« Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris

#40: Election Stress Special (Bonus Episode!)

In the midst of what some are calling the ugliest election ever, millions of Americans say they're feeling more stressed, anxious and just plain exhausted from it. One therapist even coined a term for this: "election stress disorder." As a remedy, many doctors are recommending meditation. On a special edition of the "10% Happier" podcast, we present a one-of-a-kind roundtable discussion led by our host Dan Harris about best practices for handling stress during the election. Dan is joined in-studio by two meditation teachers, Sharon Salzberg and JoAnna Harper, as well as David Gelles, an author and New York Times business reporter who covers the meditation scene.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Before we start. If this is your first time listening to the ten percent happier podcast a welcome and be, if you like, the showed do me a favor, take a second and subscribe rate, the podcast, and if you really want to hug me up Tellson friends about how they too can find us now, here's or maybe see. There's the ten Have your podcast, I'm dinner? so we're gonna, timely and topical on this episode is it's like an emergency edition of the of the podcast were in the midst of one of the ugliest election, anybody can remember, and people are freaking out. One shrink has even quite a term for this election stress disorder. Here's some numbers from my crack research team, sixty out of American say their exhausted by the name. Calling twenty five percent of american workers say they feel less productive and more stress that their jobs, because of political discussions in the workplace, fifty percent of Americans say the prospect of a Clinton Presidency- makes them anxious. Seven
percent say so for Trump, seven percent of Americans say they have ended friendships over this election doctors and mental health because we're on a country are reporting that their patients are exhibiting symptom, such as anxiety, powerlessness, anger, aggressive driving, increased tensions within marriages difficulties, sleeping higher blood pressure, heart palpitation, stomach problems, and I love this one camp of cleaning, not a problem. I've had as a remedy, many doctors are actually publicly recommending and privately meditation so we ve recruited three meditation teachers to record special, non partisan, guided meditation teachers for people who are stressed out by the election and were posting them for free on the ten percent happier app you can download the app in the apple, app store, and the adaptation will be right there for you to use for free and if you don't have an apple device, you can get the medications at ten percent happier dot com and on this pod cast today we have two of the teachers who recorded those meditations here to discuss
the issue along with a report from the New York Times. You covers the meditations they are share in Salzburg, CO, founder of the insight, meditation society and author of such amazing books as real happiness and real happiness at work, hello, join Harper, guiding teacher at a meditation organisation called against the streams, also works with at risk youth high. I want everybody to hear their voices just so they can Tell them apart as we as we go through this and David Jealousy in Yorkshire, reporter just started a mine was com which is called meditation for real life, right- and I like that, he's a long time, meditate her author of mindful work, which is about how businesses or adapting mindfulness- and I should say for the record there. Other teacher, the amazing Jeff Warren, whose also recorded so meditations for us that will be up on the ten percent happier app but he's up in Canada Jeff is amazing and were actually to have him on for a full show. At some point, I guys after that long production, let's get down to it, sharing we start with you. How do you think meditation can help
what's the name of disorder election stress disorder. Ok, I don't think so. But in the leg with physicians, desk reference or anything at the official but nonetheless you were upset were is eating meditate item. The answer is yes, but how can meditation help? I think politician can help a couple of different ways. one is, I think, when we look at some really painful feelings, I can zairian fear and we have an ability to understand them more so for me, I would say that the worst part of my own fear when I get lost it is, is a certain sense of helplessness. That's the hardest part, and I oh, that from distant in being with fear and come to understand more that's something! I need to do is find the one one thing, I can do not obsessive cleaning and far, but you know maybe it's urging other people to vote, or it
something about something about engagement of whatever kind or just reflection on? What's really important to me, something like that- and I can remember brief because in that country her state of doom fino, anticipating the worst. And bring that. Actually. I am existing right here now that none of that has happened, it's all conjecture and that, if I can breathe, I can come back to this moment Joanna. How do you think it can help you I am. Can I agree with that? I was really reflecting on what happened when Whitey K happened. Like an house, terrified people got by some I hadn't happened yet and how we planned and plodded, and it was really gonna, be the end of the world. You know when that came around, so just really watching how catastrophes in how a timeline arises when we get into any strong emotions
two usually few, turning in some sort of way towards a reality that hasn't happened yet so paying attention to what you know, who you know what's happening now and breath is a great way to do it and and engaging in a reality now that could be helpful versus just getting into the probable and possible disturb pick future that we start to think. As is really gonna happen. It's my failure is fair say it. Yes, in my favorite buddhist term, I should learn from you share and propaganda which mean assigned to the impure ballistic tendency admire the maize, I'm afraid so so we know we have a data point in the present moment. So maybe it's the latest Paul numbers and we just make we. Colonise the future with our concerns, and we we don't that we have some factual basis for but minimal factual basis for it?
you can and many of these cases, that kind of the movie making that we're doing this horror movie making, we're doing is just not very useful and just ravenous crazy, so Davilow Maskew, just as a start, a question I know you're, not a meditation teacher. We ve been doing it for a while. So how does meditation help you when you get anxious about this election? Yes, and one of the specific ways is that the minute the Season has been characterised by so much divisiveness and theirs So much sense of of otherness between be it, the two parties or between otherness between myself and people who don't seem to agree with me and one of these things innovation, I've found, can be very helpful with is by re. establishing the sense of commonality and matter meditation, loving kindness and we have the expert here the table is why, really amazing way of just reminding ourselves that in fact, we are I'll go in through many of these same emotions together, which starts to reestablish like this common
A sign of shared humanity, which I think is very easy to lose sight of this one. A very is that comes up in teaching just like me, and when I have found myself on the opposing side and argument or the table with someone who am. I agree with or even on social media, seen them one. Things have been trying to do is reminds us of just like me. These people have strong views, they may be wrong, but just think if they are going through this too, and that's helped at least start to run, establish some humanity in what can otherwise become this. Highly polarized, almost purely conceptual, in a form of, Jane. I don't even have the words to articulate the way in which my body as experience some of the anxiety, but in that I specifically meditation has been helping me lately, so you you were saying before we are recording that yet, notwithstanding decades of meditation practice, you actually unfriended somebody because of their political views
yeah. They were posting relentlessly on the her side of the ILO and it was provoking at risk strong negative emotions in me and even even use the other training you have for decades as a rule, order and end at you know, within with non partisan, fair reporting and yet on your own social media feed you couldn't about it and I think one of the reasons The heart is because it was someone who I believe Convince myself was you know my my pier not only in terms of you know, someone I might hang out with, but also somehow in in their orientation and political orientation and the the shock and the relentless promotion of their views, which I strongly disagree with. What was it
me erratum me and I'm not saying that the skilful thing to do was to unfriendly. Maybe I should have just muted them until after the election, but for whatever reason that that's where I went with it, so I don't know which social network you are using, but does this person? I know that you unfriended them. I hope not. Ok, do you know you're, not you're, not looking for some permanent schism here or maybe or so it, will be interesting. The next time I see this person in person whether or not we need to have a conversation and and if so, how I can do that. In a way that is respectful. I think it's gonna be difficult back. The teachers now apparently just failed a test. No, no! No! You madame la you prove that that even Hope I really didn't make you feel that way, because I'm, I always just like to point out that you can do a lot of meditation and still be pretty deeply flawed. Hence my old ten percent thesis
Thank you too. You outcome, even if we disagree, political, which we might I still have you share and you have made a career of really promoting a specific kind of meditation called compassion or Mehta meditation, but also known as loving kindness and has called compassion meditation there. Gradations in there and went much in the weeds. But this is a kind of meditation where you really do try to generate feelings of warmth for yourself for other people in your life who were who have been benefactors or close friends and then also for difficult people, and that, of course, for everybody. So in a systematic way envision. these beings and send them a good will. Could this be useful in the current electoral climate? It's fantastic! I go back to David because I don't think you fell
ring of loving kindness from itself. I think you failed at all I mean there's. I ever you'll be fascinating when you see this person again because their these moments when we are more, what kind of lost in a kind of ideological or or particular kind of fixation, somebody another. These moments were. We register, like human being, they want to be happy, just as I do their vulnerable to change, to loss to lifelike falling apart. Just like and just these moments it doesn't mean that you agree or that you lack of what you feel is right or wrong or ino sense of principle. But but there is a real carrying that emerges and I would not be surprised at all if, in that moment of actually coming together should come together again
physically. Thus there is that so loving kindness is not an easy thing to understand, because I think we do tend to confuse it with giving in and sang it doesn't matter. You know what I believe, what I hold really dear. Does this not just position Amity? These are sometimes these views are a very deeply held because of things we witness tuna suffering, we ve seen or were ways we feel we are our neighbours. Are people are unheard and you know the date they come from Reggie play sometimes such as having a view, and you know too to recognise that in some The end is assuming it's very important, and you know it's understand just when you like somebody, and it doesn't mean that you are going to invite them to move in or that you're going to say. Yes, I'm doing everything exactly your way or anything like that. It's not a weakness. It's a tremendous power to have the sense of caring for others.
yourself so you're gonna, you're gonna, get literally go from this radio studio in which we are recording this podcast too, other studio where you ve been record the guided meditation air, the app and yeah, I don't want to put too much pressure on. You could ride him. You may not even know what you're going to do, but I just be curious, as we spoke in general terms, about the fact that meditation could be useful for people who are freaking out about the election. What would what would the concrete advice be that you would give somebody who right now, an intervention as if it were the first thing we do is about punches about proliferation with an imperialistic tendency of mine is to see that we have situation right now and we do catastrophes and we ve cascaded into achieving see. We can real it back to what this is. What actually happened? right now and then no going back to what I said before
understanding the nature of the feelings. It's like look deeper. You know it's not just what's happening right in the moment on the surface, but look deeper into into. What's going on, like as I've looked more deeply into my own fear and I've seen that colonel helplessness, I I come to understand that. That's that's the bitterest part in a way. That's what I have to address, because the rest is just a feeling. It's something that's arising and Ah, if I look at the rage, you know in the sense of division and anger that comes up, and I look more deeply into that.
then then I often see a kind of sense that I'm not seen you know. I have some have been obliterated or my view doesn't count. Gino inside were heaped up around the end, and I really I really put that on my meditation practice that the training just look deeper. Look into your experience. I do find it for me. It I've gone through various stages of stress over the election written for me. It's really about just how low the whole we ve gone and how angry people are and how divided we are its less for me about individual candidates, right now than it is about the overall seen that resonates with you at all. Yet resolute. And what would you tell me to do about it?
I think it's a combination of being able to sit with your feelings are driven to something obsessive cleaning would move. I think I'll probably be driven to let growing up in a ball and try to pretend it's not there. Yet. Will that that's another problem? You know it's like the the movement into apathy or National Association is not very healthy either. So that's why we took about mindful of the way we do. We say it avoids two extremes: one is being swept up and a feeling so that year defined by it and the other extremes, denial and and association and rejection and so being able to be there and connect to the feeling- and I would say again, you know it's like it's not enough to lament and our time like of what we ve of Turkey nobody knows, civics anymore, you now
look it's a tone of dialogue, it's his son enough. I mean if we can hang in there with a really uncomfortable feelings very offers path to one small action we can take an and another and another, and then there's there's a much greater sense of fulfilment from that and from where you probably don't do this, but from Writing. Another furious tweet here now, yeah, I'm a journalist, I know. Well, I don't really get involved in the now covering the cabinet are getting via captive. You know, picking aside but I do as an American have feelings about the nature of the venomous nature of the day. log and how much anger and hatred is out. There are just Joanna you, I have just come from the recording studio where you recorded some meditations for the app about. You know how to how to deal with what is called the elections.
Dress disorder. What what are you advising people? Yeah me when I spoke about there were really identifying our core values in a because there s a way that we can get swept up and sides and identities that really actually might be far from it, where we are and what we stand for and what we actually white so through personal pact s really really connecting to What who am I? What do I want? What do I want to support and be active in? So that's one of the things I spoke about night and I stand behind that because it might mean that we're not on either side so it might mean this election is going to happen, somebody's going to win and then what you know. What is the what's the possibility that comes beyond this one date? This is one name and I think, there's a lot of possibility in there. I think that there's a lot of there's a lot we can do and come in touch with our core values is really important there and then another piece I spoke about was this idea of.
Forgiveness and sort of like David was talking about. These are other human beings. We all suffer. We all want to be happy. We all would like to move forward in a country that works for us and how can we not carry that burden around in a way that we don't really need to, and our hearts, how I mean hatred, an english show, as we ve seen, is not the right Let it go and it somewhat I'm interested in so I'm working on it work not a way not tapped, condone or to accept or agree with, but what's it like not to have to completely separate and disconnect from in a possibly half of the other people that live in this country, but also regional, race and religion, have become parts of this campaign, and so I would imagine I haven't seen any data on it, and I don't know what your hearing from folks you teach meditation too,
Manhattan. I can have a buzz at two: you sharing cuz, you teach you a pretty diverse community, but I would have meant I could see where it would be an in some of the research I've done for this anecdotally hear that there people in minority communities are reporting very high levels of stress over this election and- and I think it points to what you are talking about earlier as its not necessarily about issues that are being pointed to, although some of it is immigrant rights and things like that, but what it is pointing to is watching ugliness arise to the top. We are now seeing people are feeling safer to come out and explore some really dangerous territory that was kind of in the dark before so
as far as I know, with people of color, we're talking about race and engender, and sexual orientation and all kinds of people are feeling very unsafe because their seeing the hatred that exists, that was behind closed doors, and it isn't anymore David, you, you were actually gonna whether ruses were we had you Wanna podcast it you you're, my friend, that's part of it, but also because you're actually doing some reporting on this issue. Had an You started you reporting or what you're finding cages share your early thoughts on this ship, The shameless plug the who collar meditation for real life is click column that tries to very succinctly talkin How someone can take a mindful approached to real specific situations so so far, some of them have been a little whimsical, Having your morning cup of coffee sitting at a stoplight, but
being on the subway using Facebook, exactly what I'm an amplifier shameless buggers its awesome. I just think its awesome that the New York Times is doing this. and in really it's because you and so kudos to you and the times for known you and if I could digress just a little further, it's part of this much more robust suite of meditation mindfulness, offering that the times is now starting to support it launched a few months ago with a guide how to meditate? Sharon was a great contributor and we offer for free, very step by step instructions on how to start basic mindfulness, meditation it in audio teachings by Sharon and another teacher tar brok. Now we have the weekly column, meditation for real life, and then this past week, and we ve virtual reality. Marietta's are again why tv are up with another. Spirit Iraq, teacher Mark Coleman, whose a real expert in nature meditation, so we transfer you just some of these amazing places, so if the elections dressing you out straw.
On your Samsung Oculists rift guidelines or your Google cardboard and transport yourself to the beautiful ocean and listen to some mindfulness meditation, there One of the things you're gonna have to address in the coming weeks is how be mindful with the election, how to be mindful in devoting voting so indeed join, and I have started emailing back and forth about what a mindful approach to voting it be an end rather than me. Try to paraphrase I'll kick back to Joanna Fur, for some instructions on how to actually bring mindful attitude to the voting booth into this really weighty decision that many people hopefully, everyone in this country is gonna have to make and its it's a pivotal decision, and I think it brings up lots of serious issues about one's own personal possibility about civic engagement and enough those who try to think through a buddhist framework some time- and this is determined action, its body she debts. How do we actually pray?
this in the world and at this mode that means voting, but what social, joint I've, what it? How do you? How do you vote yeah. I do that mindfully in from from this sort of meditative flesh Buddhist perspective, I guess it comes down to being informed because there's some, maybe there's something that we can agree with, but it's so not only about the president. If there's other things that were voting for others, other values that we are voting for I'm all about grassroots, I'm all about making it happening in our community, making it happen where we can and some time, the main when we look at the mindfulness practice a lot of times, I like to put things in categories of what can I control and what can take control sorted before looking at you may be the first noble tooth of suffering, its old age, sickness and death is a given. And then we look at the idea of while what is in my jurisdiction,
and there are some places where I've come to the end. Standing, and I hope some of my students understand that where we their places, we can't do anything in their places. We really can, and so putting energy and to those places, seems really important to me of the Buddhist spend a lot of time impermanence? But this may be a case where impermanence is your friend because known on November, eight is gonna, come and go. It's gonna come again, absolutely and then what exactly it's. Not it's not the end. We don't know how this is going to affect us and I'm actually honestly happy to see some of the true idea. These in colors in our country has now. I know where to go, and I know where not to go, and I know it needs to be worked on which your view and what were discussing before about impermanence, I said you're going to say that the whole
next administration will come and go about extra right, not just the days. I got a nice enough to watch those things anymore. I do think Their joint and I were doing were taping a some amazing course for the ten percent happier app yesterday on something not related to the election, but one of the few we had a little audience. They are one of the people in the audience was saying it he's found himself to be sort of addicted to his. You know, hourly dose of outrage by checking use twitter feed for the latest thing in the election. How would you what would your advice beat about serve mindful consumption of election related information? I think it needs self monitoring. I mean you know understand that, like blowing out and in just being overwhelmed, is not going to help anybody in and it is addictive inside of it. It's kind of a discipline is like saying: well, I'm only going to do
Smart sure, her, whatever our when I do it, I know it's gonna, be overwhelmed, then I am then gonna take five minutes unjust, breeze or something, But I think it is very interesting that prospect of of the knife at what is your candidate loses and your facing an administration that you really didn't. We to see happening than then impermanence relief. Is your friend gathered It is also something about rising up out of, like hope and fear and hope and fear, open fear attachment needing to be a certain way and aversion detached from the original text revision. I'm having a sense of your values and the things you can do and it doesn't always have to be in a kind of vast
general way. It might be. Your neighbor, you know, might have something to do with how you and you take care of your neighbour whose going downhill or something and whatever it it. It could be that we forget how we talk to people day today day. Also, figures, not just in these sort of, like hyper manic intense sooner overwhelming times, and that would be a good reminder for the night. You know you well one of the many things I like about you about the about the foregoing is that. You really framing this election, which a lot of us are viewing through a route kind of negative in difficult lens, as a great opportunity to practice their just so much grist for this particular mill. yeah well I mean especially if you, if you are devoted to something like loving kindness practice, your color up against the USA. May
stall beings be happy here. The fifty eight immediately like to leave out One of the reasons I think this is so charge is because we're not we're not ruling for our favorite baseball team. Here, is reflecting on my own unfriendly. In of my friend, and realized. I was trying to just think about what. Why did I really do that and one things. Ass, I sat here is I realized, I the opinion that he is promoting and supporting a candidate and by extension, a policy and a platform that in this is human suffering and that why it's so tough for me to decide to to bear that in mind. Suspect he probably feels the same way on the other side of the ILO and and when we get to that level of
I actually believe that what you are doing is gonna have significant the harmful impact for all sorts of people and issues and it's gonna really extend the realm, of human suffering on this planet. It. That's not, so easy. Just you know, I'm TED away Well, nobody is talking about meditating it away. Here were just talking about meditating its emit using education is a way not to letting yourself get so carried away, of course, but I guess I'm trying to make the point it is It's it's a more intense or a personal suffering, then being on a crowded, subway car. Yes, yes, yes, no are you I do China. On the on the issue of of Davidson Funding, you one of your specialities is buddhist ethics, which saddle dry actually, but is incredibly interesting added. No, not at all is basically about like how do you use.
I find this in a way that impacts your behaviour in the world and treatment of others and one of the precepts or guidelines in that that's talk about in buddhist ethics is something called right speech and speeches really tough area to apply mindfulness, because we're causal just pop and often relationship to the less than to the thing, the person said or were not listening and just planning our next brilliant retorts or interrupting people, etc, etc. So, I guess it to have a question which is you know in in talking about these issues? What, if I'm in a marriage where my spouse has an opposing view? How do you talk about this? Recently? and then how do you talk about it on social media when the filters are all gone and people? You know you can't actually see the face of the person you're talking to
I mean I really like to consider myself a diverse person and an open minded person, and it's easy for someone to say that when everybody agrees with them right, I'm super diverse, I love every ready, especially those that are on my side, and so I think that in a in terms of. listening and being in a real relationship with somebody or the world, is a certain level of curiosity where were actually having too deeply listen, bs finding, as I actually want to know. What's going on for people who actually aren't like minded to me, I'm curious. I want to hear what they have to say and I want to hear it in a very and is open hearted way, as I possibly can, minded whatever we want to call it, and I find that by me connecting to my personal mindfulness. My core values, one,
and the strength of my practice is good enough, where I'm not shaken not easily, so I one of the things that we begin to do as we cultivator practices, we cultivate a lot of personal trust. We can trust ourselves and not lose it right like. I can trust myself that I can't get yourself ok, so so we cultivate- we grow right and an end one of the things I have learned as I have a level of trust, now self Trust and what that allows me to do is to actually deeply be with somebody else, even when they don't agree with me, even when they are totally different, now What happens in the in the eyes. It's been really hard for me to watch. My black brothers get assassinated. You know in the last year it's difficult, it doesn't mean easy? I have a hard time going. Oh yeah, I understand that happening to understand the cult,
from the social structure and the conditioning and all of those things that got us to this place. Yeah, that's how I can use my awareness. Attire can widened my view, your guy you're, all that and thank you for all that for those of us who don't have the trust that you described in having done that, the breadth and depth of practice that you have what any blocking in tackling basic advice for how to have a conversation about this stuff without going off the rails, both I our allies as the kid say and on the internet yeah I mean I have a lot of friends right now, her just going off a facebook they're just not on now they're, not on twitter, because our finding its not helpful. All it is, is agitation it's now, informing them. It's not making them wiser, it's not making them. You know if we just sit back and are only getting irritated recalling yourselves activists were re posting some think minutes, Ito inflammatory.
my recommendation as yet be active and actually do something like move into the realm of where you can actually be helpful instead of joy. Getting irritated, it doesn't actually help. So that would be one piece of advice is: maybe if you know that right now it's a good time for you to be on social media, then maybe not and stay of conversations with people that you really love and care about. That might not be useful right now and what are the basics of of rights these workers, through you have given it a great stick on this. right? So? Is it true that many of these These are the filters on core, so rights right speech should be. Is it true? Is it useful is timely? Is that kind and is it gossip or slander, so really
The intention to why and when its necessary to talk and the only way, can pay. Attention is not through our reaction and not the habitual stimulus it. We have to pay attention through sort of the film, and send sir of witches are mindfulness, so This is a really hard thing to do so. Well, how do we even begin? We, then, by putting time in on the cushion right, because what we're doing air conditioning our mind to see clearly when something difficulty arises are when something fantastic arises, and its, if we're conditioning dislike, were conditioning or learning anything sport an and instrument a new language, whatever it is we want to learn how to do for the first time. We have to really practice, we do it and we do it and we do it until it becomes. I'm kind of second nature, or it starts to get easier over time. So patients is a big part of the sea. No, it's it's a timescale.
We really need to put an effort into really ree Ray Conditioning de conditioning, maybe Alden, not so helpful, halbert patterns. a working on an errand. What would you say, I think this is a real issue in many people's lives, I was right now we're. How could how can you? U use, perhaps even just a nascent meditation, Practice for those of us renewed do in five minutes a day, maybe to help us in relations, one on one was someone who disagrees with, maybe even our spouse or partner, or
on the internet. Where, were you know just type in a way and again as act as I keep saying you know, the filters are often gone because you, you don't have to deal with the immediate emotional ramifications of seeing somebody else's face. Who, I think has actually you know to pick up on China was saying I think, there's two different scenarios, cousin the internet. You can say the clusters too high. You know, like look, what's happened? My body look at the level of agitation I met. I had slept here up. I've got my the amendments I have to finish in whatever she's referring the baggage he's had a books, I've been trying to fight for a while just finished. I did when they too many to paragraphs to end our right
I gotta get off the engine. For God's sake, Persepolis appeared as those they get, so in others. This is the level of choices that comes from self awareness like I am trashed in others. This may not be worth it in meaningful relationships. Relationships where you know we need to continue. The relationship is something else. I think it has to do with kind of mindful someone's motivation like what are we really want like? What would be the outcome that I could he's, an oblique seek out of this conversation right now? It's all I wanna vanquish them, so I want to be seen as right. Do I want a resolution, though, want peace like mutual respect, and it's always useful to see ones, motivation which you can it doesn't take endless unless endless practice to just kind of flip. Your awareness to that
because that will make a big difference in an awareness of your body mindful the body is a great set of clues because you can the agitation arising not after you responded or youth, you know Just yelled out some recent Minos amounts are, but when its begins to emerge. You can feel it and you can recognize. This is like a danger zone You know this is the place to suffer healthy and from which to continue this conversation I often described it is like an inner meteorologists yeah is unity in the middle of a conversation, and then you know. so what there's a hurricane it's about the mignonetta Voluntary and then maybe I should say something polite and extricate myself or take a pause or whatever David Newton, we wouldn't we were emailing in advance of this. You wanna. Thank you, talk like that. That was really interesting. Is that isn't it kitchen in buddhist circles between a sort of a detachment and engagement. Can you just hold forth elopement on it,
it's just what I was thinking about right now and do something Joanna had prompted me to recognise that may be in those moments. When I'm, encountering either someone I'm close to or a stranger who I am sensing that real disagreement with the the appropriate of action, isn't necessarily to try to vanquish them. It's. Perhaps this situation not not even to necessarily engage if, if Joanna, instructed us that you know take action. Yes, but that does not necessarily mean trying to convince someone that the wrong there. Lots of other ways to take action in the context of an election cycle. It could be registering people to vote it could promoting issues you care about, be it in a women's rights or climate change or whatever might be solely the basis of the importance of that issue. this context, perhaps its ability, if the real policies, are pursued to reduce suffering
rather than personalizing insane it's this candidate or the other candidate, which I think is one of the things that made this all so personal and who charged is weave conflicts? in all these issues in to individuals and this case to you no income, we charge into highly controversial individuals which make it very the call to actually see the issues for what they are. If you will the two least popular presidential candidate in the history of Poli, indeed an end so it may be taken. Action means yes, engaging with the electoral process, but but now necessarily on behalf of the candidates themselves, would of it that way. Is. I do want see the thing that I was realizing. The other way I've been using meditation over the last several weeks in particular, is pursued. pleaded to just stop thinking about the election actually practicing on Twitter alley myself, I mean just in it.
Almost self medicating had aware is not exactly who is both to meditate, but it feel good to just big time and be mindful walking in nature rather than like bashing, my head against the screen. Reading the latest outrage on twitter and that has actually been a useful way for me to just cultivate. My own, well being, is just that the beauty and simplicity of basic practice. We have it in its own right. On its own. Not even in relation to the election cycle has been very restorative. What just let me just go backwards: The thing you are talking about an hour email which, as you know, in buddhist circles, historically there's been this. this tension between? You know the, and we now have this movement of Engaged Buddhism, but which it really interesting at our. I wouldn't claim to know much about it, but
There are other Buddhist who like live in a cave and are really engage with the world. What would your thoughts on that I think, you're right to say that, certainly in this age and I'm no expert either there's, I think the appear recognition that we live in complex times and those of us certainly with the position, the to influence, friends or the media, have a response Kennedy, and I was just come back to the framework of. Are we doing what we can to reduce suffering when we have the opportunity to end by engaging. That's that's the way we can start to. You know essentially put our fingers on the scale. If you will wear as I mean I remember one of my first teachers, I was when he at the time I was in India and I was very swept up and kind of in talks, aided by the romance of the monastic culture, and I was like maybe I should state that is a good idea and he said you weren't.
born in India? I gear, karma is not to be a monk, your karma is go back and do your thing in the United States have remedy for the New York. I think so I think for those of us here who are in the lady in the world, but do also try to engage with this perspective yeah there is an obligation to find the ways in which we can do our part to participate civil society, civic society, but again go back to what I was saying earlier may be away? I haven't thought through this terribly well, maybe more skilful way in a highly charge of action like this is to focus on issues rather than personalities. You have a one year old in a two and a half year old, neither of whom, I would guess, is super engage in this election Norris. My one and a half year olds mostly engage with his daddy finger
videos on Youtube. You, however, have Joanna you, have a seventeen and nineteen year old and is so. I just wonder what your thoughts are fur parents and how to deal with all this. Your kids are a little order. You don't have to really monitor their media and you can't monitor their media conception, but but generally speaking as apparent when your thoughts but how to handle children in this environment lot of communication, a lot of discussion lot of surrounding and supporting them with people that they can count on and that were not only seeing the devastation inside again. being them involved having them be a part of a positive movement and even That just means you know doing something locally, so yeah really bolstering effect
clean out, bolstering sort of a wholesome, the skilful, the positive, though the ways and things that we can do versus pointing to the negative and hopeless, because it's out You know I mean we can find it anywhere in any way that we want to, and just making that the primary thing that's happening. Well said What are you doing about your own media consumption and social media consumption? Joanna? I'm not big on. I haven't really been begun on. I'm not an instagram or twitter. Any of those facebook guess my big thing in pretty irregular, so yeah I mean that
Firstly, at I'm, just not on it that much, I'm not that interested! You know I was a gossip when I was a kid and fit just feels like a bigger away to gossip when a bigger way to spread lies in a bigger waiter, be disillusioned and enough. Is it true, like isn't even true or hearing so yeah? I like to try to stick to factual information if possible, and yet I cannot on it that much is used. The group leaders I oppose the near, I confess here I have the luxury, the privilege, thanks to the New York Times of taking paternity leave for five weeks. Late in the summer and I really disconnected I'd. I deleted all social media after my phone I checked email very regularly and are based We hung out in nature with my kids, and it was a profound and beautiful experience and since I have returned, especially in the last month, I have become completely addicted to Iraq
the news in a really unhealthy way, which is why I would say in a minimum of having two be even more dedicated to practice. Since play, because its away from me to turn it off and its power for a moment our relationship with the news, in a way that I haven't had a long time and and I'm working on it, but rabbit revenue, easy answer? There are predicted to a two minute caught a minute bits, but it's my job a but be even when I'm not working. I'm constantly. Looking at my, you know that we might, you may be because we just Eddie BC within within the building, which is constantly emailing, who we reported on the field or consular gathering information. Some always look at that. Looking at my favorite websites, certain ABC News and the New York Times and and yeah, but I found a meditation, actually is quite useful. You know of him. If I, you know, that in turn, all meteorologists that I mentioned before, that I feel myself,
enervated and sometime they too have a bag of popcorn and sometimes you just let it right you know, but if we feel ourselves In any event- and I do I mean I have enough self awareness to to notice that I body does not like the way it feels my brain does not like the way. I feel what I'm doing this, and I still do it like this. Place you know for what this venerable today No, I'm a high up in her Maya's once called sharp moments, many times in adults. So I must like drop the the phone and go sit for fifteen minutes. But this is a moment to take three breaths and just stepped back in to get a little perspective to kind of return.
Body and those feelings of discomfort might even more acute but they're they are so why not feel them, and and then you have a choice, come from different place, sir, I think there's a lot to be said about the power of just short moments. Times, because the maybe even if you haven't, is just five minutes. You may not feel you have five minutes of that particular moment. Tests have a form of dedicated just ass a thing. It's great. The ways practice is not as a sort of or a lesser to think. You know take him away from with, and these are things which I too have objected to so you there three Alex's with Joanna everything you do and internet oh, but I think it's it's that sense of relief or or release also registers. I look at this. In I'm not
on the treadmill are not doing the pity I must say that I usually do for the sense of satisfaction, and then I think if you take a short moments, a new and you go back to it say you also have some perspective. Is so interesting like What am I looking for legal acts, and I want to know something for anybody else knows that like? What's that, you know, I think that, because of helplessness, it really is dead. I feel like the information, is an antidote to the helplessness. Ok, sir. That's a tremendous inside that brings us back to what we're all painter returning to is like. Let's look at that feeling of helplessness because that's a big problem, and that leads to withdraw and apathy and in a cynicism not kind of thing. So what can I do so that I'm not just buying into that feeling of helplessness
it may seem like a very small action, but it's important it's important to identify and it's important to do I love what you said was short moments many times, because we can't just hurl arson under the Lotus position, every time I get annoyed, you know what we can get you. You got to be able to do it right there right then. So maybe just like a deep breath or or just noticing that you are breathing whenever you get triggered, can can give you perhaps ten percent more of a chance, it's a very interesting number. Yes, I don't know where it came from, Give you more the chance desert, comport yourself in a way that you would later be proud of. That's right! That's one thing I'll say about what we all can agree is a difficult election season. It's nice to have good friends to go through it with so Thank you very much for coming and really appreciated, and I just reminder everybody that will first, while that that David going to continue to cover meditation for
eleven the New York Times, plus he has this amazing guide for beginners, read up there on the site and a year to see some from him. Some coverage about elections stress as well, and you can get the free guided meditations, unlike had a right, the ship internally on the ten percent happier app from Joanna from sharing and from Jeff up in Canada, without bringing it canadian and would give us some sort of balance will see how that goes, and- and if you again, if you dont on, if you don't have an apple device, you can get the God imitations on ten percent happier dot com thanks again for listening is always makes him for ever ready for participating. If you like, what we do, you can made us review S recommended the people. We always love that and will see an extra good luck and films, breathing paying people.
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