Mental Health conversation centered around 12 step recovery and related topics. We talk about spiritual living, living with addiction and growing in the 12 steps. Find us on our home at https://recoverysortof.com/. If you want to join the conversation, email us at RecoverySortOf@gmail.com, find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RecoverySortOf, Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/recovery_sort_of/, or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Recovery-Sort-Of-112376247161866/?view_public_for=112376247161866.
First episode where we talk about meditation and how that relates to recovery, life and well-being. Join the conversation by leaving a message on Anchor or emailing us at RecoverySortOf@gmail.com.
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10/20/19 First episode where we talk about meditation and how that relates to recovery, life and well-being.
this podcast does not intend to represent or endorse the views of any particular group organization or fellowship the views expressed are solely the opinions of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature
all right so here we are on podcast number one where we don’t know where the hell we’re doing so my name is Billy I’m a person in long-term recovery I belong to a 12-step fellowship where we practice a program of 12 steps that’s been my introduction to recovery started had issues with addiction my entire life starting at a really young age from as young as I can remember and I’ll ended up finding my way into a 12-step fellowship not by choice more by necessity I’m paired with my friend Jason who tell you about herself yeah I’m Jason I’m also in long-term recovery very similar story of life not going so hot and and ending up getting pointed in the direction of a 12-step fellowship and that working for me and Here I am and we decided we would do a somewhat recovery themed podcast where we try to talk about recovery type topics but we’ll probably just ramble on and I think the goal here is just to make recovery topics more like how are they applicable to life you know how do they apply to my life how do I use them in a meaningful way that actually works and it’s practical and and realistic because you know it’s great to talk about all this wonderful spiritual stuff but you know the truth is we get into life we get into dealing with things going on and it’s not always so easy to be honest and it’s not always so easy to you know be patient and tolerant and accepting of our families and our kids and ourselves and you know so talking through some of this stuff and having just open honest conversations about it rather than trying to push it out there as if life is easy and you just become the spiritual person and everything’s great like this has not been my experience with life or this process of recovery in general so I gotta thought today we would talk about meditation I was thinking about meditation mostly because this week I finally started back into basically a daily process of meditation I have been meditating on a regular basis probably for about two years up until about three or four months ago um I’d been you know found my way to meditation through looking for ways to become more emotionally aware um due to some like relationship issues with my wife I had kind of figured out it like I wasn’t really emotionally aware of you know her needs and things so like she would have a rough day at work and come home and want to talk about it and you know my immediate solution is to throw these practical issues at her you know what did you tell that woman she’s a [ _ ] it did you you know did you tell them you’re not gonna take that or did you you know go set them all straight or whatever and that isn’t what she wanted what she wanted was for me to hear that she was suffering or that she had a hard day and she wanted to be nurtured and supported and and I am emotionally I’ll say emotionally challenged when it comes to that stuff I’m an intellectual that turns off emotions and just you know looks for the practical solution in every situation and so doing a little bit of research on that I found that this mindfulness meditation I think sometimes I call it V Posada meditation was a good way to start trying to become emotionally aware so I started down a path of different versions of that and was doing that for a regular time and then I don’t know my experience with most things I just got lazy one day and stopped doing it one day and then one day turned into three days and then three days turned into I don’t really do that anymore so I’m back into it this week actually and this will be my third day in a row that I’ve meditated and you know just talking about it trying to be like man I gotta sometimes reinforce ideas in my head you know I forget why I started doing things why I do stuff and if I don’t revisit those ideas it’s easy to let them go yeah and I meditated years ago regularly they’re really the only lengthy regular time in my life when I was miserable and struggling and then you know with the meditation group we took off again so I tried to get more into a daily routine but we were meeting once a week and then and that fell off and then I wasn’t meditating at all and now I’m kind of I I met at 8:00 on Sunday mornings and I know that every day or much more often would be better I don’t so I don’t think I could do it every other day right I’m not like I’ll meditate every other day guy cuz I if I don’t do it every day I just don’t do it right but I do notice in here on Sunday mornings it is tough to stay in this room and no thoughts right I’m all over the place up my mind I just found out my daughter’s got like a boy in her life and that’s like weird me out and then I’m like the the water was on your phone the nature sounds and I’m like in a river somewhere doing some [ _ ] and I’m like what the hell I cannot just be here and it’s I think doing it more regularly would make that easier but I sometimes I quite like is it only good if I do if I’m right here or is it also good if I’m you know wandering thoughts to like that I don’t want to do it wrong and in my experience with that is it’s just as as long as I’m doing it it’s good there’s benefit you know and there’s not a there’s not a goal when when I meditate now and this has come from different teachings of stuff I’ve used a couple different apps over the years I’ve read a bunch of stuff about different kinds of meditations because there’s all different kinds of meditations I’ve done a little bit of some chanting meditations you know which is really interesting fascinating for some different reasons so and that’s a kind of funny story so a couple of years back we got involved with a he was a meditation doctor of course I think now he’s bendy license because he was some kind of fake but he he was a really nice guy and he was really helpful and and so he was a meditation doctor my wife used to calm the guru or no she’s gone Swami she’s a comb Swami all the time and he helped people with addiction through meditation as a part of the practice of helping with addiction and a it had to do with a lot of chanting meditation so he would go in-depth about these different you know mantras that were thousands of years old and and how these different vibrations of sounds you know resonated in your chakra and you know all that hokey kind of stuff coolest but I am totally open to like hey this is crazy and unique and interesting so I’m all-in you know the experience is awesome so we went to him a few different times to just you know as a family or family went till we took our kids there a couple of times which I’m sure they just thought we were completely out of our minds you know we got our teenage kids and our young kids and as you’re meditating like he’s you know sets the lights and his whole office he’s got all the different ah I forget the names of the different gods or big pictures hanging on the wall of these different Indian Hindu gods and you know he’s burning incense while you’re in there and he comes around and puts this dot of something on your forehead and clangs these little chimes and why this mantra is going on in the background and then you’re encouraged to do the mantra along with it you know while it’s reciting in the background and our kids I mean it they’re awesome they kind of did it and they participated and you know I’m sure their minds are like my parents are insane people do you feel like and maybe you don’t but maybe do you feel like if somebody would get his license revoked like this guy possibly did do you feel like that automatically discredit everything they were doing like if you had practice what he showed you for the last two years since you saw haven’t been like oh my god this stuff is great right and as soon as he gets T license are you like oh man I thought that was [ _ ] I can’t do it oh no not at all in I mean because all of that stuff that he was teaching is that’s old religion you know their version of religion you know practices I mean these aren’t things he didn’t like make this [ _ ] up and start just selling it or whatever he was just taking you know ancient religions and ancient mantras and and practices that they had used within their culture and just tried to expand that out to people in their everyday life so maybe he just didn’t need a license his the licensing thing I think had to do with some I think it was insurance billing issues which you know I don’t know the guy on a personal level I don’t know if it was a quack or not he seemed like a nice guy he seemed like he cared he’s written some books I’m not gonna throw his name out there but you know he really we got something out of it you know we when my wife went a long time she went for months actually to help her quit smoking and she had referred some friends there and I don’t think he was like if he was causing any harm it was like a totally unintentional and a totally you know minimalist I don’t think it was causing any harm to anybody he wasn’t trying his his intentions were good and what he was doing was trying to help people but it definitely didn’t fit into you know our modern Western society take on what we are the westerns the West yes I thought there the East or the Far East yeah right so you know it didn’t fit it definitely isn’t common in our Western sensibilities of what we consider counseling or therapy or any of that kind of stuff but you know I don’t think that we in the West got it all figured out either no I what you were describing that he did sounded very much like that sound bathe meditation I was telling you my buddy wants me to come down and go to and I was trying to sort it I don’t know if he caught on but I was trying to convince you to go with me one one Sunday because that’s it’s a lot I miss that but I would get out early it it was like an hour and a half and she comes around and touches you with oils apparently and does weird stuff like yeah so it’s very similar to what you were talking about with the noise and all that kind of and any kinds of meditation you know I’m always open to trying new stuff it’s just one of those weird benefits of recovery you know it’s been like I don’t know I’ll try it you know because when I so I was raised Catholic and my understanding of religion was really sort of regimented and firm and you know very structured and and there was all these rules and you know I was definitely not good at it so it’s like a prayer on each beads yeah so and as I got older you know when I was a teenager I sort of bucked against any kind of organized religion and God and all that stuff I this was like it’s all bull crap none of it means anything none of this is this is all stupid you know and we’re all just here living and the idea is just to get and live and enjoy as much a life as he can and so of course I was into drugs and you know this is easy to justify a lot of my behaviors and what I was doing by saying well the point of life is just to get what you want and have as much fun as you can and leave it up to the best of your ability hedonistic yeah something like that and so you know why I was never introduced any kind of meditation or any of that stuff when I was I think we might have done it in rehab once or twice you know we might have laid there why they played whatever music and did some picture yourself floating in the clouds you know kind of crap where it’s kind of relaxing and neat but again really didn’t seem practical in rehab like how is this gonna sell me from doing heroin again I don’t know thinking about floating in clouds and listening to peaceful music helps anything but this is hard I could shoot heroin and be in the cloud right
but you know as I’m saying and even when I got clean and I worked at a lemon step you know and I researched a bunch of meditation and tried some meditation back then but it really wasn’t sure what I was doing and tried a bunch of different stuff at the time and even had a sponsor that was really into meditation at one time he was into a practice called Shambhala nation which is another just again a just a different version of meditating you know I never he had said he would go on these retreats and stuff and it also asked me to come along but these were always like he would go for like three and four-day retreats and like what he went to the Shambhala temple like it was like 10 hours of meditation and you know I wasn’t meditating at all at that point I’m like dude I can’t even do 10 minutes let alone and hours like I couldn’t imagine sitting somewhere quietly for an hour you know it just seemed like that’s and to be quite honest if I thought about it like that just seems stupid like that was such a waste of time to sit there quietly for an hour or 10 hours was like I got way more practical [ _ ] like I got kids and a life and a grass and ease mode but I don’t have time for this quiet sitting crap like that is for lazy people you know people that got nothing else going on in their life because it just wasn’t open to the whole thing you know I wasn’t I wasn’t ready to be open to that kind of thing right I think so I couldn’t understand meditation either right or the point of it or how to why to do it even in a 12-step fellowship where the 11th step asked me to you know seek out a form of meditation and do it on a regular basis for my own well-being but it took me getting to a point where I noticed some patterns in my life of running back to relationships that were unhealthy and I started to associate the feeling that I got before I ran back right the the emptiness and loneliness and isolation and and so I wanted to isolate that feeling and not use it to run back and so I’ve suggested meditation and I tried that to just sit still with the feeling instead of acting on it and that’s where my meditation practice began to try to sit with feelings without feeling the need to act on feelings and that was my goal and and I do think it was very useful for that some days now I try to use it more in a sense of like clearing my mind and not being in 20 different time periods of this week like I’m usually thinking about like I’m already thinking about Tuesday and Friday and next Sunday at the same time so I try to use it to just be in this moment but what do you think meditation does for you yeah I think that’s actually funny enough like that’s exactly why I use it now I don’t know that that was or I don’t want to say that’s why I use it that’s a bad way to say that that has been a result of meditating regularly has been that I’m able to stay present in the current moment without getting too far ahead or too far behind or you know sort of that thing of while people are talking I’m already thinking about what I want to say before they’re even finished saying what they want to say you know but that has been a consequence of meditation not it was never really a particularly a goal and it’s still not really a goal and so through the practice of mindfulness I think that’s one of the results for me has been that just that and I don’t even know that I realized it for a long time that that’s what had happened but where it started to benefit you know especially in my relationship with like my wife or my kids or people that I’m talking to is exactly that like I started to notice like and when people were talking to me like you know because I don’t know whether I’m up it’s an attic thing or I have a TB or whatever you call it but like say there’s so many times people are talking and I just – now like whatever they’re saying is either unimportant or I don’t care or you know it just is like I don’t want to talk about this you know whatever reason like and I’m already thinking oh well later today the football games on at 4:30 where am I gonna be at 4:30 I gotta make sure I’m somewhere I can watch the football game you know while somebody’s telling me about their intimate feelings like that doesn’t play out so well and you know again how I ended up here was like my wife would be talking to me and she could just see looking at me in my eyes that I was checked out somewhere else or you know then they do that thing where they throw that so what do you think about that you go with what you like oh [ _ ] I checked out in the last five minutes of that [ _ ] and I don’t even know what we’re talking about anymore and then I’m trying to fake through it you know like well you know I haven’t really thought much about that you know I’ll have to think about that a little more and let you know and that’s where I see that I definitely could use a more daily practice of meditation because I am there a lot I have a lot going on in my life right now and so I’m constantly thinking about all these other pieces that I need to be in place later in this week and I’m not as present and usually when my kids talk it’s honestly an annoyance because it’s like you’re invading what I’m trying to set up for Tuesday right like it’s it’s Saturday right what I should be here with you and ten minutes ago so last night I I put baby powder in my shoes you know I don’t want my feet to stink and everything and I took my shoes off to meditate this morning before we started this and so some of the powder got on the floor in ten minutes ago you were talking and I was like they’re gonna think we were doing coke in here while we’re like why am i there right I want to be here with this and so yeah I I agree it does help me with that but I I don’t practice it well enough yeah and so in my marriage for a long time like I really took that like I uh I interpreted that as a personal failing you know what I mean like wow I really must not care about what this person is saying and and it wasn’t just for those with people at work and everywhere else too wasn’t like it was just at my marriages with a lot of conversations or even you know being in a meeting and someone’s talking and you know I just zone out I miss half of the meeting because I’m thinking about either what I want to say or what I’m gonna share this gonna wow the group or you know anyway what how what they said it’s totally wrong and they’re just they don’t know what they’re talking about you know all that stuff and you know I used to talk about my first practices of actual meditation and I didn’t even call it that was sitting in a meeting and just trying to pay attention and be present in the meeting and listening and like for me in the beginning early on I liked meetings where we sit in groups don’t like when the chairs are in rows because I can’t see the people that are talking and there’s a very just again for me an active part of like I need to look at someone in their face see their mouth moving yes to pay attention so you I struggle with telephone conversations for that reason because I can’t I need that personal one-on-one engagement with that individual to be connected you know what I mean to tell my brain like okay this is what we need to be focusing on you know and so sometimes when we’re in meetings and we’re in rows and I can’t see the person that’s talking you know I just it’s hard for me to pay attention but in the beginning of recovery like that was a goal like I’m gonna sit there in the meeting I’m gonna look at the people that I’m going to actively engage with them while I talk I’m not gonna be which is what drives me nuts with people playing around on their own and having side conversations and all like how do you how do you listen and if you’re not here to listen then what are you doing here why don’t you just leave so you know that that learning to actively listen was the first part of that and then once I sort of practice that skill in meetings I learn to deal with people individually um and some of that is just learning about yourself like I don’t I mean I’m there are people and I think my wife is one of them that can talk on the phone and be on the phone for an hour and for me a lot of times that just isn’t I can’t really feel connected or engaged to who I’m talking to on a phone most of the time you know it’s just difficult Billy says this but we had a 45-minute phone conversation like two nights ago but that was one in the how long have we known each other and I’ve had so you know I had some personal stuff going on so I will do it and not have engagements people like that but it’s it’s way easier to sit out and and talk to people one-on-one I agree it’s just for me is an easier way to communicate and you know that so meditation that became or that what you’re talking about earlier with being able to stay in gay she’s not given into my thoughts was a result of meditation that I wasn’t even actively shooting for like it wasn’t a goal mom it just became a result of doing it and I don’t even think if I try to like okay I want to get better at this I don’t think I can get better at it without just doing the meditation you know I mean it’s like a it’s just a result of doing it you know it just comes along whether you want to or not it becomes a thing I actively I’m with you I like in a meeting I generally set up front and when people from the floor share behind me I turn around and look at them because if not I’m probably not listening right it’s hard enough for me to listen looking at you and really trying like I need to put effort into that and I do find regularly meditating makes that effort easier I have been able to have some good phone conversations I would generally agree with you I would much rather be in person but I have found through practice that there are ways that I can like assist myself in not being distracted on the phone because I have a tendency to do the same thing I’m like oh I’m looking at the wall now I’m thinking about the wall instead of what the [ _ ] you’re saying in my ear trying to take out the trash right alright dinner why I’m on the phone exactly and so I do need to for me I mean look I do talk on the phone when I’m doing these other things but I’m not good at a phone conversation doing that if I really want to talk on the phone I got to treat it just like I would anything else I need to go sit somewhere and not do anything and really be in that conversation in order for it to work and that’s so that’s a hilarious result of you know snap work for me was forever and I think I almost used to argue with people while it’s like I thought I was this great like multitasker in my life about you know yeah I can talk on the phone and cook dinner and take care of my kids and I’m doing all these things and it’s all great and then I realize I was doing all of them but all of them like [ _ ] and that even though when I could stop me like no it’s really important that I just focus on this thing that I’m doing right now and that has its own detriments don’t get me wrong you know what I mean like sometimes at home when I’m trying to what I rob just keep using the cook dinner now if I’m trying to cook dinner the kids start talking or the you know wife comes in or the dogs you know get on my nerves it’s like I get frustrated I have to tell him hey wait let me finish what I’m doing because all that happens is I get angry and frustrated and then I’m yelling at my kids and I’m you know pissed off at dinner you know like I had something to do right you can fish you know slam dishes in the sink because you know somebody is getting on my nerves because I can’t really multitask as great as I thought I could but I can’t multitask at all and I will be the first to admit I want to do one thing right at a time right that’s my goal and so just making the grocery list with my wife last night like three times she tried to change the topic in the middle of it while I’m trying to focus on okay what are we having for dinner this week and I’m like almost yelling at her I’m like bro stop changing the goddamn topic like let’s do this first then we’ll talk about whatever the hell you got yeah I can only do one at a time yeah so so lately like with the meditation part I and I found this years ago too like there’s free apps I like apps it’s just easy I’m always have my phone with me so I can throw on you know plug for like insight timer is a great one that’s free got a bunch of different meditations on it it’s you know you know pay different yeah we need we want some indoors you know it’s free they have all kinds of different you can pick different lengths different topics different things it’s it’s really neat and I used that for a while for me personally I found out that that wasn’t so so great for me what I really wanted was a consistent practice you know because the thing with the insight timer was I guess unless you do the paid version which I didn’t want to do you know you weren’t really following a course it was just sort of a bunch of random meditations and they would all be slightly different in different ways from there would be some that were like chakra type meditations and some that were more mindfulness and then some that would be you know sort of way more structured where there was talking the entire time and then other ones where there was way more just open space no talking and it’s just the Incans distance II drove my brain crazy the other thing I found was that by paying for a nap because a lot of them aren’t cheap when I invested a hundred and forty bucks into an app that I was way more likely to use it and commit to using it because I had made that financial commitment of like oh [ _ ] I paid all this money now am I really gonna waste this money and not use this thing that it in its own way made me commit to that app a little more that still shocks me because of the you know just looking at the research of how many people pay for gym memberships and then never go I’m amazed that that works for you well in my nature I am a very cheap person so I don’t like to pay for things I will nine times out of ten and this is terrible to say but I look at like different trades and different stuff and I’m like they charge that much money to do that like I know that person I know I’m like I’m as capable of them as getting this done you know with the advent of like YouTube videos and a little bit of research and a little bit of pretty you know mechanically inclined like I feel like I can do most things so I’m really cheap when it comes to paying for stuff so if I’m gonna shell out some money you know it’s usually gonna be worth it at least in the initial now I say all that and I say yeah for the last three-and-a-half four months I’ve been paying for a meditation app that I have not used so is that headspace no I so I use headspace in the past I really like that one that one’s really good I switched it up and went to one called I changed the name of it it’s from Sam Harris and it’s called waking up is the name of the app and he’s just got a different take on meditation he’s sort of become a little bit of a controversial figure for different reasons well like it means the intellectual he’s he’s a pretty deep thinking kind of guy and he practice all kinds of different meditation you know when he was younger and I don’t know I like his take on meditation I don’t necessarily have to get into her agree with his political views to get what I need out of his meditation okay so no I agree with that I do I do struggle even name just because it’s summer his some stuff rubs me a little weird and I don’t know what to make of that I just found out recently that nonprofits can get headspace for free and so you know since I’m associated with a non-profit I really need to get on board with letting them know I do this for us it would be a good thing absolutely yeah and say like headspace was one where I loved it and used it that was the that was actually the first one that I started with that I paid for and then really committed to and really enjoyed it for a long time and to be honest I can’t remember exactly why I stopped using it I know at that time we were traveling around we had done some traveling around the country we weren’t really exactly established so we would travel and we would go to a new place and then my schedule would change and so I’d have to readjust you know when I was meditating in my times for doing everything and what my work schedule was so I’m gonna say this probably what happened as we move from one place to another my commitments changed and I just never it kind of fell out of grace and now in my life the act of not meditating is noticeable like I didn’t do it for 15 16 years of recovery because I thought it was such a complete waste of time and then I started doing it for several months at a time and when I stopped or even had little gaps of like a couple of weeks I could immediately feel it in some subliminal or some subconscious way like I noticed it missing how much the effects were and it wasn’t something I couldn’t pinpoint put a finger right on what the issues were or why things were different or what it was but I would notice right away like man I feel out of sorts with this and I really need to get back into it and the thing for me is I know like five minutes a day is absolutely nothing out of my day and I could surely donate five minutes of my day to my well-being by sitting still and meditating right and I say oh well that’s not significant enough that won’t do anything when the fact is it’s better than zero minutes a day and it would absolutely do something right even a minimal something to assist my life but I won’t do it because it doesn’t seem like it’s significant enough and I’m like how dumb is that when I sort of have the other problem of I know it’s important and if I think about it I will make the time to do it but what’ll happen is so I’ll forget to meditate for a day and then of course that turns into two days or whatever weird reason you know I got out of my routine I’m out of my routine and then by day four or five like the idea to meditate doesn’t even cross my mind that day until I’m laying it bed at ten o’clock at night you know getting ready to go to sleep and then I go with [ _ ] I didn’t meditate today right but if I would just take the time to think about it in my day you know I would do it but I just don’t even think about it right so you know now I tried to keep it just a part of my routine which is what it was for a long time so when I was doing it on a regular basis it was like brushing my teeth like I got up in the morning and and I learned this skill so I had a friend of mine person I met through recovery his name was yuuichi Handa and he was he’s actually written some books there on Amazon about meditation and one of them coincidentally what you were talking about earlier is called eating your emotions something to that amend I can’t remember exactly the title but that’s the ideas that you when you have these you know what are considered negative or bad emotions he tries to phrase it in a way none of them are really negative or bad they’re just emotion ones you know there’s right there’s ones we don’t like but by sitting with them and being present with them and feeling them and sort of stepping into them you know it it helps that whole process it’s it’s a healthier way of dealing with it than trying denial or substitution or you know rationalization like all those other things we want to use to suppress these emotions like now just just feel them and be present with them and see what that emotion is and what it’s telling you and what you need to do with it and how to react to it um so anyway he had explained um some things about meditation that you know years back when he had told me these things they seemed you know sort of irrelevant and almost like something you would hear from some religious person of like well that sounds great you know for you spiritual people but for normal practical people that’s not practical at all and and he had sort of explained to me that in my day when I’m super busy and I have a hundred things going on and I’m trying to manage all those things the best thing that I can do for myself is to take that ten minutes to meditate because that’ll help me you know manage the rest of the minutes in my day more efficiently right and I guess I had heard that but I don’t know I guess I didn’t believe it I mean I would say oh yeah he’s smart and I believe it but I didn’t do it so I guess I didn’t really believe it you know sort of one of those we can trick ourselves wrong which reminds me is something else he used to sort of had said to me one time kind of been passing comment and I’ve always hung on to it and thought about it it’s like we’ll say all the time like I know what I need to do but I’m not doing it and what he would say is well then do you really know what you need to do or do you just think you need to do something or you should be doing something you know if you’re not doing it then you probably don’t know that you need to do I definitely want to debate on another podcast whether that has any basis to it it sounds like one of those year around about like trickery ways of saying well do you know I’m like I think I know like I’m not sure but you you touched on stuff that definitely sticks out to me for me meditation is all about the fact that I kind of believe people in the world in general especially in more Western civilization type ways we’re so busy and so out of touch with our own body our own feelings our own emotions don’t even really know when we’re hungry or sad or any of these things we don’t even bother to stop to consider what they are or to feel them or to feel the like we talked about feelings because we intellectualize them and think them right but we don’t actually feel them which is where the word feel came from like there’s a physical sensation in our body that accompanies a feeling right fear is like in your throat and you know sadness might be in your stomach or whatever like they all have a place in your and we’re so out of touch with that that we don’t know what to help to do with it and I think that’s what meditation why I find it so important is that I need to be in touch with like what’s going on what am I really feeling not what am I thinking about feelings any think that’s a Western society kind of thing or is that just because I I think that too but I tend to because my pool of experience with emotional dealings at all is limited to people in recovery I have always assimilated that – that’s what addicts do you know I so i I’ve never sort of done much digging into is that what we as a Western culture do I’ve always assimilated it yeah right and you know so my thing is definitely arrogance and self-centeredness where I just assume everyone’s like me and they all go through the same stuff but I would venture to guess and I don’t have any research whatsoever to back this up but I would venture to guess that as a busy society that you know has decided that we’re gonna be capitalist and you know buy everything and buy away shop away our feelings I think we have created a civilization that is internet-connected constantly distracted on our phones trying to keep up with the next pop star that has a million dollars and buy all the stuff they do the brand names and I think yeah everybody kind of not everybody obviously but a good portion of America buys into you know we just want to keep ourselves busy and distracted and not be in touch with ourselves I think it’s probably worldwide but I do believe there’s a lot of places where they don’t have a capitalist society and maybe there’s not so much money and resources and so they’re maybe they are more in tune with sitting still and being with themselves a little more than we are and I would say if you look at the evidence of the amount of like say adderall prescriptions and the antidepressants and that whole industry of you know pharmacopoeia you know this is how we deal with our emotions is you just take a pill to make them go away right I would say that we definitely aren’t a culture that practices in a large scale the healthier ways of dealing with that stuff I think that you know we have a tendency to look for whether it’s you know diet pills or antidepressants or whatever it is it’s like oh that looks like it’s gonna take work let me just get the easy pill that’s gonna fix it and I know I have diabetes and I should eat healthy but that’s a pain in the ass so can’t you just give me the anti diabetes pill and then I can just go eat ice cream again represents way easier and that’s how I want to deal with it and you know I see that I think with the emotional side of things too and our you know therapies and things like that I know at different times for different reasons you know we’ve looked into therapists for our children or for myself or whatever and I’ve always tried to make a big point of avoiding therapists that want to dole out pills and medication obviously because I’m an addict that I can’t take any of that stuff you know right in a successful manner or I can’t say I can’t it’s very difficult and luckily think you know God I haven’t been put in a situation where I need to try to take some sort of mind-altering substance and manage it on my own but yeah the idea that we sit down and feel feelings good or bad we all want to feel the good ones all the time and we all want to avoid the bad ones all the time and how we deal with those bad ones I think is where the meditation comes in it also helps you how to deal with the good ones you know I can get in a euphoric state and make bad choices because something feels good oh this is good so more computer things are good I’ll have money of course it’ll never right yeah absolutely there’s a little you know slight mania that goes on that that’s not a healthy either I’m with you I had for the last week I had kind of a little funk you know from in my life and it was just a matter of like reminding myself hey you can like operate through this feeling that you’re not thrilled with you can just kind of sit in it you can still get your work done you can do what needs to be done and you can know that one day in the near future it will not be here anymore and you’ll feel some other feeling while you’re doing these things like it’s okay but I have to remind myself of that because if not I want to fix it oh I’m feeling funky man how can I fix this let me let me text that cute girl at work like she’ll probably you know validate me and fix that feeling real quick right and I got to remember it’s alright to just sit there with it like it’s not that bad once I delve into it thinking about delving into it and sitting with it is awful but once I truly sit with it it’s like okay this is tolerable like I’m not dying right it’s all right yeah some of that’s been a result of step work too is just like hey man sometimes these feelings are telling me something and they’re important and I need to look at them and pay attention to them you know I might my reaction tool might be bad but the feeling itself is like an indicator like hey man if I’m feeling you know angry or depressed or whatever sad and for some reason let’s stop for a minute and and take a look at that and see well what is really causing this you know right right if you’re tired maybe you need sleep if you’re hungry possibly it’d be good to eat like the body feels things to tell us like what is needed and I just think we’re out of touch with that yeah and well and that’s the other funny thing I learned early on as being an addict is it’s like sometimes my feelings aren’t always facts you know sometimes I just feel a certain way for for no reason but there are some healthy things I can do about it and there are some unhealthy things you know so if I get in up like say like a funk and I wake up you know some days I just wake up and I don’t feel good about myself and I don’t feel like I’m a good person or you know whatever and there’s no main cause for that but you know what I choose to do with it that day well I can sit in it for a while I’ll and just keep feeling like crap and do nothing or I can remind myself like hey man you know it’s just a day we just got to get through this day this is gonna pass it’s gonna change you know what things you know look at some healthy things in my life that are going on that I can say hey you know if things aren’t quite as bad as I think they are and finding that balance of like how much credibility do I give to my feelings to where they don’t overtake my life but then giving them enough credibility to like pay attention and and make decisions off of them as well right so I’m curious and to take this in a little different direction because I I mean even in a 12-step program where I’m trying to seek a spiritual sense of my own morals and values and live in them I completely ignored the meditation piece of that for years right for for many years and then even now that I know that meditation is hugely valuable to my life still don’t really practice it anywhere near as frequently as I believe would be healthy for me so in again my self-centeredness thinking that most people are like me what percentage of the 12-step population do you think overlooks meditation on any regular basis as a part of their their health and well-being 99.5% I’m thinking at least like 85 90 percent yeah a lot I mean I have talked to very few people that meditate on a regular basis there are people that tell you that they meditate and then when you say oh how often do you meditate the answers to that become way sketchy you know like no I have a guy that you know he tells me like oh yeah I meditate I’m like oh yeah well you know what do you do well I don’t have an active practice in meditation I just you know and I have a couple minutes in my car to sit there quietly and I’m like I don’t know if that counts as meditation you know what I mean like maybe it does is their passive meditation yeah like I mean just sitting there for three minutes in my car at a red light constitute meditation really you know is that really enough is that can I say that I’m meditating I’m doing that I mean I spent two years driving around with the radio completely off in my car everywhere I drove and justify that as my meditative period but honestly looking at it from where I’m at if I want to get realistic for me at least I was not actively meditating during that radio off period I was just rambling my thoughts on and on and on about different stuff you know it was like the car was quiet but my head wasn’t now I have done meditation practices while driving where I just kind of you know go one speed and said I won’t go around cars and like it’s very defined rules for it and I do feel like that was meditative but just having the radio off didn’t really and I think that’s another for me is another reason why just my personal practice I need a sort of guided meditation of some type because I don’t exactly know what I’m doing and and most people that are you know educated in meditation have had some sort of training or some sort of you know formal education in some type of meditation and I’ve never had that so I use an app as my version of like sort of formal meditation I mean I’ve read books on meditation I’ve done some recent listen to some you know podcasts on meditation I’ve done a lot of that but as far as like a formal practice with an instructor which i think is what it takes you know cuz again me doing what I want the way I want it I’ll manipulate it into something that’s easy and convenient and simple for me but it doesn’t necessarily make it good I had to laugh when you said most people who are teaching meditation are trained or have taken a class because I know that I mean look I’ve read a meditation book you know I’ve done quite a few different meditations but with my clients as a coping mechanism I’m teaching them meditation I’m like I’m not skilled or trained in this at all and I’m teaching it so that’s an interesting thought oh maybe that’s just opening a door for them to do some exploring up there right so if we do we believe like would would you say that meditation is top five prior of people in recovery for wellbeing or not for theatres it should it be like is this out of a top importance in people’s life will it make that much of a difference to meditate yes and I think they’re actually they’re doing a bunch of studies on that kind of stuff now they’re doing brain studies and and all sorts of things that are starting to show some of that I mean it was always considered this eastern practice for so long that we never spent much time in Western society sort of investigating it I think it got this sort of woowoo thing like wow that sounds got some kind of woowoo rune [ _ ] that we don’t need to worry about you know there’s no evidence to show that it works well now we have capabilities to do brain scans different brain you know measurements of different wavelengths and things that are they’re actually seeing some results from meditation and I think it’s still early to say but at least from a little bit I know about that is you know it’s obviously it’s like any religion there’s ten different versions of meditation there are different ways to do it there some people that want to sit quietly in a room completely devoid of any inputs at all and that’s their form of meditation me personally I that doesn’t matter to me I can have noise and distractions and things going on around me I can still meditate because and we’ve talked about this like I need my meditation needs to be something practical it needs to be something I can do in my everyday life if I put all these crazy conditions on it that make it something that I can only do wonder these through ideal situations like the likelihood that I’m gonna do it becomes less and less and then you can’t do it when you need it if you’re frustrated at work you can’t go you know hide under a couch cushion to get that you know quiet dark place like you able to do this in the moment – right so I guess if people if we’re saying that this is probably I don’t know top five top three of importance for well-being because I agree the research is out there it’s not like divisive research mindfulness is beneficial to your life like it’s there they’ve stated it but if we consider this such a high priority why is it so often overlooked by people who are practicing this lifestyle of recovery because it takes work mmm you know it’s like a healthy diet or going to the gym or you know we know that physical health is important we know that mental health is important remember that spiritual health is important go into meetings if that’s your recovery mode and people still don’t do that right and and it takes work and so there is a lot of stress and over the years I’ve fallen into this there is a lot of stress when you’re trying to have a job and you know take care of your kids and be in a relationship and then the dog needs work in somebody’s birthday’s on Saturday you’re getting pulled in this 27 different directions I mean there are things now like you know I decided to get up earlier to go work out at the gym now some recently I’ve been doing so funny enough like the the consequence of me getting up in the morning and going to the gym was that I gave up my meditation time because I had been getting up in the morning to meditate that was I was getting up 15 minutes earlier in my day to take you know 10 to 15 minutes to meditate every morning well then I decided well I really need to work on my physical health my physical well-being since I’m getting a little older you know I had been noticing just that older person like I’m getting up in the morning in my back hurts I’m getting up in the morning and it’s just so hard to get up and get moving so the answer to that is to do some more physical activity so I try to pick up my physical activity in my life something’s got to give somewhere man I only got so many hours of the day I’m not a person that’s I’m not sitting at home for three hours watching TV in my day right so you know what I mean that that time has to come from somewhere so the consequence of that was meditation so that’s why I had stopped meditating for the last several months now what I figured out is okay I’m gonna build it into my routine on the other side it’s like now what my new thing is alright I’m gonna try to do it when I get home from work everyday I’m gonna get home from work I’m just gonna immediately come in sort of get make sure everything’s settled and then I’m gonna just take that ten minutes and meditate because it’s ten minutes helps me deal with that transition from sort of work to home life and it’s a pretty consistent time I generally get home from work at the same time every day Oh and for me consistency is important but on top of that it’s like wow I would really like to do yoga you know I would really like to get into some sort of yoga practice I think that’s great I would love to do it I would really like to take some sort of jiu-jitsu class I think that would be fun it’s athletic you know I need more athletic activities in my life I just don’t have the time you know I don’t have the time so I have to try to prioritize those things it took me a long time to realize that meditation needed to be a top 5 priority in my life you know because of course there’s you know recovery and and the God of my understanding need to be a priority my wife needs to be a priority my kids need to be a priority my home needs to be a priority you know yeah my job needs to be a product so all these things you know quote unquote need to be a priority because something suffers you know what’s the old thing like there’s a prize and a price to everything so there’s a price that comes along with meditation I am giving up that time every day that I could be dedicating to something else I definitely feel like very similar what you’re talking about my life is evident flowed right I’ve had periods where I was able to fit yoga and and then other periods where I was like I can only make it to the gym three times a week I don’t have time to put this yoga thing in here right it’s got to be the other parts of it and then I’ve I did some not jiu-jitsu I did a win Chun with a buddy of mine and it was a fun thing to do for a period of time but then it just wasn’t convenient for my life anymore and it’s like I’d love to do all these things right I love the martial arts practice I love picking up my guitar and playing it from time to time I never do because there’s no time to write all these different parts I’d loved and almost wonder if maybe it’s just accepting that they all have a little bit of time for a time right like okay maybe every two years I play the guitar regularly for two months and then that’s its time and then I do two months of yoga after that and then but I almost wish meditation could be more of a permanent fixture instead of getting you know a two-month period every two years like I think it’d be healthier if I could do that that might be one I don’t want a cycle like that might be one I’d like to do all the time yeah so if you look at things that are a commitment in your life say your home group I know you’re pretty dedicated to your home group making it there on a regular basis what is it about that particular commitment that makes it so high priority hmm versus you know what I mean like and and I don’t know the answer to that I don’t know how we well it’s once a week for one so that makes it a little easier because I’ve totally shown up for this meditation once a week for months now like I don’t have any trouble with that but on a daily basis it’s really hard for me to add in there’s just so much else going on man and whether it’s given up sleep to get up earlier to do it even for a while there I was getting up an hour earlier than I needed to and I still wasn’t meditating I was playing on my phone and reading the news and [ _ ] like I don’t know why it’s a struggle for me it’s hard for me to really want to meditate frequently even though I know the benefits even though I know it’s honestly simple as hell I mean we did it this morning and I laid here on a couch on my back and it was also right to actually physically set it up is difficult if if you weren’t here as a person for me to commit to meeting on Sunday mornings for the last six months or however long we’ve been back to doing this I wouldn’t meet myself on Sunday mornings and do it there’s weeks we hadn’t met I sure as hell didn’t sit home even though I had the time I wasn’t I was like at not meet Billy don’t got to meditate right like I’m getting away with one I don’t know yeah and so I think to myself and of course I say these things out loud only to tell them myself as much but I have at times put actually like reminders into my phone you know every day right and then of course what happens is that reminder comes up every day and if I blow it off three like to me it’s like three days once three days in a row I blew it off three days in a row it might as well not be there anymore because then there seems to be just a a vacation to blow it off from then on out right I have gotten better I used to hold myself to like the sort of perfect standard of you know I need to meditate every single day and if I don’t meditate every single day I don’t do it at all you know it’s like man sorta and so I would meditate every day and I’d miss a day and because [ _ ] I miss my streak I might as well quit now it’s all not worth it and that’s what I would do and then somewhere along the way I heard someone and it actually had to do with dieting they were talking about when they’re trying to eat healthier not a specific diet but just in trying to eat healthier right this person had presented this idea of like the 80/20 kind of thing like look if I eat healthy 80 percent of the time and then 20 percent of the time you know I have a piece of cake or I have some ice cream or you know one day a week I give myself a break and eat a cheeseburger you know that that’s not that’s not a bad thing that’s a good thing in fact and that I need to do that for myself to make the other 80% of the time that I may be eating a salad when it definitely a cheeseburger would be so much better or cheese steak sounds good you know but a salad we should do a podcast on this 80/20 it’s interesting maybe we could each try it in a different area of our life right for like two or three weeks do 80/20 with whatever whether its food whether it’s working out or just somehow apply it in our life for a few weeks and then report back and then also look into see if there’s any research on people living like that and if that could be useful in a lot of areas man well and that’s so I have actually I apply that principle in a bunch of areas of my life and the eating healthy is one of them you know I eat pretty healthy most of the time but I give myself that break because again if I’m like I don’t eat sugar at all I don’t eat any sugar at all well the first time I eat sugar I’m like [ _ ] that’s out the window now it doesn’t matter now just eat whatever I want and and it only takes that one you know whether that’s an addict thing or a human thing I don’t know but it only takes that one time of falling short to justify bad decisions then on you know well I can’t go on Tuesday so what matter for Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday I can you know ice cream I can eat cereal I can eat all the other stuff that I know I shouldn’t eat but I like Sol eat it anyway so I apply that 80/20 and a lot of areas of my life I try to give myself that break and since I started doing that with meditation it got a lot easier so I’m thinking like I totally I’m down with what you’re saying I give myself the leeway to eat you know if it’s a birthday and there’s a cake here yeah I’m having a piece of cake but I would be more interested in this like I think that’s hard to measure intellectually right so I could say oh well 8020 to me means I get myself a break when there’s you know sweet food around but maybe I already did that sundae and then maybe it comes again Tuesday and then maybe it happens again Thursday well now that’s not 8020 anymore right that’s a little skewed so I’m almost more interested in like okay four days of healthy eating one day of not 80% 4/5 right so more along those lines of actually like tuning it in to 80/20 and seeing how that operates and works out so yeah and that’s funny cuz to be again it’s it’s more the principle than the specific math because exactly what you’re saying and it reminds me of are you familiar with the it was like a Canadian sort of bad comedy was hilarious called Trailer Park Boys have you ever heard of that if you get a minute go on YouTube watch some Trailer Park Boys I’ll give you the disclaimer they smoke weed and drink and carry on and it’s about these people that live in a trailer park in Canada and just it’s it’s hilarious it’s definitely adult humor but it’s hilarious anyway they did a comedy show I was up in Philly that we went to a bunch of us went to and it was sort of a live comedy skit thing as hilarious is definitely worth seeing they’re still around their shows are still on they still travel and stuff so if you like that kind of humor about drugs and smoking weed and just trailer-park life it’s not it’s good anyway they were doing a show and so they’re like alright you know for a fundraiser you know for something we’re gonna we need to do a 50/50 so we’re gonna do a 50/50 with the audience you know where we collect money and 50% we key 50% goes to you and then later in the show something happens you know the one guy you know something happens and they need to get whatever more wheat or whatever it is and he’s like all right so the 50/50 has now changed to a 60/40 you know and then so later in the show something else happens and so by the end of the show they’re like alright well now our 50/50 is now an 80/20 we’re you know we need to keep 80 it will give you 20 and it’s like the that’s where it goes with me is like that math will get skewed in my head sometimes so the eating part like for me it’s come down to like I put a sort of hard one day week you know one day a week I can eat yeah like and you can cut so for me personally I don’t schedule in a cheat day or anything I just give myself the luxury of a cheat day so that if it comes up fine and if not that’s fine too um but I try to hold to that like oh well you know Wednesday was Jimmy’s birthday and we had cake on Wednesday so now I’m gonna try to not have another cheat day this week you know cuz you know that was my day see I tried it so I generally eat healthy food at breakfast and then you know healthiest food at lunch dinner can rotate it’s mostly on the healthy you know non processed food side and that’s what I mean by healthy I try not to eat processed food so much but then like if a dinner is not healthy I don’t feel bad about it because I eat healthier food breakfast and lunch and most dinners and then I have a snack almost every night and it’s a smaller you know item but I don’t feel bad about it because I feel like the majority of what I’m putting in is the positive and so if I want to treat myself like that’s okay yeah and while there’s a huge whole other whatever it could be hours of podcasts on you know dieting and what nutritional needs are and I’m just a person that believes every single one of us is different and so when I talk about what I eat or why either the way that I eat it I’m trying to just sort of gauge how I feel and what certain foods do to me the way that I feel when I eat them you know what I mean like and in general how I feel when I eat certain ways so you know there’s all the debates about whether you should have carbs whether you shouldn’t have carbs whether you should have healthy carbs you know obviously we know some stuff is bad you know but I try to sort of get away from all the fatty dad-e dad-e but you know trends and you know try this try that because it they definitely aren’t there well they’re fun I’ve done it you know I’ve done keto for a while and it was cool and I was checking myself and I was in ketosis and mad breath and you know wouldn’t eat anything fun and you know really got into it for a while and it took a lot of discipline and I did it for a few months but again it just wasn’t practical with my lifestyle Susumu yeah it was not I mean I was raising three kids and they didn’t want to eat fat bombs as a snack 9 o’clock at night you know what I mean they didn’t want to eat this creepy weird ice cream that I was making that wasn’t really ice cream but it was kind of like a close enough substitute to satisfy me you know like they don’t want to do any of that I don’t know that they should you know I don’t know there should make them so swing swing back to meditation a little from the the dietary way we’re going I’ll say that I maybe will do a diet podcast and I’ll save some info for that so I tend to I live in a world in my head of you know there’s lots of right ways but I want to find the rightest right way and live in that and we talk about that all the time about how crazy I am with it um one thing I found is that like I tend to believe that the rightest way of meditation is you know sitting on the ground and in meditation position and you know trying to still all thinking like I believe that’s kind of the rightest meditation right I think there’s a whole lot of other ones that work and are healthy I always try to strive for that and honestly it makes me not meditate when I try to strive too hard for that because like I like a guided meditation it seems a little easier for me some days some days I want to lay on my back right that’s comfortable for me but I will say that even in that one of my best meditations that I’ve ever had and it could have been the emotionally vulnerable place I was in when I did it it was a guided meditation where I sat in a chair and and the guidance like guided me to feel my feet and feel my shoes and how I could feel the ground underneath of it being sturdy and then it went up through the whole body you know feel your jeans against your thigh right the material what does it feel like is it rough and I did I checked in through my whole body just feeling the the presence of me there and the sensations around me that I’m normally overlooking in a day because they’re not important right and then at the end it kind of led to a point of think about what’s in this room the sensations the way your jeans feel against your leg your shirt touching your skin and that’s the only real truth in life right now for you right anything else you’re thinking about your kids that are at home ten miles away whatever that’s not real that doesn’t even really exist in your world right now and I still try to wrap my head around that concept sometimes and see if I really agree with it or not but that was one of the most powerful meditations I did to show me that like I think of all kinds of [ _ ] that isn’t I guess according to that meditation real all the time right I’m thinking of stuff that I got it’s got nothing to do with where I’m at and it comes back to being in the moment and mindfulness and how powerful that realization was for me in that meditation that I just need to be here with whatever is here and that is so for me that is what mindfulness has done for me is I used to think meditation was about stopping all the chaos that goes on in my head now what I’ve learned is that for me personally not it at all you know when I meditate I think I told you one time so on that waking up app one of the meditations is to sit there and try to experience every sensation that’s going on all at once you know all those inputs all at once and it’s like you’re saying feel your feet on the floor feel the way to your body in the chair feel the air blowing on your skin feel you know all these things and what I took away from that was like that’s kinda impossible I can only you know sort of you can’t do it like it’s overwhelming if I lived my life trying to feel every sensation that I was walking through in my life every moment I would be completely overwhelmed and paralyzed absolutely into doing nothing what I took away from that is my thoughts are exactly the same thing I have all these thoughts going on all the time if I’m trying to react and deal and make decisions about all them going on all the time it almost becomes paralyzing and that the goal isn’t to stop the thoughts I don’t get to stop the wind from blowing across my skin I don’t get to stop the floor from you know my feet from having feeling on the floor those things are always still there I just have a choice on whether I want to react to them or not what I want to do with those feelings how much attention I want to pay to them and so my thoughts become the same thing like I have a choice you know on on what I decide to do with the thoughts that are going on in my head and sometimes by meditating I recognize that and take ownership of that is oh this is just a thought let me just let it go because that’s not what I’m doing right now so in psychology there’s a big principle of like how awful of eyewitnesses we really are as humans because of the same principle that we have so many thousands and possibly even millions of inputs coming in at every second and we can’t take it all in so our brain is wired to pick out what’s important right like this room has so many different colors that we’re sitting in right now and pictures and all that and when we leave here I couldn’t tell you none of that [ __ ] because I’ve been looking at you the whole all right so yeah we do pick out what matters and bring that to the surface and kind of suppress all the other stuff and I liked how you put that about the meditation like maybe bring the relevant thought to the surface and like suppress all the cluttering thoughts about Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday and what time I got to get up this week and where I got to be it what like those can be suppressed right now because that’s not what I’m doing right now and that’s where my anxiety can come from most of the time Sunday night I’m thinking about having to get up early six days this week in all the different places I gotta be and I can’t possibly do that Sunday night my brain is trying to accomplish something that it can’t do right I can’t be up early six days on Sunday night I can only be at home Sunday night and that’s all I got to do and then I got to get up early Monday that’s it and that’s that goal of being present in the present moment Murray know this is what’s in front of me right now doing this podcast I sitting here talking you know this is what I’m doing right this minute I have you know bunch of things I’m gonna do when I leave here and a whole plan of things and if I let myself run that direction which I can and I used to I used to think that wasn’t a choice that I was some sort of victim of my thinking and that meditation if I meditated enough and practice hard enough I could stop that from happening right you don’t get to stop it you know or I don’t know as far as my experience like I don’t get to stop that what I get to do is sort of I’ll use a word compartmentalize or whatever but it’s like if that thought comes up to just get or no we’re not that’s not right now let’s let that go you know and through meditation you know I’ve learned to do that and some of that practice has been while I’m sitting there meditating in the morning thinking of the ten other things that I could be doing with that ten minutes and how is gonna make me late for work and what if I run into traffic while I’m trying to get out the door you know I need to make dinner and I need to get you all the other things at that ten minutes to me seem so valuable for but I still sit there and meditate and think you know that stuff will get done it’ll have its time it’ll have its place I don’t need to react to those feelings where there’s thoughts they’re not feelings I don’t need to react to those thoughts or feelings and so you know by continually practicing that in meditation it gets easier to do on a daily basis you know in the beginning of meditation I mean I can almost remember like literally sitting on my hands and forcing myself to sit there for that ten minutes you know like it seemed excruciating ly difficult to do right with with you saying that I am totally my next meditation I’m picture I’m gonna visualize my thoughts right I’m gonna visualize my brain has like a smartphone screen and every time a thought pops up it’s like a text notification or a facebook notification and I’m just gonna swipe them out I don’t want to I’m like I totally could visualize that during meditation some of the practices and it’s you know I’ve it was on both the meditation apps that I use the deep utakome one and Sam Harris when both of them had a practice of what when you’re sitting there meditating you know you’re just you’re just observing you’re just becoming an observer of your thoughts and when they pop up just put it in a category is this a thought is this a feeling and then just identify it that way oh this is a thought and you just let it go oh this is a feeling and then you just let it go and it’s sort of almost that saying I picture all of us the same thing like I picture it you know in my little cheesy sort of ways like almost like in a cloud bubble like oh this is a thought in a cloud and then it kind of floats away you know and it doesn’t need to I don’t need to do anything with it it’s just a thought that I can just let go and then I feel like if it’s important it’ll come back to me later I definitely need to like coin and trademark this smartphone meditation before somebody else does it sound cool maybe some of the the Starbucks chicks will buy into it and I’ll be rich or something I wanted to steal another thing from the Andy program he’s got a little animation on there that shows you know the idea was there’s all this traffic going on all the time and in our brain and that’s our thoughts and stuff racing around in her head it’s like being in the middle of a busy highway and if I’m not meditating a daily basis what I’m generally doing is standing right in the middle of all that traffic and trying to be some sort of traffic director on where this thought needs to go and what I need to do with this idea and where that needs and where how to manage this thing whereas when I’m meditating what I’m trying to do is sort of get on the side of the road and just observe all that traffic going by I’m not stopping the traffic I’m not reducing the congestion at all I’m just getting out of the middle of trying to be the manager or traffic director of all those thoughts yeah another two more actually positives that I heard to help with meditating one was picturing like a super bouncy ball in your head and that’s kind of representing your thoughts bouncing all over the place and flying and you sort of just sort of want to hold that ball still in the middle of your brain and one of the other ones I really liked was it talked about when you have a thought you are actually being two people you are the talker and the listener right and so it said during meditation to actively attempt to only be the listener and then the thoughts just kind of come and go if they want but you’re only listening you’re not continuing the thought process as the talker and I thought that was helpful for me at one point in time ya hear that at the risk of going any longer we are already like an hour and fifteen minutes and I can’t imagine anybody would listen to this for more than like three we should probably cut this off though okay I just want to throw one one thing so and this will be quick but for me that the regular practice of meditation it wasn’t like just one day I woke up and said I’m just gonna meditate every day so too you know I took some information that I read from my friend yuuichi Handa who it’s in his book about I was a Japanese practice the idea I can’t remember the exact name of it but the idea is that sometimes you know to get from A to B we can do like a 1 a 2 a 3 a 4 a 5 so if my goal is to meditate for 10 minutes every day that seems like a big gold and try to achieve but you know I can take baby incremental steps to get there and one of those increment this so for me this how this worked out was I said okay well I want to meditate in the morning you know every day so that seems hard to do but what I can do right now is try to get up in my morning 15 minutes earlier every morning I’m gonna start there right so then for like two weeks I just set my alarm for 15 minutes earlier and I just got up 15 minutes earlier and that was it that’s all I did and I said okay now you know I’m gonna find some sort of you know time or I can just kind of sit and have that 10 minutes of doing nothing where that 10 minutes isn’t filled with making breakfast or brushing my teeth or navigating kids or whatever I need to make ten minutes of where I just do nothing in the morning and so that I incremental Estep Savard I’m getting up 15 minutes earlier I’m finding 10 minutes in that time of doing nothing you know and then it increment it up alright now I have a meditation thing that I’m gonna do I’m just gonna sit there and listen to some music I’m not gonna met it I’m just gonna sit there and listen and incrementally you know over a couple of weeks I could put in these baby steps that were totally achievable and keep me moving on a positive path but that build to where I want to get to and that seemed more achievable then I’m gonna meditate for 10 or 15 minutes every day when I originally started meditating I wanted to meditate for 20 minutes every sitting and I started with five and then after a couple of days of doing five it went to six and I truly went up one minute at a time until I got to 20 and I think I might even went to 25 for awhile but yeah very very similar idea of just adding a little bit each time if you’ve meditate for three minutes today and then three minutes tomorrow and then one day maybe you want to do four right like it’s just a little bit better than the last one another psychological principle where they reward you know behavior that is close to what they’re trying to get out of like when they’re training animals you know if you want to animal to flip and the first thing he does is jump you start rewarding jumping but then you only reward the ones where he you know partially flips and like you get closer each time you know approx closer to your end goal but you have to start somewhere you can’t just make a dog flip the first time and to reward him or you’ll never get it right and I need to be practical about my approach to you know like like I can say my goal is to meditate for an hour every day but in my life right now that is probably impractical I mean I’m not gonna say it’s impossible but again there’s a consequence that would come along with me giving up that hour I’ll do it honestly yeah so so I need to be practical about my goals and and try to you know that’s where sort of having people in my recovery support network people that I admire can kind of help me come up with realistic goals and realistic things and not hold myself to such a standard that’s you know such a standard that’s impossible to achieve so then I’m gonna fail so why try anyway you know right now we’re turning into a phone call from my mom where she says she’s done talking and then we talk for another 20 minutes anchors out so I think uh you’re capable as a listener of leaving a message or writing a message to us so if you have thoughts on meditation please feel free to share we’re always interested in other people’s thoughts and ideas and you know and I would like to say if anyone’s interested in actually listening to this and submitting questions or comments or topics for ideas or has any interest in coming on as a speaker we may you know who knows we may have guests at some point we’re pretty open to where this goes and what we kind of do with it we just want to keep it interesting and topical and fun so yeah reach out to us let us know no promises but we’re willing to you know if we get enough questions and things we may do a question-and-answer thing later or who knows what yeah thank you for listening
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- 54: Narcan and The Right To Breath (Sort Of)
- 47: Step Nine – Made Direct Amends to Such People Wherever Possible, Except When to Do So Would Injure Them or Others (Sort Of)
- 53: What Is Relapse and What Can We Do About It? (Sort Of)
2 responses to “1: Meditation (Sort Of)”
Greetings! Very helpful advice on this article! It is the little changes that make the biggest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!
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