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408: Can You Handle This? | Tara Brach

2022-01-03 | 🔗

This is the third episode of our Getting Unstuck Series and we’re kicking off the new year with a giant in the meditation world. Tara Brach holds a PhD in clinical psychology and has been practicing and teaching meditation around the world for more than four decades. She is the founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington and the author of numerous books. She’s here today to talk about her newest, which is called Trusting the Gold: Uncovering Your Natural Goodness, and features illustrations by Vicky Alvarez.

Tara’s argument is that we too often get stuck in what she calls a “trance of unworthiness,” spiraling into negativity about who we are and how we are in the world. That’s the bad news. But the good news is that we all have an inherent goodness – what is sometimes called “Buddha nature,” and what she in this book calls “the gold.” 

In this episode, Tara explains that the boundaries around what we are willing to accept in ourselves mirror the boundaries around our own capacity for happiness, and she offers actionable tools for expanding our ability to accept. She also talks very bravely about how she’s done this work on herself. 

Join us today for Getting Unstuck – our free 14-day meditation challenge, over on the Ten Percent Happier app. Click here to get started.   

 

Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/tara-brach-408

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This is the ten percent. Have your podcast Andean Dan Harris everybody Happy New year generally around the new year. The kind of programming you get from the media is pretty raw happy clapping new year, new, you and so on, and I say this as a guy who spent nearly three decades in the belly of the beast as an anchor man. Today, though, we were to take a pretty deeply different tack, weren't attempt to what may be the most bawler psychological, slash, contemplative move available to stare directly at our own ugliness. All of us have things we do not like about ourselves: rage, sadness, selfishness, slow, hatred, the odd shudder, inducing glimpse of our own capacity for prejudice whatever we all have our own bespoke mix
Generally, we handle the difficult aspects of our personalities in one of three: habitual ways. We feed them flee them or we numb out today we're going to try to do that classic buddhist thing. The fourth option of trying to look at our demons, with some clarity and even some warmth, we're taking off new year with a giant in meditation world. Tar Brok holds a phd in clinical psychology and has been practicing and teaching meditation around the world for more than four decades she's. The founder of the insight meditation community of Washington and the author of numerous books, she's here today to talk about her newest, which is called trusting. The gold and features illustrations by Vicki Alvarez Taras argument is that we too often get stuck in what she calls a trance of unworthiness.
spiralling into negativity front of my calls, this the toilet vortex about who we are and how we are in the world at that's the bad news. But the Good NEWS says: tar is that we all have an inherent goodness, what is sometimes called Buddha Nature and what she in this book calls the gold. Hence the title of her new book: trusting the gold freely admit something to you now, and I also say this to tar any review a not to ago. Version of me would have had a pretty our time swallowing this second part of an argument I certainly still got some of the incurable sceptic in me. Maybe five that might mean family conditioning may be part of that is just being a journalist, either way if Euro sceptic, if you can, as I did, try to suspend any resistance. You might be feeling for just a few minutes. You may well find that the Torres, advices actually extremely compelling and very practical in this interview sheets
at the boundaries around. What we are willing to accept in ourselves mirror the boundaries around our own capacity for happiness, and she offers actionable tools for expanding our ability to accept. She also us pretty bravely, in my opinion, about the work she has done on herself. In this regard, I should say that we put this interview with tar for two reasons. One is that, as I said, she's a giant in this field, the sort of person where has earned a permanent spot in our guest rotation. She's always welcome here. The second reason, though, is that we are, as you may know, in the midst of our new year's series here- are the pie cast, which this year centres around the theme of getting unstuck our hunches. That Taras message fits pretty squarely into this theme. Of course, we don't all have the meditate experience of a tar brok. So if you are feeling stuck in your own meditation practice or if you ve tried repeatedly to start a practice but have not been successful, we have just the thing for you.
Free new year's meditation challenge, which is also called getting unstuck and launches today, you can find it over on the ten percent happier app if you haven't done one of our meditation challenges before here's, what you should know are challenges are among the most popular things. We do at ten percent beer and our new year's challenge is the most popular challenge. Here's how this free challenge is gonna work. Every day for two weeks you watch a short video and then you will take part in a guided meditation to help you establish or kickstart or deepen your meditation practice. you'll, also track your progress, so that you can actually do the meditation rather than just thinking about doing it. You could do this solo or you can invite your friends and family to join you in the challenge. You can track one another's practice. You can engage in some mindful trash talking about that. Your homework
will be the ten percent happier app download the app right now, wherever you get your apps to join the getting unstuck challenge for freight? Ok, we'll get started with tar brok right after this. Dar Brok welcome to the show, my pleasure Dan. What do you mean by trusting the gold. There. Different languages for could be trusting here, nature, but a nature. Trusting the goodness sacredness beauty that lives through all of life it has that domain. I don't feel this way now, but I can interpret it back to the me of fifteen years ago was on And in pretty much every way, and also very, very sceptical that guy what I heard, what you just said and said: what does that even mean? What do you say to
people who are new to contemplative endeavours or just irretrievably much as I am and find that language short of hard to penetrate yeah. So the typically we are identified. We take the who are to be our person our bodies, how we learn how much we succeed or fail and things and so on and trust. the gall means to trust a deeper of our being or deeper expression of our being and most of us she no matter how much were stuck in a kind of on ourselves, cells are caught in a small place at times, feel a sense of love and at times feel a sense of wonder at times- feel a sense of tenderness when other people are hurting and those qualities. when we feel them, they feel more like home
Then, when were caught in a smaller place, it doesn't mean we don't get caught like a huge amount of time. but there's some, I don't card, if verges deep, felt sense that this is more HU I am or who I can be. That's the gold and learning to trust that that who we are and that's our potential actually brings it forward more. So we made walking around with a story of I'm not living up to my friend and Instagram or beyond ashamed for the things I've done in my life, for my failed at my career door, whatever were walking around with some story or stories about how deficient we are
same well actually notice the times when you know often come taken by surprise? When you just see, I don't know a cat bathing in sunlight or a nice sunset, or you do something kind for no reason other than that. It just feels good in a new impulse arose on contrived in you in the moment. Those. little glimmers, which you might overlook, that's actually real. Who you are. You should trust that that's right- and I would say there are two pathways to trust in the golden you just name. One of them, which is we have the snake fifty by us, and we fixed aid on what's wrong and its on purpose. To look for and remember the goodness, the Her pathway is to go ahead, and deepen our attention to. the feeling that something's wrong to wear were ashamed, where we're judgmental, where were unforgiving, and this takes training, it takes real practice but stay with those feelings in a real semantic way.
and bring as much gentle ass, an presents as we can to them and what happens is in the process of being with a sense of deficiency start sensing There is a little more space. and tenderness An awareness that really I feel like all so, those mentions of my being? Are here? They start emerge, in the process of being present with what feels wrong, and I often theirs story. I tell you are familiar with that. I'm sure, but just to remind you are all the listeners right now and at that, of this clay plaster statue of the Buddha that lasted for centuries was revered and then, in the nineteen fifty days when one monk color the delight in a crack. Has there been along drought, wet shine back with the gleam of gold and they ended up taking off what
to be coverings only and its theme largest, solid gold statue in South EAST Asia, and what interest about the story, and I find it really help and remembrance is that them I believe in and historians confirm this that the staff, virtue is covered over to protect from invading army is that it might be desecrated, stolen or something more in the same way there, we cover, over, are an eight purity to make it through a difficult world. and whether it's because our givers or not caring tuned? They were abusive. They were neglectful or whether it be we're all in a society in some way, is plagued by addiction, consumerism, messages that are really demeaning, for many who are non dominant groups, but ever the reasoning,
we end up having to protect ourselves and the protection takes the form of what we often we'll call our egos strategies of being defensive, are being aggressive or trying to prove ourselves. Sir hitching arson, soon inflated special sense or sell far even hidden ourselves to a bad sense of self, so that we can try to be the person we want to be, but we have our strategies and what happens in As for the suffering, a stand is that we take our cells to be those coverings. The ego- and we forget the gold. and I'd, say a whole lot of e R. One whole way to think of a path of waking up a spiritual path. Healing path is there. We recognize your coverings. We learn to hold them with kindness,
and we remember reconnect with a much more whole sense of our being this there's real freedom, and that this is the identification you're talking about for that. I may notice that I have certain purse reality traits defence for I am back in ten toward the obnoxious, I'm speaking about somebody else here. Of course, well, whatever personality traits. I notice about myself or one notices about oneself, and we feel, as you said before, that that's the whole story. I think you described before, and I think it may be worth. As the Tec Bro say it might be worth double clicking on that a little bit the meditative process through which we can kind of disentangle this, where you can said and in meditation and make,
these stories make the are ancient armor make. Are self loathing the object of our meditation under that kind of mindful gaze, it can fall apart in some way, it won't seem so solid, it might describe as with any degree of accuracy, exactly right and I'll. Give you an example from my life. I, when a lot about the about of unworthiness witches identifying with the coverings a sense of deficiency, because I just become a master, paying attention to others felt so strong over the years and when my husband when we got married and he moved down here. We first together, I was really athletic and healthy and within couple years- and it was not because he was add from within a couple years. I did a kind of a downward spiral and became
unable to do all the fun physical outdoor stuff we used to do and, along with that big much more irritable, much less patient more reactive. Just like of a nice person to be around- and I remember spiralling into a real chance of unworthiness around it. So not only am I a bad patient and I'm not being a spiritual person. I'm not handling this sickness well, but also not an appealing partner, and so it was very deeply ads today, because it is the whole sense of this still want to be with me and I remember bringing the practices we're talking about which are really mindfulness and self compassion to that and feeling had sense of unworthiness, which really went down to unlovable. Just felt unlovable very unappealing miles version projected outward and I
how to feel it in my body, then I had to feel that twist my heart, I'm gonna know it well and that kind of empty hollow eighty He saw a feeling in my belly, I just sat with that. I'm actually putting my hands if you're her watching on my hard and my belly and just sat with it. It really helps to kind of put your hand on your hard at it's kind of a gesture. Kindness, azure keeping company with an experience I feel it in my body because our issues are in art issues they are in our body. breathe and listen to what it needed at what it needed for me was just to trust. I was level bar and the way that process Send it was in some way sending a message, to myself to just trust was lovable that also kind of asking the universe to love me. calling on the universe, just to bathe, in some way and I thought
whenever I really call out from our sincere place for loving The very sincerity creates a kind of poorer service that lets it, and so I could feel it. I could feel love is here then was. I was able to talk to Jonathan actually without in any way, blaming him for trying to fix me or do this, or that just say, I'm just really vulnerable and gave him a chance to talk about how vulnerable he had felt knowing how to help me in, but I first had to go through that in process of bringing these meditative practices to that sense of shame and unworthiness, so actually help me shift from identify with the coverings a kind of unworthy unlovable killing south those are the coverings, their golden Buddha remembering that loving, which is absent to our being and then just
when there be room for what didn't feel good and that, fifteen identity really to me is the essence of all waking up that we from a sense of a small I whose generally falling short to a sense of homeland. sir, being there, Sir belonging that has more a formless and timeless quality? Could you expand on that, because I hear that I find it very compelling Having struggled with a small I for a long time. The idea that we can, I and if I less with constricted ego and more will, I believe you scalded formless and timeless I'm asking truly not from a sceptical standpoint brought from like how do I get some of that standpoint, Well, have you had times where you sit with something and feel it and be with it? and, as that's happening
presents increases that the quality of that which is aware that which is caring, increases, meaning the part of my mind that is kind of thee, knowing faculty of consciousness. Just not the not something that I think is me but like the pure awareness part of my mind. This may sound little esoteric to folks, but I understand what you are saying and yes, I have. And that the quality of tenderness also that there's more just
a kindly way of being west that that kindness is more. There are more accessible small digression for the first slug of my contemplative career for the first huge part of it. I got a little bit better at seeing I thought more clearly the contents of my consciousness, whatever was coming up in my mind and often difficult stuff, anger, selfishness, impatience, etc, etc, but. It wasn't until I started taking a deep dive into loving kindness practices that I realise that there was a slight a verse of flick in what I hear too, for with calling my my full awareness of what was happening in my mind, and it wasn't it
I sort of cranked the volume on the warmth really by doing several long retreats on this stuff and making it my daily practice for many years that what I had heard meditation teachers talking about four years, which was that mindfulness as properly understood co, arises with a warps that the will is often called loving awareness, which made no sense to me that we only then that I understood what I think you are talking about now and it take time, and I'm glad you name that at the beginning, the times as best we can do, is view at the painful feelings and on some level let them be there like. Just allow Now that the there that begins to open the space and understand that true, accept This is another way sang love like every totally allow I do often and- and this is really helpful when I have very pleasant,
appearances arising like shape. Our judgment or anger are fear. If I say too that experience this belongs and what I mean by that is, if my being is an ocean with all sorts of ways, this is a way of in the ocean. It's an honor acknowledgement of this is the reality of the moment but saying that it's kind of like maiden, with the reality actually opens up some space for things, and so that beginning. Mindfulness is that kind of allowing not adding in the only saying this is bad. This is wrong. I want this to go away, I'm gonna fix it just letting be. This belongs. and when we pause in that way- and just say this belongs there space. That opens up that, in time becomes tender but, as you said often, we need to be purposeful about
because in some ways there's been a real hardening Ard Armoury are dissociation from the body in the heart One of our, I think our first podcast interview- you will remember this in there's, no need for you to remember it, but in that conversation we talk a little bit about this notion of inherent goodness, and I remember sayings They, like you know. I've always had this kind of semi cod, this assumption that I'm actually inherently pretty bad just irretrievably self. sure somewhere in the monster zone. And you surprise me again. Please correct me if I'm remembering this incorrectly, but if I recall you surprise me that actually use sympathise with that that you had maybe a little bit of that too my remembering that correctly That was where I started off. That was the suffering of my twenty six me going on realized?
that I needed to dedicate to loving most. often to healing to the tooth trusting the good That was here because I think that's the core pain mode. of us? How, then I think that We are identified as a separate self. that means that there's somebody in here and somebody else out there, primal mood of the separate self is fear and then the whole circling of having to prove having to defend the mistrust. Rises from that and we don't like the separate self were identified with even for inflated, underneath that is there something wrong here? So I think that the transfer bind that most of us are waking up out of identifying as a separate self. That's not a good separates of this idea
of non separation even after years of doing meditation retreats in doing this podcast twice a week. This idea of non separation, or some might call it oneness, still trip to me because on some level, like I'm sitting here and you're sitting on my computer screen my wife's another room, I am separate on some level. So can you Just remind me what we're talking about when we talk about not being a separate self what you just described are, I think the architecture of our brain is designed to have us perceive separation. You can see in the way the Olympic system works is that there is a perception of separation, even small multi cell creatures, no what's in here is me and out, there's them and and pickle or contract, when is a threat, so it seems to be part of the nature of incarnates thing? Is that perception of separation and
we also seem to have the self Reflexive CUP ass. It is to be aware of that and to who sense connected us. That's also a part of what we ve got and that there's some description of our evolution of consciousness. It's that we, you're from an identity as a separate shelf to waking up those parts. of our brain that actually create an integrated brain and something even more that sees not who we are and that's kind of a concept understanding, but it's really in first to me that when I talk about basic, and there are many people that say or what makes love more basic than hate. Why is good no more basic than badness and one of the
stories I tell, and in my new book trusting the gold. I was doing a talk on basic goodness and I quoted Einstein who really is asked. This question is a most important question we can ask ourselves is if we feel like this universe, in this world is inherently friendly, a friendly place, and he, said that if we answer that question by saying no there, The result. The impact is that work more walls, more weapons, that's how will use our resources and technology if, instead, We have the assumption, there's some inherent warmth friend this love whatever you want to call it that instead will use our resources and technology to deepen our you're standing of this world were part of soil. I gave their time
and because I think that an interesting inquiry just a sense or word: how do we land on that? I had my mom. She was living here at the time and so come in and out of my classes with me and when will we be driving home? We talk about. The topic and she was a flash major. She was Barnard. She really love talking about things and she would knowledge me if she had the slightest open she loved it. So she took it on. She said what good as more and more real than badness universe talked about its structure the climate and racism and choose will advocate in against capital punishment, and then she said I'll settle from neutral at best and we continue, the talk and, by the way He would challenge me even when she agreed with the sentiments just for fun, and I share with her that there's no way we can know cognitive away It's more
is a certain way of viewing the world, and this is really pragmatic. How does it serve and for me. Sensing as prime, Pretty are a priority as the real net of what we are, as goodness, love as awareness actually leads me to guaranteeing more love in my day to being less D. so to be more open, and so it This useful, in fact, if I have a mantra Recent years it has Ben Trust, the Gall dinner trust, and that so that, when I'm kind of- hooked on that them. Heavy bias and seeing the coverings remember, and It feels very embodied now so, even though it seems like a choice, it feels like a precious guide for me anyway. It could relate to that an interesting way. She she died several years later, her.
Her way was to see the best people and bring it out of them. Issue is on board. She just didn't, buy the argument being a cognitive way stated so firmly. but she was right about when you say, trust the gold is there an element of? Yes? I trust in that I want to get on the right side of the self fulfilling prophecy here of a truck. the golden me and other people, but you know a dollar She is still real in the universe. Hatred is still real out there and you probably should lock your front door depending on where you live. Euro should lock your car, depending on where you park, etc, etc. I had supervisor right when I was going from my psychology licence who was extraordinary psychologist and his team what was he would be with people and he was really a mirror of goodness. He help them trust that there was a basic goodness in them and because there were such
a feeling of safety in his gaze. He could exe or with them the patterns of the covering their defences in aggressions and who is. he's so lucid soap scheme, the doing that but he really was able to help people just rest in some fundamental trust and we, don't ignore the coverings. In fact there some people, we don't go near there, some people we want in jail. There's some people. We will vote for whatever it is. We ignore them that it serves so much to remember that, no matter who or what were burnt to my mind, There is an essential life force awareness value, that's living through them. Imagine your book. I want to talk about that there, some sections of the book that I think would be fascinating to discuss. One of them has to do with the second arrow that's a term we use here on the show bore, but it might be new to some people. Can you talk about that.
yeah. This comes from some of the buddhist tax. Were the Buddhist said. If you get stuck than arrow at her Swollen arrow is when fewer arises or anger arise. Are shame arises when those emotions spontaneously arise it hurt. And the second arrow is there, we judge and make ourselves wrong for what's happening, so I might feel, let's say if I feel insecure during this conversation than this, second era would be and what it Kirk. I am that so embarrassing that here done so many conversations like this, I would add, on some negative self attribution said that a slant of it that I find most people find valuable, but they talk about second harrowing themselves at something
then and then they'll add on. I am bad. I'm wrong. I shouldn't be like this just checking you're not feeling of security. That was hypothetical, your browsing or are you not in secure. I there's a background monitoring of. Are we exploring were almost sir than it feels really good, but I always a monitoring for that. So there's some agenda, but not insecurity. If we stray from the agenda, I hope you'll feel say I'm sure, that's really possible. That may be part of my just temperament like got it. Let's make short
I can assure you from my perspective. It's all good, that's really great famed hold much more. My conversations with tar brok right after this pay Matthew, Happar, I'm a meditation teacher and the host of the twenty percent happier podcast believe it or not. We're already coming up on a brand new year and maybe are struggling crafting a noose resolution. You can actually stick to or just trying to get over a general feeling of la everyone goes to periods of feeling stuck me you, ve been stuff for a long time, and I can't figure out just what's. Holding back or maybe you know exactly what it is, and you ready for that. One sparking need to make a change. While we want to help you get unstuck He rejoined the fourteen day getting unstuck challenge for free in the ten percent happier up every day. short video, with a conversation between me and ten percent happier coal hundred and Harris followed up by a guided meditation that helps. You see things from a new perspective,
the challenge starts on January third and the last day to join as January seven, you can join the getting unstuck challenge free and the ten percent happier I download the
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He at linked in dot com, slash, acquire that's linked in dot com, slash acquire to post your job for free terms and conditions apply. Another section in the book is from white guilt to heartbreak can talk about that yeah. That was the most challenging of the stories I shared by the where these most of trusting the gold stories from my own life, a kind of where I've been stuck, and what I ve been learning and in this one because so much of my steepest incurs, I would say, Danner around waking to how this social caste system in our society has condition this body and mind biases and a sense of pride, and entitlement that I just haven't seen and its becoming a clear to me that
there's, no real freedom. If I dont see those layers of conditioning like that's as much a part of the spiritual path, as anything else is waking up to wait: supremacy in our lives through this body and mind and really the suffering created by white people over the centuries and being accountable so, but that is a backward. and I did a year a long white awareness training, and then I did a three year group with a mixed group of people, both mixed Yes, but also in terms of gender Kennedy and sexual adaptation is Israel MAX of twelve of us, and the intention of the group was let's find out. What's I've been you really beautiful, angry. What's it like being you in your group identity and who you are and all those levels in the first six months. I was really in bad shape in the sense of really self conscious.
Really unnatural, very tight unable to really be at all engaged in an. I basically didn't feel like I belonged, here I was the white person not feeling belonging and so I started to investigate that after one particular of our gas it was really painful and what It came down to, as I brought mindfulness compassion to what was going on inside me was that the experience of belonging to a dominant culture group that it has this much pain and the sharings? Oh, my gosh just a sense daily, the enough pain. My friends lived what s, the kind of violation It was just just thinking about it very heartbreaking, but
what happened was I was feeling responsible is feeling guilty. I was feeling like. I could never do enough. To make amends to repair. And so I went to this kind of guilt spiral gnats. What was lacking me up and, as I paid tension to that girl and I really went inside it. I just felt like how it separated me from the group and Just felt this longing to be unhappy. To be feeling our connection, and with that, I felt like ok, let's open to the real needs of the pain that others are experiencing an eye. I just really opened a lot too the huge and so the suffering of this generation. internet. Are that's active right now in our culture, very much active, in fact, if anything white supremacy, inflamed right now answer I an opening, that it just brought on a lot of grief, but it was very pure grieving and
that really make a difference to go from guilt to heart really made a difference, because I found then with others, and I was just tender and open. I asked found that it gave me a bigger perspective that the horror of what white people have done as a group. Doesn't make me a bad person. A chest Let me now that this is truly suffering and I need to be part of the response. So actually helping to engage do you for my commitment to bring repairing but realising that the guilt, the owning as an individual badness actually got in the way. An assured in the book down, because it seems pervasive among white people that either we feel guilty are were in denial or were angry that this is brought up
but in some way the it's called fragility where fragile and It hasn't killed my fragility. I am still in the last couple of I've been in in mixed crew, should have some sensitive issues and feeling this fear making a miss step and the self consciousness, but. It doesn't spiral in and grab me identity in the same way, because. I know now the pathway to going to wear their suffering is increasing at an I grieve a lot. I think white people in order to be part of the healing have to the uncomfortable and have to grieve at he's so helpful and normalizing. Here you is as such, an accomplished meditation teacher and somebody who has so much training in the security world as well to be sold by your own personal struggles about this subject and all the other subjects we discussed coming up to. This was really helpful.
Because it really just gives us all permission to be messed up to and to know that there is a way out to adjust to restate, I think you're, a central thesis on this subject is that guilt, especially among why people ass white people just boroughs us for into ourselves. Whereas a heartbreak or just an openness to the amount of damage has been done by our forebears, and that is still with us now with so many negative consequences that, while its uncomfortable and painful letting all of that in we'll position you to engage constructively and be part of the solution, as opposed to resign adding in anger and denial and unconsciously perpetuating our role in the problem, yeah there's another piece to it. That is just as important the grieving is not just for those who have been the victims of
Violence is also for us white people, because I can speak personally Living in that conditioning of other that, even though It's been very unconscious. It still surprises me. Our keeps appearing and more subtle, but very real versions living in that separates me. Makes it so I can't feel the belonging to so many people and that's harm that hurts. it's so delicious and so freeing to fill up of it all and at fragments the world, so we lose by the conditioning to its another level of suffering, but we lose out. The argument goes: we have two armor up in order to ignore the inequality
all around us and that's only bad for people who are on the wrong side of the inequality equation, but those are bad for us because that armor stops us from being. You know fully right here, that's exactly right. The armor armors our hearts so that we can. really be at home in ourselves, and we really can't be intimate with our world yeah. Somewhat related subject. He also bring up in the book is something you call newspaper meditation. what is that now have the updated a little too hard Caston on the web, but yeah so work from was I was publishing radical acceptance. Since two thousand and three side ridden radical. happened so going around giving talks on radical action, dense and so many people said to me the tar
Are we gonna radically accept that our earth is suffering or we can radically accept the class inequalities? That kind of question, and we were on the verge of attacking Iraq and My basic response was now or accepting. What's coming up, it's in the moment so, We can respond intelligently to our world. That was my response. but meanwhile, are struggling with it, because I would Be reading the newspaper every day and read about how white Those in power were planning to attack Iraq and get this senseless foreboding of the ripple it was going to occur and how many humans and the land cape we're gonna suffer and how is the spread of bread and so on, and I was so angry down. I mean I just every time I ve been in the newspaper. I was tied up in and really angry, mostly focusing on those who are in power there.
those decisions and so, I realise that was not serving, and so I started the same putting down the newspaper pausing, and feeling the anger and opening to adjust the way we ve talked about with some of the other feeling. swear I'd bring my attention to wear the anger was this kind of explosive. swelling experience in my chest and and breathe that, and if I let it be as big as it was, I find underneath it. There is fear so than I be with the fear in that same way, just really opening to it inviting to be there. This belongs, feel it breathe with that and if I really open to it, underneath that there was grieving for loss for all the loss and if I kept opening to the grieving I'd, find really right at the center, just caring that I care and if I can get down to the carrying then whatever words or actions
come out of that, I knew would be much more fun, the healing of the world and if I was acting out of the anger and as it turns out soon after I started this newspaper meditation, the whole number of us were there. straining on the capital and bunch of us got arrested or a lotta clergy that got arrested as part of it I remember the police going now white collar crime, which it was really was cute and that there was an hostility there, but really struck me about our protest was reward. clenching our fish and it wasn't like hateful an angry. It was kind of prayer for that we're all keep their eyes on. Protecting life on cherishing life and a real different fields, and there is a very powerful quote from the Buddhist teachings- that hatred, never Caesar's by hatred,
by love alone. Is here that this is the ancient an eternal way, and it feels so true There too, we hear the news in flames us and if we then don't process the anger and the fear that under it, we end up acting in ways that actually perpetuate, the very suffering were were upset about. You mentioned prayer and in the book you talk about. Your relationship to prayer alive westerners, are drawn to meditation, secular, meditation, even buddhist meditation, because maybe they had a bad experience and religion of their upbringing and Buddhism is not a religion Abraham expense in that there is a creator, God it said her etc. So there are some precincts eyes. I would imagine of this audience and people who are not huge food. of prayer or the word prayer. What do you mean by prayer yeah innate a good, crash and because there are different interpretations. I grew up
a terrier, aroma, unitary, say joke that prayer was addressed to We met may concern, which I always liked. First, on its way, deepen Buddhism in almost every place it it cropped up. Prayer but not maybe in the sense of I small self terror and praying to the Almighty out there? It's not that What were reaching out towards. is really truth and the truth of a larger reality that we have temporarily forgotten that prayers, the longing to remember and connect with an experience that an Ado way down the way I think of it is that awareness is waking us up and it causes home through the courts. of longing, and Those who are most may be cynical about the idea of prayer,
I have some longing or aspiration some ash, that's motivating them and energizing the path. So what are we call? something that we want or long for we wouldn't commit to track sing every day or commit to doing a podcast like ten percent of their wasn't some longing in there to wake up to realise something to come home to whatever we want to put on it. It's really valuable to let that be conscious to it. the invitation in the body, software tradition is described ass duration and that's just a part of the project, to realize what most matters to you. What do you really care about and what would your life they, like? if you remember that more moments, a few in the midst of a day, paused and said: ok, right, Now. What really matters
we're getting in touch with the sense of prayer, and when we are in a stock place, underneath the pain is some unmet need. Something were really longing for. I love the way Donoghue, the poet put it it prayers of bread, between longing and belonging? It actually care. us would you say that the buddhist meditation practice of loving kindness, we close our eyes to conquer the image of somebody animal or human and repeat phrases like May. You be happy, may be safe, etc. Would that be prayer in your view, It has two different functions, one is it's in a way, a concentrating collecting settling practice, because a quiet, the random busy Knesset usually fear driven of her mind, and so it actually quite at the mind and an gathers us and yet
Second one is it's a prayer to the extent that we feel care when we offer it were arousing the heart and assumes the high aroused others separations dissolve and a lot of people, I will say: well, you know, if you're buddhist and you're saying. May you be happy? Isn't that a sense of self and another and their spots, bus to be a self in Buddhism, there are tons of practices, they're called skilful means they create an atmosphere for sitting in ultimate reality. Just being loving awareness itself and Matter one of them were in any more man. I look at you and I really feel that sense of Dan. I really want you to be happy and I feel it
those moments it actually last separation. So they work to jump on the phrase, their ultimate reality for folks who were new to Buddhism Buddhist talk about relative reality, which or conventional reality, which is the world in which we mostly exist. I dont Harris had this calendar of women sharp today the interview you tar Brok, and so I'm relating to you as a separate person, but the ultimate reality is just as this Arab sitting in is solid on a relative level. Ultimately, it's mostly empty space, populated by spinning subatomic particles on an ultimate level. There is no homunculus of Dan Harris between my ears. It's just this body and mind a coming together of conditions, just like an atmosphere arising like a storm, and so in the buddhist tradition. We talk about relative practices like matter or love,
I miss and then ultimate practices that help use penetrate through the illusion of the self. Now is a really clear explanation and I often think of it just the way the coverings of of the golden Buddha like we need the straw. Oh that are served. Have a brain has to keep us alive and functioning in that are either has to be productive and do things and those The different waves that are happening in summer, more useful than others, but there's so can be a remembrance of the ocean or the gold which is really a presence always here, that's that has a more timeless and formless quality and that's what's described as the ultimate and possibility on the path is that they don't have to be so separate we can be. In some way resting in that ultimate like I can look at you and sense that, The same sentence, that's
supposedly in this body mine looking out and that same awareness list. If I pay attention to that. It's a bit of the edges dissolve of a separate national justice? There's a field in kind of feel a field. That's that everything's arising from men coming back into enough. We got really still and that this is of a relational practice of of touching And to the ultimate, but if I keep sensing bad. What Looking out that there's a tenderness there that there's is in a there Is the same as here that field I'm smart, predominant and there's not so much of an identification with all store, colon personal. it says that resident for you. Yes, I mean, I feel, like my understanding, is that aid
junior varsity level at best but yeah, I do get the sense that both of us are animated by some sort of life force. That is, for all the scientific developments of the last couple of centuries. Still a mystery consciousness is still a mystery, and whatever this is that's turned the lights on inside of me is the same for you, and so we can look that exactly that's part of which deepens my sense in basic goodness is because when I get quiet and I come down and I'm not cod, and I yes, and so on there a presence there arises- and that's always been here, but becomes more apparent that as a fundamental capacity respond with care to the world it just that's what I'm, not in a contracted state. So there's love here. As I mentioned earlier, that feels more,
true, more basic than anything else there's love here, can assume its in you and I can Too much everywhere cause wrong made of the same start how its leg but ever aroused this universe, whatever I think of it, as awareness came into form all these multiple forms, same living through us I assume that if I trusted the Knesset in me that that actually extends to try the goodness and life much more, my conversations with tar brok right after this
use the word there that, as you will know, since we discuss this a little bit before we started rolling, I've been working out a book that I've been sort of temporarily describing as being about love. You used the word love and if I heard you correctly, which may not have you used a pretty sure capacious broad definition of the word, often it's a confusing word in the west as we use it to apply to MAGIC glove and how we feel about chocolate and how we feel about our children and there's been all of this science around different every of the human capacity to care which, from civility to compassion to empathy, both cognitive and emotional empathy to self compassion and this, and even sometimes the Buddhist really slice this up into pretty fine categories and I've come to think of it all. As I said before, all of the anything that falls under even
ethics, anything that falls under the human capacity to care- and this is by the way, an omelet directional force right, it's directed at at our selves as well as other people. All of this, I think, can fall under the broad and often controversial, aegis of love is a buy in interpreting. You incorrectly based on the foregoing utterance and no actually I'm right there with you, and I think it's important now say why I do think there are flavors of love that sometimes it out of compassion, were you're, paying attention to suffering and there's that tenderness and wish for somebody who feel better, and sometimes It comes out as joy. Could you fill your celebrating something and sometimes its gratitude, so there are flavors, but I agreed that its of one nature and my understanding would be that the way
that's the way are mind our wisdom, mine. Can perceive connect. Didn't answer non separation, the felt sense of the heart is love when that comes in I love the race winner, Sarka, DR one of my favorite, of the medicine. Teachers, mystical teachers from India no longer alive, he says, wisdom tells me I'm nothing loved Call me, I'm everything and between to my life flows. and so the mine can see that there is no separate self in here, but the hearts experiences. That means but we are belongs to everything, so any practice that softens. The arming of the heart that's trying to hold on so much to the separateness at a fear will start opening up,
that experience of non separation that the heart past be embodied the reason that most people have a hard time- and I and so many people report this to me feeling bad about themselves that are not really a loving person is because the as and fears of this life appropriately. There hoping strategy was dissociation and it takes coming back into the body and feeling what's difficult to also feel that. very delicious refined sense of of tenderness in love on the subject of feeling, what's difficult, there's a quote in your new book: hunger read it to you in and maybe you can expand on it after I've stopped talking, here's the quote the boundary. do. What I can accept is the boundary to my freedom in this comes back to return that earlier, when you said it, you think
you're being mindful, but it took years free just sent the two wings that its both my. forcing what's happening, but also a profound kind of ten including the wing of care and acceptance when it goes? deep is love, because if one there's no resistance to what's here, that sense of separateness falls away in that work, Thus, a sense of a separate self is the ways that we resisting. ass around experience. So any more men, for we really there's a surrendering into watch here, an opening into what pure acceptance there will be the realisation of all nothing separate and the heart sense, are love, but that takes practice because we're so habituated to defending unresisting that it's kind of a gradual softening one, my favorite, praised by the way, is just too.
Meeting our edge and softening as well. We can assets pace because again what trauma? If we try to heart, suffering get retrain the Thai, so we have to really do it. Compassionately gradually- and are you referring to in our meditation practice when tat stuff comes up or just How we might handle this in day to day living or on the couch, with our therapists or both all of it, yeah when there's trauma and there's been dissociation, the pathway to gradually ray enter and feel the pain the herd, the wounds, the betrayals in the body, and yet we need to do that carefully, because if we go in too fast. All do is re experiencing the pain without any of the resources. We need to refrain and I just it and heal
so there's something that a lot of us call Resourcing, which is we have to do a certain amount of Creating safety creating a sense of song connection a wherever we can find it an axe. Build the neural pathways related to safety and connection on now so that there's basin now resilience enough to touch into what's difficult. You ve done such great teaching in this brief discussion and so perhaps to make make sense to close on something very interesting. You talk about in your book and you ve hinted at in a little bit in this discussion. So far is that youth has the struggles with your persona as a teacher. What has happened like and in what form have their struggles come when they go to very distinct, directions and one of the directions is the fear of failure. The sense that
in a show up. Well, let people down- and I won't be prepared and work, his fear of failure and the sense of deficiency for many decades now the thoughts Feelings can arise, but they don't grab my identity, I've just work with them. So much as I see them, they're not comfortable, but I know something a deeper truth, so they don't hurt me the other direction that I can go. That also does hug me. That's very uncomfortable is inflation were, and there was a faint is that this was. This was the thing I was working on. Thinkers second book came and I just as at another level of people knowing of me and so on in some way and sooner kind of interact with the world. I started sensing that I knew something that others didn't know or new more I was you know. I just had some importance in some specialness. I didn't work
I feel that honestly nanometers like that was more embarrassing than feeling ashamed and it was really hard to name it out loud because it is real and I was feeling it and even now I'm slightly uncomfortable naming it. But I've done a lot. So I started working Special person which, as you know, a part of the covering of the golden Buddha in others, the defeat and failing self and there's the special person self in I'd, come back from a workshop or something- and you know where I had been- people on realize I was a little bit separate. I was kind of assuming a role and really feel tremendous pangs of regret. So I tried to get rid of rational person. I really did, and I and threw out it every every jerk. I knew I reigned on it, which is the meditation that's weaving mine, forcing compassion- and I Forgave then I just did ere. I really try to read everything and
I remember one night I was meditating in filling a lotta spaciousness and openness and connected nurse and all of a sudden, some thought about something else. Do in a week and then a wandering, while I wonder how many people signed up for the future that once really I'd better there's a lot of people, and I just like good now, you know it was a frustrating- I don't know if I say it out loud, but it was the sense of what else can I do and then some wisdom. I don't know if it's actually a voice so what you want to college. I said and just like all just surrender. It's ok and. Something dropped away. There was like ok, I can't fight a self can't get rid of a part of a self and just letting go the struggle and space, opened up and that very clear knowing that the current us she'll person could come and gone was really okay. It is like it's just
Worse are better than anything else and that I could rest in something our So there was a feeling of freedom and non identification a part of you went wow. I think I got this special person thing now. Oh my gosh and, of course that was more claiming of fame for special person, but I could see it with a kind of amusement and again not be hooked, so this part of the covering comes and goes as does feelings of fear of failure, that's? Ok- and I think that's the deal that we so fundamental, all rightness that we know who we are beyond the coverings. that way we can be in a while.
Is and carrying relationship with what comes up and with other people, and this is really, I think, part of the gift of the whole path, as we can see past mask of their defences and reactivity is to whose there and it helps us to bring out the goodness and others and to not be so cotton reactivity are to wear their having trouble. I love when you tell stories it where Europe Can opening up by your own inner struggles, just very helpful to the rest of us I live, I said that was my last question of the one last truly last thing I do want to ask you about. Is your argument with which I haven't share our happiness? Agree with that we, consider taking the gold all the way to our dinner plate. Can I get you to talk about that a little bit better?
is back up a little and share a version of loving kindness that I do regularly in the way the way it arose was. I was out hiking, as I often do, on the Potomac, and when I do, I kind of communion with the wild if they're in the spring, the baby ducklings in the baby goslings, and I watched them severe, some really connected and involved with the different creatures enduring Particular walk. Mislaid fall around now their wish What's that rang out and hunters were up ver, should Guess- and I was done by it and then just horrified, because I just This vision, I may have watched their pairs go around what one of them loses there may there just so innocent and being violated in this way, and I started crying eyes very upsetting and something in me such there. My friends were friends. My friends are being hurt
and so I just kept on walking and feeling and- and I started, I saw my dog trotting along and I said, Katy we're friends. We are friends and I looked at the sycamore that was hanging over the river and we are friends and paused with each one. And felt a sense of by very by naming at could feel the real NASA to stir a tender related mass, and then I stopped it just widening at two cents: the other beings in the world and my mind when, as it often does to the billions of animals in factory farms that are intelligent pigs in the hours at her. Gentle creatures thought all the chickens and I just we are friends. We are friends and the more I did it down the more there was a sense of. I could never be alone. It was a joy in the midst of the sorrow of the suffering I couldn't
Are we alone if I could know my relatedness to all beings all creatures and if I step a dead we humans and its nobody's far, but we have it's called speed, Yes, we feel superior to non human animals and that they get did they become objects that concern fire appetites and it's the same mental buddy, that same hierarchy that lets the earth be an object that our kind of place for resources and its our sir and its work destroying the systems on the planet there's something about this. We are friends meditation that helps to cut through separations and help us realize our belonging to the whole web. That both is. So sweet just a few,
never be alone and also then leaves us tat. Thing in ways that don't objectify that come out of carrying and remembrance and so for me, one of them is I've than a vague and plant dazed fur, a number of years. I've been actually vegetarian. Firstly, since I was twenty years old with, except for a few years, and and for some people had slackened, be completely plant based, but I feel like that needs to be the action for all of us, for the sake of the planet, for our health and too, wake up out of this idea that other send and others are actually objects that we can violate so that matter station is one of the ones that really dear to my heart. We are friends as a vague in slaves. Vegetarian myself, I notice people, don't like it when you advise them giving advice, but
to eat or in any way, seemingly restrict what they can eat. Why do you? How do you manage that? glad your naming that and I really understand, because it feels that kill her anger are denial or whatever it's really uncomfortable cause. Some way the message is coming cross you're your bad person, your do something wrong and also people have raised the strong attachment to their food, we all most of us do so it's something that doesn't feel so easy, for me, when I'm talking about it rather then saying, thou shalt. I name that I know it brings up guilt in Rio tivity- and I can speak just for my I'm saying that it brings me some joy to feel the, acted with all these and sense of alignment that bring some peace and that I know in an ideal flourish
back that everybody's got to find their own pathway on this. Before we go, can I get you to plug a little bit of your new book? Any other books? Do you think people might and any other offerings you're putting out into the world that people want to know about will thank you for the invitation, yeah we ve been a lot of this. Talk has been focusing some of the themes of trusting the gold which a beautiful gift, buckets Alice, illustrated and that's really sweet and if you go to my website, the shoe gifts that come with their theirs. I think. a lottery for a free from free, shine, since all on how you can enter stance one and the other book I mentioned right Now- is radical compassion because so much of the work, for how do we deal with the most difficult emotions, not to alleviate the entire. City as much as to really come into a radically different asian ship with them, so they actually become a portal to
discovering who we are delivering more in love? So how to do that radical compassion and at a centres on the rain practice I guess the only other thing all mention right now: Dan is their jack. filled, and I offer a meditation too Your training that is opening for registration in the near future, If people are interested, they can find out about that. On my website, it's two year programme a really powerful programme both for inner transformation and also to cultivate this capacity died other people on something that can bring Hugh chilling to our world tar. Thank you very much for coming up. My pleasure. I love talking with you. Thank you feeling is neutral, taxi datura. Before we had out. Let me mention again the free fourteen day getting unstuck challenge which will teach you how to over
inertia and make the changes you may want to make your life. This is. time of the year, where we're doing a lot of resolution making and then very rapid resolution breaking the challenge starts day January. Third, over on the ten percent happier app download the app wherever you get your apps to join us. The show is made by Samuel Johns, Gabrielle, Sacrament, DJ, cashmere, Justine, Davy Kim Maria were tell and Jan plant with Audio, engineering from ultra violet with you on Wednesday, four, a brand new episode about a very reliable topic burn out.
Transcript generated on 2022-01-03.