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#85: Mark Coleman, Meditating in the Great Outdoors

Renowned mindfulness teacher Mark Coleman, founder of Awake in the Wild and The Mindfulness Institute, has led wilderness meditation retreats from Alaska to Peru. Coleman talks about making peace with our "judging thoughts" and how nature can "open the heart" and relieve stress, even if you're stuck on a cross-country flight and taking notice of the landscape below or just taking a moment to feel the wind on your face.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Ok before we start a quick programming. Note today is the start of season. Two of Robin Roberts, Podcast called but he's got something the last season I was a guest on their along with my colleague Amy, so you can go back and check that I was really it was fun and Robin has been a guest on this by guests ass. She read the came to play, and I learned a lot about her and I've known her for more than a decade. I think you'll learn a lot about her to us as somebody who's in the in the public sphere, but I think this was a really edges. We should all an inspirational the interview she gave to us, which was back on episode. Forty one in this pod Castro anyway go check out her new podcast in two of everybody's got something now: here's archer from ABC. Ten percent happier vodka and join the show this week.
Got a renowned mindfulness teacher by the name of Mark Coleman, who has a particular focus on meditation in nature, which I have to say. I've been thinking a lot lately that I am not spending enough time and they turned. I wonder if that's a problem, You got me thinking about that. He also her you'll hear about his back story, which involves having mohawk at one point. So he comes timidity, from an unusual background before we get into that, though. I just also give our plug quickly that one a previous guests on the show or in sulphur who was back on progress over twenty eight weeks. Hosted a new course. Or in on the ten percent, happier app? It's called emotional agility, and it's really how to be a job with your emotions, a lot of us myself included. I find it really weird and squishy to talk about our motion, but they are there and when you're unaware of them, they ain't you around.
And so Orange, actually a maestro at coming up with a really interesting practical techniques for dealing with your emotions, and if you check out the course on the app, the first session is free back to more common, brilliant guy. Has a new book out and, as somebody's been unmindfulness seen for a long time had a whole life story. I wish I was unaware and has a ton of practical wisdom for dealing with the voice in your head, which I I really found quite impressive, so curious, Markham. So I want to start with the question which I at your red beginning, which is: how do you start meditating so I started meditating in the early eighties. Actually, the interesting story, My father originally took me to a transcendental, meditation class when I was about sixteen. He's, not in any way meditation inclined, but he had a health condition that his father said. If you don't do something about, you stress, you gonna dies. How about a medicine
in class, and where was this, this is in a small working town in the South of England and then later A few years later in the night I have, it was great nine joy. But it said, wasn't really that impressionable. Yes, but I'm in my life The Gatt stickler he did for some time interesting, yeah, yeah it was great Rio together and it was a very sweet family expense. My mother, my father, mean being quite for twenty minutes. A how amazing and then I moved to London became a punk rocker. I was an anarchist. I was a very angry young man and were you in back of Legato reaches a fan of them. Just a fan abandoned cutting planning to give it crazy piercings earning over, I had White Mohawk nice, big earrings by am and was really fun time of his boom of punkin, the early eighties and
then here and I was an anarchist. There was a lot of sermonic similar time like now where there is a lot of political underground against Thatcher who was really dismantling some of the social fabric and pretty angry lotta hatred, and I thought limbs of my mind were all because of the government and society in cooperation in the way the two sites was running and I end up scheme There's a big movement taking of a public housing, those hundreds of thousands of houses there were empty because of the mismanagement of housing in London, and so I took over this house that ended up being, I realized, was owned by a buddhist housing cooperatives And I got to know them and then being Buddhists. They didn't kick me They said you know you should really check out your own money, go round to this detention centre around the corner and ending. Maybe your election find some. You know some help too.
What is you go there? I was definitely searching, I definitely unhappy, and was for something looking for a way out, and drugs, alcohol and unknown demonstrating on the streets where we were, you think the source of the unhappiness was units are really good I am So the reason I wrote the book was because I had a lot of self hatred which will give to the first. The second book make peace with your mind. Yes, which is a book about how mindfulness and compassion helps free from the iniquitous, and I had a tremendous amount of self hatred and self judgment and that in itself was cause a lot of suffering. And I didn't understand, I thought that was normal, and so I went, I went in its broadest sense, started. Meditating. I realize oh wait a minute. That's what's causing Miss Paine, that's what's causing so much suffering is the way that not the only cause, but one of the ways is that I'm torturing, myself with
judgments of criticism, undermining myself and just going round and general sense of unworthiness, not good enough, and anything I it wasn't right or perfect, and how did you see? I mean in the most granular terms you describe. How did that become clear. You'd started noticing the kinds of thoughts you're having yeah. You know you know know what happens when you meditating. You start to see You know one of things: it's the loudest, as there is the radio station of your mind, that's broadcasting, a lotta thoughts, and I just begun to see most to the you're really negative angry and there were a lot turned towards myself. And really harsh and mean and cruel and critic, oh and really just difficult to be with wasn't all that was there's plenty of other stuff to rise. Also judgmental the people in the world, and you know the whole the variety of man during thoughts, but there are definitely the strain of no heavy.
Negative oriented thinking, You are hard to live with, and the person who was taking the brunt of you being a pan, but was you yes, yes, which I think is For many people we are describing myself and we are the hardest person people to live with there were armless critics and we tend to orient towards what's wrong. What's negative was problematic, was deficient and therefore have a distorted since ourselves and feel really bad about us from it missionary stamp. Why Y you think we have been bred for that that propensity, for, I think it's the negativity bias. No. We in our group and the Savanna or whether it is in the wild and will we know we ve been trained and we survive through looking what's threatening, what's problematic, what's different, what's fearful and so the brains, very heavily oriented in neuroscience, is really illuminating, that that negative device lives and
day, in the way that we scary, still scanning environment as if looking for that deadly threat, but they accept its turned in wooden, also turned out were too, but you said that, hardwired orientation. That way, you know we can start unhook with meditation practice revolution didn't care about happiness. Evolution cared about getting your genes into the next generation, so this threat detection reflex kept us alive and miserable yes, It's not a miserable back then cause there's plenty of threatened, yes, be oriented, was now is less thread and there's more four rumination end in there. We also have social media and a whole other realm of things to come. Ourselves too, in other ways that were not good enough and cute enough and smart enough etc. So I want it we're gonna talk a lot more, but this critic, but you're. Staying with your chronology for a moment to you, you go on a retreat. Is that what happened you you're sweating
these peoples, house, they say call you can stay. We suggest you gonna return You said sure know that there was. I just went to the centre around the corner and I are taking classes and I just like you haven't. I walked into the centre and I saw it. People milling around? There were working cleaning the place and, as you may have had this some experience there I saw them the look in their eyes, and there was something about these people that had equality, a presence and purposefulness. Clarity and I didn't know what it was, but I knew I wanted, as I, there do something, and I our know how they got to that place? That's the way I felt when I start when I met him. Doktor Mark Epstein, who has been a guest on this package, was wonderful, practicing Buddhist I ever met and then a lot of these sort of paleo. Jus booze that he met me introduce me to Joseph Goldstein Insurance already had a something that that I, that that there it's too
sure. But you can see it. You can feel it as it does a brightness in the eyes and possess certain calmness and the presence, it, was very different than I had a growing grown up and in a somewhat rough working class. Well then, England, environment and The qualities of meditation presence were not, What was I was exposed to? It was much rougher. Was we nomes? It was an aggressive kind of culture and seeing this quality his pupils like? How does another way to be here and I started meditating I started to get a little intimation of me. As you know, it's slow it slow to begin to feel and develop these qualities, but I began to taste and also something about seeing them, gave me a sense of faith that that possibility was available. If you put the time and the effort and the practice in as important and faith, which is a loaded word council,
the conference of presidents or conviction or just the way, it is a possibility of a way to develop something seeming there wasn't- even though my my radar yet once I serves like out, that seemed like a really smart way to live so What'd, you do next July. You, like more Harkin, were what shape the mohawk I gave up my those away- and I moved into a basically a kind of a monastery like a retreat centre that was way out in the country and I dropped out of college but said the my family and friends, and I just really wanted to go deep into the practice. Meditation and british teaching, and it seem like that was more important than anything, and so I was ready to give up everything for it. So you did you go into it. Were you a monk? I would three, I wasn't tradition where you could look, there's no nation prose I didn't get ordain, but I was very much involved in that subculture of buddhist practice in England. What tradition colder
friends of their western buddhist order than now called the tree retina Ratan Evanna sang. I think that first noisier pronounced, I wish so is it tie. It was in it integration of Tibetan, terawatt or in some, then develop, buy cigarettes, you to hers, was a buddhist monk from England and afforded and fifty's met all the great masters commanded to bed in the fifties. Sixties developed his own brand of Buddhism, the head and then for this on community on right, livelihood, Andrei integrated practice actually very much in the world. And so I studied with them for many years and its. In point I realized I was searching for something more closely to the original tradition. The two Azure in India and the butter, and so I went to India and then I met my first read their passing a teacher, Christopher Teghmus, Christopher Timid
ok. He I've heard his name. He is based in England, develop founded Guy House, profound, a guy else wonderful, famous retreat centre in the UK and wonderful the passing a teacher crucial. Yes, what why I think can well he's he's radical is as have the sudden, uncompromising quality, so I think in buddhist tradition, in general, many teachers have this kind of pretty strong cutting like through noble, might not to say that you are I'm not a guy and just not pandering to people's comforts and need to have an easy and and and and cushy and very very on fire at the time,
His own awakening and teaching and I was riveted. I study with him and bald guy and went back to buck guy the place, the Buddha gotten enlightened and there was deaf every if a ten years and they just completely that practice and also being in the asian milieu really helped kind of Kindle a deep love of the teaching and the tradition. And the practice, but if we can agree to want to have an asian teacher, that is good question. While I did have a nice teacher, so I also study where the typical pungency who is from the advice of adapted tradition of the hint of Hinduism, yeah yeah and and advice of a danger is quite close to much of Buddhist teaching and he was both a lover of the Buddha end of the data- and so am. I was actually studying both. And then I went to Thailand to agent, but does his monastery and so do study little bit there. But to me was less about going to Asia to study
the Asian Buddhism, even there was falling in love with that the context of that tradition, it was really falling in love with the practice of awakening of of insight of freeing ones, mind and heart from suffering. Okay, so you just used a bunch of give classic Buddhist right jargon. Genji put deadening. For me, because they deserve alluring, termed awakening. You know it's really. I won't be awake, except her meal we do not. We get one. I doubt freeing from suffering. If you had importing you now proverbial gun today. What do what you mean by that and the plainest of English? How would you explain it? Your former neighbours in Northumberland, good, crushing I may be going back to in a couple of months to do that very thing. I value found out there. Many my school friends are actually becoming interested lifeless, which it is amazing to me in. Given that its
Seemingly a long way from where I am now in San Francisco, how would I put that into the simplest way I'd like to talk about? It is how we show up and meet whatever moment is in front of us with awareness with kindness with understand so, no matter how many spiritual, mystical, wonderful, profound experiences you have and they of course, inform who you are and how you live. The practice is always comes down to How are you showing up in this moment? How am I so today I took me, no extra hours to get here because of delayed flights and cancellations and by the way you don't, you seem unruffled, well, Eureka and, and so the Pacific. So the pride the invitation, This is, u know awakening has to mean how are you,
living and responding in this moment living with awareness and presence or living. Reactivity and self absorption and that one need to be asleep, in other words, to be on autopilot tire about sleep walking through ever unconscious reactive resentful. Claiming everybody not taking. This stability and being self absorbed and self centered verses. Being a wedding present, whether its to your children, what you, colleagues or the bus driver down the road and also you know, there's a lot of pain and difficult in struggling life for all of us in different ways. Internally, externally, how do we meet that with care with kindness With compassion, so by from my experience, what arises out of all this deep practice that we do in meditation and an inn in whatever spiritual practice in June,
is the ability to get outside of oneself and to be able to be more present and caring and awake to what's here, as opposed, as you say, autopilot being asleep, being reactive, being lost in one's thoughts being lost in one self, critical cetera. Well, your self critic should tell you that you just did a great job explaining that with no preparation and guys you didn't know, I was going to ask you to do that. So that's very good and I think very compelling an extremely comprehensible unrelatable, universally. Youtube so you you watch us through the various teachers with whom you studied. What do you do now so I am mostly meditation teacher, so that forms the basis for many many different I do So am I teach out spirit, Detention centre, which is a central in California, where I did my first
Ten days, however, agreed right down a threat that Joseph Goldstein, who taught that retreat sent me a note over the summer. Think he's gone back to teach any expected that they would have a plaque erected in my honor. Did they didn't they didn't know? cleared well, who knows entire done our study on his very kosher. I was sitting on a chair man, I'm not allowed limber set on a good bit bends. You hurt you need so but I'm in meditation teacher there, but my side and looked like a different avenues. I think of myself as a bridge building from the tree dishes of meditation and Buddhism two different fast debts and communities. So one of things I'm passion about is integrating mindfulness and meditation in nature. So what was the subject of your first book of rank awaken the while I love the wilderness. I love nature. I love this earth and I love the tick, Play how we can learn to bring this practice of mindfulness bring a
template of awareness to being outside surrounding just doing it biking it in a conquering. It no scaling it to actually bring that same quality of awareness that you might do too. Sell for your children or whatever it is. You love tuned to nature and then in doing that you actually become much more receptive and open to being touched and also being taught by nature natures. I think the perennial teacher of wisdom of letting go of connection of love, so I had his nature, teach that stuff does it simply by it, because it is that such examples, so the so when the key teachings of both Buddhism and many other traditions is, is the teachings of change right, everything's impairment, transient fragile and unreliable
putting a body with everything she got out and you sit in the woods you see. The whole thing is changing whether it's the wind in the trees, the girl, since both in right now the flourishing but there's also indicate the trees, a you know, spread blossoms, but also have dead limbs this skulls and bones and debray on the ground. Like everywhere, you look is an expression of change and transience there's nothing about being outside. Not changing. You know when we in our rooms, like let's remember now, it's built to keep out change the keep out. You know, obstacles and and and didn t know we Hin wind and garments yeah yeah. So so we don't we get. We get to the believest this. This idea, the things a kind of stable and steady and in any sort of on one level. Another level nothing is stable. Nothing is, as is reliable, so you know all the sense of connection rights are one of things: I've just teaching up
and now the New Mexico and this wonderful send to compile a seat out. It's a wilderness ranch and we drink from the spring, and I say to people We know this is the idea that in our everything's connected and were organised way, timidly woven into the the web of life. That's a nice idea and I say well think about it: women sleep made of water right, seventy percent more and we drinking from this man in spring and after a week, you mostly that spring and that's not just a nice idea. You act is true that big that comes yourselves in your blood and your tears, and so it's when you spend a lot of time in nature. Quietly with some awareness that stuff starts to permit. Oh, oh, we simply walk out of our office over house where we're having a stressful time and we look up even if, in the r the sitting we see the sky or we look at the the cloud. We feel the wind, it takes us out
small sense of self when we say that something is a bigger reality that is tremendously stress relieving it's also wisdom in that our yet the risk as big. Thing outside of this little microcosm of me, so they just many ways that natures teaching us not like that. You should learn this, but just like here, it is, if you, if you spend enough time there to listen in and that you can get them from going down the central park. You can see whether its change or in openness or connection, then opens a hot in a way we got cycles, we love it's beautiful, full leave so the spring grasses. I see. No, yes, that is driving California, S, little to day old little Bambi breaks, you're hot, open, its beautiful okay, so I didn't plan to bring Septa going to bring says over to sending out to be little jarring and heavy and maybe low horrifying because a time
right now and it relates to the issue of impermanence I found out today. A very close friend of mine was on a plane that went down in the Bahamas, with her two young children, I'm sorry, yes and so all of my friends are horrified, has actually been cut. A kind of a big news story in the news today name is Jen Bloom and choose edge, the wonderful in being in her children are beautiful and her that children, fathers survive the end wasn't with them and so obviously he's in a really tough way. But the car, Stations were having today are about impermanence and wake up this morning. Mary has normal all of phone call. Gentleman is missing. And. You know- I a lot of these conversations- we're talking about that and then talking about how easy how we are programme for dinner?
and so we may be in touch with impermanence right now. But in a week to week three weeks will probably not gonna be taken about. It will be justice, zoomed, with the petty obsessions or consuming us in the thirty seconds before we heard what happened to our friend, I wonder if you have it thoughts on how not to do You know now that we are ten derived from our group of friends. How could we stay tend to rise to this? To this end, arguable fact of of human existence yeah, I think in an hour the gift of the I'm? Really sorry for your loss and for your friends lesson. I think that the gift is, it does tender rises and it does openness to appreciating those that I hear the husband, your friends and not taking each other for granted
its people, you love, and that happens for a- and you just say every time. It's it's the built into the wearing. I think that we have Anita around loss around death around fragility and we do go back. The auto pilot may get caught up in petty things that we can believe we getting caught up in given where we were a month ago with tenderness, and I think it does behoove all of us to keep turning our attention to it. Whether it sooner for me, I live sort of semi in the country when I drive pass roadkill I look at the rodeo out that right. That was dear yesterday, now it's dead I've just been doing this. Does the died, I learnt from one for teacher venerable and now you, Mr Wynn, and was reflection around death, but I added
he's, where I say to myself, one less so with breath one less fabulous meal, one less today died. This wonderful conversation humming view one less. This I'm on retreat or in the country one less than this. Full moon be one this full moon, and I keeping that close to my heart and my reflection that each time I do something as one lesson I'm I'll have a fabulous time with my sweetie. What do you say to people say that's morbid and depressing. I definitely can feel that way, but is actually not with the the irony is. It makes you wake up and appreciate the preciousness in the because you we just don't know- I mean I'm flying out to New York. I was on the plane the plane hit. Maybe this is it. You know how I leave my friends and family last time. I talk to them
It was a really really with that. Knowing that this could be the last time my parents are in there it seventies I really to every from collect. This could be the last Franco and I really want to be present for them. So I think it's actually a candy morbid, but I think. That's if we have in our resistance to the truth- and I think one of the gifts I feel like I've given gotten from my buddhist practice- is yeah things come and go. That is the reality and. I feel like I've learned over thirty years of practice to soften into that and it doesn't mean I feel depress adjustments. I wonder, really do inner do the best. You know when I'm no, where my it's a flight delays and and the man behind the countess had while you are you really, you really seen in a good mood like I don't take it out on you, he's a nice guy just doing his job I want to shop is the best I can that's. What makes reminds me to do is interesting.
It was one less practice because in This is the key word here, so my friends, right now or attuned to impermanence. As you say, we are programmed to eventually start tuning out from that and back into our petty desires and and and competitions, and whatever else is going on and are in our respective lives. But if you make a practice out of it, does you, and there are many ways to do this, but you one example being one less. Kind of pounds it into your neurons in a way that is is, I think, quite useful is interesting. Neither I've done started doing this practice were once a week. I volunteered a hospice for three hours and ok, it's easy for me to walk in and out. Consumed with whatever Malone I'm I had been I've been, concerned with overall. You know, I definitely I out of that stuff,
guitar, for way when I'm in there but it's not come for me to get back on my phone in the November on the way home, and that was less common. When I was start when I started doing it eight months ago, then is now that I've kind of habituated to the experience so is powerful. With the Buddha, we called delusion through with it just described as ignorance or or confusion, or what would anything that family of synonyms he still is- if somebody said deliriously, those are the Buddha talks. I was having lunch with some friends in the city they're both pretty avid buddhist practitioners other big business? and one of them said to me. You know we desire and an aversion get all the headlines in Buddhism. But delusion is is, is the Joker you know it's there
its trump card and I ever it is untrue that its chair we walk around. We don't see the veil they were walking around obscured the fish were sure it's a water were swimming fish totally and we're in a low bubbles. A little microcosm are little stories, projections perceptions and ideas. About the way the world is an who we are- and it's mostly, we know, didn't nickel Maya illusion. It's just stories. We make up turning over the brains of meaning making machine and we believe it. We buy the press release and then you have these moments like you had today and in Europe's real the shadows through it's like no, it's not actually gonna just continue on forever. It's actually gonna be really bumping at times. And we're going to lose things and lose things. We love him. We going to be woken up to not just going to sleep. You know what I think. Most practice like a buddhist practice is trying to wake us up.
You know, that's, what's meant by awakening it's a sort of a grandiose term one said without the proper context or understanding, but the way you're describing it is riveting you know? Maybe it's not it's not up bromide, it's a room. It's it's! A crackling, lively, applicable goal. And derived send. It does make life very alive and very juicy in very vivid so we know is interesting ass I was. I was aware there is having a very kind of, costly day in a long plain delays and unjust. You know annoying the gnawing pot of flying. Delays- and I noticed that as soon as those on the plane- and I would just look out the window notice, I'm riveted by landscapes and flying over deserts and mountains, and and
the whole drama of being delayed completely disappeared, like he's gonna be late for this interview and any just disappeared because being able to be present to say: ok, well, monoplane, I'm gonna get they're gonna get there. What an amazing, Skyline going over Nevada were going over the Rockies over everywhere, so it also helps us come out of the drama. The love drama, let herself credit drama well speaking himself created drama said that the new book make peace with your mind, really talks by the inner critic. In fact, in their, as you told us before, we came on when, after I sheepishly, admittedly that I had read, the book would be the worst podcast who's ever you very finally pointed out that one of the things in there's an inner critic tool kit both be of
Extremely high interest people listening this pike s. If you talk about what's in there yeah so there's a whole list of practices, probably on twitter practices so that the two basic baskets of the practices, one mindfulness woman fashion, and so we start as I think, with anything we have to start with. With mindfulness, with awareness and so bring that quality of mindful self awareness to ourselves. If we start to see what's happened, in the mind. What is our minds saying tell me see the difference between a judgment and Edward. What I call a negative laden judgment, verses, just a random thought or an evaluative Can we see so comic first just be aware when the mines- judging has mostly it's it's so automatic, we don't even notice within me, see it just. Rambling on. You should have done there. He could do that better. Why haven't you gone to the jam? We should lose weight, yadda, yadda yadda, an.
I'm looking at you, I say, and I'm thinkin he saw lean. Does he whole thirty busy. A vision of why am I such a fatty you like that is that this is happening all the time it is the first we have to just reckless out. That's a judgment front. Then this was grey, and I know I know it's like the judgment in the the peace. The judging thought that we have to understand is it's not it's not neutral, which may be obvious. It had its it has implication about who we are as a person. That's not good enough. It's not just oh! You know. You know you should a shave today and no sight o you didn't shave today. You know you look terrible you really. I mean you can't even shave you gonna die alone. You gonna I'll, be how to thrive? Where you end up in a very birds and no one loves you and forget it, your loser. Why bother right? So everything leads back to them.
Fundamental sense here: you're you're, not good enough unit, lovable surface of the sea that and then it useful to name it out. There the I Lowell friend your back again today, Joseph Let me this practice of counting judgments rights as any longer treats it inside meditation up in Massachusetts, and you know it can be comical to counter judgments. One isn t three point: ninety five, eight and sixty two and you start to see This is ludicrous. It's just this machine that keeps cranking out these inane except painful, jabs, and so, get this other. They worry thinks he says pretend all of your thoughts are coming from the person sooner acts. You The first is that he has the worrying so first, you got it let the landscape of the thoughts and then what's really interesting, is tat pay attention to what your relationship is to them. Do you believe them July
then go on and on and on do you take them in. Do you feel like their true. That's a really good question to ask Jude because often we think all my thoughts are what the true men, I believe my thoughts that objective truth in the newspaper. Right and when we really pay attention- and we the innocent people and causes right down the judgments top ten judgments, pretty painful. Asked by rather than anyway I'm a loser, never gonna be loved stupid. I'm too overweight, whatever it is, and and when we actually bring a as scrutinising awareness to that MS rhythm site, that's not really that accurate, and maybe I could be a little better in shape or I could you know, the kind of from time to time, but doesn't mean to say that I am a loser. Horrible mean person
so where we're noticing the thoughts were like looking and our relationship to them were seeing how much we believe them we're seeing how much we give it the time of day, sir, ultimately, one of the the fruits of doing this work as we become somewhat disinterested. This is like a little The capping dog in the back of our minds is not good enough. We should do this should do that and if we, and see if we ve become trained to see the judge to not buy into its, not believe it does not give it so much It doesn't matter whether it's here or not, because it's just like we know it's like static in the background in a similar way in meditation meaner, we have thoughts, plenty, a thought, distracting thoughts, fearful thoughts, wanting thoughts over time. They have less stick and, of course, we shall get pulled her way into thought dramas stories, but over time we care less whether the thoughts of their or not is not such a big not so alluring. We lose the fascination, so we won,
have that kind of relationship to the critic where how could we have that relationship before not meditate You don't need to be meditating to pay attention to your mind. You simply need to notice what's happening worthy of thinking. What kind thoughts, you're having read other judgment, folder them negative tone? Is the some impact mission about you in those thoughts that Europe unworthy bad person, just exit. Easier to do that. If Europe engaged in a daily training of doing it, we asked meditation for short, no meditation deaf, please the lamp for cultivating that self awareness, but once that's no initially developed. I think you'd weaken. Do it anyway, you just simply learn how to pay attention to the end dialogue rather than just being lost in the external world and use the tracking see tracking the but you tracking believe retracting relationship, and then you tracking how they impact you, because the thoughts in the critic manifests mostly as words, but then, if my inner,
excess physically emotionally energetically, sir, for example, I can be sitting it s. I love to write, and I love that so few hours in the morning. Why just get to me no play with words. Now you should come right. My books! Writing. Ok. I me You just have to learn how to use. I m form a lot right there. That's our role, not on this progress, because I'm a world by Disney, but the books all mine. Anyway so you're right, I'm techie tearing Europe would have to Roger So I'm ready writing with which I already envy you for but go ahead, and then I might remember, like I may have showed a poem to a friend the day before and they had some sort of slight. You know not so flattering comment about it. And some writing away and that I remember that sword and then suddenly start if your kind of heavy and foggy and kind of law and an end and asthma What's going on, I was loving writing and suddenly the whole country juices is sapped away out of me and then I
right I had that thought my show my friend the poem I could tell the kind face? He wasn't really internet and then I just realized that another four came while you're a writer you're hopeless, is why bother, and so that thought I didn't catch. The thought but the thought then, maybe in their credit sense of fatigue, I'll, brain rain kind, lethargy and then lie single one to do was right. I've lived in that state for weeks at a time mindlessly even post, meditate circumstances of rely for acute enough? You can get. I can get there yeah? I'm sure you know when you're doing you know whatever show that you're doing and you haven't, maybe so a too and on the ball I got the facts wrong, yes and then the cobbler hammer, you me on twitter or or I'm writing, get somethin I wanted in professionally yeah. I can revert that state, the European at your desk. I can live there for weeks right and then, of course, the critic, so
particular and distorted in what it sees right. You may have had a fantastic show. Nineteen five percent, the show, was fabulous and then a couple of things There were just slightly often across what are we notice on what we focus on is you know what we could do better wait a bit suit, each were stolen. One here of the toolkit, but but you're talking about this, you, whether powered by mindfulness, wet weather, powered by meditation, formal, meditation or not a kind of mindfulness of are thinking the whether it's late Wooden value, negative value judgments, what kind of are we believing it worked out of physical effects? Is it having question, and that is this- requires somewhere. With all does not a reroute. What requires some intention to do to do this because most of us walk around locked into the movie you Know- were wherein the matrix- it takes
some real intention to beware We are not our thoughts and to continue to come back to that. It does take energy because I was set up in the thing: we're not seeing its twenty four frames per second right right and I think the biggest motivated is to realize how much pain that it causes has once we get that out. This is miserable, I mean so big. Turning have point haven't for me. I was some years into my meditation practices sitting meditation just now. I did exactly what happened before, but and I was following my breath or doing what I was trying to do now. Is we meditate and I could in my credit, was just assaulting me with just you just good blah, blah blah blah during the exact words were saying, but it was really painful. I suddenly for whatever reason as meditation reducing times. I took a step back and I felt rather than being a friend of the critic, know me I'm just
leaving in yes. Yes, I should in that. Yes, on bad, I started to feel how it felt in the hot- and I felt like what this is really painful- to just listen to this to raid over and over sing most of the same old stuff. Really harsh and in a way that if some one had debt said that a friend or a stranger had been doing the same kind of minimum litany of woes in out of felt collapse, I would if I would have been a felt so with it and and and
battered by them, but without with our in whether a mind we don't see it so much, and so we let it go on and on and that's why I think the practices illumining when we cultivate mindfulness. We do start to have that space were at times we stepped back and go out. This is really painful or delusional or unnecessary. And sir, it's really important to see that the critic, when the critics on its case, like that, we its attacking our fundamental worth and values as a person whom we all make mistakes, and we all do what we do and it's never perfect, as I've ever met. If perfect human beings
which thing I've a two year old is perfect in every improves. It has been doing it's almost almost perfect, so service. We set ourselves these impossibly high standards and that's where the second basket of practices come in, which is compassion because it so people what happened in that meditation was, I shifted from being an ally of the critic to an ally of my own heart colleague actually fell.
In my heart. It felt like it was being Bruce Lee. You say heart, you actually mean I felt last Kevin. I felt like in some way my chest. I could feel it was like a wound that was being like stamped, I mean not literally obviously, but it just felt like I just felt in a really bad it and I think our critics do better. I think, personally, that the leading cause of depression is the inner critic that the voice, that's telling us that were banned with stupid. There were hopeless. There were loser, no good. If you listen to that for ten twenty forty is, you know you gonna feel mildly depressed or, if not sifted depressed. Sir I've done plenty of battle with the black dog. Now, yes, I am, I know I'm sure, minutes the nature of your work. You haven't. We know you in the EU the critic business in awake as people watching you in and evaluating you'd every step with the producer or their audiences.
May I also runs in my family and NATO. The up so so the compassion component is really important because it so painful it's one of the most painful things it and I work with students all over the world in meditation context mostly have also been a therapist in the coach and consulted and on all that, but I won't work, I'm doing and what who I'm working with? I see this phenomena play itself out pupil, could be running. You know, tech companies in Silicon Valley they could be successful, surgeon, and parents and be no talk, show hosts and we know and that same voice world just diminish any sense of well being or success or accomplishment
and so its essential that we find some way to to meet the painted that you know and so in buddhist practice, that the way to turn towards suffering with, as with kindness with compassion, I, which has caused very easy to say very challenging to do. But the first thing we have to do is is TIM, acknowledge how painful the critic is when we will make a knowledge that had the me feel the suffering of being defeated, attacked diminished, put down and feel the vulnerability and that that allows the hot to feel a little warm for tenderness. So.
Practically speaking, how would I do that? So? Maybe you sitting in meditation- maybe you ve been on the other day and something didn't go, Sir well and you're on your case cause you know, could it done better, theoretically and and then see a critic has just lashing out a? U fur, whatever being not perfect and big stupid or whatever, and so what you shift from the thought and the critic too. Well, how did you ask yourself How does it how much feeling went now what what what? How does that land? You know what I feel in my heart, o my body or my energy, and so you shift from the thoughts to the feeling.
And rid that's where that awareness of the feeling, my experience will make an acknowledged. The suffering is something it doesn't create, but allows the conditions for a compassionate response to arise. Does noise arise, but it it's it's much more likely and what, with compassionate response, be when you're done with your own suffering? How that what would it look like, while the first response might be
Another sucks: this is hard right yeah. You know whether its having been an maybe not performed well on a show- or you know like- has funny how's on this flight today and I had a choice in their turn to just sit out. Wait for the next. You know there was a bunch of flight cancelled and then I was I could have just waited there to get the next life or I decided, oh I'll, just you know I find the next best flight quickly and jump on a plane and and of course I ended up making decision that may be much later than enough. If I just stayed behind so my critic had a few sincerely. Why didn't you stay while the most obvious thing to do in this chapter in the book called twenty? Twenty hindsight the critic has twenty twenty hindsight and always on a case quota would a shudder. You do the best you can so I'm sitting on the plane. Mc critics yadda yadda yadda,
like an actually. I was really taken that seriously. Sorrowing too there is pretty clear and and silly to be judging myself or that the old you would have taken the earlier as like caught. I really can't do anything right. I really should listen. I should so but in the town that that I'm really suffering from the critic and and she s movement with a compassionate quality, looks like it looks like what it feels like is the word that comes up for me rather like. Oh, you stupid you should then in bed set out. This is hard for you This is hard, for this is difficult and there's something in the just acknowledging of that that the everything's drops a little and then just I am. This is hard you I could have done better. I could have said this done that and I didn't and it'll painful and I can feel regret and a little silly and l stupid and the whole
he's just a little bit, and I just hang out with that. Yet that's not very pleasant, that's hard, Maybe you can move from mindless self laceration to what the Buddhist call wise remorse wise remorse and also just holding the pain of whatever the situation. Yes does it work all the time or is this just sometimes this process works. Well, it works most of the time my critic hasn't gun away. I'm is definitely look quite a most. The time don't care whether it's me now, I'm late for you now before I make the scope and I'm going to teach it Spirit Rock. You know a few times a week, I'd like to cut my time a little fine? I had traffic, I'm late for May meditation class and my critics and I know like an exquisite, Why didn't you leave earlier? Why can you get this together? Why can't you be more organised? Nothing! Thank you, Mr Critic, well I'll, be leaving the house, and I confirm my keys, so my wallet cause I'm like that, each citizen,
didn't live wherever they want to live, and my critic says he's so disorganized and they say thank you. Mr Mindfulness wins the day. Yet again So make a joke of it, so the humorous actually really important quality in. In the end, the critic took it because we have to laugh at our cells. We are strange, idiosyncratic silly beings and, and the critic is also sell, any it just like having twenty twenty hindsight. Oh, you should take enough, and how do I know what like the two, I don't know a freeway to take which ones the worse in other. So if we can find a sense of lightness in it, you know I know I know you'd be sitting. Is long retreated imagined, Agnes gray. Wig know that the judge there, the weeks that the old english judges were meditate Laelia out it s a kind of
turn it up a bit sometimes exaggerated. Yes, I really am the worst meditated in the world. I am the worst friend in the rye, whatever you think yes, yeah unicorn cookie a snow, and I can't meditate either okay great, so they think we can find a sensor Lay from this, because human does. The same thing mindfulness does, which has a disengage, is s from being so identifier, air, which is why we love humor by love, going to systemic comics. If people want to learn more about you how in work- and they do so, Sir My main website is Mark common Dato, that's mark with the king, and that will take it to many other websites. My awaken the wild duck com website, which is my nature, work in my mind from this institute, which is my my
from this cancelling, but if you go to my common dot org, that's where most of my work in the information about the critic and my retreat sudden teachings. My final question, for you is: what would it take financially ana whatever? What would it take free you for us to get you to railroad the mark, Through he cried, I wouldn't take much. I could take this headset off and I can read my head and we go over your mobile immediately, but I'd be happily to spray painted Why wouldn't take very much at all nice right? Well, you ve been a fabulous guest. Thank you were ended to be here. You had a tough day and you now I'm more travelling in front of you, because you're heading up the insight meditation society in very Massachusetts, wherever we should go at least once in a lifetime. Pests, amazing and you're gonna teach a retreat with Sharon's Helstone
Thank you very much for the pleasure. Do. Ok, that does it for another edition of the ten percent happier podcast. If you liked it, please take a minute to subscribe rate us also. If you want to suggest topics, you think we should cover or guests that we should bring in hit me up on twitter at Danby. Harris importantly, I want to thank the people who produce this podcast Lauren Efron Josh, and and the rest of the folks here at a b c, who helped make this thing possible. We have tons of other projects. You can check them out at every single time, casts dot com I'll talk to you next Wednesday. There's not a person in America 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
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