How to Stay Grounded in a Time of Transition (Step One)October 24, 2022 | 6 Comments
Audio-only version is here.
Meditation practice begins at 19:03
Dear Open Heart Project,
Hello! I am so glad we can practice together.
This video marks the first in an 8-video series called How to Stay Grounded in a Time of Transition. As we head into a new year, it is natural to think about what we want to emphasize in our lives and what we want to let go of. In the Buddhist view, creating a life of ease and sanity is accomplished with eight steps, also called the Noble Eightfold Path.
This video contains a 20-minute talk to introduce the eightfold path and discuss the first step, “Right View.” It concludes with a 10-minute guided breath awareness meditation. The next video in the series, “Right Intention” will arrive on October 31 and there will be a new video every week until we have visited each of the eight steps. Please enjoy!
This is a bit about why I wanted to create this series (besides the fact that we need real insight, a deeper conversation, and connection to each other right now!):
We are so fortunate to live in a time when mindfulness and mindfulness meditation have lost any sense of wackadoo (for lack of a better word). When I started practicing in 1993, I had to explain so many things to family and friends: I am not in a cult. I am not a flake. This is not religious. I will not shave my head nor will I don flowing garments. (Not that there is anything wrong with those things.) It just had a cloud of new age-y otherness that raised a lot of questions.
No longer. Over the last few decades, meditation practice has been studied by doctors, scientists, and researchers of all kinds. Collectively, they arrived at a single conclusion: Meditation is awesome. “There’s real science behind this” is a line one hears quite frequently about meditation practice–and something about the scientific imprimatur has loosened our hesitations around this ancient practice.
Which is fantastic. However, there is no need to stop there or sacrifice meditation’s 2500-year history on the altar of self-improvement. BTW, yes to self-improvement! Yes to fixing problems! Yes to less stress! All of these things are truly fantastic and meditation has been demonstrated to support each of these aims.
But it is so much more than that. Meditation is also a spiritual practice.
Where self-improvement emphasizes repairing what is wrong with you, meditation begins with the premise that there is nothing wrong with you and any ideas to the contrary are indications of confusion. You are already 100% worthy and whole because that’s the way you were born.
Rather than solving your problems, our practice shows you how to make space for them whereupon they (eventually) dissolve on their own accord.
And it teaches you that stress can be alleviated, not only by withdrawing from it, but, when that is impossible (seems to be the case right now!), by turning toward it, making space for it, and relaxing with it.
How does all this happen? Well, that is the question we visit in today’s video: How is it even possible that by sitting there basically doing nothing, I discover important truths, soften my heart, and become more fearless and genuine? Those are the deeper fruits of the practice, my friends! There are literally thousands of years of anecdotal and experiential wisdom that offer insight on these questions. We don’t have to excise it all. There is nothing remotely religious going on here. It’s actually quite pragmatic and accessible as I hope today’s video will show.
Today, we start at the beginning with a (very) brief overview of the four noble truths, which create the framework for all of Buddhism. The fourth truth is called The Eightfold Path (lots of numbers, I know) and the very first step on the path is called “Right View,” which I hope to explain. Let me know if I succeeded! Comments are always welcomed.
With this series, I invite you to take a deeper dive into the principles behind this practice to see, not what they mean, but what they mean to you.
I am delighted and honored to be your guide right now.
On another note!
categorized in: open heart project