1: Meditation (Sort Of)

10/20/19 First episode where we talk about meditation and how that relates to recovery, life and well-being.

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Transcript (Completely copied from Youtube’s autocaption and most likely highly inaccurate):

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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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