David and Michael offer freedom from doubt, exploring its connection to relationships, uncertainty, meditation, leadership, accomplishment, and mistakes.
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The Middle Way of Doubt // Relationships & Doubt
Opening the session, David ponders the qualities of doubt. Noting the positive aspects, he explains how it can be used as a stepping stone, and also a discerning force to assess a situation. Noting the negative aspects, he explains how when it lingers, we become haunted by it, stunting our ability to move forward. The Middle Way of Doubt, he describes as making sure it’s not repressed, and that it doesn’t stick around. Through this lens, Michael shares openly on the connection between doubt and fear in relationships.
“I was in a marriage for some time, but it led to me not being honest with myself because I wasn’t really honoring the doubt and the fear. Fear and doubt are related. In that relationship, I was so afraid of it ending—even though it was unhealthy and the relationship wasn’t even really a relationship at that point—but I couldn’t acknowledge reality. I was afraid to, and that kept me stuck in the trap [of doubt], and it led to a lot of suffering.” – Michael Kammers
Joseph Goldstein contemplates the seductive mind states of doubt & aversion, on Ep. 90 of the Insight Hour
Uncertainty & Doubt // Meditation & Gentleness (10:08)
David and Michael highlight the difference between uncertainty and doubt—exploring how uncertainty is something to be embraced and spiritually worked with, but when left uncontrolled it solidifies into lingering doubt. From this vantage, they describe meditation as the gentle process of rather than actively trying to fix something, instead becoming familiar with it.
“Meditation is becoming familiar with an experience rather than trying to fix it.” – David Nichtern
Sharon Salzberg offers refuge for the doubting mind, on Ep. 17 of the Metta Hour
Leadership & Fear // Accomplishment & Self-Doubt // Arrogance & Mistakes (18:01)
Speaking to the tyrannical rulers who seem to have a stranglehold on the world’s political affairs, David and Michael explore how doubt and fear play into our relationship with leading and being led. Applying wisdom from the Buddhist Wheel of Life, they illuminate how self-doubt stunts our ability to accomplishment what we set out to complete. To close, they hone in on the Middle Way once again by looking at the equal-opposite flip-side of doubt: arrogance. P.S. Check out Michael’s music at MkMkMk.com
“I can’t arrive at a portrait of human life that does not include mistakes being made along the way, and acknowledged and purified. I don’t know of a human world in which that’s not the case. Always leave room for the human dimension. Falling in love is not a crime, making mistakes is not a crime—but once we solidify and linger in those mistakes and create a solid sense of identity in denying them, then we’re gonna suffer unnecessarily.” – David Nichtern