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#295: How To Be Grateful When Everything Sucks | DaRa Williams


In the face of the seemingly unremitting horrors of 2020, is it possible -- or wise -- to generate gratitude? My guest today argues: yes. DaRa Williams is a longtime practitioner and teacher of meditation. She is one of the guiding teachers at the Insight Meditation Society. She’s also had a clinical mental health private practice in Manhattan for many years. DaRa Williams says, only semi-facetiously, that she believes gratitude can be considered the fifth Brahma Vihara. As you know, we’ve just wrapped up our special Election Sanity series here on the podcast, where we explored the ancient Buddhist list called the Four Brahma Viharas: loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity. Speaking of Election Sanity, we’re also running a special meditation challenge on the Ten Percent Happier app. Technically, it started yesterday, but it’s not too late to join. It’s only a week long, and it will help you stay engaged in this bananas election season without losing your mind. Download the Ten Percent Happier app today to get started. But back to gratitude, let’s dive in now with DaRa Williams.

Where to find DaRa Williams online:

Dharmaseed: https://dharmaseed.org/teacher/611/

IMS: https://www.dharma.org/teacher/dara-williams/

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/dara-williams-295

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
From ABC this is the ten percent happier podcast again Harris again in the face, of the seemingly unremitting horror of twenty twenty. Is it possible or even wise to generate gratitude. My guest today argues yes, draw Williams, is a long time practitioner and teacher of meditation sheet, one of the guiding teachers at the insight, meditation society and bury Massachusetts she's also had a clinical mental health. Private practice in Manhattan for many years draw says only semi facetiously that she believed gratitude should be considered. The fifth Brahma VIII horror. As you know, I hope you know we just wrapped up are special election sanity series here on the podcast, where we explored the ancient Buddhist list called the four Brahma vigorous, loving kindness. Ashen sympathetic, joy and equanimity by the way, speaking of elections, entity,
also running a special meditation challenge on the ten percent happier app technically it started yesterday, but it's definitely not too late to join Zonia weak law. and the goal here is to help you stay engaged in this bananas election seizing without losing your mind, so good and download the temperature in happier apt to day to get started, but back to gratitude? The alleged Fifth, realm of horror, let's dive in now with the Raw Williams. Here we go. Hello derive first time on the package thanks for coming on preceded it, thank you yes? It is I'm really sorry that you made time for this. Thank you, you're welcome, welcome. You said something super interesting way said a bunch of super interesting eggs or we start rolling the first one I wanna latch onto and bring back. into your mind. Right now is you said you appreciate. That way. Been doing this focus on the so called for some the horror during the election- and you said, I think there should be a
Brahma Vieira, which is gratitude, and I love that- and I want to Know- is gratitude possible when everything sucks. Ah, that's a good question. Ha is gratitude possible? Not only do I think it's possible, but I think its essential in order to navigate the fucking there. You know like when we think about gratitude. It doesn't have to be this big grand, but it could like be something like I'm grateful. I woke up with breath this morning, you now and I'm not gonna, go down the whole political thing right now, but the breath is something we have all been very present to end these last five months in terms of how quickly they can be something other than available to us. gratitude, can be something as simple as waking up in the morning and really
centering one cell, a really good before this. I do this even before my feet hit the ground like. Thank you not any body opera, but just the expression of gratitude. feel my heart and mind. That I'm here for another day, and then I do listen. And I hear my mom I live at my ninety six year old MA. Am I hear her start moving around downstairs and LE moms good. You know, and then I hear my husband then the cat jumps on the bed and we get a little morning greeting, like those kinds of this data day, came
this small but incrementally acknowledged opportunities for gratitude really helped to serve as a cloak or rather holding to navigate all the other stuff that, mostly all of us, do from the time we started engaging with the world until the time we go to bed at night, so yeah yeah, and I also think maybe the aspects of gratitude are a natural and of organic unfolding. If one is engage with matter or loving kindness or Karun our compassion as its aim. Swear it or more data, sympathetic, joy, oil, packard economically. Anyone are all those together we're in the practice of those that also cleaner fuels are strengthens this turning towards remembering that we all have something to have gratitude about. So that's kind of like what just gonna showed up there in released
then another thing of a pale gratitude. Yes, certainly these signs are really officer and I'm a good one for saying. You know throughout history this bit off the chart times for groups of people in various different times, but there's something about the coalescing or the coming together. Numerous. So many challenging and difficult things, along with the kind of really challenge, with moving away from all of that, creating the space from all of that. Sometimes you may not be feel in love in your heart Sometimes you may not be feeling equanimous would like to set up. Sometimes you make that we may not be feeling joyful, but we can always find something always find something that we can have gratitude for and every person
a person that I don't know if this podcast is, but I'm sure it is probably heard outside of the United States as well, but if I'm speaking to the United States, every person here, including first nations, people, including the indigenous people of lands come from people where there were hard times. You know if you're descending order, your ancestors are immigrants or someplace else you can bet. There were hard time gives you know, certainly if you, african, American or out of the african diaspora, you know that there were hard times in sometimes continue to be hard times, and certainly a few are indigenous to this land. If you come from peoples who are indigenous Islam from this, and you also know that there were high time. So high tides are not new, is not a new place to be, is not a new happening in human kind, but fortunately, for
us beyond our ancestors needing to also just survive in those times you know like have food have shelter have water all those kinds of things pretty much for many of us, not all of us, but that's pretty much available to all of us, or even that is suddenly the US then under the shower la I am so glad to have sharon that hot water hits. My back in the muscles starts a relaxing gratitude from hearing you correctly, though you're not saying we should use gratitude, force ourselves into the land of eternal sunshine and pretend that the problems that are here don't exist, absolutely not after them We I mean you know it's the allowed, the goodness in difficulty,
Borat, you know an in Buddhist terminology, the joys in the Saros, that's like giving and it's actually. This is one of the other things you were speaking to that we spoke about in terms of managing expectations. I think that's the way either I said it or you gave it back to me and it's like who who said it was always wildly rainbows and flowers like who said that nobody, there were probably more prone even in this country, to arm attached to that particular perception, our understanding or perspective or lens. That, in the background, always is that there is some promise that things should be really great all the time. But that's not
so yeah slowly now and also not to be engaged with, like spiritual bypass. You know it's just kind of where you're that comes from me in terms of what you just put out their spiritual bypass, meaning that you pretend you ve got pixie does come out here, but but actually you're, just not dealing with here problems dealing with your individual challenges, dealing with the collective challenges of our time, dealing with the historic legal challenges that are manifestly now in these times. So there is understanding, actually that there is now a lot of talk about trauma and by carriers and those kinds of things all of that is useful, helpful and necessary,
to understand and when there are practices or resolutions for those experiences to engage with them. One of the things ass, the by product of can be can be. The by product of trauma is dramatic growth. You now- and it's almost like when I think about nature right- I'm just imagining this, of course, but thinking about and it goes from a winter to spring and the plants that are reborn her in the spring have to struggle to get about a third like just crack at all, and a little bed and get that one Andrew allow to seek the son. You know I really don't hell of a lot of opportunity for. Joy, unhappiness without having had the opportunity for challenge and suffering. You know, I think that they coexist again,
therein and down that you actually care have joy unhappiness without having engaged with difficulty and challenge. I think about a conversation. I recently without meditation meditation teacher name, is to wear a salon season. Seattle do she's near you laughing all these, my girl once Larry, so she and I were doing interview about joy, and I asked you a similar question like okay. Well, you just put our rose coloured glass is here and you you know, you're not seeing things the way they are using. No, no, no, joy is what sustains you so that you can do what you need to do
have some way in the world. Absolutely absolute would concur with that and say that that's very healthy way to understand and whole joy and groundwater and gratitude absolutely gratitude. Also, the gratitude that comes from being able to maintain, sustain or even just cultivate economically, like you know, they're they're. Certain circumstances are situations that are in our lives and our country that are operating right now here and one The things that I often say people is why expecting anything else has been consistent, ongoing evidence that this is how this is and the suffering happens. As you keep one that cannot be true. You Kate wanted to be different. You can we want it to be something else but when you can open to this is how it is, and you can
and bring your body mind and heart to that realisation too, that recognition to that awareness and engage with those circumstances from that position, there is a whole lot of freedom that opens up not only a whole lot of freedom that opens up. Then you can actually begin to ascertain for yourself. Do I need to do anything about this here or do I need to just alone. You know so the gratitude for that kind of discernment. That's possible is, so another for me, big piece of moving these ties operating in these times. When you talk about the sort of double helix thee
in extra Kabul, relationship between joy or good stuff happening and pain and suffering that you cannot have one without the other area. To me, that makes sense in theory, but when bad stuff happens to me it's still, feels wrong. Ah well, then, about something to look at it like. Why does it feel wrong? Like you, when pain and suffering happens to you lie it hurts it might be Carolyn, but why does it feel wrong? I don't know. Maybe some subconscious assumption that this sufferings, other people. I see on tv or whatever, but do you know I shouldn't be touch by the realities? The world's? Maybe that's one good interpret days of Mozilla, but that's a really good, I'm all right, they have a really good coming from you, because those are the kinds of places where the suffering rarely eyes. I hear
go. Let's go down the rabbit hole with this, whereas the challenges, the difficulty, the pain and suffering that you may have that you may experience that may be in your sphere- is actually an opportunity to be with this other component of living. You know I mean I think us human beings, because every but all being suffer. You know where, or maybe I should say things have paying, but maybe all being suffered too talking about our animal relative than other round that we, so let us forget, we are a part of because we have language and higher order thinking, but we are animals, human, in their animals and because our animal brothers This is to have language like a lot of suffering exists
swore resides in the territory of language and cognition Cooerdinating yeah. So if we could not Emmy, that's what's gotten sport has a lot of the good stuff to you now language and being able to intellectually conferred here and create, and all that kind of stuff. So this is not a commentary on uselessness of that it's, but in the process of raising that up in the process of elevating that aspect of beef being and not remembering to bring parity with the heart. That's the places where we get into trouble is so, I think he's times actually are many, but when you were talking about the suffering being, All these times are almost them.
And make that use the word demanding, but certainly calling for us to choose differently and to spend portions of our times cultivating other aspects of being this. That centre in the heart yeah Della go out on a limb here, given that you are a successful white man in America. So that there may be something about that positioning. That lends itself to the this is wrong, something that right conversation So you know I mean for many of us that walk indifferent by had dig. You maybe even heard this. I don't know among you know that three week period or that month after the numerous deaths and murders of blood bodies you might have heard from some yoke
colleagues, or from other felt, like black people, like that you weren't, surprise when you exists in a particular reality ones, engagement with the World outside of oneself is determined by the police, meaning of that reality, so that might be Another thing that might be an operation might be operating in a may, not be the answer to it all, but it might be one at all will threads in there that could lead to making their interpretation. I think to call a little thread would be an understatement. While you don't have to think about it, you know, I think it's a hundred percent. It was on my mind, is the words escaped my lips, Yes, so I guess I had to respond to what you said. One is just a robust yes that somebody.
who has had the amount luck that I've had not only maintain and shit. Your wise, but also from Upper middle class family of two loving parents who just get gave me every opportunity in the world I see, in my own mind certain Unreason Relax occasion to defy gravity or to defy the laws of the universe. So yes, a hundred percent too that I go know anybody else's mine other than my own. Is it the case? You think that people that there are substantial numbers of people who, when you know a very personal inconvenience or candour tragedy. Befalls them say you get gout in your feet, heard a tonne that do you think there are many people whose minds say: oh yeah, this sucks, but that is part of life, and this happens. Why not me? I think there is some people
then add that response, and I think that there are some people that get to that response. It- might not be the first response you now there is suffering and kind. There is some It appears, like it's permanent or that its ongoing there comes again, very by there's always people that fall outside of the jail all way, but eventually the empty get about my mom with her are threatened and her body pain, she's in pain. All the time you get to a place where you surrender. This is how it is, and so but there's a release or freedom that cause, because once that happens, then you can go about. What is there anything to be done about this? And if there is no things should be done about it. Then, then you can get a cab. Let me get my mind right to be able to be
air tolerate move forward with conditions the way that they are just a few days ago, we posted an episode where I was speaking to rotate Joan Halifax about one of the many many buddhist lists, one of the Buddha lists is called the eight worldly wins moon there. It's sort of four dichotomy, step pleasure and pain, fame and l repute gain and loss and praise and blame, and What I like about thy white coming to mine in the context of the discussion you and I have a right now- is that simply by calling them wins it deep. Signalizes them and put you in a mind state. That makes you more likely to be able to See, oh, yes, suffering is part of life. I dont need to make it worse.
I'm getting into the. Why me of it all yeah and light, really but leaving. So you know we're in this conversation in relationship to dogma and Buddhism like real I believe in what the man said. The hall tenant of Buddhism is built around. There is suffering before any of the other lives before any of the other understandings before any other, like them And came out, and then those years the development common Althea there is suffering There is a reason why they suddenly you do about it and he is how you might do that the whole Ethical underpinning of dogma is based on that, and so, like I say, sometimes when I'm teaching her arm a retreat, whereas lightly, Believe them try it. I really doubt
no, I didn't know too man. I don't know, I don't come from a lineage than those that bear, but I can imagine that thing that came out of his mouth came out of his mouth. Just because like this there with a lot of understanding a lot of depth and a lot of our personal relationship to whatever it is that he might have been purporting when you look at any histories, that's a thread, that's predominant and clear, all the way through, but a lot of our suffering is predicated on our intellectual misperceptions about life, about how living you now. I'm sure that many many many years it I'm I'm first generation out of poverty and none as as many people are at this time. People better
is it an emigrant. You know like sometimes of suffering is around light. Can I pay my red light? Is your food to eat? You know I'm about to lose my job like. Sometimes the suffering is around kind of like those basic ordered things that we need to be able to exist in the society. You know. Sometimes varying is caused by mental distress or mental illness, but a lot of the suffering, that's not kind of arm tethered to either a buyer, physiological peace or the The necessity of having food water, shelter in our life is basically, as you were pointed till, I think made up at second arrow is when you were talking about that example that you gave at the hour the second arrow where you know there is some their sorrow and suffering pain. You know this some of it I was walking of the good away. Then I did
what a bright orange code and this hunter thought I the deer and sought the shine. A got me I lay again my God, I'm glad I'm alive, but this is killed may at all. If I had just remember that, I should have to get out there, our image before I went for this war, the timing would have been often o me. the needs and put my finger down here either like when you do that, would you choose detailing the too? Thank you, Eggs were in every time you tat you they hurt. We do that. We do that, as is, is. It is a conscious fascination, I think, with difficulty in towns, because we keep weak creating so there's some addiction their decide on know what it is that this is actually occurred. To me for the first time is I'm talking to you now, but there's something- maybe I don't know, neurological. I don't know if it's conditioning
like I don't know what it is, but there's something that keeps us creating suffering for ourselves for the uninitiated. The parable of the second arrow, which derive gave us a sort of Updated version of it and yet definite guys walking through the forest, this from the Buddhist Scriptures or somewhere, but did a guy's walking through the forest, gets hit by an arrow and gets into a whole discussion in his head of you know, I'm going to be late for dinner. Why am I always the guy who gets hit by an hour, blah blah blah? That is the second arrow involuntarily voluntarily and, and that makes a lot of the inevitable suffering of life. even more unbearable yeah. I would agree with that, but we go back to gratitude for a second just to wrap that part of our discussion because we began with you extolling the virtues of gratitude, I think
and I love I think, there's a lot of science has suggested grateful. People are happier their gratitude, has all sorts of benefits and it's a really cool way to hack the negativity bias that devolution bequeathed us were always come looking for threats, because there are really is made. We need to look for some threats, but with our as many threats is our minds would have us believe that problem that I suspect many people and into when they hear about gratitude as a practice is just remembering to do it booting it up as a practice, because everything about evolution is it it bequeath, doesn't mind. It is so good at creating healthy habits. So you have thoughts about how we can start to knit gratitude into our lives yeah, I mean that we also have a tendency to want to make Things complicated Laura. It's really simple, especially when your first engaging with create,
that connection creating that automatic turn or remembering towards gratitude for the three its visa free wifi card upon the mirror in the bathroom first thing you see when you go in the morning, you now can have a box by your bed that you throw you write down a gratitude thought put it in that box and then every now and then you can pick, went out and read it. You know the real kind, the simplest dick and because it is until you take it away like a practice like once you take it out like a practice. It will become just a part of being us, but you know these steps and things that need to happen between now and there, so it's not that you will always necessarily have to have a box or three by five card one of the things that I really am. I found helpful in cultivating their practices, music.
Like listening to music, that really resonated in my body that brought forward that fell sense of gratitude and appreciation, and some music is really because it really go straight to the body bypasses the mind being present being present actually support, being in gratitude in else like now, you and I both live on that in the northeast, so the trees are absolutely gorgeous and you can actually take gratitude. I'm like a practice, you could take it online, practice you know, sitting or walking and setting the intention to
remember to sit in gratitude and let that in future the body letter infused heart, let that in future the mine so there's various various practice, various things that one can do from the simple to the more I'm also complicated, but involve maybe that we have to employ- and you know another thing in- that's really a misnomer- I think that we cling to in this culture that, after I've done this for like ten times, I should get it. I should have. As you know, but is kind of like we take a shower every day or any other data clean off. We always have to take a shower to clean off. It's not you don't get clean unless periodically you clean yourself, and so this notion that there is some place to get where gratitude any of the bomb of heart
economically joy, compassion or love is just automatically going to because, where in the world- where, in the world we have little to no control over, what's happening, exe, finally, and we have a nervous system. We have a nervous system that bile physiological nervous system, which is greater reactor response to conditions and challenges so we have to ongoing Lee intentionally cultivate these states. Of heart and mind that are the medicine kind of the medicine to these times to difficulty and challenges, and not be surprised when, when they show up don't waste, your time be a surprise I up ok hard day today, let me see what I can do to bring some balance their work son
in writing, work right right back to moderating expectations. Yeah there was so much in their when you of a name that answer about how we can start to actually get gratitude into our lives. It loved a bit about music. I really see the fact that the war awake- you are the more exe Simple gratitude is because, when you're lost in your own stories, the chair during my doesn't ten toward gratitude. But if you're awake and aware Europe beauty and the light is going to be on offer in ways that they never would, if you're stuck in habitual storylines, and then I guess, the question I wanted to ask is given that you reference it as the fifth somewhat facetiously, I think, as the fifth abroad the horror. Do you think that, and I think beauty already intimated as much, but do you think that the cultivation of friendliness passion
similar enjoy unanimity that somebody that that those culminate in some gratitude. A result in some gratitude is well yeah. I don't know if I use the word culminate. but I definitely would say that create the conditions for gratitude to manifest yeah. I just wanna go back, I say one thing in relationship to the competition were just concluding are bringing to them. Play set. I mentioned, but I might not have mentioned it this definitively earlier, where I might have spoken of little bit about answers tree air. How all of us have ancestors that now the gate and hard places an of navigated them ear with whatever amount, a difficulty. There was navigated them at least successfully enough that you and I have said here today, whatever they had a manage to live ass, they did so that, where here today, because a lot of people are here because ancestors didn't make it
and so one of the places for me, that brings a media gratitude like that just generated in the heart. and in the body is to remember the people I come from. You know not like living in the past and staying better than I'm tongue. My ancestry, but even in terms of like, like you, I come from two parents who did everything to set my life up to win and pretty much that's the result they got, I have to say, I'm bless than have a life. That really is a tribute to their struggles and their attention. And their commitments to arm myself in my brother, as so whether it be my parents or mine. parents, or even further back in terms of the ancestral line, the people I dont, know their names or anything about them, but I know that they survived and do what they had
you long enough, so that whoever the earth ass a was that became the assets that became the ESA, became the S answer that led to my mom and dad, and then me that's kind of like an immediate way that I connect integrated, I just want to show that in their cars that might be useful for some other people, because there is a little bit and in some ways it's personal, but in other ways it's not personal yeah. Remind me of I apologize to any listeners if I've told the story before, but there was a time when I was volunteering in hospice and there was talking to a elderly gentleman who obviously didn't, have long to live, and I was asking about fear- and he said you know- fears kind of gun away. I've entered into a kind of
he's not a guy, who, I think, had any spiritual practice. I believe, is a professor ready. He said he started, Sir, and I hope this is relevant is just what came up in my mind that I listened to talk about ancestors and then I started thinking about you know like we Somebody's ancestors to this guy said to me and I've just kind of started view myself as part of nature yeah yeah yeah yeah, that's what I was. before when I was reminding us that, where animals we are nature, we're not outside of it. Even though some of the things we do when we think we are like the airline control in it or if you just reside there that even a better word, if you just reside there with that awareness that I'll take you far in any of these domains and places that were speaking about here,.
But I had asked you a question about the bottom of the horrors and you gingerly corrected me on culminate, but the cultivation of these brown hers Your view create can do Is that right, fur theorizing guy to that. I hear you're right on that. Yes, it is absolutely, but I also don't think that its necessarily hierarchically linear, that's all but I arguably linear. I think that it's more like you spoke about a helix before or more Why neighing or more circular? That is that, if you practice a b c d thing, then this thing will be the result of that, but that, as you, move back and forth tending to the heart, Cultivating and creating the being this that comes when we can really engage clearly your hearing that one of the domains of Sharm a practice that I love and
I have incorporated as part of the mainstay of my practice is the bottom of a saw. You know this Wisdom is good too, and I am in a menu, but the thing that I the place that I say what I fall into. What holds me is the problem of hers and well why I think it's because for me anyway, personally. the wisdom in the knowledge and the awareness sit here in the heart and not in the mind like this is a true place to me. The heart is a true place tat. I can not be fooled by
the brain, the mind and thick feel all kinds of places, but the heart is true: when you can listen, when you can listen when you can see when you can see- and so I dont think its necessarily that either or is more a fish and or more getting me to the place where I might be, but I really really really do believe in the other peace that you bring far enter the balance, and for so long there's been an imbalance where the and I'm not I'm talkin about as its manifested in our culture, I'm not talking about the practice of Buddhism in Asia that talk
about the origination of the philosophy and the practices with the Buddha, but in our culture there's been a it's it's starting to balance out. I think, but there's been an absence of the feminine, and there has been an absence of the house And that's what to keep singularly or solely cultivating the wisdom aspect of practice. It's almost like it's a house of cards like there's. No there's no foundation there in that, so that is purely my perspective with my colleagues and end at United know what others would have to say about that? But there is an integration of the heart that I think is one of the places where there is real hope for balance. Took we all hope for being able to tolerate or be with the difficulties in the challenges. In a way We do no harm to ourselves here. Y see someone
own practice. I don't know that I can speak for the western Dormice seen overall and whether it's be no had been sufficiently female though, I suspect that that's true personally, but on safer ground when I talk about my own practice, include my own practice. I know gleaned, too hard on like understanding, Buddhism and boosting my own concentration and my meditation practice and making sure was noting that crap out of everything- and it was When I start, I did a couple years of quite intensive Brom of horror work, that he really changed the nature of my practice, who the end practices We don't know right the practice of concentration, the kind of more wisdom practices might have been very useful and setting the stage for what weather to come out of the practices of the heart and really talking about an integrated practices,
when I use the word feminine, I was actually how I was using. It was our relationship not so much in relation to like the female but the energetic of feminine in relation to the energetic of masculine of which we all have old, even if we are some ones that walk in a non gendered place. Those energetic still exists within all of us and it has been out of balance so like The utilization are engaging with music like engaging with nature like these are things that these are places and ways and spaces that wouldn't necessarily fall inside of the current structure of masculine in the same way, and so that's how I was using feminine, like as a lack of balance in the circle as a pole,.
linear, which this room for both believe given value in the hierarchy of the masculine and I'm you spoke before when I said female, I meant feminine having worked a little bit on the ground of the horrors, it feels right to me that developing those mental skills would creep fertile conditions for gratitude, but I am having trouble articulating that would be particular difficulty why that might be something you're putting back up into the interval. Trying to figure it out as opposed to having say that that is a natural organic occur, when that happens, that may not even have access to being able to put out there in words in the way in which your searching to do. If you, saying, that I have a tendency to pop back up into the intellect I'm going to. Second, that
Not just the seven days a week is always a good scale, Gus that new. Where you ourselves let light. Let us acknowledge that our gratitude for the left left look to see how you can ask been doing. I mean I know you do this. I've listened to other pike ass, it you ve done with people, and I know what you know a little bit about what you're stand for, and so you know is bringing the integration of bringing the balance. There is a good thing, but that's not a bad thing. We just just the fact that we think that that's the only true that's the baffling that we think that that's the only to throw that we give that value to their over, other cattle. I got enough, you remember many years ago, I, how long, maybe fifteen twenty years ago, now when the whole arising started being spoken into the culture, about emotional intelligence,
up to for many many years. You know when you and I were little when they had IQ too, like I q it with intellectual iq. Then they start discover all is actually some other things that are really important here. So I think, were kind of way in that domain in terms of the balancing and the awareness of the army and Yang this working together to bring understanding to bring ease or peace, to bring com, to bring gratitude yeah. I was talking to a fellow, wealthy white male the other day. I won't name because I'd ask permission, but he used the phrase and I'm picking up on what you talked about with him.
Shall intelligence. He used the phrase that I really resonated with myself as it I felt I could describe me too. He said for much of his life. He had been an emotional imbecile yeah with under developed But I bet he was really really had lots of muscle than the domain of intellectual. Nothing now gratitude for any recognise there, as I like he's. Those them about it. Yes, again, I will name on, but he's doing a lot and great stone. Alot great It's a worthy, you know it's it's. If you would, said to me fifteen years play Danny want to work on addressing Europe
motional imbecility, I would have said no worse, the closest bar it didn't seem like an attractive project but yeah. It's just increasingly obvious to me that as much as you. Those of us who tend towards the intellect my wanted deny the reality of emotions. Like you nor them to your peril, because they're they're operate and you're either owned by them or you gonna, develop some intimacy, warmth, friendliness understanding, etc, etc. Yeah and even even may be one step further and agendas this occurring to me now, but even like emotions Being another, it array or a power allow less about it.
a parallel iteration, two thoughts cause emotions can drag us into Ville, sorrow, real challenges, and so I guess what I'm speaking too is the effort and conditioning or cultivation of those being states, not anything that is like to me or for me, compassion, love, joy, equanimity are being states there, not a thought, and it's not enough oh shit, there actually states of being, and now when we can kind of hang. there more than not because you know it all work in progress, but when
We can hang out there more than not, then all the emotions, all the thoughts, all the feelings going back to what you had on discord and turns of the worldly winds come and go, come and go, and we can just engage like it's on the conveyor belt and pick out what you think you want to do. Something let it go by much more. My conversation withdraw Williams right after this sting involved has never been more important. Information is coming in us faster than ever. So how do you make sense of it'll start here? I'm bread milky from ABC News. In every week days we will break down the latest headlines in just twenty minutes: straightforward reporting, diner
MC interviews and analysis from experts. You can trust always credible, always solid start here from ABC News. Twenty minutes, every we get smart speaker or your favorite Pakistan, you mentioned that we're all works in progress. I want to ask you a question that I like to ask when I get an established esteemed teacher on the show. Sometimes I like ask this question shout out to my colleague, Jay Michaelson, who is the one who gave me the idea to ask this question, but I'm curious for you: what is the edge or are the edges in your own practice, life right now. Actually, I think the edge for me right now would be.
Moderation and self care in this swirl of turmoil and chaos like this heart really wants to be of help to whoever it comes in contact with whomever but one the town it's kind of like my biggest right now- is really being met, I and commit it not just be mindful by placing it in the domain of an intention and a commitment. To manage commitments, responsibilities time in such a way that I'm, at the end of the day, used up but not fit.
and so I'm doing better, and actually I think that this is one of the by products. For many of us, when we take a look war when we take look a couple years from now to be able to mine mine am I and ii my what was seen as helpful or useful coming out of these times. The pandemic has afforded for me personally and opportune
these are reset cuz I was at you know. I was flying here flying there, fine everywhere teaching and you know I'm also a therapist. I have a therapy practice, just a lot light light light light and there was constant and perpetual fatigue, and so that's antithetical to the practice that I'm engaged with two. What I teach right so why not been doing harm the others, but it was certainly doing harm to me, to be in that state and so really looking at both the day to day kinder daily kinds of ways that I need to guard some possibility for pause and space, but also an that's like a little pause in space, but also the psychological and emotional pause and said
is because, when I do that, when I take the space, when I take the pause, it actually supports me and being more present when I then move forward again or you know yeah, so that think that's the most house amply I've been like you, wind, took a turn. Four years ago I made the I came to the understanding, a conclusion very early that I really needed to take on equanimity. Practice like that was gonna, be the thing that supported me in. Moving through difficult times, not even knowing that this was coming. You know what we ve been dealing with in these last eight months, and that was pivotal for my practice in terms of really bringing that into existence for me so unfortunate.
I I'm force than ever lie gratitude that I don't have a lot of places. In my life there are disturbed that are where there is ill easiness about it, except for this one, an empire that also is predicated on acceptance, you now looking at some of the earlier things we talked about today, is like things come and go days are up and down and not judging them. like when I have a day we're like yesterday yesterday I was on nine zoom and and on that in a little bit, and at the end of that, that's, okay, we're not going to do this again and to make that statement. We're not going to do this again calls for me taking a stand for how I schedule stuff and really being forthright and
direct with people like and I've started. Verbal has now like one of my commitments is to create spaciousness and little bit afraid of her myself. So you know I'll get back to you in three days as opposed to the next hour. Yes, that's what I'm working with that's what I'm working with in terms of challenge, which, in the scheme of things, isn't too bad navy. Now I can see it it's an issue, but I can see why you would have gratitude that there aren't more painful issues, but nonetheless, balance is a huge issue So many of us, and so just to get detailed, you talked about practicing equanimity. Was there a particular kind of meditation? You were doing that you could describe that people that could then do in their own practice. Yeah. You know that's the question. That's asked of me all the time
I'm going to have to actually I'm not going to do it now in our time, but I'm going to have to sit down and dissect that for myself, but the way that I talk to people about that time. It really was a combination of. So you know a lot of the ways that row of a higher practices tat is to use various, is or statements that clarify and bring forward the energetic, the particular problem of horror,
echoing remedy, that has never been so helpful for me, like that, has not engendered for me the realm of a higher as and in particular the equanimity practice, and so I guess I'd say the two ways that I worked with equanimity practice myself. It may appeal to and other mind a mind that isn't so structured and finding it useful words. Sometimes I don't find words useful, so the two things that I did that I will do is you really be checked in and grounded with, what's happening with the by you now the which is one of the practices. So what's happened, in the body in relationship to some circumstance, some situation, some individual. What is the bodily response to that end? assessing if it's a wily response, which is on the scale of not helpful, not skill
for an wise. Then, actually, sensing into a sense of balance, and again using the bodies. I guess the answer to your question is really bringing forward engagement. The body in reading the energetic at any given time and then also paying attention to using The thought is a guy post and noticing, when these thoughts of aversion might be present, I'm her thoughts of arms, Basically anything that might fall under the rubric of aversion, which could be anything from annoyance and frustration to outright rage in relationship to any circumstance, condition or person.
and then intervening or engaging with that fought with our judgment and without assessing that something's wrong and looking to see both the connection or component to the body was there. With that. I actually intervening and almost like plucking a weed out like that thought of aversion that thought of imbalance. Its plucking, that out and kind of reasserting or re inserting a thought of Equanimity and imbalance that China cuz. Here I get them in the domain of non word, because it's really a felt sense. There I go it's a felt sense that gets created a relationship to that thought. But then, after working with that a little bit, it wasn't even a
plucking that thought out and reasserting or inserting I felt sense of balance, but has actually dropping down underneath that thought to see what might be there, and sometimes it was just totally a reaction. Sometimes it was night not anything else. It was just the buys reaction to a circumstance or situation but sometimes there was some other thought that I needed to address, that were underneath there and then engaging with that now there are words: there are verses that can be used with equanimity practice, but they dont work for me. and I can't even say them to you correctly- so I won't without going and getting them, but their offer people that fact a more viable way of engaging, and I think the reason that the word
As for the economically practice, didn't work for me other than the fact that there was more verbiage for me to engage with an utilised was also that it didn't feel to me. I'm not saying that this is true, but it didn't feel to me like relational and for the most part, equanimity practices about relationship to something, whether it's a person or a situation or circumstance, or even some material thing. It's about that relationship that something in their relationship, The in between is causing the imbalance worthy aversion. Just to repeat a backward sounds like where I was asking you how to practice acronym we're saying: look in many of the classical Brahma the horror practices we use phrase it so, for example, the matter or loving kindness, it may be happy, may be safe, healthy liberties, Karuna Compassionate may be free from so
bring in wood data, may your happiness, increase, etc, etc. There are phrases that, with that when nimitti practice, but for That really works. So you listed to ways in which you practice equanimity. One is just being aware of the body as a feedback, and the other is to see your thoughts, to the best of your ability as their arise and did not drown. In them, so much better catch them before they produce a bunch of emotions that might be the opposite of economists. Yeah, let's get you back there. I think I mention this in a recent so when I was on a meditation retreat. Just a couple weeks ago were really encourage to view whatever was and up in our mind as nature. This is a point already hidden this discussion, but for me that just a viewing it as nature, although tiny but very per then I'll seeming horrors of my own mind just a view. Oh yeah
me trying to do a mortgage calculation in my head or me trying to plot revenge on some colleagues or whenever that's his nature, their results of causes and conditions. For me, just that produces equanimity. Yeah yeah yeah yeah, and the nine judgment of that nature. Just the well seeing it as nature, yes, it is lacks. Judge may mean it's right: Europe, move from the cycle of the judgment. It's like others is, of course yeah yeah yeah. That is how it is. That's how it is then it has. No, it doesn't get a sticking if it doesn't get any energy on it. You know so you can, I'm just let it be or again ascertain whether there is some further inquiry or anything that needs to happen there. With that thought right, because it's like the conveyor belt and algae used before some of the things passed by us on the conveyor belt. We do want to pick up and
Don't we knew what to use our natural wisdom to discern some of this stuff? Is he isn't just something we just passing show we want to let go of actual. We do want to pick up and act on it, but if you it was some non judgmental removed some warmth, some perspective he's what allows you to interact with a conveyor belt skilfully. Yes, exactly who is but such a pleasure to have you on the show- and I hope it's not the last time- is there something I should have asked, but that fail to ask. Nothing comes to mind and tells us something you should have asked or fail to ask, and I think maybe not so overtly, but I'm just to understand. or that in our being together, there was wide a bit of the bottom of a higher is operating
In our societies who you are and what you're up to. and who I am- and I am sure this is is so with with many of your guess. Many of the teachers at you engage with, but that's really that is it in action like that is the practice their right there. So that's the only thing I went underscore that might have been the best moment of my day. Bum, very good. The have contribution to that people want to learn more about you and I suspect they will. How can they do that? Unfortunately, I have not entered fully. The world of social media, I'm working on it, but the best way right now is. Can google me or get me through insight, meditation society where I teach retreats or New York insight. Those are the two best places to find me, but
just put in the Williams, and am I seem to pop up so yeah, I'm working on it made me six months No pressure here, I'm it's all good I never want to push people on the social media, lots of misgivings about social media door. I thank you and I'm M, I'm sending you love. Thank you dare take good care. Is then really a pleasure big thanks, who Deronda was really found to have her on the show, hopefully not the last time. Thank you as well. Who worked so hard incredibly hard. To put this show together. Samuel Johns is our senior producer moorish nitrogen is our producers? Are sound designers met Matt from Ultra Audio Maria work, Hell is our production coordinator. We get it this amount of input and insight and guidance from our Tpa colleagues such it then, nay Toby giant plant and lives Levin also, as always big thanks to rank S there and Josh GO hand, might ABC News,
comrades, which you all on Friday for a bonus meditation with Rosy Joan Halifax and now a message from our friends at Disney plus member. Thank you for coming under house arrest, Series returns to Disney plus have been questioned covering kind. This is no place for a child. Wherever I go, he goes experience. The next chapter dreaming or thirtieth away demand a laureate new season streaming October, thirty is only on Disney plus
Transcript generated on 2020-10-28.