefrom. on time, but they become more shocking at the beginning, is how many judgments there
are in their wool. Judging all the time- I kind of remember talking with my friend wronged Dass, who was otherwise known as Richard Albert when he was the Harvard professor. You know spiritual teacher and use with his grew in India and the girl gave him these very very. Simple instructions, but deep he said round us tell the truth God, that's something we really need now. Allow tell the truth, robbed us and then we look around us in its around us love everybody. Wrongdoers love everybody, the rapporteur, says it is drawing up a little crazy because he was surrounded by a group of other westerners who'd her,
What about him were, especially when he published a book be here now there was a big special kind of best seller at the time and some people who come here. All these people came in their full of themselves. They want some their needy, their big egos. You know their showing off their grasping. Whatever I hate these people, I love it. When I was just here, would my grew and a few people. I hate them, but that's the truth, and their name, Curly Bobo's teacher would say round us tell the truth. The round ass love, everybody and then one day new. Ali Baba looked at him with the eyes in India. They call at a glance of mercy, Thomas Merton, the christian Mystic talk about. It is seeing the secret beauty when some He looks at you were so much love that it goes and somehow you you don't deserve it. You can't understand it but it requires yourselves and he looked at
was so much love every part of him. and he said. Oh, I understood what he was teaching and I looked around and all these neurotic westerners that were annoying me and I saw them. Children. You know parliament, whatever back any said, and I love them, and I realise that I, I'd love them. I like her love myself and I could tell the truth and it was a different routes and deeper while so this is something that starts to happen and people get worry, we'll all be soft. I live in New York. I don't want anything small see. I mean this is a tough, tough town right you. To be on guard. You gotta, you know, get one everybody- I don't know Nelson Mandela says it- never hurts to see the good in someone they often acted better because Tibet to see the secret beauty in another being it affects them.
anyhow, some of them will still try to take advantage of you, but What you have as your integrity- your vision in your truthfulness, and no one can take that from you. So when you meditate in some way, you start to be able to hold all of this with your mindfulness with Europe kind attention. If you will and say yes, this is our humanity and I can steady and compassionate? Thank you for all the ways you're trying to protect me body and mind and live from that place, for ten percent happier after this, Better help offers licensed professional councillors specialised in a wide array of issues like depression, anxiety and grief.
Act with your professional councillor in 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 a councillor. You'll love give her get two times on meditation, where it's too much to take it all in yes, I do I get overwhelmed at some point words too much and I have to get out and take a walk. I think it's really healthier the people, make everything like either it's too precious to meditate Nelson meditative state. They turn it into a grim duty or I you know I worked out. I got my train or two virtually with me and I'm gonna die added. I get my virtual.
Therapy, we ve all the whole self improvement gave and so forth its there now I'm going meditate some new self improvement grim duty I have to do, even though it can be difficult, its primarily an act of care. its primarily an act of love and it's an are. Suffice: and I get really overwhelm because my daughter calls me in her first responder husband, whose paramedic and fire fighters is a number of people in his department. the virus and I go what will happen to him in their family and that's hard to hold, and I get some tears in some fear, And I get a walk out side under them. Greece, a little bird getting get a bigger perspective. So, of course, there are times it's just how we are, and I think we can
Trust are organism and are our understanding if we do it with kindness, to learn how to use these practices. These things that people have been doing for thousands of years, because the gift is that we actually can direct our attention and when we go to school in our call you're in the western culture we learn about outside things. We learned mathematics in You know, we learn geography and we learn science and we learn literature and so forth. We have very little instruction the inner landscape, fact, when I went from my Ivy League education cause still have a lot of emotional pain from abusive and really violent father would beat my mother, black and blue, and was just you know, terrible in many ways to us and various other things.
I had this great education, but I didn't know what to do with my fear. My anger, I didn't know be in a close relationship. My parents certainly didn't model, or they would find all the time I needed a whole other part of education. I do It also know how to even you with my mind when it would get upset and go in circles and get wild and so forth, and so this was the second half of my education. Were I was taught how to know what was going on in my mind and hold? It was kind attention discover that it could be observed in with venison saddle and how to do that with the heart and the emotions it with my relations with one another, So we have this amazing gift Human beings have been able to direct our attention and when We do in meditation redirected within ourselves. We can bodily startled.
What's going on more deeply, though It also come to a well of or a deep place of Stalinism. greater understanding, less kind of unhealthy criticized and more a compassionate heart and that's born into us. You know course baby, can be selfish. I want that little kids, but all the early childhood studies show from Yale and software. They studied pre verbal influence in there if somebody's in trouble Babies want to reach out the young kids. What I hope them. It's why into us as a species as into our consciousness- and we can return to that- care for ourselves and one another, so you could call the practice of mine from us really the practice of care
Just for the record, I'm getting much more comfortable with them. Schmaltz. Well, you put it on a man in New York are a go into. They say aid, mayonnaise or you want some smiles on the same issue, one a little taste here I mean it s going at its condiment New York right. It's not a bad thing. I think, We call my next book. Ten per cent sap ear area go to get in there. You know it's locked, blinking savvy. I could use a french word that I here? It's actually the damn opposite. It's the courage that it takes to care. It's the courage than it takes to love. You wanna talk, a courage, look at Nelson Mandela coming out of twenty seven years and Robin Island prison with them. magnanimity that takes your breath away and with the commission action for the world. That's courage, you know you look it's
somebody that some of the Nobel laureates. The canyon woman. I think her name in a moment who got the Nobel Prize for his green belting, EAST Africa and started planting one two three a hundred a dozen trees until they ended up planning fifty one million trees and she was thrown on prison, which these days, of course, is a good sign for somebody who is doing something worthwhile in many cases is an activist that, with Courage love is actually an act of courage, its large small see. I think that- fear is that will be seen as weak, but it's actually it's the only thing that will counter hate. Do you know it's the force that has mothers lift cars off their children? and I remember my colleague and teacher- go Sonata, who is that Gandhi of Cambodia nominees,
for the Nobel Prize many times nineteen members of his family were killed. His temple was burned just tremendous devastation in that genocide. For fifteen years he led refugees who fled the country to camps back to their villages. He said we cannot go back in a boss or the back truck or take a train. You have to reclaim near village in your land in your life step by step, and so he'd have a thousand two thousand people behind him. Anyway, the Bell and they walk through the killing fields. Europe skirt the minefields, and he would have them chat with them. The whole way hatred never ceases by hatred. But by love alone, is healed. This is the ancient, an eternal law and talk about schmaltz. This is now
Walt's baby. This is the real deal. One thousand percent agreement over here and actually brings me too, a question that I had on my list of things that I wanted to talk to you about because, as we sit here several weeks now into this pandemic, regrettably but not surprisingly, even a virus can become a partisan polarizing issue. And where Americans we know how to misuse anything and I consent from some of the good you made about the W Asia, where you said on the on the political divide and I'm not particularly interested in getting into the posture say, but I am I am interested in getting into. How can use, carrying courageous love that you just spoke about so eloquently time when were yet it.
and at each other's throats at a time when we ought not to be, we really need each other. Well, in this case, I've learned something rising at me. I'm good blame, the media go for it. After indulge me for a more mature consider yourself indulged. You know if it believes it leads, then in fact both whether it's the demonstrations of people say open it up or even You know locker up against the governor of Michigan or something like that cause. She wouldn't open things soon enough there's a lot of anger in the culture and a lot of its understandable, theirs Mendous economic displacement, their people, whose either long before the virus who either their job or God really low paying jobs. And if we look honestly the economic,
disparity is enormous. The opportunity isn't there, the social safety net is shredded endeavour Ways and I'm not tongue, is a liberal or concern of this is the reality of it, and so there is a lot of despair and in the com and there's a lot of sense, with that anger and despair that what we have to do is fight back in some fashion or other. The problem is that the cause, those out or a kind of statements which are really part released right now with the virus therein par a minority and in some cases, a kind of small minority, but the girl lot of air time cause. That's what's exciting, you know, what's wrong exciting are the eighty nine, percent of people that are caring for them Neighbours and protecting each other by wearing masks inside
solidarity not for themselves, but for everybody else the internet and media as its ground then be. Comes of amplifier, as you know very well, and sometimes it becomes They have a fire rather than the truth, teller. So I think, in terms of our polarization that two things are sort of gonna get caught I had and reflect and say something. That's news fallen, maybe even meaning for the poor physicians always gonna, be here, because, where human beings who have different views, that's true, but a lot of what's fuelling. It is loss in fear and grief, not just from the virus, but loss of dream really possibility and until we attend to that collectively in some herbal way. It will continue
you know whatever you wherever you are on the political spectrum and some people think well She just go back to the land. You know get a cabin and get our guns and get the raven words out of our way and stuff their sort of that american myth, but the virus is showing us actually They were all together, new and remarkable way, so that's one part of an answer. I think another part maybe it's a visionary part that rather focusing on the differences. Were Luther artisan or otherwise to recognise that its, I am for each of us to ring arm medicine to be the uplifting mute.
To be the lamp in the darkness or a carrier of hope, because its new marries enormously creative. And we are now at a time where things are getting broken apart when we started, the initiation- that's part of it if you do so into the underworld. Things die things get torn apart in ways you could. imagine you face destruction, but that's not the end of the story and never is when things break up something new will be born and I think it's really important that, after this hardship as life refreshes so he now as it is now. You got the spring crocus blooming in New York and the plum trees. I see the newborn Fons out here in the spring wandering refresh grasses.
And within you, in every cell and fibre, in the depths of your heart, is a healing power and the UN's the power of renewal Really what what asked of us in this time to vote So what we can bring in how we can vision, caring for one another and be building our world from the lessons that we learn and to me, then meditation, because a way of quieting the heart you know, Crying the mind to begin with the first step is: Cried the mind in turn: the heart breathing then breathing out with this place of presence and steadiness, then to go into the world you know and add,
your beauty, in your gift in Japan You say there are only two things you said and you sweep the garden and it doesn't matter how big the guy this, the garden of the world, so you quiet in the mind and tend the heart and steady yourself with courage and compassion. And then you go out into the world in your own way, even if its virtual lives were doing, and you say what can I add and one vision do I have, and what is it that once you get born that something beautiful more meaningful are important? coming out of all of this. We they have when we watch tv, and we see people from the other side of the poet divide or we see these demonstrations, which we would you and other small and scattered at least now and dont represent the public opinion you see in the polls.
We may have various feelings about the people who, with whom we disagree, but if we want to be a productive and useful citizen at this time, it sounds like you're saying ask yourself the question: how can I up and then go do it. How can I help and then go to it and when we see others on a different part of the political spectrum and see their anger under his anger is often fear and pain her you know and loss those kind of things. Often fuel and so we can see them with a little more compassion and understanding say this is their expression they're trying to protect themselves in the way that they can, and you know sometimes. Its misguided. We human beings have misguided ourselves on many occasions, but we can hold that with some understand their compassion and then still add what we can.
that has integrity in true compassionate. And I would say that taking useful action even if it's in a really simple small, doesn't have to be at the company by string music. It really is the antidote to, in my experience to what, is most painful, at least in my own mind. So the two things that I see in my mind that are the most painful these days. One is selfish thought an antidote to that. I've said this before. I can really see the difference in my own mind between what the flavour of my my It is when I'm thinking about how many colleagues, I gotta my most recent tweet verses when I'm running errands for my elderly neighbour, those are two very easily comparable. Mind states in the latter is much more pleasant
oh I've noticed it's an antidote to selfishness, any other Rhine state that I want to talk about here. That, I think, is very common these days and it certainly one that I experience a lot is uncertainty. The two mine states that I notice myself falling into that produce. The most unhappiness is one. The aforementioned kind of selfishness- and the other is in its not unrelated, projecting forward into the future trying to map out how's this thing. Gonna go wins again end. What's the world gonna, look like. What's my world gonna look like what's my son's world, gonna look like and doing something useful and helpful is a great solve on that. But I wonder if you any other thoughts about handling uncertainty, the first thing to say is its answer: MS in it and no amount of mental manipulation. I mean we're, I in some way for hours, survival needs to predict the future.
We saw the Sabre Tooth Tiger in that part of the forest we want to be able to remember and predict all in the evenings this ever to tiger swings by this way. I'd better, remember that right so, where wired, to anticipate that which might harm us in some way, and so you can notice- that. You know whether you call it selfish or not. It's also self preservation, and even when you're there you are as in front of all large room. In this case it's the virtual room, counting the house and seeing how many people are they're, paying attention to and so forth Underneath all right. I want to feel important that a lot of feel useful. I want to feel that I matter. You look underneath that that I actually do so. You could say: oh it's eager, but it's something deeper than that. I want to feel that who I am matters and that Why, when you were taking groceries, store
the elderly neighbour. You do know that you matter that there some way in which you actually your touching that place that lets your life feel like its being boy up by that value that you do matter, but the reality and my my meditation master used to love to talk about uncertainty, we ask him all kinds of questions and periodically whatever question you ask him, he would smile, you say it's uncertain, isn't it and it is the wisdom of insecurity. of knowing that this is actually are human law and, while arm brain can is wired to try to predict the future and facts. Things are Are uncertain we don't know, what's gonna happen tomorrow to you to me. until the world around us- we're good gases but honestly door. Now, simply don't
and then what happens if, when you speak of this. is it you can begin to tolerate uncertainty? If you bring my homeless to it, and you go there. This is uncertainty and with that uncertainty kind of married to it in some form of a you know, a twisted marriage, fear well. If I don't know about that safer to Tiger, I don't know, what's gonna happen, how will I start my business even or how will I feed my children? How, like all those things that are, very genuine or when this, and how will I be able to do this or that? And you see all those thoughts in there? You know they're trying to help you and protect you in help you figure out how to. How to manage In some way, underneath it is fear- and you say: oh, this is uncertain
and you name it just as who talked about mindfulness recognising what's present and you make space for it and you hold it with compassion, and you say this is this is the reality that things are uncertain and you begin to sense. What is it like to acknowledge uncertainty? while you're sitting here. Listening to these words feeling your feet on the floor, your bought on the commission You realize also that, with that uncertainty as a whole, being of the mind yes and then a different reality. What is certain is that you're here in your President: you can ground yourself where you are, and you say the truth is that things are uncertain I wish they weren't, I wish I could know, but we never do. I want
figure it out well, I'll do a little bit of figuring. But after that I just been in circles. Let me see if I can hold uncertainty, also with kindness and say right. This is part of what we have to bear as human beings is uncertainty, You said that you can bear it. Doesnt go away, it actually become instead, a different kind of understanding. All right it is. uncertain and now what I'm gonna do is get groceries for my neighbour, now do is a my next podcast or do my work for the studio now. What I'll do is take us,
at a time in a day at a time, but you do it in a steady, your place because you're you're comfortable with uncertainty, you found your relationship to it, not as fear or a struggle. But as a as a bow and say yes. This is this is the way that new main carnation is. It is uncertain and that comfort with it, say. Yes, then you live in a different way, just you're getting you thinking about a cumbersome, had the other day when old friend he owns a pair of we'll hitherto very successful night clubs, the night club business and come back any time soon, most likely, and he was basically
in both, these places are likely to guide our business and I'm likely to be broke, and I was very surprised because I did not detect A lot of desperation or fear for you know, despair, I guess despair, desperation same thing I didn't detected, him and he said that there was something liberating about just surrendering into not knowing what the hell's going gonna happen. Well, well, foot there, we can fight with reality or we can say well. This is this is the truth of what happened a man who knows what will come out of it. He might start in an entirely different business or maybe he'll take the little bill by yes and get a ticket to Thailand and go live in a sailboat off one of those islands
work in a little nightclub there. So who knows what he's gonna do with his life? It's almost like you, pressing the reset button. Now I dont say this glibly because I am truly concerned about families who were not gonna have the money they need to pay. The rapporteur to feed their children This is an enormous difficulty that we and maybe even a tragedy, so that dialogue we'll make light of that in the slightest, and that becomes if we want to do something at things are uncertain that becomes more responsible whether it's our actions in our community are immediate ones, helping with the food bank giving money or x in what we support politically more another fashions in nonprofits, then again, that's the way to deal with uncertainty and bringing just what you described the kind of care where you feel differently,
Yeah, hey, you were saying he tries to eleven be. You know right there and attentive and carrying with his employees horror. hundreds of them who are freaking out, but take he can't make any promises, and all I can do is good, but one foot in front of the other ears Nelson Mandela. Yet I don't think I use this passage. I was talking about a do not judge me by my successes judge we by how many times I fell down and got back up again and we have that us there's a kind of humans here it and resilience there we see all over the world and in ordinary ways do the thing I was thinking to discuss with you because you're an interesting person, because you combine many decades of of really really deep meditation practice, but you are also a psychologist
Many of us are locked down with her family members and that can be complex. There have been predictions of you know a wave of divorces coming out of this thing, or maybe in the midst of this thing. I just wonder, wait thoughts you have about family relations, the reason I was uncertain right. They said somehow that there's gotta be morbid Furthermore, divorces coming out of this internationally. Looking for the lyrics over a dolly part of the song from wearing year by year, I could see you rooting around on the floor, their value did you go baby anyway, I find it a little bit off I'll, read it. This become one of the other tasks for us as human beings. In this time we now have to live close to one another.
living close to one another. We get the good stuff, but we also irritated each other, and I mean I'm not even talking about the issue of abuse, which, in some cases is really a problem, because people are are stuck together in relationships, it's been abusive, buddy You know here truly- and I are these long term my beloved Trudy, wife and long term. Meditation practitioners she's, also great teacher and started inside our lay that has all these followers. We can get irritated with one another and then I have this little secret practice that I do when I do get it irritated and so forth acknowledging that irritation is just being Uma. It's just part of, the answers were thin skinned in some pardon we get
watched in different ways in one were closely gathered- happens the more my practices to look at her and see her as agreed. a young girl- or you know, young teen or something and to see that original innocence and goodness that was in there and know that it's still there, the sea here in this beautiful way and when I do it almost like you know we can change the channel. That's one of the great gifts of mindfulness unconsciousness. we can choose what will follow with our own mind and heart. Go out as a buddhist monk, with my teacher, urgent char,
In the early morning, with our own small crossing those little dykes in the rice paddies an hour across the rice patties. Was this great big, older, juncture said monks. Is that bolder heavy? And we said yes, it is, you know, being bright young monks, any smile, he said not if you don't pick it up, and one is a gift, that's also possible for us, even one. see you know. Tough going or are we getting your tail? We don't have to go down a channel. We can acknowledge see it. Oh, this is irritation and usually the irritation or the or even that, the conflict, because we want different things, its painful, Can we tolerate that and not just get into an aggressive cycle or judgmental or or total eyes and say, oh because that person said that that just means I can't be with them. I that's that moment,
on that day And somehow I think we're called not only to feel our connection with the world in some deeper way, but also to deepen the love. That passively for love for all those around us. You looking for Dolly again Dolly come on you I got. It was great. You can you paraphrase God here paraphrase it It's a virus, don't get you, then the family will The last line. You know she said yeah anyway. So what I want us
for people who are stuck together and having trouble take as much time apart as you can. Even if it's the set the separate one in the kitchen, Rwanda, bedroom. I made quiet time, do things together that were you don't just relate to one another watch movies that you both can share. Look for things that we talk about being practical you know and ask each other. What will help us get through this? How do we do you know? What do you need? What do? I need that kind of interesting kind of curious care that, because, when you get in a conflict- and this really has to do, Intention, one of the things that you learn in meditation practice is to become aware. Earlier intention as you, become more mindful and intentions. Flavors everything. So if you are in a conflict with someone,
and you say to them, what do you mean and you're, angry and so forth, without tone of voice it will escalate, but if you say the very same phrase, What did you mean? Because you want to understand not with blame or judgment, but a kind of curiosity and openness. You get an entirely different answer, and so what you can do, is the pause when there is friction and conflict just take a breath or two and then ask yourself: what's my best intention. what's my best intention and usually, if you ask what's my best intention, the hurdle. Answer would say: I get along with this person or I love this person, or my best intention is to get through
Do this you know well for all of us or something you asked what you're bastard highest her. You know that kind of intention. It only takes a few seconds to get an answer, but it changes the channel and that change of the chow means everything I don't know he noticed this, but are a producer? Samuel was able to find the Dalai Pardon, Lyric and text it to us. Final line of the Daily Pardon poem is, and Lord, please find a vaccination. the form of a shot or a pill, because if the virus don't kill us staying home will get there. You go there's a lot of other very good lines in their. Thank you dolly yeah. We shall we talked about the answer And he and living with it in honouring in saying it is uncertain and hear my feet. on the ground. Here's the light coming. Through the window the sun
is risen again and, as the south african poet said, that viruses the sun rises. In every day we see the numbers climb. but one day the sun will rise among them, will not climb, and this is also true. You know uncertain. But what we do know is that this will come to an end, because everything does in its own way. and so somehow we see the light we. For ourselves were present for this life and not just living in our fears and our fantasies in our had. Well, that's exactly what I was hoping to go with them. This might be. A great final area to discuss here is is patience because it is relative, living with uncertainty, because we want to make sure were actually living. Our life now not living our life only to get to the end of this, but it's also, relevant to the irritation that we may feel if we're locked down with other members of homo sapiens,
So I am not a big fan of the word patients myself partly cause, I'm a kind of impatient purse Zuma by temperament. I move quickly and I I remember law Some years ago I was leading a long retreat at our centre in Massachusetts at the insight, meditation society, and there was a person who had come from some great distance to come in practice because they read one of my books path with hard or something and they came to see me and they complain. They said you know. I read your book Can even I hear your words in their so good, but then I watch you go by Mr Speedy, any gone up and down the stairs like some kind of it.
I am sure salesman trying to bring the product out before the customer leaves, and I thought room italian shoe salesman, ok, but there was something about the captured it. So I'm in although I have learned under house the rest as we are to be more impatient. I prefer a different word cause patients somehow sounds like you're gonna steal yourself and get through it. Finally, I'll get there I'll be patient. And that doesn't work. For me, a better word for patients is constancy, is that ability to come back and say well, where I am actually is here. I mean Are we going in the end what matters in the end. And yes, we can accomplish things in those those have their place. I think it's out
Lee, who said and idolatrous religion is one that substitutes time for eternity. and so the question is not the future of humanity, but the presence of eternity in some way can we be connected with some Right where we are, that is the turning of this these in this moment, each breath coming in and now like the brain, spring that arises after winner, each day of the sun. rising in setting and so forth, and so it's not trying to be patient but its drafting back and is a steadiness that say: let's take this day at a time that spirit. Method of time, because, where we're going actually we're not going from here there were going from there to here or going in the end, to use around us his raised to be here now to be where we are and as we learn ourselves:
become more alive. Where we are, there even when impatience arises, because it will. Certainly, in my case we can or is it with some humor and say I thank you. Thank you for trying to make everything worked out. Thanks fur, Oh, your part in this I'm ok for now, I'm here where I am doing. What matters. And so in all of these there comes a time. cancel. The turning of seasons are the DOW or something and the things will unfold and open, and that will be able to respond better actually because were present rather than just lost in our impatience and fantasies name comes out. I feel it in my body there's an energy to tightness. I go impatient impatient. Show me how big, you are, I'm hold it and let it open. With loving awareness, impatience, impatience and, as I do it starts to soften.
And I realize, are I'm just here, and that was a state that came. It wasn't something I have to believe. I dont have to pick the boulder up of imports, business and I also know there's a line from Tennessee Williams, where he writes. The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks that some of the most important things happen don't happen in the timescale that we measured by the day. belle of our life for our relationships or our heart. They are in a more mysterious timescale, and are constancy is just to tell then the way you attend a garden. You can't pull the plan supper, make them bigger water them or take care of the past or something, but in some way we're here for the unfolding
more than that were in charge of it, and that helps me, along with just holding at all, with the compassionate attention he's been phenomenal. I'm just wondering For we closed is there something that I you know, an area that you would have want to explore that I didn't give you a chance to One thing I want to say in a different way is that we have talked a lot about me meditation and mindfulness and described how you work with it. For many people, it's really helpful to have guided meditations, for a time until they do it on their own psych training wheels on a bike or something, and if you go to my website, Jack Cornfield outcome, There are a number of guided meditation, studying the heart and the time of corona virus compassion healed, the invasion of their time occur wires and their turn
Jeanne, twenty minute practices? There are many, many other good teachers. There's Karen Salzburg Spring Washerwoman Joseph Gold seen tower block truly Goodman, so many others which you can find, but I will, commend those things to you, because it's one thing to talk about it. Now. I've also enjoyed the conversation. It's another to get the support, really in some regular way to try- and I found and again the star the day with a little bit of quieting learning the quiet or the stillness, steady yourself before you, go through where you have to do or taking little many pauses in the day were sitting at the end of the day. can make a really big difference, almost more apparel, because we are stuck
you know what it's like a magnifying glass to our life and then you start to see them the possibility of the benefits of come from a gap. and jests more common and then and then just another comment which is the conversation I think, as a great support to practice in the two can interweave Really well, but I in my experience I think it's both make in other learning and the practice there really can support one another and then also speaking of got any you ve been creating. Yes, I recommend we will go to your web page, but also, I believe you done some stuff with your frequent partner in crime. Tar brok, I believe there was, day long retreat of the you did there, are a number of retreats that you can do. There's half day red stay long. There is a mindfulness daily for free, where you get forty days of training fifteen minutes a day and then for those who are, you
interested. We also have a really wonderful online teacher training programme for people who want to learn to teach mindfulness. So all that's there and, of course, even mentioned what ten per cent happier, but I know you too. A whole array of meditations and podcast, some things that people can be a part of yeah. I appreciate that. I actually really a believer that people should. Try a lot of stuff and then Billy settle one land for a little while, but everything I just personally can highly recommend what you in Tahrir doing in, and so I think people should go check it out and also you're amazing life. Trudy Goodman, who is on our life meditation show we did she the other day, Tpa live and she's incredible to so all People you list. I strongly endorse. So then, alas, thing to talk about
there's a beautiful poem by Thomas send to. The title is also the first line the evening we shall be examined on love and it won't be multiple choice in the evening when the skies turn that certain blew the blue. exam books. We shall I'm the hill is the light. Empties and park are tired bodies on a bench above the city we we examined on low, like students who don't even recall, signing up for the course I must take their Orwell's forced to speak for once from the heart, and I think when I baby is born. Our first response is love. And when a dear one dies the hand we hold is a gesture and act of love.
time. Love in awareness is who we really are, underneath it all, and it is the great power actually that the world is both longing for expressing and needing and you could say that an active attention when somebody says, could I have your attention it's not a small thing. Could I have a little above your attention? It is also an act of love, mindfulness itself as a way of being present for this world for our also for the people. There were wealth and the world around, and your stand? How much those come together? Maybe would be there take away from this conversation. Yes, and that is not schmaltz. For, if it is it's a really damn good New York sandwich Jack. Thank you so much
It's still always a pleasure, and I really appreciate your time. Thank you. Thank you. Damn. It is my pleasure to take care of my friend talk to you later. Thank you. Big thanks to Jack. Again a reminder: go to ten percent dotcom, slash care for free access for health care work and also now, for food delivery, folks and people who work in grocery stores and please do not hesitate to send that link along too folks? You know who work in either of those fields free access to the ten percent happier meditation time and again. Thank you to all of those folks for the work they are doing. Thank you for listening and a big thank you to the folks who make this show possible, starting with our lead producer. Samuel Johnson works his tail off to make this show the best it can be
While dealing with me all the time. Thank you, Samuel, Matt at ultraviolet audio is our editor. Where we were tell us our production coordinator. We get a lot of incredibly useful feedback and input from colleagues Ben Rubin, Jen, Poyant and a Toby also a huge thank you to my guys at ABC Ryan, Kesler and Jeff. Kohan will see on Friday for a bonus meditation from the great meditation teacher, seven slash, eight Alaska there's not a person in America who hasn't been impact it in some way by the corona virus pandemic, but it every community. There are pockets of people, we're suiting up every day. This is my my day last day of the cylinder stretch of quotas from one of our time. In these or America's essential workers, the people who are keeping moving, I turn into a homespun mom and now in a new plants from ABC News. You gonna hear from damage
I actually went back to my office and saw a crime, because it is not fair hearing here making sure that our community to sell faintly Bahrain. This is essentially inside the from emergency room. It's the police, cruiser to the czech outline. You hear what this pandemic sounds like the people putting. selves norms, which is always a risk that I could breathe, is home to my kids or my husband, or my parents listened to the essentials inside the curve on Apple podcast, refitted, podcast, em,.