« Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris

#75: Jon Kabat-Zinn, Creator of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Jon Kabat-Zinn was on a meditation retreat in the late '70s when he had an idea to marry science with mindfulness and bring the practice into hospitals, which then led to his redefining an important element of patient care. Kabat-Zinn is the founding executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the founding director of its renowned Stress Reduction Clinic, who created Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs that are used in hundreds of hospitals, clinics and labs all over the world.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This guy is a giant if you're meditating today, odds are. It is indirectly or directly because of John cabin He is a an MIT train scientist who many decades ago, had the eight a brilliant idea, which was a took Buddhist meant it mission, and he stripped- All the metaphysical claims in the religious jargon out of it and he started teaching it in a fully secular way through something called mindfulness based, stress, production and bs are in was a massively consequential move, because teaching it in this kind of eight weak, the standardized protocol without any religious overtones allowed for what happened next, which were his scores of scientists to swoop, in and to measure what kind of psychological and physical. changes happen for People when they meditate and that
this is why I believe we now have millions of people who are meditating and are happier and healthier as a result. So I think John Cabbage and is, as I said, before, a giant and possibly even a historical figure he's also an awesome dude. So it was. It was a pleasure to sit down and talk to him and I think you're going to enjoy it. Just let me say from the outset that if you were interested in learning more about, it's got a bunch of great books, including a wherever you go there you are, which is a classic in the meditation world. Here you are Jack, Abington or maybe see this. The ten percent have your podcast, I'm down here How did you start meditate ever since I was a kid We have a New York City. I've been interested in science and have been interested in art very simple my father was like a super scientist, Colombia, medical School and my mother, was an amazingly prolific painter and completely unknown. My father,
really well known my mother's completely unknown. But I grew up in that world where They saw the world differently and I could see is a young boy them seeing the world differently and I was seeing the world through both of their eyes and my mother kind of like was seeing the world through, like I don't exaggerated, but something like Monet's eyes. You know she is seeing shadows and color and reflection in glasses of water and bulls. now that transfer to me. So, while I was relatively young boy, kept wondering how you'd reconcile the scientific, lands on reality and the artistic lands on our and how its shape by imagination, creativity, which is also true in science? and then, when I was at MIT as a graduate student in molecular biology a sign on the wall, seeing the three pillars of then talk by Philip CAP low at the invitation of Houston
So three village, it was a very popular yeah, but that was a nineteen sixty five as twenty one years old, and I didn't know who Houston Smith was, I didn't know who Philip Kevlar was, and I had no idea would send once, but I want to talk, three other people in all of it. My tea went to their talk, a thirty eight from Philip Capital and yeah three made before and capital, and the talk was before the boy came out actually took the top of my head, and I was like a realization. This is what I've been looking for. My whole twenty one years, behold. Library say: well, it's not so much what he said, but it was like the focus on wakefulness the focus on awareness, the focus on of the present moment and that the
knowing is, is really far more than a conceptual knowing, and so why don't you understand that awareness is a form of intelligence that is different from and bigger than, but not exclusive of thought and cognition and so forth. Then it unifies what words with called in the privates discordant elements. And makes the moving as you put it one society. So it was like a realization for me, a twenty. What I'm looking for this, I started meditating that day and have never stopped only just just clarify, dig down a little bit on that. What it was you, but awareness that can be that I think a lot of people bid nebulous, yeah right as they like. I'm aware, snowing out. Ok, big deal So what do you mean by it? And what did he say about awareness that got you so fire? Well, one of the things that he said was that you know he was at the Columbia University School of journalism,
and then he went and covered the Nuremberg war trials and, of course, they're your hearing, the most horrific things that human beings have ever done to each other. and he took it all in and then he had all these sort of psychosomatic symptoms that were really problem attic for Miss a fail young men like including officers and head aches and everything some for some reason or other. It was like a crisis in his life and he moved to Japan and actually said as then monastery in high Kokiden, which is like the northernmost island in Japan in freezing cold monastery. Not he did in the winter time, six months of sitting in all very rigorous meditative schedule, all his symptoms cleared up and as a twenty one year old ongoing my eyes just just going miss like I was really impressed than it stuck with me, not so much like he. His symptoms cleared up adjust. This is really
powerful stuff, and it looks a lot like absolutely nothing, and so it turns out that what looks a lot like absolutely nothing when we're talking about wakefulness or awareness or this form of human capacity or intelligence that it turns out. It may look like much ado about nothing, but it turns out tat the more like much ado about what looks like almost nothing in turns out to be just about everything, so that In me, for a long time, while I was doing molecular biology MIT in the lab of a Nobel laureate and euro functioning on that kind of a level, but there was this other stream that was energized me through my sitting, meditation practice and so forth. One also in those years during the Vietnam WAR and so forth,
I wondered over the Boston and wound up in the mats and karate studio, Okinawa Karate in this world, young Vietnam, that's what coming back and teaching Caribbean and in the warm up, so the karate they were doing is weird stuff that I just absolutely love more than crowding turned out to be hot yoga. So,
within a year or two of like got both meditation and an buddhist meditation practice and hath a yoga and together they would like you to completely transformed my life, and so I thought. Well, all my friends are doing molecular biology, I'd like to do the biology of mindfulness and yoga and see what is going on, because I can feel it in my own body. I can feel it my own mind and heart, whose looking at that and what the potential social benefits from that are not just merely meditating your reduce your own stress. But what would that mean? If you really organised your life around? What's deepest, invest the most beautiful when yourself, as opposed to just being lost in your head on time and stressed out a good deal at a time running through your moments rather than inhabiting. It took your while, though, to figure out how to marry these things. Yogurt iron- and I got I believe me- I got a lot of
Say it on the radio, but a lot of stuff from my Nobel laureate thesis adviser like I was wasting my life, because I wasn't gonna? U no sort of do the usual route to you know Nobel Prize winning success in science. But I knew by that time that this was my work and the way I framed it in you know my second book. Wherever you go there you are. I was like asking myself repeat it ten years after. I got my phd. What is my job on the planet with a capital j, meaning? In other words, what would I love so much I'd pay to do? It redefine work there way, and I spent ten years getting all this crap from people. My father, you know my everybody. What are you doing with your life? You hear you, I like you, you not doing what you're trying to do what it? What are you doing? What you doing and then, after about ten years ahead and inside on home
for Mister treated the insight, meditation society and bury mass, which I know you know well sitting on a ten day too weak retreat and, on the tenth day, install all those fifteen years of practice at that point is came together in that question. Was my job on the planet and what came? It was a kind of instantaneous recognition in the possibility of taking this into hospitals where people assume like us, but also functions can a Duke magnets in society. You get dimly just translate that occurs. The buddhist towns regions suffer an anguish, the human condition and what better place so to speak, to train medical patients
getting full satisfaction from healthcare system the way it was then in nineteen, seventy nine to challenge them to learn to do something for themselves that no one on the planet could do based on these. You know deep meditative practices and see what would happen, and so that mine from space stress production came about till, I would argue in and in item. This may make you a little uncomfortable, but I would argue that moment of insight you had on, I believe, the second floor of one buildings at inside her meditation society you prefer to know the room for what I probably travels around in the Gatt skills, which is one of the buildings there. It changed history was a historic moment that moment on many levels, and they look at super selfish levelled that moment changed my life, because I would never have started meditating. Had you not had this, he had to marry science and and meditation, because you then made what what what happened after that,
that awakening or after that insight moment was. You then created mindfulness based, dress production, which was in a week protocol to teach medicine without the Buddhist Lingo and metaphysics. It then became studied it. That protocol allowed it to be studied in labs. All over the world with allow me, as a sceptical, ornery, neurotic news reporter in the late to thousands to say. Oh maybe I would do this this thing that I always thought was weird, so its historic on a very for a narrow selfishness. but it has opened up meditation practice too so many more be millions of people who would otherwise have rejected it? And I know I didn't notice- makes you slightly comfortable because I'm kind of you talking about yourself- it's not your fault. subject, but I honestly do think he was a enormously consequential out. I certainly honour that an appreciate your saying,
naturally didn't know that you in your mind, you have that that they have association. Oh, do you are the cynic, while none of my meditations right well, I am. I can't tell you what that means to me, because the whole point of doing this was really to touch people in such a way as that that it is not that they would be interested me as they serve progenitor of anything, but they with the interested in them in a way that novel, not narcissistic, not self promotional, but in a way that As many of our medical patient say after eight weeks of training in this with none of them come to the hospital to learn how to meditate they they're coming to us, but because they are suffering and medicine is not doing it forth of these people falling through the cracks of their health, the system- and I was nineteen, seventy nine now. Third eight years into it.
Medicine is the to the point where what what used to be cracks are now like chasms, the Grand Canyon, Armenia, lots of people not getting satisfaction- and this has redefined in some element of medicine to become more participatory that we have to engage as a participant in our own trajectory. towards greater health and well being whether will one day way from being dead but still breathing in still alive whether we have a whole life in front of us, but we ve saddled with this kind of diagnosis of that kind of condition, nor that kind of suffering- and it comes in, as you know, in innumerable different forms. No one asked for it. But what do you do when you catches magically? Take a pill unethical way or cut it out through some
and the surgical procedure. So I honour that- and I think basically, the I think the most important point for your listeners is one that the change that you experienced that your attributing to like. You know that concept that sequence of events- it still it's yours, it's you who are you took responsibility for something in it, something resonated with you and transform your life and this, we see this happening. Thousands and tens of thousands of people and each one nobody's imitating me or some guru, were hero of the moment everybody's through the way we train people in line from the their understanding that there's no one right way to do this, that- and there is no special state. Mindfulness and disorder be really helpful to your listen, his meditations, not about achieving some ones.
national state where everything falls together were falls away and you just have like an permanent quorum court. Lighten mint experience in him all problems, while the and you don't care anymore or you're, infinitely compassionate in turn out to be your pal of the. Dalai Lama. That's all like a fantasy of the beauty of it. Is that right? I've looking for some special experience. It's the flipping of that in recognising that everything you are experiencing is unbelievably special And yet, as long as you only you're, seeing it through the lens of what you want, what you don't want, which are afraid of what you yourself with that you are actually not experience in your life. You are experiencing a narrative filtering of your life that always reduces its dimensionality. So therefore, in terms of transformation or healing what you
reporting in terms your experience, that's generalised ball and through the practice of the cultivation of mine from us, and we should probably say what it is or what we got argument. But of that, through that, the actual practice, the cultivation of mine from this is not a good idea. It's not a philosophy. It's not a catechisms, not religion is a way of being in relationship with experience through that. What you engage in is a kind of ongoing sperience of learning inwardly. Undoubtedly because you're paying attention through the learning you you can't help but grow, because that's what german beings do that's what life is about is growing and then, through the growing you can't help but have a different relationship with the unwanted, with what's more stressful and what's most painful, whether its physical or emotional, and that's my working deaf,
of healing the healing, is coming to terms with things as they are very different from fixing in the medical model of well we'll just cut it out, it will fix it or put it in remount, the carburetor whatever it is. It's like that we are a self healing organism, so healing is coming to terms with the actuality things which is very far from passive resignation or just surrender it giving up and going hopeless and then out of that healing comes a profound transformation. That is not like something that you have to go there the top and wait for twenty years and follow your breath that it's here in every moment that the potential to actually recognise that your awareness is bigger than your story about how bad things are or how good things are and therefore it gives you a new degree of freedom or many new degrees of freedom to deal with your reactive emotions to deal with your self centered needs to deal with.
anger frustration, depression, one greenness, whatever it is in a way we're like you're already at home only. Why did it take thirty or forty or fifty years to discover that, like it doesn't get any better than this? It you just get older, but what about? If we really learned to inhabit the present moment, then there is a certain way in which you are already home and the Zen people of Buddhist might refer to. This is like you're, actually in much with your true nature or who you actually are, as opposed to who you think you are one? A bee dont want to be the story of how inadequate
You know sort of trauma, ties or whatever. Not that destroys our true lot of us seriously traumatized, but that when you be friend even that you turned towards what you most don't wanna haven't. You won it cut out or run away from it. It turns out there s a certain kind of transformative kneeling potential in that and since they really has no other sensible thing to do, because we have to learn how to recognize and accept the actuality of things, even if like we don't like it, that allows for a kind of healing and recognition that whoever you are- and this is where the personal pronouns come in. You is personal pronoun. Whoever me whenever I am, is much much bigger than who I think
and its trustworthy and its healing in the body now through the science to look back to the size. It turns out that through all these meditative studies in Neuroscience- and you know every and suffer the turns out- that we learning that the body and brain and the whole organism is unbelievably plastic, continually regulating and changing itself include the brain wiring in structure on the basis of how we actually live lies from moment to moment in how we conduct ourselves and how much we repeat the same holds you know things they get us into trouble, verses, more virtuous activities that actually it turns out, can transform.
Fortunately, every aspect of our physiology and genetics, so it turns out that tell em is, for instance, that the repeated a sub units at the ends of all of our chromosomes. They are rapidly degraded under stress and when you practice mindfulness, they are much much less rapidly the greater door there actually get longer, which means that and that's a biological mechanism of fuss stress, reducing longevity shortening. Lifespan, and we often say you know we have had experience took years of my life. You know that people say that idea. It turns out. It's absolutely true. Anthem, Lisbon, Blackburn won an ado. Csf won the Nobel Prize for that in two thousand and nine and her colleague illicit apple, and she just wrote a book called the timber effect hasn't come out yet, but it like documents how we have actual control over the rate at which we are going to give ourselves or biological your dying
and also in terms of what's called functional, can connectivity in the brain or sources studies now showing mindfulness connect to enhance connectivity in the brain, in say, emotional, and also the hippocampus and centre for learning and memory, and motion regulation and executive functioning, indifferent areas. The brain like the brain is like an orchestra and when its in tune with it itself, it's like all. The different instruments are talking with each other, but the conversation is larger than the individual. It's in the individual pieces? Well, you know if we're walking round each one of us with that inside the cranium, the vault of our own skull. Maybe we should recognise that a manner how bad things get like in width, miraculous being something in a virtual everybody's, a genius and yeah we're not taught that way or treated that way in elementary school but this is good news and something where, even if you do wind up in
hospital in that's your first encounter with mind from this a lot of people tell me in laughter. A weakness is actually save my life, not surgery, not drugs, but that capacity to self regulate so low just say what, if it's ok to say what mine from the sea, I would just ask you so yeah that in an how do you practice it, because I think we ve talked about it, you ve been talking about it on a somewhat theorist. Go level in a scientifically abstract year, will lower listener. It's like what the hell's yeah, let's make a concrete. Ok, so reporters often ask me like Gimme one word: what is this bold, mindfulness stuff it everybody's hearing about now and
and there's a lot of corruption of it, commercializing of it, so that its all about like mindful bread or mindful bracelets, you know, because it's hot, so you know they're gonna be unscrupulous people that are always gone. I can't even spell mind from this, but the other big experts and went from us and no idea that it's actually discipline, it's something you have to work at it like exercising a muscle in the last time. You know one exercise of muscle: it hurts the lift the weight, and so you have to have served right. Motivation and intention now at you So the one word responses have developed a few. So one is a you know: mindfulness is another way to say awareness. but awareness, you know, as you said at the beginning,
big deal, you know I mean what's the big deal about awareness well effect is awareness is a huge deal and we never recognise it. It's a form of intelligence is much bigger than thinking, because it you take any thought, no matter how big the thought of like her. Leah, Einstein, sir. You know general theory of relativity, which was like a hundred years old this year. I didn't sixteen two thousand sixteen and this year they they actually detected waves in the structure of space. Time gravity waves, fun of gigantic unimaginably big black holes, mass of black holes that collided billions of years ago, and finally, vibrations came here and there to observatories. They call them that measured the same fluctuation like the tiniest fraction of a kind of whiff of hundreds of thousands,
this is an electron and they could detect it in two places at once, two thousand miles away. So that's pretty cool. You know that we can be that sensitive, so awareness is much you can take that thought and you can hold that in no sooner had no matter how big the thought of beheld in awareness met a horrible, the emotion he can be held in awareness. Let me give you new ways of working with it? So I just came in on the recycling. It took me a while to grow my head around this I'm sure I have but bay, We all know that we're thinking all the time, but Knowing your thinking, that's a people, don't well? We re examine the first yes covering. Will you just get your butt? the cushion right or chair MR to meditate and I'll, say some Do you, like you, know, damn, let's just see if we can feel our body breathing anywhere in the body you want. Can you feel the body breathing is have all that's a cinch, no problem do that, John no worries, and so
direct your attention to some place in your body. Let's say the tipper, you nostril the sword down in your belly and you feel the movement of the belly you're the area moving at the nostrils and end you right It on the waves of the breath, with full awareness, easy, no, no, no sweat and within a fraction of a breath. You'll forget that you decided to do the hay and something will distracting. Okay and it'll be a thought the thought might be in the form of like. I bet, that may not see if any texts of come in or whatever it is, but we are infinitely self distracting never mind the outside world, distracting us as well. So it turns out not so easy to just attend moment at the moment to any aspect of experience. So that's where the discipline comes in, like weightlifting, you know the breath comes in the breath goes out. Your follow your breath, come in by coming up with in mind, gets trap, carried away,
By some thought street, you know fantasy memory, anticipation worry and pretty soon, like you forgot that you breathing well This is illuminating for most people, because they don't realize that their mind is taking all the time. They just don't realize that so that is I'm using the word for realization. It's really a moment of enlightenment, because and especially for the first time, flight jawdropping, droppingly amazing, my god, I've been thinking my entire life and thinking that my thinking is my life, because so much a prisoner of its caught in and then, of course, thinking is deeply wedded with emotional reactivity, so you think thoughts that spiral listen to depression Into the anxiety and anger- and it's all like extra like most of it- has nothing to do with reality system
So that's a kind of moment of awareness that that's powerful and that says Oak maybe there's some value and actually learning who am I, if I'm not my thoughts, the constructed reality than a making for myself at of habit that I don't even realize wealth at a really good question, and rather an answer it? Why not just keep asking? Who am I really? What am I really, and this is kind of direct path into a kind of inquiry where you asked the question, then you just open. You don't try to think your way through that question just listen and that listening is mindfulness, its wakefulness its awareness. So one word for my one: or or what is my foes, his awareness, but we don't appreciate witnesses and There is in relation to because like
We say like well you're following your breath and we say yeah, I'm following my breath says it's your brain. I mean if it was up to you to be breathing, you would have died a long time you know you got a guy- got carried away, distracted, dead so we're not allowed anywhere near the real you, no brains, Mechanism that controls the frenetic nerve in the diaphragm forget about it, like we're, not reliable enough to keep Brussels breathing, but we'll still women Klamath my breath, this nonsense, I mean it's like a little bit narrow. So then, if we lift it, it's not your breath. It was even saying. That's my body, I mean. Is it a body saying that whose thinking as the brain separate from the bad. He is what about the mine. So then it becomes like really interesting. You know when we lunacy elementary school. that we don't actually know who we are set. Leg were given a name:
so? Oh yeah, I'm John, you know, but who is that an? And so this is like one of the most profound things that we can who is like be who we really are, as opposed to the propaganda that regenerate about ourselves, much which unbelievably painful, because we all feel inadequate, and what have you flip That is said like no you're? Actually, in the Buddhist we talked about this you're, actually a Buddha, you actually perfect just the way you are and if you went to law, school or you're, really smart, like kids they'll say: oh you don't know who I am because if you knew I was you'd, never think that I was pretty.
Who I and I would flip that and say: yeah you're actually perfect. With all your imperfections, that's real perfection. So can we just accept that as a kind of starting point and then see what happens if you actually radically, except yourself and just love the unfolding as a big adventure, because we don't know what's gonna happen next, except that when we dig those kinds of thought rats are cells. Usually what happens next? What happened the thousand different times? And finally, your spouse says to you: you know you, having grown in twenty years. He said the same old thing they mould reaction, same old rats, rats rats. Why do you think the divorce rate is fifty percent psych, because when learning and growing so this has deep applications. Let me give you the Let me give your listened his to my work the definition of mindfulness. So I use the two words like awareness. If you want just one word its awareness and that's not trivial, it's like only the most amazing thing about
vanity or relation reality, so relationship to the body relationship, the interior experience thoughts, emotion sounds whether relationships social relationships, world relationships, the info I am in the global warming, I mean you know we can relate with our thoughts to so. We know about global warming in the science of dislike of its form of awareness that we can act on. If we have you know and social connected, and so economic awareness a mean, there's no boundary to awareness. Since, when its beauties, so my working definition or what I would call operational definition of mine from this. It is the awareness that arises from paying attention on purpose in the present moment, non judge mentally I'll say it again, because it's hard to take it all it's the awareness that arises or can be invited through paying attention so there's nothing.
ethically magical missed the collar meditative weirder eastern, about paying attention all teachers would love to have the kids pay attention, but rather than teaching them how they yell at them to pay attention, not fix most skilful thing, so paying attention on purpose. It's like! Oh, not like something catches, my attention, but I purposefully direct my attention and I can do it through touch. I can, through through site I can through through hearing listening. I can do through taste thing I can do it through smelling. So that's why the senses are like really put us in touch to use in the sense of touch with dimensions of experience so the awareness that arises to paying attention on purpose through all those sense stores in Prague in the present moment, because that's the only moment we could ever pay attention and then the king
There is none, judge mentally, and that doesn't mean we won't have judgments. What it saying is like notice that we have almost nothing but judgments ideas about this. In that I like this, I don't like that. I, like her I don't like him. I used to like him, but now I don't like him, you know it's like endless value weighting of everything and Oh non judgmental means we're going to suspend that to the best of our ability would just spent. How judgmental an and ornery. We are about virtually everything. and then see what that feels like and then not judge how judgment that we are, and that turns out to be. Do you know I mean mindfulness is spoken of by the Buddhist says the heart of buddhist meditation, and it is too hard for this Monday. It's all in the Sattar Pathan Sutro, which is so you know the suit great suit
mindfulness and it's all in another mayan sutra called the heart sutra, which is unbelievably found in is really a kind of recognition of this, and that is certain to kind of dualism. That is not an accurate representation of reality. That was confused me. This idea in Buddhist are always this may be too strong a verb railing against duality. You know that separation between me and you our this and that the observer in the observed- yes, I dont actually is that's very hard thing? I'm gonna veiled down to this one because especially observer versatile observed, because if your people listening to us and therefore Oh, I think I'll. Try that you sit down and I would use the language I observe my breathing. Ok, so these me or the observing unction. There's me that whoever that is this serving function and then there's the breathing. Ok, so
yeah conventionally speaking, whoever it is, it is doing the observing it's not you with me in this case. Unless you are doing it to, then it would be we, but there's a separation between the observer and the observed, and that is kind of relatively true. But ultimately- and this is one of the beauties of the english language, if we just say. If we agree that, rather than saying, there's me observing the breath there simply observing, ok, then We do away with. Subject: object duality right there in the english language do that there are other languages that have a much more difficult time of it. So oh there's breathing, but does not breather because, as we said, I mean ever with the breather would be asleep at the wheel in you die, so there's no reserve,
there's no witness sir, but the candy witnessed sing so thus subject object, separation is relatively truants. Convenient you're sitting on that side of the table, I'm sitting undecided tabled is no question, but actually something else for happening. Is that wearin, conversely, and where our minds are actually not separate. Who are listening to me? I'm speaking, I dont even Oh, how I'm doing this and none of us do. We generate grammatical senses, some of them very long by wagging, are tongue in moving the air out of our lungs and moving lips, in such a way that I'm not binding my tongue and it's coming out and so far its grammatical, and we don't know where it's going, but it's gonna work out in some way or other I mean. Recent as a kind of miraculous event. You know that a completely obeys Chomsky, you know sort of generative grammar. We don't the deed.
Is this kind of thing and when we hold in an awareness, then there's no separation between you and me in this moment. But what is this lack? separation which can sound a little theoretical. You analyse our airy fairy overripe also helped to how does it last in an actual human life, what difference does it make. Well. This is where wisdom comes in and k, mind funds, not all about like straws, production where you know healing you know your emotional pain or whatever it's actually wreck. noticing the deep structure of reality and that everything is interconnected. We live in an interconnected universe. So let's just take the fact that you know on November knife tromp was elected president ok, so a lot of people have very strong
What about it? In fact? The countries seems to be like equally divided and get me some people love it. Some people actually exactly exactly and and for very good reasons. I mean if you start to hear the racism and sexism and all the stuff that was out there doing the campaigns and during the election and over its thing that we haven't experience that in our face, at least in my I've time. In the political arena I mean who has the same kind of like he just pull the rug out from under all the standards. If you will and actually want so, let's say the people who not happy that he did it and are terrified or that you know me, Linda being demagogue or you know, sort of whatever awe and harm the country and enormous ways were. You could lose your mom without one in get much what like it, I dualism of us versus them and of course we're the good guys, whoever we're always the good guys,
We don't know we are, but we know that, where the good guys and they there the bad guys Did you do that? We ve been doing this for only like nine thousand years. The tribalism you know where it us against them only now it's tribalism with nuclear weapons. Never mind with nuclear weapons, the the stakes are very high for the species for global warming and the wellbeing of the planet. So there's only one planet there's a unity we're all part you could say, cells of one body, the body politic, of the planet, whither the eco. system more whatever, but in a way function more like ecosystem is rather than ecosystem. So that's what I in about the non separation of self another. And that's where love arises.
I mean anybody who has ever experienced love, not acquisitive kind of love. I want that. You know, and you object to find the other to satisfy a need of your own, but a real or think the recognition of a certain kind of marvel, Sir kind of all so kind of puberty. Eu funds the tree or a landscape or the sunrise or human being or your daughter, son or granddaughter, and it is So there's something mysterious about it. It goes way beyond the sort of just mean you it. It has to do with a certain kind of we because in the sands like life, is one seamless whole expressing itself and we have the
I concede that we're special at the DNA worked out to be me. You know and I'm real special, the only thing I really care about his more for me, you getting ahead, how many tweets did do I send out and how much people love them seems. Trump is a lot like that. You know you really wants to be loved. You know I mean it's certainly appears that way and also to psychiatrist and so college is out. There were very happy during the year I'll, be in the lead up to the election to die, I know some you noticed from, but he's saying the newspapers over. But my point is not so much about Trump, but how easily we can fall into enough in their mentality and there's something about that. That is the law us, and that is the underline unity and at what would this cure? Full political wisdom approach beat that at a time where you are also very well aware of the very very high level of danger, so what would it be
That means there is so much disagreement on both sides, so Irishman first, that would be like not knowing recognise in the may be alone, may be thinking snuck in a you know resolved this, maybe that's not up to it may be. We need deeper intelligences. We need multiple voices in this something that will be a collective enterprise and learning and growing on fortunately, like you know, hopefully, hopefully won't lead to like levels of suffering that, on that are extremely imaginable, but that may be so imaginable. We don't wanna go anywhere near it, so unimaginable, that's the that's the risk, but that was actually a risk if trumpet, lost, but we would be more asleep. At least part of the US would be more asleep and the other part would be more disgruntled and feel like the country doesn't care about them in their beings. Like do you know, sort of destroy
by globalism? Worry you know the digital world or whatever it is see what it is like we're learning how to be human, and all of this is part of the curriculum. Why? Because it came up it arose. That's the thing about meditation is like it's not about finding some special stay dislike, whatever rises. That's the curriculum for this moment make it tough noogies. I mean it's like if he or you want to spend the rest of your life denying it. So that's true for what you know. Some like tiny little thought that or motion. That goes to admit. That's also true for the country and strewn out for the world, so this is the way I frame it and it's the way I see it. We called ourselves the species that we called ourselves as a species homo sapiens sapiens, namely the species from the Latin Superiore, which means to taste so since we're to know
and the Buddhist talk about awareness as six cents. Another sense it sense so with species that knows and knows that it knows in the sense of not cognition. End matter cognition, but awareness and metal awareness. That's what really means, but that's a very precocious name to give to ourselves. I don't think we ve quite lived our way in we had in the past and we haven't been around very long. You know in civilization western civilization, human civilization, foreign, two generations, five hundred generation, six hundred generation since the last, That's not that many generations, Sir
Oh, we have a lot of learning to do to grow into that name. We gave ourselves the species that knows and knows it always and species that has and the way to do it is by cultivating wakefulness, by cultivating intimacy with awareness with the good, the bad neo glee in a way that doesn't get caught by in that do with a stick divide, because we know that that leads to. Delusion greed hatred all in the guise of like, while, of course, I'm right in they're wrong it? How do you take a stand for of so say your pro trumpet? angry at all. The protesters or you're angry at maybe Democrats in Congress, we're gonna stand and, in the president, way or your aunt. I tramping you're upset about him, but putting people on an EPA who deny climate change and how does the looming show? How do you take action.
In within this with the Spirit of non separation that we're all one. That's the Kohen. That's that's the puzzle, that's the challenge of the moment. I cannot answer that question because my answer would be a mere cognition or philosophy, the matter how Why was it not possible to answer it? It will be an emergent phenomenon that will be in some. since shaped by ever. single one of us to the degree. The womb willing to show up stand up and do what we think, is in alignment with our deepest values and talk with people with different from ours.
OS and see what emerges- and I am of the persuasion is very optimistic- that the actual trajectory the arc of human evolution over the past year old, five, six, seven, eight nine thousand years- is in the direction of less violence and greater wisdom. Greater less harm, but we have the potential to reverse that with one nuclear weapon in the city and don't forget where the only country that ever drop new the weapons on cities, and we did it twice and those things are arguable, but we need to remember that not every buddy sees us since the good guys. You know in this particular world and the kind of decisions that we made at all get to into politics, but not everybody in world sees us legitimately is like the the people on the White
the White nights on the white horses. You know saving the world from itself, there other viewpoints and you have to learn to still be befriend, the other and not other people. You know the black lives matter of movement is all about other ring and feeling like we never really been seen and if I'm driving around in an you know a sort of in the neighborhood with a tale light out in my car, and I happened to be black. I am ram at great risk of being shot if I'm white I have a tale light out: I'm not a great risk of being shot thesis, fundamental things very easy to miss. When you're away when your privilege, when you- and this is part of mine from this, is waking up to the ways which we ve been asleep to the suffering of others. Two we ass a species learn.
We are ninety nine point. Ninety nine percent the same genetically and in terms of how we see the world. we are going to continue to kill ourselves over our differences, but with nuclear weapons in the kind of power that we have now, that really would A very sad chapter in the history of humanity, so was gonna. Take responsibility for that. Only all of us who care and to me that would be a radical act of love and radical, active sanity and a getting outside and beyond ideology, but never giving up your human core values. The sound like you, you think, of a trumpet duration is a massive opportunity to practice. My fulness, where we don't many choice and since not practising life This was never not a good idea, because, if you're, not mindful You actually missing your moments if you
miss your moments safe at twenty or thirty years. You might miss your children and growing up, and you might really see more your eye. it's for your children are rather than your children that generates an awful lot of resentment further down the road. All sorts of things like that, if we were to actually show up in our lives and what present and let awareness or mindfulness become the default mode and kindness and compassion as well because did not different. Then rather than mind, listen, listen, reactivity in assessing condemning, then I think we stand at least the snowballs chance in hell of making it through this and owning the beauty and the wisdom and creativity in the general dvd that have our concept halls that happens in our. You know science labs that happens are you know, painting studios that that arises in the great poems of the world? I mean
Oh, when the human, my nose itself, you get all that beauty and the human mind doesn't know itself you get outwits. You get the killing fields of Cambodia. You get. You know you get racism, rampant racism, rampant set Susan rampant violence and we also think it someone else. That's doing it, but this certain way which we have to own the fact that, like hey, I'm capable of violence under the right conditions, will one of my favorite writers. Stephen bachelor says. If you look in your own mind, you're gonna see a rapist inorganic. Can't you see, that's the beauty of it, because then you not other ring, and then, when you come to terms with that, that was my definition of healing. You actually see that in yourself, then that's going to change how you conduct your life. You know, because you can always make a choice ya, I might be a murderous, but that feeling doesn't NAFTA result in
when a trigger I've worked with people in prison who the whole life was changed by one moment where they live. The decision, usually when they were out of their mind that landed them in prison if not dead or shot or machine guns, and I met people who have you know doing Yoga, like oh, I can't lift my I would you know serve. I remember vividly education pulled up his shirt. Johnny he's been machine gun across his chest and lived to tell about it, but he couldn't actually the new, the bridge posture, the way you know he thought he sure didn't say like this fire. However, you doing you get a fat, but but that said I mean I feel like in a certain way mind from this is not a luxury. It's an apple, necessity and if it was an absolute necessity and always thought it was based on all this ants in the medical you know resulting over on nine November, eighth in its infinitely more that way since November night
And that's in spite of all the hype, and if I can say on the radio, bullshit and so forth, at that is accruing to mindfulness. The essence of at the heart of it is not denature able, because it's been around for a very, very long time and its weathered many many cycles of disillusion in general. So we don't need to serve from my from this. What we really need to do is embody in ourselves and see what happens and to just say the completed that in all asian language is the word from mind in the word for heart, the same word. So if you hear me. saying the word mindfulness, an English knew not, as some sense healing, were feeling heart fullness as well. Here can you not understanding it, because this is an element of kind
since self compassion, that's completely woven into the attending itself, and, let's not forget the doctors who see patients in the hospital. They are called a. and you know, and we take training or medical students- do not forget the patient So they mistake the diagnosis for the patient and to really lead with compassion to lead with kindness to lead with their own present and to listen all effects might once we didn't get back Sonny. You set a couple sentences, about the bs and hyper rights around mindfulness you'd. Only from what you said. This whole thing in motion, as these are plainly lad of ETA. They give absolute Buddhists yell at old school Buddhists every day they have now at I'm willing to take them, and I think the I think, the the wholesome, as they would say it with a good. So
far outweighs the unwholesome and and and the negative that I'm if they want to come after me that as fine with me, my people just justified listeners, listen interminably, familiar this debate. There are, as you well know, some folks, in the buddhist community who are upset about what they called mic? Mindfulness young, that this that it's become with secularized and that something has been lost in the process and they pointed people like you. They also want to people like me, but I know I'm sure that and say you you're, creating the problem. Well, I'll tell you one thing about, since you brought up the word secularize, the minutest even better would say something about this. But I've started more and more to stay away from you the word secular in describing mindfulness. I know why people do it because they wanted differentiated from buddhist meditation practice, but it is the heart of buddhist meditation practice, but it also non dual and the Buddha wasn't a buddhist so enough it's
controversial that this is really universal and when you said a book in a Buddhist. I love that point, because the Buddha didn't think he was still starting a religion. He was teaching people some mental exercises to make fundamental yeah, I'm we may in the end. This is like one of the non do pieces as well see. So if you make boot, Buddhism Saul about non dual seamless wholeness of reality. So, but then, if you make Buddhist, non Buddhist. You ve already made her a separation. It's fine for the conventional world, because you need this separate like in its good, because you appreciate the other different kinds of temples, different kinds of religious traditions, different sulphur, but the essence of it is human. It's not buddhist! You know
Christ wasn't a Christian either when you come right down to it. I mean I've said that on the airwaves before on television, so we have a certain way of creating separation, when even our greatest teachers on the planet was pointing to non separation. To that kind of a beauty, and I am trying to around. In my mind, for this. This thread that I was that I was saw one particular moment that had to do with. secularism, yes, secularism! Thank you! So I was thinking way from the word secular now, because its dualistic as you say, the word secular than it separates it from what does the opposite of do of a secular, its sacred
ok and I am not willing to give up the sacred if you sit down to meditate. I see that as a radical act of love and I would say that it is as sacred, say the hippocratic oath is sacred in medicine but wishes. You start talking about the sacred it's hard to get the practice into school. then other public spaces people get nervous. Yeah! That's true! That's why they use the word secular, but I would prefer that they use the word mainstream. Ok, because then it doesn't create the same kind dualism. It may create another dualism that I recognise, but I've started to sort of talk much more about them. In streaming of mine from this, because it is universe- and it always was universal the reason I dont want to give up the word sacred, and it's not just about like hard to bring into schools, because the fact of the matter is that not just that we talk about the doctor. Patient relationship is being sacred, there's nothing kind of airy fairy or religious about that or spiritual leaving. It sacred you want,
the doktor to be present and pay attention to listen to you and not treat you as a car object, so that sacred love in some sense when it's not acquisitive, is also sacred Our relationship with our children is sacred and in the last line of the declaration of independence, it says to which we did Kate, our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honour. Okay, so So I am not willing to give up the word sacred and I see it is kind of a very american and very political and not really see the spiritual or religious, but representing kind of wisdom, of a kind of reference that is related to wonder to. Ah too, recognition of what really makes us human and what we would actually stand up and die for, and I see that is beautiful and his sacred, and rather than just go up and
you'll be shot on the five things by firing squad or some. Why not live that way? And let there be separation between your meditation practice in your life, so that the real meditation This is not sitting in a cross. Legged posture are in the chair and attending to objects of attention and resting in awareness that incredibly important and our people pursue it or out there listening to this, but the real meditation practice is how we live on moment by moment by moment how we walk in the door at the end of our work. They had a week they hello. How do we hug our children? Are we there? Are we on the way to something else? Why were hugging the kid? But why, also like doing some elsewhere. whereof multitasking even at home, and we distract there. Of course, the kids know that instantly. You're, an your spouse or partner knows that instantly. So there's where the rubber midst road. Can we be mindful that
Can we mindful in the car driving? Can we be mindful when we're out running you know, rather than distracting ourselves as running about I've trained Olympic another wrote it. The growing dream in meditation and all sorts of world class and olympic athletes in meditation they not distract themselves while there, whether were working out and many their tuning in turning out very, very powerful. So, ultimately- and you know the Chicago bulls practice mindfulness in their championship years- the less inches Lakers, Kobe Bryant. they all practice mindfulness and you know they're all millionaires, they're, all very tight all their own incredibly accomplished a basketball. Why would they do such a thing because the very competitive and if they think something's gonna, give them even alike.
ten percent edge, you'd, just followed figure out of the air or even a one percent edge, very competitive, but we're gonna wanna go for that, but they recognise that all of the evidence suggests that that's not some airy fairy nonsense thing that five years scenarios laugh at them. This is like they do it because they can feel. did. They are more on their game. When there are hundred percent present, and especially in ace of adversity, you're like how you come back after a loss or anything like that. This is like so whether its sports or whether its art, whether its musical, whether science, Withers poetry or whether it whatever it is theirs in some says no substitute for living our lives moment. By
went as if they really mattered and in a lot of people say local worried about dying. You know, is an opera once asked me. Like total surprise, she said to me out of the blue. She said what do you think about life after death, and I said to her: oh Oprah question is really the wrong question to ask me: I'm not concerned with life after death, I'm concerned with That there's life before ten and four row is very famous for saying in Walden I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately to front only the essential facts of life and see. If I could not learn what they had to teach and not when I came to die, discover that I hadn't lived, so you know, and if you read Walden I mean it's like a rat city of mindfulness. He would stand in the pond of Walden pond up to his nose and just watch the life.
of the skimmers and into the insects and the plants and the birds and suffer from that perspective, where citizens that is, the doorway of his home for hours at a time and just listen to the sound skip, and this is not like becoming more stupider idiotic. This, like you know, something's, can make you more less functional Skynet help you reclaim dimensions and realise that you didn't even know exist, you're pretty good at this and give a future FIFA too old for a future. I'm happy with, you notice this. What a pleasure pay me too! I mean this is really been a huge treat. You know I wanted to see you again, but it is just like. I had no idea that we have this kind of a conversation and listen so deeply to each other. I can't tell you how much I appreciate Cancun.
Again, thank you very much. Ok, there's another edition of the ten percent happier podcast. If you liked it, please make sure to subscribe rate us, and if you want to suggest topics, we should cover a guess. To bring in hit me up on Twitter at Dan E Harris. I also want to thank heartily the people who produce with Pakistan really do very much out of work. Efron Jacko hand. Sarah AMOS Andrew Camps, the Jones and the head of ABC use Digital Dan silver attacking next Wednesday There's not a person in Amerika who hasn't been impact it in some way by the corona I was pandemic, but it every community there are pockets of people who were soon
every day. This is my Monday last day of the cylinder stretch, photos from one about these or America's essential workers, the people who are keeping moving. I turn into a home school mom and now in a new programmes from ABC News you gonna hear from damage. Was she went back to my office on cybercrime because he is not here and making sure that our community hostility smiled faintly Lorraine? This is the inside the from the emergency room, the police cruiser to the czech outline. You hear what this pandemic sounds like the people putting themselves norms, which is always a risk brain is home to re. Kids are my husband or my appearance, listened to the essentials inside the curve on Apple podcast, River podcast, him.