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#377: A More Relaxed Way to Meditate | Alexis Santos

2021-09-08

A common problem among type-A people is trying to win at meditation. But the practice doesn’t work like that. If you over-effort, if you try to make something happen, it’s pretty much guaranteed not to happen. What is guaranteed is that you will suffer. Meditation is like a video game where you can’t move forward if you want to move forward too badly. 

Our guest today is Alexis Santos, who has been practicing meditation for twenty years and was a student of the highly influential Burmese monk Sayadaw U Tejaniya. Alexis is also a core teacher in the Ten Percent Happier app and the lead teacher of our On the Go course. In this episode, Alexis recounts his time learning from Sayadaw and shares an approach to meditation that is more relaxed than what many of us may be used to. It just might change your practice.

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Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/alexis-santos-377

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
From ABC this is the ten percent happier, Pakistan, India and Harris again, I don't know about you, but I have spent a goodly portion of my meditation practice Trying too hard pushed push pushing for don't even know what. This is, I think, I'm quite a common problem, especially among Taipei people we try to win at meditation, but the practice doesn't work like if you over effort. If you try to make something happened, it's pretty much guaranteed not to happen. What is pretty much guaranteed is that you will suffer of use, this analogy before, but meditations kind of like a video game where you can move forward. If you want to move forward to badly after having suffered
In this way, for many many many years, I had the good fortune of doing a few meditation retreats recently with a teacher by the name of Alexis Santos who introduced me to way more relaxed way to practice. Alexis is teaching dies highly unusual, at least compared to what I'm used to and while I backed against it at first, as is my? U tendency, as somebody who can be a little dismissive and judgmental I did pretty quickly come to see that elections style is extremely valuable and extremely practical. To put it simply, the guy has changed the way I meditate on that.
I wanted to bring him on the show today because he might do the same for you unless it has been practicing meditation for twenty years. He was a student of a very influential, fascinating burmese monk by the name of cider rotation, India. He is an intriguing character who we will discuss today. Alexis also happens to be a core teacher in the ten percent happier app in the lead teacher of our on the go course, which I highly recommend its filled with. All these incredible free range, meditation techniques are speaking of the ten percent happier app. A quick reminder today is the last day to join me in the TED Lasso challenge, which were doing in collaboration with Apple TV plus, is a free five day, meditation challenge. The goal was to help you practice radical kindness to yourself your loved ones, to the world at large every day in the challenge, I'll drop, a video. drawing on some short clips from the acclaimed tv show tat
so to explain how you can use kindness to improve your relationships and then, after each video you'll get a short but powerful, guided meditation from law Sarmiento, who was on the show a few days ago. That will help you practice. We have just learned in the video too the challenge which, by the way, is totally free, just download the ten percent happier app today, wherever you get your apps, ok here we go now with Alexis Santos, Alexis Santos. My friend welcome back to the ship you get to see it in my class. I think a good place to start probably is can. You just give us some grounding in who is so Yoda rotation. Yeah how'd, you come to know him just for the uninitiated. I want to say sire, die ass, a Y, a D w who which, if, as I could tell it's just a letter you and it's kind of like in in Burma,
It's kind of like m C might account, you know, might might be in front of a name in Ireland and contagion near T J. A an why? So? How did you come to know this? This gentleman? What see what's historian and what's his approach to pray, Sure, sir, site out, who Tasmania side means teacher scientists, maybe people showing say, cider he's a monk in Burma. It is really a meditation teacher focuses. almost exclusively on teaching. Long to Weber, shows up at his retreat centre. whether its other monastic nuns and monks or lay people like me when I showed up and I started studying with him in two thousand and three- I had been kind of exploring the different methods, are met.
Nation, mostly in India and was Looking for a personal teacher, I had hit a few roadblocks my practice and I didn't really have any one to checking with and it is getting clear to me. The value of having someone who is We done their own work and is embodying wisdom, and so, when I heard about this, you Billy young teacher at the time his teacher just passed away. Schuman side are very highly respected monk and had left really side. I would tell you near ass, his principal student and was really just enough first couple years of his teaching, so is really by chance. I met someone who told me about cider, and he had said just this percinet that tell me about side petition.
And his style, he said just a few words and the word that really stood out to me was natural and I knew I wanted to go check out. What is he teaching, because a lot of my practice up to that point had been cut? in some ways anything by natural. I was at times as many meditated discovered trying so hard time themselves up in knots. For me, there is also a kind of a fog in the background of similarly deep discontent that was surfacing, which was surprising, because here was this meditation practice that had been providing such support and I really have found a deep contaminant, I'm a site. I had found what I was looking for, because I had recently
abandoned the lifeline resign in search of something that would could gimme some more meaning, and so is to me that I was hitting these road bombs and what I discovered with sight all was an ability to really relax and open up the awareness to include The whole picture writes all the emotions of the mental states, all the feelings and to do that in a way that was really accessible and really just in the first few could say minutes even of being with him. It was clear I wanted to go down that path of studying. So I stay there for a couple years I ordained as among because I was there and why not- and then that's been my primary way of practicing Can you say a just give us a little bit more detail about the difference between the way you had been practicing meditation before media, cider and then, after you, you'd describes it as being natural and opening up.
Too many more aspects of your experience. So how is that technically, in the simplest possible terms, different from what you had been doing previously Well, what I have been doing, which is in a way the way that many of us first start practicing, which is to bring our attention to a primary object. the style that I was studying, Forehand was to really stay with us, situations of the body or the breadth and really use that as the anchor point, and that is a perfectly good way of practicing its described oftentimes as a progressive practice that the Buddha encouraged the element that I think I was missing and that real sighed over Chechnya starts in right. Up at freind is to acknowledge that how we are looking at that object, whether it's the
sensation might save sitting right now or the breath coming in and out. How it is that we're looking at that is really a critical component of our practice. so beginning to understand that the mind that's working. Is more important than the thing that we're looking at that that we're looking out. We call the object, so the object might be the emotion there were. Having might be how the body feels hot if it's a hot day right now, it's scorching were record MRS, during some of the heat waves. It's going on So those are the objects that we can pay attention to and it's important member that it's the mind that is actually doing that work of now and so often when we're paying attention to and object, we get so engrossed in what it is that we're watching that we forget, even that we have a mind or weed
really gets scale that understanding the nature of awareness itself if we're so focused on the object, a little bit challenging to begin to explore that the whole picture, in the mind as well the mind that's doing the practice. let me just see if I can restated in my words- and you tell me if I'm right, if memory serves you, have dropped out of med school and gone to Asia and gotten into meditation, and the type of meditation you were doing was really focused on the breath or the sensations elsewhere in the body. Right suits quite directed. Then you meet this guy and he has you open up to what ever is coming up in your experience, so can be sensations the body the feeling of your breath coming and going out? It could be whatever emotion is happening or thinking or sites or sounds, and he says, don't get so engrossed in whatever the
object, is in other words whatever it is that you're paying attention to. I want you to pull back and notice. What is the attitude of the mind that is aware. That is very clear. Then let's switched jobs, and actually this is a prototype for listeners. This is a thing you can do your minute, issue which is straight from cider, which is every in a while, while you're meditating ask yourself. What's the attitude in the mind right now, can you say more about why a question, is so illuminating. Show I mean it in a way it points We directly at how it is that we, our living our lives. You know when we choose to do anything There are habits of mind that we are doing it with so conversation.
that we're having right now if you're listening, I cast the state of mind, listening in with when you too, with your family or friends. When you do your work there, all of these mental habits that our plan out and in a way these are the habits that determine the quality of experience that we're having made these are. The habit said will lead us down the path of suffering or of well being so the very simple simple, but not easy as we say mentor. Maneuver there of checking the attitude is really an invitation to see How are you relating to the present moment Are you wanting something to happen? Are you wanting something to stop happening now? The truth is almost
percent of the time in every mind that is on this planet mosaic. The human minds. There is wanting and aversion. So it's not that saying sit down? I have the right attitude, but its invitation to big the recognise why It is so interesting that, even when I sit down to simply observe the present moment, so often I'll be wanting something leaning in and there is little bits of movement of the mind become clear and clean, they lead to some kind of tension. I'm kind of stress and its those movements right become the defilement Sound came a heavy term, but their basically natural energies habits of mind that when we see them. recognize em in through wisdom. We begin to discover that those bits can be like of knowing that the work of waste, that's so that we see a more skilful, more open
clear way of relating to whatever it is that's happening, suggest we add onto that that in a skilful way, particularly we're starting out our practice. It is often helpful, not just throw open the doors and say well I'll, be aware of whatever. So typically, we might still start with things that feel really within reached. Just physical experience of the body right over the body sitting with breathing, but at the same time the end judgment can be their relatively early on that awareness itself is not difficult, and I think this often times is a pretty radical shift for folks to hear you not I'd texted you just for we started, and I asked you if you aware just simple text: are you aware to you and I we dare you very. honestly wrote always so I'm sure there's some truth to that. Then However, we see how easy it is an end.
And daily life, which is where we are all living, we can think how easy it is to get absorbed in the experience that we have meaning we lose awareness and for a lot of folks it starts to experience the benefit but say of taking a few minutes a practice natural desire to continue to be aware, kind of arises right on its own, and Yet we see how often it is the mind is doing anything other than being in the present moment. Knowing something about what's happening, and so it can be helpful. Just reminded that awareness itself is not hard, but we forget right. We forget to simply check the mind or to do something that allows awareness to return. We ve now stay did one explicitly. One kind of in passing
Two of the primary phrases that side I uses as his meditation instructions. I'm gonna try to describe to people how site or teaches meditation and then you'll have correct because I'm sure I'm I'm gonna say this incorrectly. But my the way I took it from you, which is one step removed, but you ve done a lot of study and practice the style and meditation, though, why I understand it is the start up by he'll say: relax the body and then ask you to ask yourself a question with the attitude in your mind you trying to make something happen: a trainer fence, something off like any pain or anxiety or restlessness,
and you're not to beat yourself up for the desire or a version just a seeing. It is a kind of self liberation and then another question might be. Are you aware right now. And what is being known in the mind right now and you just gotta cycle through this. what am I a whereof? What's the attitude in them, That is knowing what I'm aware of, and since then you acknowledged especially for beginners, it's easy to get lost. If you don't have a base of sir Focus for concentration abilities, so yeah, then maybe your pick, a more directed awareness and just be with wrathful a while and then open up. What am I know? What's the attitude, mine is knowing it and it's a little bit less Miller. Look more improvisational, but more relaxed style am might describing it with some degree of accuracy. Nor yeah. I mean in a way- and this is part of the framing of kind of under
standing. What it is that meditation practice all about which is. Recognize that this is an opportunity to develop these skilful qualities of the mind. so we say the skilful qualities of my meaning, those qualities that when they are more and more developed lead to more well being we make better choices. We make more compassionate choices. We in here What is this elusive quality of wisdom Morris? We can think and understand life and more skilful way. So when we think about what is meditation practice, whereas it leading what's leading us down the path of developing the skilful qualities of mind, then we can see that the objects that we're paying attention to
Are simply there or being used to help develop the mind, meaning whether it's the breath, we can use the breath to be aware. We can use the breath, develop stability, but we can also use thoughts. We use, even tension in the body, we can you. is a mine, it's really scattered over time. Any experience with the right attitude can help to develop awareness, stability of mind and wisdom Any experience and the beauty of that then, is we really can stop worrying about getting it right and in a way, get interested in What can I learn about in the past a moment. What kind of learn from this present moment? Everything then becomes something that we can develop. Awareness for
as a part of that hundred standing needs to really be ass on a little bit of confidence that awareness itself is not difficult, so just a quick example. If I were to ask you and for those listening to this point, cast right now. Are you aware that you are hearing? Sudan. Are you aware that your hearing? I am yes Are you aware before I asked the question, always aware? I know you aren't. That's died again answer. As I was listening to you right, but I dont think I was. I don't think I was conscious Lee mindful of here. Yes- and that is the difference between in a way between awareness of that particular expire and now there may have been awareness. in your mind around other objects or just a general sense of being aware
but we can also add in elements that we're not necessarily currently being mindful of and not just a helpful way to explore all right, I've been hearing sounds I've been listening and then. Being aware that hearing is happening. A very simple process hearing is happening if there are sounds, and we have what is called the working year door, so the contact of those rights we get the arising of hearing as the expense Knowing that hearing is happening not hard to do so, oftentimes just to to students. I say in our you whether your hearing does they will want now, you ask that question or do you know the experience of your hands?
you feel your hands, so we ve been really absorbed into something else and the attention shifts to the hands. Yes, then it's available and in relays we really sorry to see that all right being aware, it's not hard to feel the body hard to feel the posture. Sometimes it can feel a little bit out of reach for trying to grab something specific But if we are really learn to relax and simply recognize it is accessible, feel like I'm in the present moment, I'm not lost. I know where I am. I know the physical body generally and I know maybe in general way. The current mood, any of those doorways hang. is another. What we unite, Dana discuss like a tap the swing swing, getting the momentum of awareness going. we have to do a lot of work, but we do need just that. Light touch,
the more times we do. That light touch, that's the end of it tablets meant or the development of momentum rights had said. There's a whole lot of benefit that what we can talk about in terms of- why is momentum so beneficial? But that really is in a way the foundation of how we can be in the present moment and be learning just by way of back story here about a year ago, maybe a little less than a year ago, as a recording. This now I during the pandemic at incredible good fortune of filling out a private retreat with Alexis in a few friends in Maine, and I known Alexis for a long time. But I hadn't been on retreat with him and I didn't know too much about the style of practice out of which he emerged and the way would she teaches, and so I came from
a background of really you either watching the brass or doing loving, kindness, meditation or doing noting you know, even if I wasn't washing the breath or doing loving kindness, I might just do it open awareness where I'm using noting just to notice thinking, or rising, and falling of the breath or hearing or whatever, so it's pretty rigorous alone but ass. Let us all of these forms of practice is a lot of doing a lot of effort in at least two. I was doing it and I shot by this retreat and will first of all does no schedule. We most meditation retreats you go to theirs, there's lab very rigid schedule of get up. You sit for an hour than you have breakfast than they do yogi job. You know washing parts or whatever, and then you do some walking meditation sitting walking sitting walking, setting walking lunch, another little breaks walking sitting walking sitting working dinner. If you're having dinner, sitting walking, sitting walking, sitting working, Dharuma Talk, dead, elected
like a word I really do and that we will get together once anymore, our breakfast, then they'll be nothing in them, will have lunch, then they'll be more nothing and then they will get together in the afternoon and talk which, by the way, was like what we're gonna talk. So to me, it struck me as like: You know robber room, no rules and the meditation instructions themselves were. You know, as I said before, quite a bit different. It wasn't like this set thing you're gonna know everything that comes up in your mind or you're, gonna, repaid repeat these loving kindness phrases or watch every breath. It comes and goes its nose said and or by the way, right out and stand whatever your g check, your phone doesn't matter whatever you're doing at any moment. You can be aware and just check the attitude in the mind and ask yourself: are you aware- and he mentioned this a moment ago- he likened this question of. Are you aware to kind of pushing a kid on a swing tap
And then you let it go cap and then you let it go see. You too have to be an erotic about asking yourself. This question: ask yourself: are you where maybe my full for a few nanoseconds? They? U drift, the while later tat the swing again men over time, when you build up momentum, you don't need to tap the swing as much and if you're getting totally lost, you can go back to a sort of more directed style of meditation of just watching the breath or something and I remember thinking this is crazy and initially really my mind was rebelling against it, and I was remembering how, when I tap my son, sometimes we're on a swing he flies out and then he comes back and usually farts in my face, and so that was the way the waking up was going from me. I would notice that I would ask myself: are you aware, and then I would wake up? Half hour later after having you know, written a chapter for a book
or you know, written some gloriously positive Amazon reviews of past books for myself, whatever embarrassed, single rumination was going on and I would you know, wake in a lot of self laceration, etc, etc. But over time I really responded to this relaxed style, and I was able, after a few days to build up some awareness the day I say anything there that deserves clarification or response, just press something's up to mine action. We must really, I just helpful the always hear you describe the Dan experience of. Reality. We all experience reality differently and says, it is a delight to be energy with you and cure your version of pushing the swaying and having farts land into your face, You know what I it actually reminded me a little bit as to in some ways why cider of year,
emphasised more the attitude and the mind than the object, and one of the reasons why he was doing that was oftentimes He was working with Mediterranean who were arriving at the centre so tight and ten, and striding and feel like they weren't really progressing in their practice. So one of the questions all sometimes ass people, your. How long have you been practicing and they might say while three or four years, but what then, often mean is that I would practice fifteen in its in the morning, maybe thirty minutes in the evening, and then he would just do the math with them like how many hours you awake in the day. How many you being mindful and then how many hours are you not being mindful, and obviously when you
count, those very formal periods of sitting down and practising that's a very small fraction of what is getting developed moment by moment during the day, so if we want to develop our meditation practice so that it feels available and not just something we do on retreat because of retreat is set up specifically to provide all of the conditions for deepening in awareness wise view by the views that we bring to mind that help us to see reality more clearly. So, for example, that everything is changing. Things are natural, says he's. So those message is the environment. The fact that everyone else looks very meditative and enlightened right, so it's kind of reminding us all right I should be doing better than I am. However, it is our mind, produces,
and the retreat ends. If you are fortunate to go in retreat and they are left and with your own mind and your own life. I'd say most people we have a hard time with under standing how to internalize practice so that a truly does bring day by day, benefit and day by day, Prague. and so this is where the more we hear that awareness is available then we can learn from any experience. We don't have to be getting back to some other experienced, that's calmer. We can be in the midst of our overwhelm are chaos our morning if we someone our joy is any experience increasingly can be the base, is for another moment of awareness right so as we develop, momentum is like this. Thanks of the radar
right of awareness at first. It just goes to one object in that's fine. Go to the breath. Guarded sensation But over time, it's as if the radar of awareness itself get stronger and stronger and it receives experience as now Momentum of awareness gets fully established, and this is just nature of awareness, if you keep allowing it to get developed. in a natural way. So it's not tiring. You can keep going you put in these little room hinders during the day. At some point, this momentum starts to go along on its own momentum. So, for example, pick your own. You know habit of mind that you're not that happy with you know it could be a lot of anger.
or self worth stories in the mind, anxieties worries all these, we could say our habits and the reason why they keep surfacing is because, in a way we ve practised them. In by moment and many moments in our life. This mental energy has in less anxiety has arisen, but without awareness and without wisdom. So this is We can see the power of momentum and we don't need to stop these. jeez, but the more we direct a little bit of our mental energies towards what skilful. What's helpful, like awareness, like wisdom that begins to gain momentum There is one analogy that I had shared with you, because there was a light switch sitting right next to me when I was discussing practice with you and your. friends on that retreat and usually the below
switch of awareness that save from us tat. We want the lights, which of awareness is off. That's the default settings. Then we check and remember oh right, hearing right now, or I know that I'm sitting or standing that's a moment of putting the lights which on and its remarkable few moments later click. It goes back off to its defaults, Now, the more times we do that little bit of checking is awareness present. We don't have to be striving with a lot of energy and in fact them in the more relaxed we do it the more available. It feels right because not straining and we're just using a light energy of light tapping. The swing are hitting the lights, which, at some point, that light switch, will stay on more than its, which is off. So that's the nature of momentum, the momentum of away and out of truly is possible in daily life. You know enough
one of challenges that we set up for ourselves as we too much see awareness with sitting still eyes closed or com, like all those are kind of. We think that is being meditative, but actually really meditation is am developing a skilful state of me, and right now, and we can do that even when we are in the midst of conversation or even when we're reacting negatively, but by watching, were now beginning to also develop awareness and insight into the suffering nature of that reaction that we need to do if we can keep getting interested in the experiences that we're having it sort of opens up the possibility of what we consider our path, our practice and it's not just taking time to speak
you're more secluded, which is a great foundation and should not be abandoned in any way and take as much time as you have in and are interested in those more formal periods. Also just to clarify my you made a nodded his, which I appreciate their life. People listening show who have never been in may never go on retreat, which is totally fine and I believe what you are saying is this style of practice is available to you in perhaps very powerful, no matter what dosage of meditation your at so even if you're doing ten fifteen minutes a day of meditation just start tapping the swing through the rest of your life of asking yourself. A little question am I aware, as for the question units are: what's he added to my mind right now? Is there pervaded by doktor, you know wanting or were not wanting. You can start moving toward a life where the light switch is on more than its off I've suing. I think- and I really do think just
hearing the message that is possible in daily life in the midst of raising kids, paying bills in our working in engaging and enjoy and even then whatever it is, there is nothing about the experience itself that precludes being aware, and in fact the more the understanding develops that any experience. can either pull us in and we can get lost in it or it can be the very basis of waking us up. So example. Lotta people never develop much skill around seeing. So if your cited He opened the eyes up in the morning spending whole day, the eyes moving around taking in things that we are seeing a navigating and having Views and opinions about and getting stress, stir it out.
Resonating, where the whatever it is, and yet so often almost entirely it poses into my we get absorbed into the story of it. The experts Of it so developing a little bit of interest in school Are we being aware of? Seeing really can be a radical, change, and it doesn't mean anything esoteric like aware of seeing it simply to recognise. Just like we did with hearing that. Seeing is happening. seeing is already happening, adding in that little bit of a light touch her now that I have mentioned seeing Maybe you are more aware that seeing is happening but
or that lets say when we're not aware we could say in. In fact more hot is at that. I adore Malta is delusion so one for delusion is not clearly knowing something as it is, so just being just seeing everyone see. Yes, but they have the working I door. What if someone actually meditating at that moment is developing an awareness of that function that simply happening And a number of positive benefits come from that mean awareness itself is such a wholesome state of mind the more. We start to observe the functioning of this body and mind process The more we begin to understand the nature of what this experience. Really is about and how much we live. Our lives, clinging and grasping onto what ultimately arduous changing process
is that when we allow them to be, as they are, this greater clarity and ease to live in the midst of the whole range of pleasant and unpleasant experiences, but unaware the mind typically is triggered by wanting what is pleasant and not wanting what is unpleasant and those both staff. And on doing so identified with the experience it we're having. That is, we feel no there's. No other choice. Other than to I'm decimeter care or get rid of anything that we don't like right order, desperately hold onto the things we we do and yet reality is always going to simply be a changing Set of conditions made today is part of our challenge interested in. It is to understand how to live more skilfully aligned with
things are and that's what meditation really offers us. Let me just take a stab at repeating that back too, because I think this is a key point. This practice isn't just about awareness for the sake of awareness, although of course, as you said, being awake and aware is likely to be out of a happier existence than being stuck in the fog of on awareness and delusion. But when the lights, which is more on that it is often more on than it used to be, you can start to see some really useful things, including the fact that everything changing all the time and that when you grasp on the things that are changing all the time that can produce Suffer and once you start to see these non negotiable laws of the universe, you can reorient the way
You through reality, which is that you can. you know slowly slowly bit by bit get alone the better at not grasping not clinging, then that is a huge excel orator towards a more happy calm and peaceful life. Well said: yes, that's right! Is that what I just described here. keep using the word wisdom did. I just describe wisdom. Yes, I do think is an elusive term. You know aside all the way he would describe it is. He would lay Three yogi jobs, meaning three jobs. Unmeditated can do the first one is have right view, which is have wisdom and in the beginning, wisdom means an inch. Lecture way of looking at experience, so you might just remind yourself that went.
ever is happening. Is a process its something that's arising out of condition, some cause and effect process every moment. Right is some cause and effect process we can be aware of it, whether its hearing or seeing or feelings and emotions in the body mental activity, it's a process that we can be aware of, rather than the cell few, which triggers I wanted to be different. I wanted to be assessed, way. So without right view. We remember o even anger and frustration is. Icing out of nature out of some causes. so it helps to have the right attitude. When we remember to bring in this wisdom, meaning right view so just to name, namely three yogi job.
Since I mentioned the three jobs of a meditative surely said these in order to make practice very simple because oftentimes we do too much, but it would say, have rights You sound see things as nature check to see if awareness is present and then develop continuity, which would mean really practice with a light effort, so that. Not getting tired by your practice. So just emphasising the importance of continuity, so right view aware and continuity and leaving a very sick.
because so often were experiencing things, and we can. I think we should be doing more at any time for me personally, that I was really struggling and now it's sort of check in and so often I didn't have right view, which would lead to some kind of attitude where I was really struggling, pushing tents, and so those very simple bookmarks can be helpful to just check and see. You know how my practicing, particularly when yours going or not sure what to do. So. If somebody lifting visa saying oh yeah, whatever amount of practice, I do every day or daily issue. I want to experiment with this style. These instructions are those the basic instructions for day to day practice. Pseudo have right view, in other words, to see that whatever is happening in your mind, is in you per se. It's the result of causes, impersonal, causes conditions, just nature check to see,
if you are aware and then continued it check to see that your, where aware and that continue really seem sperd dungeon put no way. It's reminder that you know the moments is always change. And it so easy to just gonna drift again and then simply return right. Just continue continue who lightly and having some confidence that that will gain momentum in aren't really from side all this is in some ways The Buddha was teaching, which is have have right view, meaning there is a cause and effect process. There is suffering and the ending of suffering, and there is a path right that we can travel down, and this particular flavour is emphasising just bringing
in putting up front the reminder to see experience as nature, because our default is gonna, be seeing it through preference and through identification when women a judge, the unpleasant or cling to the pleasant so reminding ourselves that its nature and then just to be aware, and then that of course leads onward. And meeting on means, as we develop more wisdom as awareness gains, more strength and happy to receive, then you can learn more and more about even subtle movements of the mine. They don't judgments these little energies. We discover in places that we would otherwise just be in the experience and not realising that. Our was being in a way this a puppeteer in the background pulling the strings. and oftentimes its poverty, not particularly kind or skilful,
I want to see them get interested in those habits as well the subtle ones. Much more. My conversation with Alexis Santos read after this. may not be feeling down and out in depressed or like you're out a total loss. But if your stress as high your temper a shorter than usual or even if you're, starting to feel strain and any of your relationships, you could probably use the chance to unload unload distress and get it out. Talk to someone who's completely unbiased about your life. Someone who isn't going to judge you or take sides on anything when you feel like you can't turned a family or friends to discuss what struggling you therapy can help better help is customized online therapy that
offers video phone and even live chat sessions with your therapist. So you don't have to see any one on camera if you dont want to its much more affordable than in person therapy, and you can start communicating with your therapist in under forty eight hours, unload the stressors and get some unbiased feedback. You be pretty surprised at what you might gain from it see if it's for you, this pod cast a sponsored by better help, and ten percent happier listeners get ten percent off their first month at better help. Dot com, slash happier, that's b e t, t e r, HD, lp dot com, slash happier, I wanted to touch on that point that you made earlier about the you're joking about how the retreat schedule was wide open on the retreat that I was leading with you
you and oftentimes, as is that little bit of a feeling of eight assisting us serious retreat like this is. This is just camp here. What's to light it too easy and he had the insights that one gets win your allowing conditions to be more natural controlling as much, but you are just interesting unawareness, you know there's a lot there to see and when the schedule is more open. That say it's more than at times approximating our life, meaning we are choosing, even though, in our daily life, maybe oftentimes, we don't get to choose but bringing awareness to all of those subtle movements. We can see how much of our life is directed by some kind of want, I want to get up. I want to go here. I want to go there and we would miss
inside our seeing directly at those aspects. Are those habits because were so busy doing so sometimes having a little bit more of an open container invites us into being of the sea habits. That word would otherwise miss. What was incredible from me on that retreat was that I guess I definitely had the attitude of this is in a real retreat. This is camp. This is bs so that and then saw a top of having doubts provoked by this be different from things I've done before. I was also, as you will recall, in the middle of a huge real estate crisis that my My wife and I had left. the during the pandemic. We are writing a house. We're trying to buy another house in that purchase by now there were Having now was getting very, very complicated, so I actually had to spend a not insignificant amounts of men. Of the days on retreat.
my wife and lawyers and real estate agents- incredibly stressful. So I was just like this is ruined, but because I'm such a type, a person I was trying to just no matter what I was doing far even a thousand phone try a figure something out with a real estate air, or a mortgage broker, whatever our China Rama. I myself am, I owe my where am I wear just kept doing it pushes the swing And then, when I wasn't embroiled in real estate Michigan, I would practice million informally I buy, took advantage of their not being schedule. I do I sat as long as I can. sitting, and then I took a long walks and has lie down on the ground and just kept pushing the swing, and I was shocked a few days into it. When I I the lights, which was all of a sudden on way more than it was off. I was I was away,
and aware- and I felt like I had felt on quota quote normal retreats and this again I'm a very sensitive to the fact that there are a lot of publicity who may never gone retreat and immediate. Practicing five ten fifteen minutes a day or some days. This is a thing you can do in your daily life and its the best mobility. I try to do, my daily life, I'm not as aware as I am a retreat worm being more deliberate about it, I'm embarrassed to admit, but is scalable, this approach and one on one other thing. I just want to say to the to the sort of rank and file meditate her out there. Who may never do a retreat. Is you know if you think about trying to as your daily or daily ish meditation practice or just experimenting with it. It is. It is definitely true that the or open underactive? What am I aware of style, rather than the government, to pick the breadth and stay on that it's easy get lost? and so you may want to play with
a period of directed awareness where you with the breath for a few minutes and then open up and they go back to the breath? So would you grew with that recommendation. I made at the end there Alexis short, you know, Emily whatever works, and whenever you find interesting, because if you find meditation interesting, if you start to feel the bene, it and you really recognize it is beneficial. Might I really do want stuff for less and I really do want to lose. You know who hit more skillfully, you know I personally and found anything more support, is then bringing these practices to whatever moment I can and we're working with the very deep structures of the mind deep habits, our personality, the book Momentum of our life and identity is a lot less fixed. Then we might assume it to be you. Don't we often just sort of thing Well, that's the way I am and well, the way we are simply just momentum of
the mind arising in a certain way. And again in the nose. There's rots tone if, We allow other rights to get formed and become skilful rights, as we now those to deepen those become the places from which we begin experiencing life right and those would be the right awareness. You know of more and more understanding skill in being with the wide range of experiences that were bound to experience in our living process. And life really does become very interesting and one of things, and I always loved, studying with side who Tasmania is his very deep emphasis and commitment to daily
practice, even though he ended up as a monk in his teacher asked him to stay in the robes before he died. So he decided to do that. He was married. had a kid and all of the insights tat. He ever talks about their insights tat he had when he was a lay person. He talks about being in the dizzy marketplace were You know in his depressive cycles on his twenties and thirty's in the various things that he was going through in just daily living. and so it gives a lot of confidence whenever I hear him talk about it, you know some No, he understood knew was in from for treating deep into meditated zone? It was actual being present with exactly, the conditions of his life and getting interested in the difference between allowing and resisting wanting,
judging versus being aware, receiving and learning from being very interested in how the mine gets caught into struggle around experience and then what happens as some understanding and the difference in when he now really talks about the benefit of awareness He says it with such enthusiasm this he, at least for a while. You can borrow his confidence until it becomes your own. He didn't you can give me get you. I've read a few of his books in and then talk to you about him, a lot of meaning grab himself is counter the near do well of a large company who who have went through stages of depression, drug use, Skype quite tat, really problematic relationship to drugs, for when he was and kept getting sent away to this monk that his dad was friends with ease to practise meditation with a monk remove reference with choice. Men soda and this great meditation masters show your men
took em wanderers ring or as road and and really you know, with very patient with him. Even though you know he would continuously get sent away to the modest. area to study, which way men then go back to his life, either as a school or working for his dad and busy marketplace and then inevitably screw up again and going using drugs or hang around. The bad people may get set back to the monastery in this. My good, very patient with them so must have seen something in him and eventually side o taken. It became a sort of adequate great teacher, and, as I understand it, is still pretty Corky guy. What what's it like to study with him? One on one he's an interesting. I do not just to go back to what you said about through may be seeing something in him and I think part of what he saw in sight attention year was eight as per guy who's. Definitely
struggling with life and suffering a lot and finding all kinds of ways to suffer which we are our very inventive around doing somehow, even though it so unpleasant. We, lots of ways to suffer side are who Tanzania himself with we often said that he would either without meditation he would have ended up in jail or totally addicted to drugs or dead. Are you not prematurely dead, and so he really made use of the practice, and I think part of that was because he We really live life at large and made a lot of unskilful choices. You know- and I think, just to name part of his personality- there's a lot of water Buffalo in Burma, The water Buffalo do exactly what they're going to do, but they're, just if you're in the mud and then walk and they defecate where they are and you're not trying to beauty
I, you know how they come across their just water, Buffalo and the more I hung out with side are his being exactly how he is with such an invitation to not. Be manipulating, not be controlling but to really be with conditions as they are. I said: that's part of the d really encouragement in the Dama in general, but retention year, very skilled at encouraging That kind of flavour of practice from people, because so often whatever we do, we come in with a lot of Judgments we try and do it better. We don't you doing it enough and all of those really are just habits, so we can to begin to notice and over time become more skilful and can actually allowing them as well to be there and is so relaxing and useful. It was almost like the very
First time in my life, where I had truly been allowed to be Just as I am, I didn't have to be any different it didn't I wasn't gonna change. I didn't have a lot that needed, seeing right and letting go of. But in the moment the imitation is You can be just as you are, and beware so, powerful, so powerful, so healing full of love right and yet it's not easy to do, and we often need to be reminded of the possibility to great place to leave it. If people want to find a more information about you where work and we get more Alexis while there is the app Dan that He's out there Thompson happier and then I do not actually do try and support people in their home practice. So that's on my website to search
He my name Alexis Santos. You either, I think, come up with a boxer or someone else. And that other person is me sound at meditation teacher but Alexa Santos start io if you wanna practice together. Sometimes my friend thank you very much for coming on. The show, with great job, really push thanks to him for having thank you too, Alexis consider myself lucky to be his friend before we had out one last plug for the TED Lasso challenge, which will teach you how to practice kindness in your life, including cheers You can still joined the challenge until midnight tonight September. Eighth download the ten percent happier app wherever you get your ass to join. you're listening later and can no longer join the challenge, I might suggest that you go check out season two of TED Lasso, which errs on an apple tv plus Larry.
Show. The show is made by Samuel Jobs, Gabrielle Superman, DJ, cashmere, Justine, Davy, Maria we're tell and Jan point. with audio engineering by ultraviolet audio. As always a hearty salute to my ABC News, comrades, Ryan, Kessler, Josh, co hen, we'll see while on Friday, for a bonus,
Transcript generated on 2021-09-08.