« Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris

#88: Virginia Heffernan: Writer, 'Trumpcast' Podcast Co-Host

2017-07-12
Virginia Heffernan, who has written for several major publications including as a television and Internet culture columnist for the New York Times, opens up for the first time about her addiction to prescription drugs and her decision to get sober. The author of "Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art" and a co-host for Slate's "Trumpcast" podcast, Heffernan talks about the turmoil she was facing in her work and personal life, her relationship with religion and her Twitter persona @Page88.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
I guess this week is another person who Ivan for a long time and then and then met on Twitter Virginia have written, is a phenomenal reporter and writer she's been within your times. Among other people. Patience, and so I've I've followed her for years, and then we happened to connect on twitter and came out that whose meditate or so I invited or on the show, and as you will hear, she started to discuss something very personal in the course of this interview that she has never discussed publicly before really personal, really moving and really important to hear an aside from that you're just gonna hear really sharp mind talk about what meditation can do for a person and also you hear her views on technology and on faith, so without further ado, here's region
I have written from ABC, see, there's a and have your podcast dinner a way to blog, I gotta If anyone is plugged in an effort to but I think you joined Twitter very early on just cause. I, like digital life, digital culture, and I thought that it was gonna, be another shady message board like the things I belong to four per The lover is, are you know people anticipating, childbirth and I was just another thing to sign up for so I gave myself a code name like an avatar named page. Eighty eight I knew was a disgraceful Jemmy mind that I will joining it has like my Ebay handle. Nobody has you know you don't have Damn Harris verified account on Ebay. Rightly know: that's just your side lie the whig rate use of the word Demi mom. I'm actually writing a book right now, but to find a place for it to thrive. Then, yes, I will look for that. Hold me too. I was ill. I lakes,
patient. So look every even for single word. You have you to say why not so I like anywhere the internet. So I went- and I you know you know from the book I joined when I was nine and just for my sense- have spent a lifetime. Their joined the inter joyance. What was then, I called the company, but was a networked. There was a network to compute computing time sharing system. They had it Dartmouth College, as I was tony child at the chair. You know when I got the chance to deal in and I joined this. a world that looked very much and has come to be in my mind, something like a massively multiplayer online raw play game. So had been a dandy kid and I was very excited: create my new online avatar at ninety cited diver did do do as
we had thirty six hours. They were basically like points in Biagi. Geometric points and space instead of actual sides, but, but so when you say, a you know. How do I, any extent maintain balance, even though I you know. I am fairly regularly on twitter, I said, think of it as a game. I just got that idea stuck in my head, that this isn't life and anything that page. Eighty eight that's my twitter handle does is not why I what I do or what the you know, there's a back step as the USA, and that I hope that I can take that and be sort of even more myself, because I've almost left off the part of me that can be digitized dino. So it's like anything I am or anything the world is, is something that can be on the internet and so having defined. At that way, I found more freedom are living.
Portion of my life on the internet, but but then, without it, it doesn't you're, not immune from the sheer volume of data get you I walked in our room lead and you immediately started talking about things that, if transpired in the last like five minutes and you got twitter. I would assume he adds. I guess it's that all who are part of it as opposed to what you I think you were very too about. about the unreality of it and that your page, eighty eight you're, not you that's about taking the stuff that people say to you personally, maybe the most it just having your fingers. As I said before, gonna like even in the data stream in that way, and always on yeah I'd like to not be in it once in awhile. Yes, I take breaks off. I take pretty much after after trolling, so after there's any you now any experience with sometimes after Trump cast the show that I have
Just about our president, sometimes there's controlling around that are their written times. You know when things if when it feels like a Colosseum on there, you know where you can't pretend that different, you can't know one, or at least I certainly don't have an imagination big enough to to distance myself so much. on page eighty, eight that I'm not constantly getting cortisone adrenaline spikes every time I you know, I am told that I should dumb, what's the buzz off about that buzz off page eighty, eight, that kind of thing, but they started with a different consummate. They who had different version about exactly and down and yes right. I usually take take three days off and I have a sort of red regimen for those days three days yet three, I mean either. I had hasn't happened in awhile and three days in this particular new cycle would be maybe,
ongoing. On the other hand, you know it's a huge part of the, except that I called practice, but it you'd freedom. While being as predicated on the idea that I am very infinitely powerless over. You know this life and, to the extent that I start to believe that I have some power over events right now, like take the term Prussia connections at this dinner, alleged drop rush. That's right! The alleged connections between Turkey and Russia and China There are people on twitter who are becoming more and more zealous and ardent around the subjection, obsessive and shipping off jokes, and I certainly been one of them and you can start to feel like you're, this arms their encyclopedia around you're, just like girl, FBI person whose can solve this off from Twitter
years and years ago I decided that today was the day solve John DNA Ramsay, and I was just going to read this handwritten there's over and over again until I saw them. You know it's not far from the kind of thinking I used to do right up to the moment that I kind of crash. Do my life like in two thousand eleven. I really thought that there was a lot I could solve, and you know that I could do it from my chair and from my phone and when I start thinking about
it's not good for me so much to unpack your? I think I'm gonna listeners be confident that it will pursue all the the threads, but, but let me just stay for a second, because I know a lot of people really care about setting up a lot of people who was in his pockets and particular care about this, which had maintaining sanity in an era of such fast moving developments having accreditation practice, women even started about how and why and where you started yours having a meditation practice had being mindful and having some sort of media diet. That makes sense. You know, tie trading your usage of or your comments.
Resumption of of news and information. How do you manage that? Given how plugged in I know you to be? I mean I, I guess I sort is I'll just say: doesnt work for many, a monastic approach to almost anything and life, and when I hear especially schools talking to kids about screen use, as though there were, you know no safe legal dose as though it were a draw. No without at no safety businesses, the unsafe at any dose, and as though it were the way people used to talk about sexuality alike. one foot on the floor. You can only go to first base or you can only you know out no hands on, but was the school role at my high school dances. You could do you could slow down, but you couldn't you now put your hand on someone else's, but so anyway, those restrain
sound to me a very like twenty minutes, but not before bad, but you know you can have your phone, but you can't carried in the classroom. It makes Now that you do that- and I certainly take these breaks from the internet and anne- and you know my kids do too, but I what's worked better for me- is trying to play the game are become a skilled player of the game. So with my kids, I talk her. Tell me about avatar building online. So you know there are many many choices. People make about, say a facebook profile. You can choose to highlight the best things in your life. You can choose to write essays and mixed cases about politics. You can share the you know the death by cancer of a friend of yours. You can talk about. You know things to make you unhappy in the world. You can try to run
other people, you can use the hive mine, but does raw choices that people make on the internet and they they shouldn't, make them out of fear that they're trying to participate in this world that so complicated and horrible, but out of the out of that kind of em, confident Convention, that's playful, and that is that you do over wily, Anne and vulnerable, but but also so you know, authoritative. You know when my son decided to put this like almost executive looking picture of himself on his Google profiled he's eleven and hits is first teenage had creation of a little profile picture he took. You know like we all do three hundred pictures of himself valleys and finally picked wine where he looked like he was sitting in a corner office with his. I don't know how to describe this for the radio, but you know that thing where you put your hands
Andrea had an die and elbows out and each citizen with powerful in his left ear hook, Ghana, power Post, he is in a power, pose he's ceo, there but you know I was Athena when I was nine and coming up with a durable avatar for a kid that keeps you safe you now that keeps you like. You're a ceo, our urine, armor this great and later on? You might want to make more connections with it with it with a profile. You know it doesn't do great things for you to be always on twitter, you're gonna make a ton of mistakes, and I've definitely made them you're, going to jump to conclusions. Sometimes you're gonna retweet things that you then think better of if you're gonna learn some lessons the hard way and then that's about playing the game, but to say that there is health which is screen free, twitter for your existence and then there's you know, addiction, compulsion and that that lives on the internet sort of sounds like.
the way. I don't know the way it like in ancient Greece, it was just there shopping and that's for horrible people, who've never thought about their lives and then there's this other thing. You know, which is your salvation and sanctity, which is thinking, and you know the examined life, and you can think you know and Christianity that maybe the Alps be ideal as the celibate priest or the seller of it Christ and then the beginning of the family. Man is the one hampered by you know by all these real world obligations with which spiritual existence is impossible, and I'd like to think that you can lead a mindful life, Even if you know it's up to half of its online, but I don't think that's about- why do I think, if you're gonna be a big engage? Citizen nowadays is a pretty strong argument that you should have. You should be dipping your toes at the very least, into
data stream, I'm I'm just curious about like just from a really great level like how much time these online in there and how much time would you recommend we spend you know on Twitter? articles or whatever it is without lose our minds, given the fact that people are strong feelings about on either side about what's happening in american politics and the world yeah arrow I mean you know The whole, not the whole internet is and not even I don't know I d, I hesitate to make a gas but a but there's a substantial part of the internet. That is not political and I think that you know a few instagram, not my joy. Neither is Pinterest asked for that matter, but you know both of those. If you live on Pinterest Instagram you it's like you,
don't even her walk into a different world than the people who live on twitter and a lot of journalists are on twitter. Twitter makes it easy for journalists to be on their doesn't show us adds its very different experience for people. You know without verified accounts, and I think said that sort of can give the impression that Europe with the whole world. You know that the whole world's here and I dont think a whole worlds. I don't think the whole world's on Twitter and that Twitter really very accurately represents the internet as far as sanity. Well, I said this thing
which really does bring me back to sort of my dark night and the beginning of my practice. There was a moment when my best thinking as as a journalist, another person had gotten me in dire straits leg. Just things just were not looking good for me and my real world and internally. I just felt you desolate. So the point right before that was the point I felt like I had the most power, like almost like a cookie manic like I can control a lot of things in my life and if I just make these changes- and I just you know, go one step further like there must be an essay tee I can take or in a region work out or something- and the moment of revelation to me was it's not that I am not powerful enough. It's that I'm absolutely powerless over these ten things happening in my life and then I started to get really interested and all the things that I
as powerless over and what a wonderful realisation that was, you know and as excited as I think we might be as journalists to think that we can get in this story and have some say over. You know over what happens ideal Lee NEWS breaking like the fact that there are special council now that will investigate the presence connections to Russia Means Justice is taking its course that the camera can go back of, be pulled back a little bed and they'll be theirs procedures, their checks and balances there. The judiciary and the government that may work on a longer line than we are aware of. You know that that that the law might supersede some of these things or how didn't tell me how much time each well. As I say I take days off, usually three. If I have a you know a massive cortisol spike, if I'm just like this, is out now physically bad for me, so those are than that have
that's probably once a month- and you know it's really hard to say we are anyone listening to this package as it is, is on the internet is in the digital world, we're on the not right now that we are making us, or at least for creating a digital artifact. I think there is wireless in this room, so I could turn my phone over and look at twitter. I don't know at what point I become on Twitter and I really am not dodging it. I mean I I like it when you walk out of here yeah. Well, I looks just about year, origin you're, just like we are you in your father. Would you kids tell me that you're on your phone all time now? So so I don't like saying this because I do feel like it plays into their it's. Your phone is all about time, but just the short answer is I don't pick it up till twenty minutes after him away except to turn off my alarm. So let me try to the record having better see. I don't like this moral thing. Sorry, but
because I'm worse at other times twenty minutes before I go to sleep you now I put it down and they don't fall asleep over it. What about a man? I take two hours off in the day and I sometimes use an app that is anyway that lead bits. Could it's called forest and you kill a tree if you'd touch your phone like a little virtual way, it's actually really how to find. This is what I found again guys in, although just like, how can I hack that's his figure out at an app real out? You threw out a million really really interesting things on. I know no new finger wagging at you for taking away to get to that. What I saw as the nub, but the listeners men may see, is something different, but there will be. I love that they even seems really interesting to me. It had it just a just to know how your managing this that two hours off that's really interesting and that sets the tone
often the day and then the last partisan is not what I want with another person. So when the kids, you know my habit is secret, I mean you know it's in a cafe. Sadly, at while I'm walking down the street, it's you know when I'm on my desk of but yeah. So it's so so not one and with another person, and I feel like it- change a bit that people don't usually have their funds vote, face up on the table and their together the way people use Delia. Or do you keep your phone? No, I don't. I really try to think a lot but how to manage my consumption of media, but I'm not on have his wrath. My rules are not as well thought through as yours, because it is usually the first thing I do in the morning, but I dont check for well before I go to bed he. I do meditate quite a bit to us in looking at that for growers, and I bet, but it's not a period today,
where am- I don't know where it's just structured two hours of not checking anything, I'm doing other things in the real world, a museum sitting there in my eyes closed, meditate yeah woke, I mean that's, two hours raining agonizingly meditate to our agenda is hell. That's that's a lot. I will say by the way you for those of you who have not glimpsed Dan Heresy, it's very chill Zander. Looking man really. Yes, that's interesting views. I gotta think of myself that will now it shows on your face really yeah. I mean you're not quite that, like annoying techy kind of her son footwear, overtly ballots illatici as job a posture
for what it's worth. My wife is always pointed out to me, and I had a nagging way: I'm guy were worth like slagging ourselves off that we're just like. I am not self actualized bad posture. Look at my phone. Do might just don't mistake doubly about. Could you make of references to this the dark night, your dark night? We would I mean- I'm probably not the first gas to say this, but I just I haven't ever talked in this register, surrounded by Like ABC News Logos, justice. It's almost. They just feels like a category error, but do the best. I can. I have been sober for six six. I must have almost six years. That is huge accomplishment. Thank you thank you and which means that the summer of two thousand eleven was these even hard to
those words to age and also, I feel very grateful that it's in the past, so I wasn't, I didn't, have a special prosecutor appointed against me. I didn't have a lot of bad things that could happen to a person, but there was bad enough. For me and the two things were that I was sort of moved around at the New York Times and that seemed horrible to me. I loved my. I was writing a column. The late William Sapphire had written the calm next to mine and he died at his desk. Basically writing on language of the great old columnist and I just wanted to die at my desk. I just one
The file and diet might ask, there's something about newspaper life that I loved it just fit me, and on top of that I was very devoted to the idea of being in a union. I know that the would be immediately are supposed to have nothing to do with you know disgruntled former union workers, but I've got no felt very like I just across it out like patriarch you, but I love paternal action. Love it being like New York Times the New York Times company. You know when I got there, the stock was going up. I joined the union. There was some frogs that we're going to back me up if bad happen to me. I took a drug test to be sure that I was like okay, if I ever had to drive a truck to deliver the paper and I just loved it. I took great a great deal of comfort in that, and I knew that if I was moved around, I was gonna be somehow thrown out into the freelancers world, which just seemed Harold terrifying to me. So this now seems
earlier small, but I dont know why. But it was excess terrible to think about leaving the type. Doesn't Really I don't know it does not seem small people place it in farmers amount of meaning in their work. I do yeah, I was getting moved around here and ABC. I would take that very personally yeah. Yes, Sir That was at an end, and you know I was always within the calm again, oh It's called it was called the medium, the media, yeah yeah yes and he has about internet culture and- and I just love doing it- was very like peaceful, a time at the magazine, of course, journals and was contracting and but did just felt it just felt this very peacefully very right with my rhythms to be able to file the site. as I had worked on, that common for four years, two things have happened. One is well, I had a chance to children
and then also I had developed a cut bring mechanism. For my solving marriage, which was xanax so you know. I know that you have a sample of the demon cocaine before, but I was passed my fun party days and pretty decent have alike mothers little time as really are to talk about it, because you know my kids were little originate for what it's worth didn't take any pills during pregnancy, but you know as soon as they could. I did so without uncommon, not uncommon right, but even you know it's like. Bottoms your bottom. It was big enough for me, I'm not minimizing, and I am just broadening yes another favor for me was the ambient sleeping bell and related Venza. Yes,
and that was I started taking an earlier in earlier in the day, because I liked the sort of artifacts of it right before you're supposed to fall asleep refusal, if only they tat Riah, and yet I'm a tricky and interesting, and you know a couple times. I turn right at a column into the New York Times and I have like a garbled weird stuff at the bottom that I had written while taking Ambien. I wrote a bunch of television. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and be like. Did I watch those five emphasise, a real housewives or not? Oh, I don't know I watched them again, so that was kind of a normal mourning. For me ass. It was just beginning to control. It was bad. It was really bad. It was very like yes and you now there were times when some of them there was. There is a bottle of white wine, usually a Scrooge, how bottle white wine and evenings anyway. It became clear that my then husband had fallen in love with a friend
since the talent of our element, ok, dance eyes, just open very. Why like he's just like I'm, not judging, but that's acts I'm feeling badly? I did you sound terrible, that's what my eyes went up like that that sucks ITALY's that definitely bad enough for me and I'm not very good at looking at someone's email, universe, tougher, you do too, I now sitting on it, so I didn't if there were doing at times when they were moving around, and I didn't know what going on of my ex husband and I just it was felt like I was in a fog and my Short, my idea was double the doses because that's all I not illogical me not shot wise, but I get it. I know how to do that. As a the wake up, and now it's a slippery slope, Elvis Presley Uppers and download slope So you know, amazingly, I had a sober friend. She's got a lot of sobriety.
I called her one night, it's a little blurry, but I called her one night and early very late June of two thousand and eleven and said I don't have any I don't. I think I don't have a marriage and I think I don't have a job and with it making things more complicated I converted to he has shown to marry, and we re lay quite observant, and I felt like my religion was also got a UNESCO. Is that two very little kids? I mean I was you know anyway, so I don't have anything. I don't know why. That was what came up and she said I say this thing and its as I don't. I can't imagine anything else, he has ever been sat on the show, but it seemed powerful to me. I'm godchild, God loves me, I'm godchild! Doubtlessly. I think I said it a thousand times at night. I don't even know what the word meant by the end. I had no idea, but I got to sleep.
without ambition for the first time, and maybe ten years through, you were doing a mantra as do a mantra: yeah can you just define for a listener? Who may not know what a mantra is, what it is? I'm just a word that focuses the mind. Sometimes I mean if you sometimes you can have them, but we'd see if I great gurus and sometimes people settle on it, but they'll focus on instead of a visual object of focus or the breath. The focus on people will focus on a it could be said silently you know in Europe in your own mind or some tough as chanted yeah and it yeah sort of it. You know that I am, I am godchild, God loves me. It was so silly, but also just the idea of being a child again was powerful and I would add, anything to get myself to sleep, so that was at too, and it turns it was better than my best banking, which was you now extended release.
Plus another hidden, so am I at that moment. I think I forfeited my right to decide that something was beneath me. You know cause I had made some interesting choices are not putting reintegrate place, I joined a fellowship that anonymous fellowship and a oh. I mean try not to let you know use the name that I certainly don't represented, and I wouldn't if because I could easily ass up and then we'd be and then reveal and either I wouldn't want to blame the thousand, but it's a is wonderful anonymous fellowship ends and it gets How do people better, and I was one of them? I may I think, but I really bravo to you monsieur. So this is a hard thing you went through end is, though I know a lot of people have gone through similar things. It is hard really hard. hard at eleven, but meditating tooth two hours a day is also hard until it becomes easy and
El, it becomes the only thing I mean I wouldn't Go back to the hard life I had before this. I mean these that the meditation practice which, in the twelve steps as assisted with the eleventh step, which is a higher power its It sought to improve your contest contact with God, as you understood, got guts and go with that with with that and the meditation that's grown out of that I can have a life It's not! It's, like God, bless hard acts. risers, but when they talk about like that, my sanity is predicated on my running a half marathon every day I M just who how that looks hard. You know I'm prison that wanted the easy, Ruth Iverson that couldn't stand. Micron of paying vat I needed to take. You know benzes to me, phone call so I'm not good someone who's gonna, do anything very hard, but I think
actually is very hard because does evolves. Turning into the stuff, we normally run away from yeah yeah, and that I mean you at you. I know from your back like that. It's a shift of focus it's just so counter intuitive. You can't believe you're supposed to look at the things that you are not looking at. All this uniting their asked receives. Is that the correct way to proceed pluralism as he asked us says I don't know, ok whatever it is that if you ve got real trauma, I think you got a tightrope. How much you
yet the pan yeah about it, do it with medical oversight. That's a grain emanate. You know tat it s. A terrible meditation teacher. You know often cautions people against in are taking to deep a dive in sometimes you're gets really confident. Just say like now. My time to leg, you now go deep sea fishing for our some. He now this thing that happened when I was three and you know I can be too too painful, but in our for fear of that I wouldn't wanna stay away even from some of the heart or stuff, because you know you have something unexamined, that's just that our untouched, I guess not now examined, causes analytical, but just like I'm not going not gonna touch that Renault part of my psyche, and then touching it be hamster the solution I will say either
The tone of ally, just described, has had a very, very happy ending witches that arm with the help of me, no more because in this programme and some spiritual, workin meditation I reconciled with my friend, and you know between a career beyond my wildest dreams. After leaving the times you now probably the greatest gift to me was you know my husband's decision to leave I'm sort of like. read it out, and I probably would have read out eighteen, more bucks on making marriages work and done active listening and of his specific bunker stuff to try to save a manager. Be more what he wanted, and I said so. I feel like that. Was this moment of great liberation and my real life as wisely souls life is remarkable. Will so again, I'm at this juncture that I find myself
I guess rather thousand questions. Let me just Honan, I'm gonna make a decision to go after how'd admit it. Asian come to you and will in what form, and what is your backs? What I look like now, and so I think, like maybe like other people, have had an addiction to sleeping pills. I had decided that I had completely intractable insomnia that, like without a lot of white wine and benzes and opiates and sleeping pills in my system, I was never going to fall asleep. I just that. I would never fell asleep so that day that I decided to get sober? My first fear was, I will never go to sleep and I somehow thought meditation was away to put yourself to sleep and, I mean I know the joke of, like I just meditated for twenty minutes and when I woke up and that meditation.
Mapping often said of learned through two absolutely is a lot to say about this, but but but meditation can be a good way to get your shaped itself to sleep enough. If you are, I mean it's about, you know the word Buddha means awake, so it is worth to be. It is supposed to be the opposite of sleep in many ways, but if your phone feeling sleepy when you're meditating answer she usually signing needs sleep or sometimes a sign in items, entry, thing do fall asleep, sometimes enclosure and can mean that I've just haven't had enough sleep mean that I'm Ottawa look at something. It can be a way to two didn't as out and not face something else. Yeah yeah phase out, like that I so I tried. I called someone not know very well at all and said. I know you know how to meditate. Can you come teach me any use like I'm, Dr Can Pritchett
and I also barely value I thought only one person in the world knew how to meditate, and it was like a friend of a friend this guy, so he said, like wanting you download this book or find the subtle and it was like a pdf, and I mean literally I read it like it was IKEA instructions like I will not get this done. If I skip any steps, I'm gonna mess up, so I so I went through this and it was very kind of catchy eider now new Agee thing that I can't really remember exactly what it said Something led me, I think possible, Someone in a meeting said you might listen to these podcast by and yeah. Yes had now. He's amazing and I think I got back tat would be once I heard him on the show, but you know I don't know. If I had enough, you recommend some of these teachers to your lesson but I've missions in young kind of closes the book for me on some of these crimes
there's something in the way he talks it's a high rate of how he talks with his vocabulary his own, precision you know and how he talks that just works for me and certain of his dharmu talks or or meditation toxin, guided meditations have just been so powerful Helping me through the son, a you know, there's a tiny bit of stigma attached to it. You know I every now and then you get asked. Where do you sit there? I get asked if you sit at too. That house. Ok This is one of those things where I'd try not even say that I'm meditate, because they'll say like yes, someone will say: did you sit, which is the scariest thing in the world It's like the thing that happened when the ogre, when it just became a harder and harder and harder it. You are like priced out we're on this path for on the trajectory yeah. It's gonna get weird it's getting things you thirty or so. In any case I but
one of that sort of training. Whales. Things that I did, that training was, I never took off for listening to guided meditations and but can I get up and that is only a training, will know what goes on nothing wrong with with the administration did not like a thing who do in order to get on your own. I actually think got These amazing and I had that attitude for awhile and so did and now I do gotten military area not infrequently not every day but not infrequently. I think their amazing. It ever the time I say what I was doing it s speech to buncher corporate folks, Diana broader meditation teach me damn He was just doing basic meditation instructions and I found- that ten minute thing rose, hearing the basic meditation instructions again yeah live with. This great teacher was phenomenal. It always reconnects me too. The so drop that two ok, I'm glad area look liberated, hurt if you like it, Your first said: there's a he has a meditation,
overcoming difficult emotions, and in the midst of this you know what would become a divorce, I'm a job, blossom, religion, confusion. I was like, I think, I'm experiencing difficult emotions, so I qualify for overcoming difficult emotions, which I will now get unspotted five. for free, which I like to do and so I started to do it and it was actually a trauma meditation and he courage, as you are, allows you to do it lying down and really interesting thing about actions on young. Is that though he did, though he was not an ashram, but we honestly, I think, it was then, and it was in japan- I guess it was essentially modesty- did hard core right, hard core meditation. There's a lot of late ferris him sitting an ice, cold water and like lots of self denial, and Modification Flash, and in spite of that, he often,
he's sort of the least dictatorial about posture about how you said. You know he often says Liese meditating. All the time like when you dishes when he's lying around and then I'll say: let's you lie down, so I was like right. This is for me so A down and I'll never be able to do it as he does it, but why he said finally asked me at that moment to do was taken where all the language associated with the particular kinds of pain, so that I could see it neutrally and what the weather the exercise is. is you locate in your body where you're feeling some kind of pain so its first. It feels like it's all over you guys, don't understand. I have to call lawyer the houses, you know I. What am I going to do with the mortgage, but I may be at the house, but I have the kids now, I'm a single mom. What am I going to do? A little ever meet another guy and then it's yours we like now, no account he keeps asking you like call that on call that done. Until I tell you
finally got to writer. A ribbon there's this eighty feel right. all this language. All your plans just turn into this ache in your one in Europe, and then he asked you to watch that ache in Europe and only label it local small local, as can contain local or global on your whole body, local global global book. You just are watching watching it move and your body, and you do it for so long so long that you're like in this internal space of your body and what that aching, your revs or I got all through your bike. Or a pinch in your leg. time surge of pleasure through throughout your body. These strange, you know when you get this more precise vocabulary that chins and youngest but at and then suddenly you don't remember what those had to do with this
crazy store. You ve been telling yourself about the liturgy off to call an end and the FAO. that you have to do West seems like such a neutral fact, because no longer is setting your skin on fire. You just you know the to do list seems a simple it was like. I could just walk through it. You know how am I gonna pay my mortgage turned and to set up an auto pay. I think it took me five minutes and the actions of the action that came out of that detached, and practising at detachment. Over and over again you know satisfying. You know you talk about not losing your edge I didn't want to not pay my mortgage, you know, but for that for fear that if I dropped me, vigilant for one second, and if I didn't constantly real through all the possibilities of something that I you know, that I'd lose my else and that my kids would starve for fear of that. I wouldn't relax now again, so I could go to
leave like Eirik human organism, my one chance on earth. Why did I possibly convince myself that I couldn't that? I was didn't deserve. Eight hours of rest at put every mail how you sleeping now I mean you know. I don't want this to be a total meditation fairytale but I also want under estimate underestimated. I sleep wonderfully. I dont think I ever had insomnia as the truth. I had an addiction to pelles. They convinced me that you now I couldn't bear my kind of pain, hurry. You now lying there for five minutes waiting got to sleep, males who was a close friend who struggled with just the the desert cascade of hell use that you described of em ambient at night caught up in the afternoon, actually yeah starting the day with them that are all church twenty year. She did it.
while she got a merit. Probably would earlier, nothing was the beginning is ahead of the curve. It's it's for mother. It's the speed freak of middle class mothers because you get you start to understand the eighty two drugs, a man. You start getting them for years. She did it or she was a mom and then and cigarettes ever know right now so gets its its it. It's tough nasty nasty not a joke, and it also you know, I don't blame anyone. Let myself I love to drink from an early age. You know, did other hard drugs, but I get out if you are prescribed their staff and you'd have for some people like they can't advantage over allergies. Like you really have to decide what it had over yourself. Rail policy can cook with why new ground in our views, but I coming interrupted you when you're Saxony interesting, but pretty much everything you said interesting, but the the you said something about going to church.
the end it reminded me that you would talk before about being a unobservant. Do what you did when the final chapter of your excellent book magic, unless which I feel it we ve given short shrift thus far in this pod, cast you in that final check, Your talk a lot about Europe she's with with spirituality, abrahamic faiths, and so not like New Age spirit. Rather they have. You know that too and then also some controversy that that were generated as a consequence hold forth. The MIKE is yours who, out of that I just wonder remind anyone who is not here, meaning not damn near the producer that we are surrounded by leads totems of like awesome, Moscow at accomplishment at ABC like I've, just like there's Peter Jennings, there's all these people that leg have their left branch stuff together life together and we're about to talk about how I'm a church mouth so little, just
but really Levin visit. That's no! It's great ass! A looking round. Could I can't see? Yes, yes, she's right behind me. They're, like crazy posters, is of a busy new step and repeat here. I think we ve got a rag carpet. It's a little crazy that you said that I am I'm working for seventeen years, I'm like kind of pretty low ABC News: employee anchor man whatever, but I wrote a book about me, no haven't like that. I largely here, know exactly and that's it. I think been a great thing that you ve done for people, including me like. Let you live sort of that it's possible to not be in a monastery and still live on my full life. I mean just it that's a simple truth that came as a breakthrough me. So you have the book. Is the sum total of the book is the internet as art magic amongst the internet as art, and so he and I had this experience, Earl
with an network computing that just to put it briefly, I was using one of those four old style terminals with green letters in the front in a dark black background. And the two most enchanting things in my life. I think just because of constant exposure to this particular screen, where it was the language that some public order in the front there was connected, Cosette was network to social life, romantic Lave, Vinos coming of age, and then this fathomless dark yonder behind it. That could be the night sky, could be the leader of the depth of the mind or it could be. You know that there's a literary critic that says when that affect is generated by the Bible. It's like you, start to think you see the face of God. So, let's, let's say it with something like that: the feeling of all that some people get looking at the night sky are faced with the cancer diagnosis so I wondered always sort of what that dark space was, and it sound strange
I feel, like I developed a kind of techno spirituality, and that sounds very weird. I guess until you think that you know, Marshall Mcluhan was us very strange catholic mistake, my apps having Kelly has started wired magazine as a serious Catholic, Steve Jobs, as we now had. You know very odd religious beliefs and practices and the other progressive Jews who started. Google a plan to hack death. So, and you know they think of it as like a few lines of code that they can get around with supplements and stuff. So none of us is like really just on a sane track. Here, like and an you know, thinking about knowledge- and you know, thinking about tat technology and spirituality attack. again the afterlife as it were, or or even just how to quiet the mind in relation to it. For some reason it's like an actual connection to me. At the same time,
I had you know a regular religious life, so you know people say a lot of spiritual and not religious to some extent, The best parts of my life have been when I'm religious and that spiritual. So now at this point in my life there things I do religiously, whether or not I feel it in our so like, of course, who doesn't want those like beautiful mountaintop times. When you know the picture Perth a perfect meditation where you're just like you know, there's some kind of white later, just some slips. Switch that makes you feel the feeling of well being or of or of insight by whether or not you have that everyday and I have it almost. Never I still sit down, and so that's the religious part. You know you just keep going and my parents are regular church goers. The way I used to watch my father just like take me. An injustice
like others, just something very just solemn and a little bit wrote about it. You know and when I was regularly governing and going to fall. I really liked the ritual there. the ritual and just like, of course, I'm gonna do this. You know, but do how how firms you're a of the dogma, so, for example, this is, my own little litmus test at what I from years of covering crochet, like you were, I would consider pre active Christian. If you actually literally believe that Jesus Christ was, the Son of God, was killed and rose from the dead. I saw one of you like you, have doubts about the split you he's an yeah. Do you believe that you're just like? Please don't be insane and believe that
I'm not saying that that I say, and I think I have a lot of christian friends have spent a lot of time in the Christian we added Jellicoe world. Yet there are a lot of you. I know who really believe that end up got that dive got no nothing to say but that yeah I don't, but that domino ass. They come I'm not saying it's not true yeah. I don't. I don't believe in the little literal truth of those things. I also think that I am in this may sound Dodge again, but I think that I have, I religion away with wonder what kind of you can you can try. I have some scepticism about sort of this speech active, I believe our belief or statements of faith generally so to back to patients and young thing. Before I found a way a little bit too detached from the language, that's like constantly a you know in my head or on twitter, or you know,
Bible or on my phone or in my text that text messages or that you know when we say the prayers either in synagogue are now church before that I definitely would invest in certain parts of the language so like real, like make that investment that just I leave this and when people say things that are at odds with it, it's my job to pull he's the boundaries of this particular believe. So, like you know, you know I almost I want to mention the topics that people do this on, because they're so hard. You know they're so calcified, but you know like climate or are not trump. You know like you could take us to people can take steps in some directions. We considered a trump apologist and all of a sudden, you know a few modulated a voice in the wrong way than this other thing. So well,
these same what everyone says: uncertainly evangelicals and people who ve made that eggs particular investment of faith in the literal truth. Are you know we'll get very brutal around the subjects and it's just not good for me they take experiences. I've had that have made me feel better and decide that that means something true something that happened in the world thousands of years ago or that defy science or that are probably at odds with everything else that we believe in the social fictions that keep us alive red sapiens. No, I I want to have him on the show, because he's a big meditated. Z, how I'm not surprised, but one of the really fast having things, and I can't wait for Harare himself to explain it, but is in that book? Is that? You can adjust the reminder that we're apes language was pretty late break
in our evolution ass when we became Sapiens and Gunnar Soppy India. That was a double edged sword or would be wisdom and that the with that language came all these fiction. Then just literal, myths meant to shore us up like that method, liability, corporation exists or that such a thing as human rights exist, or that that all those things are stories that the foreign tourism hunters didn't tell themselves. You know that bond you know create empires that can move mountains that make people do things they might not otherwise have done. They got them invested and armies, but all these things these creeds, it's one thing to believe them to feel better. it's one thing to believe them to mobilise people and motivate people to do things are motivate yourself to do things. You know like believing a good other shows up to her daughters. My daughter has a ceremony coming up to her down marsh ceremony, actually she's in Brcko,
and it's another and then that helps me go to it, but it's if it is another thing to believe that there is a literal fact that you have this privilege. access to the world where you know what's good and what isn't? What happened you now There was a one time in the world and immaculate conception and the product of vat conception was the Son of God and that you have no idea what God, as it just seems like a crazy exercise that US apes should probably stay So what is? What are you? What is going to church do for you? So a right That is another part of the ritual one of the things I part of the Mai love a ritual. So one of the things I love about the possible church are the changes of posture and they have this and sang ox too, but just being on your knees as an active, you know you Molly, being standing and singing in our with other voices guenaud going up to take their communed sandy in line with people making space for people in the pews
a dollar in the basket dressing up a little bit. You know it's like the episcopal churches, very lovely, the hymns are beautiful. There also. So for me, because I love them from my childhood. I missed the hymns in particular so much when I was away from them and then find just giving me an opportunity to adjust and a very way that to me, is familiar. I mean my ex husband was so had gone to achieve. It was so wonderfully familiar with the the liturgy of the conservative jewish tradition and and see home just like the melodies, he just loved. You know, and I just love the melodies of their vessels are so it gives me an opportunity. Also to you know give banks express some ah and and then in a tone a little bit. You now you say just this ritual like we regret that we have sinned against you and you know thought word and deed.
And it's just a weekly inventory of runs dishonesty written. Erin sins and access. Z, all you know, if you know what's, we talked, but I have a short term Caston. You know sometimes I think like then too sanguine. Have I've been to terrify I have given? You know it's not self regulation by just taking stock taking stock, you know and you know you just walk there. Like I don't know, I guess, like some people feel that exercise pulled with like endorphins and what happened. I like social life. I like seeing seeing the church lady village gossip, I like the coffee, afterward I'm gonna sold as you do then tat, grateful jurists event their defense. We, but you got yourself a new arrogant. You talk about this magic unless you you get yourself in some controversy,
with something you wrote that doing to do with religion, I'll let story he had this. This you know is a horrible parents, and also you know, ultimately, a wonderful latin in teaching x. For me experience I was after the times, I went to Yahoo NEWS and Yahoo NEWS of the time in some of us may find it promises relevant it something like seventy million people hit. The homepage every day it just means we'll days when ya, who was a lot of people's default homepage so when it was such a entering the times. You know I would write something for the x and my mother would see it and everyone. I know it see it and it was great and it would get twenty six comments and then I'd write something for Yahoo and it would be up- and I would I feel like I would shuffle something on my desk and I'll- be twenty two Hannah lie, just was like it just as this whole new world and the commentators word.
If it was on moderated, wasn't like the times, and I just was like how can I talk to them? You know what like what are they you're about, because I was writing the same kind of filter bubbles worries that I'd always written? I they hired me just to do you know the same thing. I'd ever always done, and I was in covering Mitt Romney campaign and writing about digital, and I just was kept feeling like those hitting a wrong with them like it. Wasn't there it here, they were pushing back on small things, so wondered what we're thinking about, and what did I haven't common with their voice? Now just read the carpet and one of the things I felt I hadn't come with them as a sort of weariness with eighty at them and and scientists and to some extent I mean I back and manifest itself in like truly destructive beliefs like climate denial, but I think a little scepticism about
sort of the changing recommendations and science and especially pop science, the way that it felt their down to. I thought some of the readers who the time I think we're reeling still reeling from being told that they should beating fat and they haven't. They didn t many curve their lives and that's where they are diabetic and I felt like they were just like, but we just do every we read and worried, we thought we were doing. The right thing was carved, and now we have to switch and now we're considered idiots, and you know for anyway, this old diet. So I was thinking about how I felt certain character and by sea myself and want to be open, and I was appalled, those that evolutionary psychology was a sort of being shaken up, especially at her and they had also decided likes it just complete reversals on things like it used to be that men pulling mess and women were. We get a monogamous, and now it turns out the exact opposite, so anyone whose dedicated your whole relationship on the seller view anyway, frustrate with science had fairly region.
discovered a set of religious practices and had an idea for sadly a funny column on My unease with science and my grace of religious life, but before trolling, for I understood it, going wizened eupalium from the beginning. There is sort of if you were served, goaded the journalists- and I know you are always more neutral, but as a columnist, your sort of good in Writing- things that were like hot, like they were Troutina teen around provocative guenaud striking. It would now about strolling, but in any case- and it was trolling, then so I it and call it why I am a creation, asked I honestly fair, creationism just a funny word from inherit the wind days, and I don't know what I was thinking that I did look it up and Wikipedia just was like that the hand of God was present at creation and at
or else sorry at the beginning of the universe and at and that and at the birth of consciousness, so I thought Why can survive behind that, and I never really understood Big Bang and I've read Darwin, but some of it seems really She- and I honestly, I seriously thought it was like riding for a blog. I think some of them. In their went too far. I also was I had heard our months on both sides about fracturing very recently and and I had decided that I also felt that people on both sides had more to prove. Then something about stones and and and the things were ideology ideological that didn't seem. Ideological em, like scientific facts, are being leverage to prove ideological points, but there were some good intentions. There were some just. This is kind of this jerky things, anyway. We put it up now it does.
Seem organic when something like that goes viral and you get trawled for it. But actually what happened is read it. You know that the massive site for this and videos ideas that I never look at and often when you're like written, this may come from ever and just like, for I am unread it. Everything starts there anyway threat. It made it their top story of the dire seconds second highest story of the day. When that happens and you're the person that wrote that thing, I think, whether or not read it, gives it a thumbs up, and they very much did not give why immigration as the thumbs up it's weird day. It's just a weird day, so I I look to twitter. The on your notifications on Twitter tells you a number, and it was just like thousands like that. Just futile we're like you my name everywhere, and they were you know they were people. Just that cannot call me a clueless aspects to whom they were few.
I'll bet. You no talk of everything me. They were like that kind of crowd, and then they were also signs writers like legitimate people. One was a colleague of mine at the times that just decided like that. I should be schooled on now selection and on twitter, you know in these tweet storms and it just it was half ready Mattel, but it was in the summer. I was on an Islam Miranda in with my cousins who live in Florida. What year was this hasn't? well there's a year a year merrily new sober, I think that's right may about it air so burner. I was there. and with my cousins and I couldn't no way with like pools and kids and whatever that I could. You know it's like there's no way I could be at a computer or look at my phone, and so I was like I'm aching to get back to my room, but why so that I can just like feel the pain of Paige,
its acts page. Eighty is an idiot there's, no bigger eighty, eight and eighty eight. She has brain damage she's whatever over and over again, then somebody else, between it with a has? Are retreating, not with like yeah I've never seen a bigger at so it was like. Why do I go back to my room and then I looked around was like have a bad day on Twitter is not a bad day. like there's this other world where things are going on using my name page. Eighty eight she can deal she's been up there sometimes you can handle this and takes my provider for me, and I will be and here you know in this poor- all eating. You know a weird lobster. All with might not be enough. my son and and my cousins and can nobody mentioned at, and I went back and was like others, video game so going on you know, losing it asteroids. That's all we can say for the day is that this is it? aunt. Alas, it asteroids, I didn't
land on the leaderboard. But you came back for many minutes like it dear you're still here the lesson for me really was that it was the That's not my real life and that might I am here on earth will be spent living in that world cause. I you know I have things to do. I'm interested I'm engaged in the world, but Meidel sort of larger purpose is to find out. Till know the world that was me at the pool of my daughter and sign weird lobster all Roma. That thing I felt like I can't faster growth, but but I Nevertheless, delicious anchors me in the reality of that moment that that detail for sure it was a pull that is, Very, very shallow, like like a quarter inch slowly goes up whenever something kids thicket can do it, and I standing with the lobster, all and also like my first beach times. I just felt like this pale very
not submerged in water person, but I think this is kind of fun and there are like Floridians around there was Jimmy buffet playing. I mean it was not you're. It was not the like a moment that you see, mindful magazine or someone's on the person. But it worked for me where final question: where can people learn more about you, because I suspect they're gonna be really so magic and losses out in paper back it's magic unless the internet as art? It tells it's it's about technology, but it has lost some of the story that I've told here in the last chapter and then VP have Fernanda Commas. My is my website for all things. Magic at last and as we know your handle on twitter look at how many times writes about. Please don't throw me org at the very least, follow. Follow that really lovely but a mind brilliant. It was an EU talk. Thank them
a great having me. Ok, that does it work The addition of the ten percent happier podcast, if you liked it please take a minute to subscribe rate us all 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 cohesion and the rest of the folks here at ABC, who helped make this thing possible. We have tons of other broadcasts, you can check them out at ABC, podcast 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 the corona virus pandemic, but every community there are pockets of people were soon.
Every day this is my Monday last day of the cylinder stretch of proteins for one of our time in these or America's essential workers, the people who are keeping moving. I turn into a home school mom and now in a new plants from ABC News you gonna hear from damage. Was she went back to my office inside crying because he is not here and making sure that our community smiled faintly Lorraine? This is the essential 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 of rain, is home to re. Kids are my husband Arabians, listened to the essentials inside the curve on Apple podcast, refitted, podcasting,.