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#279: How To Stay Politically Engaged Without Losing Your Mind | Sharon Salzberg


In the heat of an election that is both incredibly nasty and hugely consequential, it might be tempting to try to shut out all the feelings of anger, frustration, and powerlessness. But my guest today makes a compelling argument for engagement -- and for the notion that nothing should be excluded from your meditation practice, not even politics. Sharon Salzberg has a new book, called Real Change, which is about how to stay socially, civically, and politically engaged without losing your mind. We talk about how to develop patience when it seems there’s no light at the end of the tunnel; why it’s wise to cultivate compassion, even for people you find deeply objectionable; and ways to limit our Twitter doomscrolling, something Sharon struggles with herself. Loyal listeners will know Sharon well. She’s a towering figure on the American meditation scene, the cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society, the author of several books, including Real Love, Real Happiness and Real Happiness at Work, and a founding teacher on the Ten Percent Happier app.

Where to find Sharon Salzberg online: 

Website: https://www.sharonsalzberg.com/ 

Podcast: https://www.sharonsalzberg.com/metta-hour-podcast/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sharonsalzberg

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SharonSalzberg/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sharonsalzberg/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/SharonSalzbergVideo

Book Mentioned:

Real Change by Sharon Salzberg: https://www.sharonsalzberg.com/realchange/

To find meditations and courses guided by Sharon Salzberg in the Ten Percent Happier app, visit https://10percenthappier.app.link/SharonSalzberg 

Other Resources Mentioned:

Jay Michaelson / https://www.jaymichaelson.net/

Real Change: Sharon Salzberg in conversation with Anu Gupta / https://asiasociety.org/new-york/events/real-change-sharon-salzberg-conversation-anu-gupta

Oren Jay Sofer / https://www.orenjaysofer.com/

Mudita Nisker and Dan Clurman / http://www.comoptions.com/ 

Bell Hooks / http://www.bellhooksinstitute.com/

Maillka Dutt / https://mallikadutt.com/about/

Additional Resources:

Ten Percent Happier Live: https://tenpercent.com/live

Coronavirus Sanity Guide: https://www.tenpercent.com/coronavirussanityguide

Free App access for Frontline Workers: https://tenpercent.com/care

Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/sharon-salzberg-279

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
For maybe see this is the ten percent happier Podcast cast Harris hello there in the heat of an election that is both incredibly nasty and hugely consequential In the heat of all this, it might be tempting to try to shut down and shut out all of the feelings of anger, frustration, perilousness, whatever it is you're feeling, but my guest today makes a compelling argument for engagement and for the notion that nothing should be excluded from your meditation practice. Not even politics. Share in Salzburg. Has a new book called real change, which is all about how to stay socially legally and politically engaged. Without losing your mind, we talk about how to develop patients when it seems like there's no
light at the end of the tunnel, why it is wise to cultivate compassion even for people. You find deeply objectionable and ways to limit our twitter doomed scrolling. Something sharing admits to struggling with her loyal listeners to the show will know, share and very very well she's, a towering figure in the american meditation, seeing the co founder of the insight, meditation society, the author of several books, including real love, we'll happiness and we'll happiness at work? A founding teacher of the ten percent happier app and a dear friend and valued teacher of mind. So here we go Sharon's Ellsberg ILO strain. Nice to meet you as an ice. I see it. One more time are joking when I say nice to meet you because you, an ironic zoom call an hour ago and you ve been on this path. Cast more than anybody else, which I count as a badge of honor and three
So congratulations on the new book. Thank you so much it's incredible relevant, were entering into election season. So many people have so many strong feelings right now that go right to the heart of what you're trying to talk about. So let me lead with a question that was provided to me by our mutual friend and colleague, J Michaelson, who is has been on the show before you great meditation teacher. He also rights that ten percent weekly is littered at its the talk section of the chairperson happier aben here's this question. A lot of people come to meditation to relax and politics is not relaxing. We get feedback, we attempts and have your company give feedback every time we run current events focused content in the EP. Can you answer the question these folks have of
and this is a quite within a quote. What does this political activism stuff have to do with my meditation practice, but the question of politics is very interesting. I was once teaching weekend somewhere. Somebody in the room said may well, you know the Buddhist said politics is dirty and if a wound like I'm, not really great scholar bud Remember that quotas from anywhere- and I think, of course we use the word politics in so many different ways. I tend to talk about my physical took obsessively. Voting, because I think voting is actually that kind of participation is very very First, in my mind, the Buddhist teaching of the innate dignity, if everybody like everybody, has worth worthwhile realize or not whether they act from that realisation or not. Everybody
has, and that translates in my mind to everyone should have a voice, that's rightful and so voting. Is really reflective and my mind of the innate dignity of we body and no one left out, and so that's difference. Unkind of parties shepherds may be that woman was referring to, which can be hate, filled and very soon of Are you now said, Sir Irredeemable Volor ratified in her eyes, that's different, and I think that people, often get confused and would also be interesting to know what people here like those, maybe disgruntled subscribers and people who have. I can imagine objecting to being told but to think or needing respite needing some relief and
and not in that moment being able to bear one more witness. However, something difficult, just be very interesting to know what they were hearing, what they were feeling. I dont know the answer to that specifically, but just to go back to the idea of the Buddha allegedly saying that part fix or dirty. I am no scholar either way less of a scholar than you are, but in ivory, read a little bit about the life of the boot in my memory is that he hung out with kings and people who were. I don't think they had politicians in the same way back then six years ago, but he was mixing it up and it was involved in. He was radical in many ways in terms of social hierarchies and as you know, bringing women into the fold, although, as the story has, it is aunt, pressured him to do it, but he certainly wasn't shying away from the great issues of his time.
Now I agree with that. Some of what we need it was really so essential to the teaching and was really, if Social Revolution, which we don't think of it ass, like that incredible emphasis in the teachings of the Buddha about it, Are the motivation behind an action being a very significant part of the energy of that action in these days? That's as gratefully critique as a as a singular view, talk people talk about saying, diversity, training, the difference between intention and impact, but nonetheless I think intention is vitally important to understand and see work famine what's guiding us, and we also need some skills in terms of how we expressed the intention for sure. But you know we tend to think of. It is only right in also, but maybe moralistic or something like that, and you know why I guess self conscious of these other
actions, but a fragile now, if the answers now, when the Buddha and it was revolutionary because he was confronting really a caste system which said that The worse America see ethics. The moral valence anyone's action depends on their gender on their cast, sir. What my right: fallen, appropriate for Brahman mail was forbidden to a and female, like the two which one and mediating with diviner what was appropriate in correct for warrior. Past was totally inappropriate for some one of the lower Caston. So everything was divided according to those lines and the British came along as meaningless. You know the only thing that really counts as your intention, whether Europe women female or may our outcast or whatever. It is it's the intention behind the action that is gonna, give it its energy or is he could say it's Carla,
and that was the that really just trusted quite a lot- and one of my favorite stories from the Buddha is something like he was instructing a king cuz you ride cuz, he hung a lot with kings as well as bar personality, but he was instructing is king on how to have like peace in a land have had to be good king and he said you should be generous and you should be just and ass time went on and king remembered to be just what he forgot to be generous, and so people started stealing So then he began putting out laws that were stricter and stricter to try to stop the thievery and the Buddha said. Well, that's not the point. You know what stop punishing people is looking at causes and conditions. If you remember to Bijan
then people would be fed and if people were fed, they wouldn't resort to stealing and resort to stealing you wouldn't interesting. Build more jails, are whenever the king was due So that's a very important point like if we look at causes and conditions for anything is deeply as we can. We will see many things that will lead to maybe more appropriate action than if we didn't, and that was pretty revolutionary. So if we both agree and apparently
booters on our side here that over and his money, unless they got there still, he noted that nothing is excluded from our meditation practice, including politics. Let me programme the question from another angle, which is, I believe this is really the thesis of your book and a NEO correct me. If I'm wrong, that meditation can make us more effective and more engaged, it's not, you know, sit on a mountain top in allowing cloth forever. Although hey do your thing, do you? But you can actually use this self awareness, the scale of self awareness, the scale of compassion to do great things in the world and to do a better job of doing great things in the world
I think, that's a wonderful. Some additional burden, others perfect, I mean I've seen it in. I been teaching like four seven thousand years back into the inner Koper hands. So starlings is on and introduce formally ago, o innovation over and over again, and it seems clear that we forge a different sense of connection in this universe and serve telling in a time of a pandemic, were physically isolated. Some lessons completely. We can still be working with this and of very profound connection to one another and once you have established a greater sense of connection, your move to try to both look for causes and conditions, look more deeply sees. You can ease pain in this world, whether that your family system, where community You are the planet. We can also use that kind of stuff
almost like dispassionate, looking to try to discern the truth, the things you know to see more, It is actually going on in one of the things we see is. Is the world of interconnection is so clear.
That we are not as suffragists. We seem to think and our lives really do have something to do with one another, and you know what sometimes missing is a lack of a sense of agency, not feeling I could never do enough. I could never be enough and so being able to bring some of the wisdom of the mediterranean process. I think needs to be more conscious and addressing those kinds of thoughts. What are the benefits of a meditative practice in terms of being active in the world? Is your relationships with your fellow travellers, the activists, circles or whether an activist or not, if you just talking current events with anybody these days?
fraud endeavour. So there are many benefits to explore the book. The cage document that one I think we will draw a lot of strength from one another and so people people, we very annoying you known frustrating, but I think that's the place where we bring forth some. Passionately, also bring forth some acronym, Play which is really the ability not to try to control what you can control and soul and your sense of integrity, more pain having the best intention, you could come from an acting as skillfully as you can, and I think it's always interesting to look at one's intentions like if you're in a meeting or so you're supervising someone in summit. You realize pretty quickly. It's not that useful to say your helpless in our something like that that you need to make the effort to be more specific and speech, and
at least give them the information they might need, they want to make a change or talk about the consequences, turned in that memo. Six weeks later than five people couldn't inner, wherever a based on your mode. It's like before you begin that encounter that relationship really just ticket What do we really want to see command of this? More than anything, I want to prove how fantastic I have to I wonder resolution. Do I want to be seen as right too. I want them to be seen as wrong and to be able to use the process of being mindful to actually see we're coming from an and so then decide you know, what's really are north star you know. What are we really care about? What are our values and and how do we strengthen them? You know how
frank them with one another in those interactions. Interpersonal communication is a visit, my opinion here, just a incredibly rich area for practice. We have all, of course, on this up in the app taught by or an J sulphur and I've been personally working with two people who, I know you know booty, tat, Mister and Dan Claremont. Yes, that's fabulous, I'm so glad you're I've been work for a couple years or almost two years now, and we just get on the phone every month or so and at one of their many many precepts and by the way, if you are serious about their work there in the final stages of writing a book and when, when it's done, though come on the show But one of their many ideas is the notion of wild you're, having a conversation, you can think of at least two tracks that are going there, content goals, in other words, what you want to say and then there's your relationship, go
I've found that big to be really helpful. Having at the language I would use, has an inveterate wise asked, but it is, a really useful way to look at it, the I'm. They taught me so much these to come to him ass into these workshops month. People were going about you talk a moment ago about agency, and that brings me to a question that we got from Samuel John, so you know was the producer of the show. How do we engage when we see no light at the end of the tunnel? What is the balance between patients and taking action to see real change. I think that scene, I really reflection of being able to combine, say compassion, without equanimity, its realizing that nothing happens without that first step, you know that there is something that has to move forward in and take a sharp eyes. Call that faith. You know what I was writing that book, which does
me. It was all difficult, as it does mean, faith and dogmatic sensor, belief system, but it's exactly that, like I was having conversation, which is in that book, faith with a psychiatrist and New York about what we would consider to be the single most healing element and the second fair pewter relationship resolve funny, looking back as, of course, is not just one, but that was the conversation that one point he said. Well, if you put any good therapist up against the wall, they be forced to say that his love, that it's the room, that the single most healing element- and I said because I was just thinking about face all the time. I said Well, for all we know, the single most healing element is the fact that someone shut up for their appointment and ass rose, calling faith a moving off the sidelines right into the centre of possibility, taking a chance and the other something gets us.
To get out of bed and see, what's that next step might be and to show up and whatever you want to call it. That's what I'm clean agency in this book- candidates, getting off the sidelines, even if the action seems very small, you know we have to do. The goods is in front of us, even if it seems kind of meagre, because that's the only way things happen to have expectation in its natural. It's just a human trade, but if were held in a kind of rigid way to those expectations were sunk. You know because it's a councillor shifting dynamic of all these different elements, and there are so many times. We just don't see me results in that doesn't mean nothing happened. We could go back to your intention. What fear Northstar is really to bring love in the room, whatever you? doing you now and I'm gonna she way, but in a very sincere and powerful when Anne
might be what your measuring, rather than the fact that a year that structure crumble dealer in an hour, I have half just one I wanted or whatever it is. It does have a different kind of sense of where our integrity is. I think it's the way. People do these long term campaigns to seek chain this made ally with everybody, but the Dalai Lama talks about this. The view one can bring to that endeavour is the view of many lifetimes. Wasn't a thing is one of the characteristics of the book. I wrote it that I was defining social action to the best of my ability, pretty broadly, which is based. First conversation I was having with both hooks. I'm not used to, while not a buddhist scholar myself, I'm used to them in their credible, Arsenal, fine language, the very exact way these
where is the nearest Talbots she's worse, you know she's, like extremely precise and her use of language, and that's why she's such a great writer, but she said to me: I don't like the term social action. I said why not and she said cuz. It seems to me to be too limited. It conveys for many people only marching and protesting things like that and what about art, and so we started this conversation about what helps us move further and brings us together in a different way or helps dissolve conventional and really limiting understanding and answer the lot of creativity so have us. Their rather die. Lama, where. I was in the audience, use it every university one year and he was on a panel with Richard Gear and Alice Walker, and the panel was sponsored by the ART Department of the university.
So there are a lot of questions and round that the first question was something like I've been taught that great works of creativity need to come from torment from inner suffering. So what do you think about that? You never so Alice Walker spoke about she kind of you to believe that, but she's finding that the happier she gets better poetry, Is Richard Gere talked about once being an angry young man growing out of it and tell you I was really funny you have the look. She usually gets when he can't quite understand why someone's asking that question like it makes no sense them and he said no into bad people. Those dragged me all over the place. Like look assistance in that beautiful. Look at that and many civilian spat. We believe that a work of art is great,
workings of the transformation of the artist and the active creating it. That was like the whole of the thing, and then I began thinking. Oh. But what, if we thought of activists that way what we think of our lives? That way? That's really good! That's really good! I think about that. In terms of my own work, Let me ask about another impediment that I think is common for people. When it comes to certain engaging. However, you want to define or described that which is in a culture where individualism has been counted in our neurons and sold to us through advertising and harass you Alger and whatever.
How do we d condition that you have a girl? I can even see it in my own mind of. I have time to do extra why I've got my own things to do my impulse, and I make this may be. Common among human beings is my impulses. You note feather my own nests in some ways and I thank you. I think I can overcome that sentence. But what do you recommend to people? Who are you? Ok, admitting that themselves about themselves? Tell you it's a good realization, because just cuz we see something and it strongly conditioned doesn't mean I have to stay there. You know and they're lots of things that are expanding our visions at this particular time of a for some people, a lot less activity. Let's travel has also opened up what kind of space
Take a look at some things in and I think that different realizations people have. I was talking to a doctor, the head of a hospital somewhere, and he said you know who I have really increased appreciation for its a cleaning staff. You think about that in our like we're moving the search engine hope I really wants offering, Peter Clean, and you want the hospital clean. You don't want to get the virus cuz. You have to go in there, and I said I will listen time for that. We can recognise one another, maybe in a different way, in sound that, yes, we have a lot of conditioning. You know Obviates dog worlds and sinner repression for themselves in, don't help anybody else, but the reality sometimes sadly that our lives are connected,
You walk round without a mask that could well affect an ambulance driver in ten days. You know and the real people you know who are suffering the consequences. You know it's really interesting how people can feel seem so off that they don't imagine that their actions really have any effect, for they do not actually the reality, and I think if we get a little quieter and we pay more attention, we can see that and then act accordingly. If we have noticed a selfishness and selfish zero, you you go can be enlarged to just mean, if I'm not just worried about myself or maybe just worried about the people I like. So if we see the selfishness, what are some meditative techniques to work with it.
And I think it would be several different approaches, and I think working with it needs to be not frames, is eradicating. It assert its all gone because, as always, most important things. Our relationship to it, you know, is this something that we can hold in the fact, with some interests and some compassion toward ourselves, or is this something that we are so ashamed of freaked out about that, we actually reinforce it in some strange way. When do we just I've into it, you know, and have no space to really consider it. So my father is what gives us the opportunity. It would tell us a k c, the certain flight path. Since attitude, the certain thing whenever it is, can ease switcher meditation object to actually just be with that and not condemn it.
To the best of your ability and not prolong it, but really it's like you're asking yourself. What is this? What is this? The other day I was supposed to do is zoom session. With this friend of mine and his daughter in law. Cuz, we sit together, sometimes and the daughter in law always sends out the the zoom invite and and Sherry censored as the last minute? But this time she was actually late wasn't just last minute It was late and we wait and wait and wait a maiden and he got quite anxious in our something went wrong what's wrong And I got really embarrassing. I bet I have their own tat. I must have screw up like it must be my fault and then she sent out the invite we got on an
to sing like the Father in law, and I had two very different reactions, but we're doing the same thing in our meditation, which was what is this? What is this feeling, instead of like? Oh, my god, I'm still here has been like fifty years of minutes. He knows like what is this feeling and that even implies a kind of tenderness. Like it's ok This is one unfeeling. What is it so that mindfulness approach, I think, is a tremendous of not buying into some of these habits, because we can see them for what they are. I think, loving kindness for oneself always helps a really do because it sort of them, that's the sea, and We are swimming. You know those is affect our basic ability to forgive ourselves or for not being present. To begin again when we need to or just realized causing
difference, you know you didn't. I wanna be a jerk, a three Clark. Hurry causes in conditions come together for something to arise. Let's talk about another issue that comes out for people in this area of just civic engagement or whenever you want to call it, which is anger- and you have this great quote about how the Buddha called anger, murderously sweet. You know I just can feel great but it does not burn clean who had so it's a you know I can get you move in, but it burns so hold forth for as long as you would like on anger, because I think this is a huge issue Well, I I got the chance to have several. Answer strangers, who are doing great work in the world, I interviewed for the book and so has really counts.
Alarm on their insights. From the Buddhist point. View in the biggest psychology anger. It's a mixed bag. No I'm I mean internet feeling, anger getting Mr Langen, hurry motivate your actions is a hollow the thing but sick. We feel we- and the more we fight it or resented resisted the more were caught and so we need a shaman and that kind of distress to what were feeling we feel we feel and the needs the kind of dignity and that a kind of integrity in that how we relate to those feelings is another thing and getting lost in anger, getting overwhelm getting overtaken by it, having determined all your actions as brood. You know where we ourselves are burning and
Boston anger, attend cigarettes, tunnel vision, there's a forcefulness to its very positive there's, an energy too. It is very positive. It's what you describe. It gets us moving and is also sometimes a kind of cutting Through an honesty and like many ordinary meaning in life, you know sometimes it's the angriest person in the room. That's insisting that we look at that unpleasant thing in the corner and we don't want to, and in fact we ve studiously avoided looking in the corner for a long time, but the single look at that and is really essential. I think collectively you note to honour that voice, and yet you know to be Marston it to have it be chronic. Is devastating to oneself, and I learned that I heard that first from friend Mallika, whose
tobacco. We run we're on a panel together somewhere, we just put together and she said she became a tremendous advocate working again, violence against women, both in India and states. Because of having witnessed something happening. Her friend was in the hospital in India and happy to be put in the barn unit and, as and family were actually just Christine Cavern Hospital Mallika. So lot of what happened on the burden, which is some real horrible abuse toward women, which led them to be a man, and she just devoted her life to that work, and she said I was so angry or so outraged third. It got me to change my whole life and and have their dedication said, but now I don't have to turn it off and I knew how to turn it down. You know, and she said it's everywhere- you can see in your organization or people speak to one another.
I'm so stressed just everywhere, and seventy years sense here was some years ago. She's become Wickham meditate, salmon and she taught me about the relationship of intersection reality and interconnection so also in the book and she's found the tools that she is needed. Just that which is not indolent? Allow that land around saying I am no violence against women are those last stick. It is not like that. You know. Should passionate she's engage and many people like tat. You ve done that journey in the book. Yellow they have used rage in a really important way to find a sense of agency and a voice and to go forward, and they have
Come to a recognition that there actually stronger forces and anger like compassion, which of course, we know tend to believe we think, is like the weakest thing in the world, but each of these people in those giving testimony to what helps them ah really work in a sustained way with strength and with intensity, but coming from a different place, you talk in the book about, I believe, used the term soft and strong. I like soft power, and I think what you're getting at there is that, just because your motivation may overtime transmute from anger to compassion does not mean you are, as you just use the word you just used in the laboratory apathetic to have a coat. They went out on Instagram from Berkeley
Something like them compassion doesn't mean we don't fight means we don't hate. How you do that, because you're on twitter alive, that's a passing familiar noticed. I have them and I'm on their occasionally to see Little bit ahead on their maybe more little met. So do I I'm getting angry when looking at current events or looking at Twitter. Do you you know you ever see up welling in you, some powerful aversion. Oh yeah, I'm! Yes, that's the truth. The things I mean There is also a kind of aversion. I guess would say that I think, is I follow you now. I am not. Great moral relativism, another think the Buddha was either. I think you can see actions that are just harmful they're just damage
and its cruel. You know- and I feel second more than anything but seeing cruelty, but its cruelty and it's very important meets not turn away, but Then the question comes up. How do I not turn away in know? How do I not just ignore it Which doesn't mean I'm needs a to temper, my twitter, sometimes in our really being much more moderate, but anyway, you know what I did this thing a couple of years ago, this matter tt, meaning loving kindness, met a minute for the kids in cages at the border, at someone's request. I was in an airport when I read her request on Twitter and the light I said. Yes, then they went home Meda recording and then I got back to go to the airport. The minute at another airport and a lot of people
started writing to me. Maybe this is like the subscribers. You know who don't like with there We are hearing the people said a right me saying you know you're as bad as the people who just send thoughts and prayers and why just leaving loving kindness, why aren't you donating which already had or why aren't you taking action? You should get off your cushioning certain some months. Drivers and done- and I just kept responding on twitter saying you know this is hard for me- to look at In order for me to not look the other way and stay engaged, I need to connect us something bigger. I just do you know and this am? I would never confuse meditation and taking action of the different Siena, but. Really. What kind of action are you talking about, and you know I'm coming from where and it's just an interesting experience, so I think yes, I mean, I see you
I try to be more moderate in my own taking in influences and I I just remember what I really care about: what would you recommend in terms of techniques for other people now that we're in the heat of campaigns season what are some techniques for moderating our own news, consumption, social media consumption so that we're not overwhelmed by aversion, anger or just overwhelmed. If there is as a suggestion, one of my colleagues. The New York Times to this article on the greatest word in the world which the doom scrolling anyone know existed. Then, when the article came out, I saw that I was in it. My colleague was not then I began thinking went to it made
she doesn't do, and she knows I do you know. Why did she recommend me after all, because I do and realize in other them during it. I know I have to stop, and I just up. You know that that's enough, I'm just read five. Fifty twig it's on the same issue. Let it go and fortunately, fifty years of trying to cultivate that living gum, muscle his is really helped and stuff? you're always really helps me enough to know that occur, meeting you know. Instead of terms TV news, except for some very critical says that are so informative and enlightening that you just have to watch. I said: ok, there's a time man. I'm action, do loving kindness or something like tat. Instead of taking in one more here
of what I already know to be true, so actually created structure. You know that I am replacing the that time those hours. And I do tremendous man loving kindness practice, because for a long time in my own personal practice, there was of course, my only practice for a number of years, but then It's sort of became more what I would do like walking down the street in New York or sitting on an airplane, and not so much in my formal daily practice and now I'm really doing a lot of it, because it is the force that helps me not, the other way, but also not be so overwrought. Then I'm just flat. You learn the odd thing about being over. Come by one of those painful emotions is that your own emotions than taking centre stage. That's the most dramatic,
tens thing in the room with the situation of these other people's I've gone. You know we're just fix it on another bad. We feel in a sort of not the point to engage and to participate its crucial. You know it's not a game. I remember talking to these friends. I guess it was twenty. Sixteen, a son who was, I said, some up one morning, breakfast the EU and he said I'm turning eighteen, whose turning eighteen before the election- and I like lit up because of my obsessed, and I said you can vote and there's just like total silence and then Secondly, the dad he said we don't vote We mean unfold and he said well, you know how to say this is not true in every year, of course, is just marginal differences between them,
candidates and, like I said look, you may see marginal differences between the candidates but their plenty. People who live in those margins and he's gonna make a significant difference. Alarm you ve got a vote and then they offered and the half the daughter just turned a tea in the sea and she sent me a text. I registered to vote every so half in here and if they are happier you know, we have to let go what's real, like what's gonna help us engage in a world that is so confusing. Misleading and traumatized in so many ways like what helps us in and we have to find that wave being and pursue it so that we can keep engaging you mentioned before the overlap between intersection reality and interconnection.
Identity. Politics is a huge issue. We were already hearing about it on the campaign trail and will hear a lot more about it. To talk about that, I think it's, sir, both an first time. Mulligan, I am of fear the people used to teach together every year at this women's leadership I'm initiative and others, This time I heard molly could talk about intersection reality. I thought. Oh, that's just like interconnection, and she went on to talk about what it actually is and which is a term that had grown up in The legal world around I density in the ways in which people might be actually I don't ass in the eyes of society in its midst rules because they are
a woman and disabled person of color and inner. So as one thing in that kind of expanded, as molecule describe it, maybe the next year she would say. Will you know I'm really an interesting case, because I'm Hindu, woman of a high cost and so in India educated. You know and said I have a really high status. I come here, like an immigrant in outline and dark skin and psych a difference, that us- and so we are all a bundle of actually lots of different identities. That can be reacted too by others. And then the after that she said, you know what I think you're interested. Finally, I think of interconnection, and I thought yes that is right and I should put cell in the book and the editor make me take it out. It was like two triumphant or something, but that's that's, actually
what it is, I think we live in a time it's like both and, like I My God daughter, whose now young woman once very young really alive girl, shoes and movie and she was born in China, adopted by her caucasian parents, and one of her mouth conditions for her parents and movie- is a movie with lots of kids in it, and she was the only asian looking child and one for me. Conditions was that the script not say pointedly allocations adopted. She just wanted it be a vision that is when a family might look like you know this is your family sometimes looks like, and so let's get used to it. You know it doesn't need special mention, like This is a different kind of family than maybe your family, so they did that way and then.
I remember reading the bulletin board things about the movie, some good godmother hen. So many of them said whose at asian kid how come nobody explained, but there's something about what her mother said that I thought. Well, that's the beloved community right, that's the world as it should be. You don't have to say this is a special kind of family, just a family. I remember watching graze anatomy for the first time in the Heather hospital was in a black neurosurgeon Something like that, and nobody ever mention that just like this is what a hospital staff can look like. This is how the world can be and I admired sullen and recently talking to honour, I could read on the ten percent happier purchase marginal. A group that is on the show. Yes, there's a lot of work round unconscious bias. In also I was talking to him and I said.
Maybe we need a different conversation. Maybe the black neurosurgeon needs to this needs to be a show saying you know how hard it was to get here. This is where my reality was like him. The same time. I still feel that vision as part of the equation. You know this is still a family. Can look like you know we're not going to make a distinction about it. So I think it's probably both both meaning. It is true that our various identities are part of who we are and how we show up in the world on one level and on another level we are not separately, we are more than I do It is both matter. Yes, that's great, both on and also when you're using language. You know it's often tricky because
it can easily imply a certain centrality view. That's what I mean by this is what a family can look like this just a normative family type, and everything else needs to be mentioned. Now this of our family complexes over the hospital staff to look like this is just how the work and look at how the West should look, and so it is the loosening the grip of a certain kind of assumed sensuality, but at the same time, clearly there's. This seems to be such a need for a kind of identity assertion.
Much more of my conversation with share in Salzburg read after this ten percent happier is supported by better help online counselling, we're in extraordinary times and if you're, struggling with stress, anxiety or depression, you're, not alone, better help offers online licensed professional councillors, who are trained to listen and help simply fill out a questionnaire and get matched with a councillor in under forty eight hours join more than a million people taking charge of their mental health with better help better help as an affordable option, and our listeners get ten percent off your first month with the discount code happier get started today at better help: dot com, slash happier, that's better h, E lp, dot com, slash happier you ever Tracker title in the book politics was balance was what does that mean? I think, by the time we get to the top
so we ve gone through moving from anger to courage from grief to resilience and remembering today enjoy. So you ve covered a lot of brown and not any of it. Perhaps disease, and even taking enjoy is not always easy by any means. So having open more too, in any way with compassion I'm having open more than the joy with acceptance, we come to a different kind of balance. So it's the ability to bring forth tremendous compassion and wisdom in the sense of put everything I can answer trying to help not in my hands, to control, sad to say things may take time. This is an unfolding
How am I you know where my coming from? What's the transformation in me, one of the people I talked to for the birth is a friend mark, someone who is very involved in a marriage, equality, movement and we met at. I am ass when he came to a three month retreat and it was the year two thousand and what we do, the? U S? Presidential, Kenya is what we did was the next morning we put a folded up no on the board and it says outside. If you wonder who won the? U S, presidential election lists is up so the year two thousand you listed and said we don't know yet I have many details have been there for a month or more would come to any reasons they don't. We
You sure you know the next day, but market come to us from the Senate had been made in the south and then he laughed and have this year before you went graduate school sick himself through mother Teresa. He knew this is like lack of Sis has really where we bonded Markenheim Mark worked and the marriage equality campaign. He talked about what a fifteen year campaigners like and in other kind of patients, Fortitude invasion that you really need. He said you know my girl was every day to put some went on the board. That might mean an editorial. It might mean talking to a group of people who hadn, I've been open to the idea before
so in writing. A letter loses day after day after day after day answer, but it's what a campaign is like, so balancing things like passion and perseverance and patients- yes, yeah yeah, yeah, apparently I stepped over. This is supposed to come before the balance, but let's do it out of order, which is remembering joy. Why brain of joy. In this context, I see no room for joy on Twitter, Bertha, Twitter. In political discussions, engagement, whatever sarcastic, I know While many of us have their condition, I am a feeling you know either too distracted to take in the July, or we feel the strong. You know the sum of the suffering. It's just self indulgent where we now have these like really tight images of perfection a man doesn't match that lets no
Or we have friends is clinging happen. Second hold onto this really tied. It won't ever changing leave me in none of that is, is realistic. None of that actually works. You know it's just a distortion and what happens in the process of looking itself bring more directly whether it's your own or a community? something in the world, the planet. Is that we really need to house inner wherewithal in order to sustain that looking and not crumble and not feel over,
wound not feel shattered and not feel totally ineffectual, and so what makes up that wherewithal is a very interesting question. So I'm going to share energy, it's like West remember to rest sometimes- and some of it has to do with perspective- is like the something so restorative about taking in the joy and being able to admit it being able to feel it. Actually there replenishing us so that we can look at painful things. You know without just being lost in them more and more in its hard. It's embarrassing in this summit. Difficulty in the world and one can feel like. Why is this all happening for me now in its good, and it's not fair, but again is something It helps us get out of bed in the morning and go see that psychologist to whomever
something that houses willing. To try and unwilling to change ourselves and so on? So we have to look at the ingredients of that, and I think quite a lot of it has to do with being able to see what would break for foreign and what is the good. And what can give us join and enjoy Tina, I figure, but this isn't civic or social or political engagement, family engagement, but I'm in the sandwich generation now, having a little kid and having aging parents and my brother who's got six sixty. In the same age, and so he and I have been dealing with alive- we know trying to help help our parents, and and a lot of his really hard and we were driving up to see them psycho three hour drive from the New York area. To
and we were having fun and the ride talking and laughing, and so can you pull both those things. At the same time,. I think we have to you know, because I can be a real grind. You now. And first, so he did so together with just flynn- Mr Rehn and a new EU started out with the term life sucks see now. And there's a lot of trust that you know a lot of time, but it's not the only truth of of how things are and how do we face with resilience and compassion and some strength, the real difficulties We as individuals or family members or parts of a community may go through, because the point isn't too. No hate what we're going through in
despair and unjust, feel overcome by a cassette serves no, my think, you're referring to benefit that you and I participated, and we had a conversation is part of a benefit for a meditation organization. The conversation was about joy and I I think, let off with how what's the role of joy when everything sucks- and I think the answer in a nutshell- maybe this is one of the new challenges that you know it can really sustain you through tough times yeah currently sustain you should just what I see is a really powerful point that I don't think I've given you a chance to make. Is that the way from what I'm taking from this new book is that you know, which is all about convincing us, that there is a separation between
meditation practice and getting engage in the world, the matter how painful dirtier Ikey it might be that actually there's something about seeing your own stuff clearly, and even if it's really painful that can help, you engage more effectively, give you an impetus to engage, and I was struck in in a real paragraph here- that this was something I didn't know about. You. As the austrian writer Rayner Maria Rilke a road to say, you must not be frightened if a sadness rises up before you larger than any. You have ever seen. If a restiveness like light and cloud shadows passes over your hands and over all you do. You must think that something is happening with you that life has not forgotten you that I hold you in its hand. It will not you fall, and this this is you here you write when I'm in some kind of pain. I found that this can be one of the worst components of what I
spirits feeling that I'm all alone, my nose pressed up against the window looking into the space where everyone else has gathered to enjoy a moment or comfort, one another be part of life, I'm somehow excluded unaccounted for. No one, even notices, outside its the worst and most have been equal. Add on I use. I did not know that about you and I was moved to read it, but when I wrote the book faith which came out eighteen years ago is really about my faith journey, my journey in a way to agency, you know musing. Ms word faith in that sense. And in Writing- and I look back over my life and I realise that by the time I left for college at the age of sixteen, I had lived in five different family configuration see now. The only time I lived with my mother and father was until I was for when they got divorced and
live with my mother. She died when I was nine in the name of my final, just my sight, one on every shift was principle seated by someone dying or some horribly traumatic event and so that sense of being fractured of being frightened. That is not being the same of being really Jeff, Ranten icily did was immensely strong. Can listening in my life and. It was only when I went to college and I took an asian philosophy courses, a sophomore and heard the Buddhist teaching just basically that life itself bring our life, has suffering in his. It does mean everything is grim, but this is a natural part of life that I actually felt I belonged. I felt those included. You know for the first time I am not so weird nuts are different. This is a part of life. This is this
ok to feel in some way, and so now I resumed the beginning retire, these rest of my life and it was hugely important, but I Have you known actually that the actual quote rookie was something when I was writing faith, because I was using the word in a certain way. And I was talking to the editor I was working with, and I said you know from the point of view of the buddhist tradition. Doubt is not the enemy of faith, because the right kind of doubt insisting on the right to quest I'm, putting forth US questions and wondering in investigating in putting something into practice for yourself to see if it's true, that's the whole essential spirit of of the teachings of doubt is nothing more faith, so she saw what's the opposite of faith and- and I said, despair
You know where we don't have a sense of agency. Everything fills broken disconnected. I'm all connections are like severed, so then she said well, you know you have to tell her despair story then, and I said I really want it like you skip at after, but I'm going on? You know it became clear like I really did, and so I did and the story was about sitting. A retreat with side are appendix. I can't remember the exact year, but it was obviously many years after I'd Started and faint met him in eighty four, so let's say it was early nine days, maybe you're late Ladys in Australia and I started disingenuous nineteen, seventy once this is a good long time afterwards, and I was just doing this retreat
the memory, the body memory of being nine years old, my mother dying came up, and it was just like this immense grief and sensor just connection and isolate and so on, and there is really to spare, and so I wrote about the process of re connection. It was my relationship with him, as a teacher was my practice being able to. To Sir it was being out in nature, and it was who knows what enough some mysterious forest which actually manifested when I was walking up the staircase in this retreat and that quotation came to me. Do not be frightened, and I just thought
life is not forgotten me actually and so that the worst part of that whole experience that sense of isolation and separation. It was gone you and I could just work through whatever was happening inside it's been since then, just the most important would have marker me of what we are really seeking and much really healing it. Just to clarify a little bit of me, I haven't read faith. I was familiar with the trauma of your childhood. What I wasn't familiar will was how alive that part was for you now. This add on of the unexploded. I don't matter here here. He- and I am, I think ass you know- Any add on it really. Does depend on the relationship with sick. I can see that an error
so rare that I buy into it for more than thirty seconds I did see, however, and I read about this in the book as well. Like in in twenty sixteen after the election, when I felt that a lot of deceit was happening when I watch the news or there are things that shaded, because my child had also been filled with secrets and even though I think people really caring about me that they thought, in my best interest was better say not to ever talk about my mother after she died- and I don't know, is nine years old and things like that, and so that picture of like not really know? What's true and being told one thing, and maybe some true and probably isn't true, then you know that when a lot deeper than the thoughts of
Annabelle one like you know and seeing that because I feel it in my body I could feel right away that there was a disease that was being retirement eyes. I mean a reactive, aided, and there was a good to recognise in out to see that there are certain kinds of experiences where I need to remind myself in a step back. Maybe it's not that healthy to watch the news somewhere, you know you now get off twitter or see this feeling. This is certain and feeling and an easy to see it for what it is. You know
It's it's a very different world. Obviously, when you feel you have a different relationship to these feelings, but that was my clue. You know that I really need to modulate. Much is to bring in full circle. What is the process by which getting in touch with our own, with the tough stuff internally can help us, then.
Lean and externally, but actually, oddly enough, the ability to be in touch with kindness towards a difficult things in our selves that were feeling is also said to be the rule. Empathy, because, if you're talking about empathy as not just an intellectual appreciation, looks kind enough, but that really serve residence with somebody situation. That only can happen if we have been able to be with her on paying cassettes. What's viper
as you know, is that recollection, like I don't know exactly what you're going through, but I remember a time when I was light to or when I felt no one was listening or seems likely that your kind, you know- and so we have this actual sort of residence as a response and as borne out of being able to people, are paying plus the ability to be with words. Difficult also gives us information and it allows us to like it. I think, if I must anybody sits with anger long enough, just being with a feeling, you will likely see not only sadness and fear and their use see some nugget of a sense of helplessness and that feeling so hard for us and that when I get there, I am then reminded do one thing to do. One thing sit and talk to your elsewhere.
During the card, for you no help. Somebody just help somebody in some way and that channels the anger in some way into action, which is very important and wholesome action, and it gives us the ability to also see quite deeply in l, a look at this day. I thought it was so permanent. I thought it was essentially who I wasn't it had its actually moving. It's actually changing things come and go and I don't need suggest react, but I cannot let you know when I have an appreciation of something has been like a value or or something that I am choosing. This is quite important and I think in all those ways, the inner work and the ability to be with uncomfortable feeling. Actually propels us into more skilful action, so some here as well,
and here, in the heat both outside and and politically, the bottom line from share in Salzburg is don't shrink back, no matter how scared you may be of it at the very least, vote at the very least. Well. Thank you. Thank you. There's always a pleasure to talk you. Thank you escaped to talk to his great to see. You pick thanks to share, and I just want to point out that the Sharon's teachings are a huge part of the ten percent happier app. She teaches a course on loving kindness and two courses on focus and she's recently recorded a new talk and met it, vision for the EP about the concepts we just discussed, having to do with her new book, real change. So if you want to check out any of that, I had I recommend you were get yourself over the app and will will include decimal eggs and shone out,
before we go, I do have a little announcement given We ve been working incredibly hard since the beginning of the pandemic to create more than we used to, and given our desire to continue making a ton of useful and meaningful content for all of you, We are expanding our team, and so we got some open positions on the podcast team at ten percent happier. The first is Producer role on this show, the one you are listening to the job would be to work with me in the rest, the team that produces the show. So if you have three or more years of podcasting experience at an interest in meditation, you should apply, and if you know somebody who fits the bill, they should apply world. Working on some new pod casts under their attempts, and happier banner will have some more announcements in that vein. Soon. But in the meanwhile were hiring a show development producer tests, or to the as the job title implies that
many of these new show. So if either of these positions align with your interests and aspirations and qualifications go to ten percent, slash jobs, to learn more and if you know somebody who would be good for either of these positions send them Ten percent accomplish jobs, that's ten percent dotcom, slash jobs. And, having said all that big thanks to everybody who listens and as always about thanks to the team, these people work incredibly hard on on the show, Samuel Johnson you, producer Mercer, Schneider Men is our producers, are sound. Designers are met buoyant and on your Sheikh from ultraviolet, Maria cartels are protecting coordinator, we'd arrival out of wisdom from our Tpa colleagues, such as employment, Toby than Reuben, was Levin and, of course, a big. Thank you and salute to my ABC News College rang Catherine Josh Co. Him we'll see you all on Friday for bonus meditation from Sharon's Albert.
Transcript generated on 2020-09-08.