JoAnna Hardy – BHNN Guest Podcast – Ep. 84 – Why We Sit

Exploring the question 'Why do we sit?' JoAnna Hardy takes us on a Buddhist journey through nature, Dharma, wandering forest monks, facing fear, the Second Arrow, & The Four Noble Truths.

Exploring the question ‘Why do we sit?’ JoAnna Hardy takes us on a Buddhist journey through nature, Dharma, wandering forest monks, facing fear, the Second Arrow, & The Four Noble Truths.

JoAnna Hardy is an insight meditation (Vipassanā) practitioner and teacher; She is on Faculty at the University of Southern California, Founding member of the Meditation Coalition, a teacher’s council member at Spirit Rock Meditation CenteriBme, visiting retreat teacher at Insight Meditation Society, and collaborator on many online meditation apps and programs. For more information, upcoming events, offerings, or to book a one-on-one session, please visit

Why We Sit // Nature & Dharma

Insight meditation teacher, JoAnna Hardy is back on the BHNN Guest Podcast to invite us on a journey into the pivotal, yet rarely thought of meditation question: Why do we sit? Through the lens of Nature and Dharma—the truth of the way things are—JoAnna sets the stage, taking us on a historical and practical trek through the insight/mindfulness tradition from the Theravada Buddhist lineage, as well as Buddha’s Four Noble Truths.

“It’s undeniable that we are nature, because we too are subject to the changes that are happening on this planet. We’re part of it. We’re part of this system. Our flesh, our bones, our body and our minds are part of this system. This is something that the Buddha really recognized 2,600 years ago—the truth of our existence.” – JoAnna Hardy

Join JoAnna in an exploration of the first foundation of mindfulness, on Ep. 72 of the BHNN Guest Podcast
Wandering Forest Monks // Meditation & Fear Facing (11:08)

Vividly illustrating the forest-based ascetic (renunciate) lifestyle of the wandering Thudong Buddhist monks, JoAnna describes their meditation-based, fear-facing lifestyle, as a potent reminder that our spiritual practice is synonymous with nature. Contemplating the fear and fatigue that must be reconciled to live amidst such dangerous external circumstances, JoAnna invites us to look internally at our own fears, and ‘push the edge of our practice a little bit.’

“What’s it like, like these Thudongs, to sit in your practice, meet it, and say, ‘Here I am. What have you got for me? What can I engage with?’ Because as you’ve seen, the world that we engage with out there doesn’t back down for us; it keeps coming at us. And so, what this practice offers is the capacity and ability to meet and engage with what’s coming our way.” – JoAnna Hardy

Four Noble Truths // How Can We Engage? (18:28)
  1. We Engage With Discomfort in this World (What can’t I control?)
  2. Our Resistance to that Discomfort Causes More (What can’t I control?)
  3. There is a Way Out, a Way to Suffer Less (What can I control?)
  4. The Noble Eightfold Path – That Path of Less Suffering (What can I control?)
Ram Dass illuminates the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths in this vintage lecture from Ep. 6 of Here & Now
The Second Arrow // Sitting With Loneliness (30:03)

JoAnna exemplifies the wisdom encased in the Buddhist ‘Second Arrow of Suffering’ metaphor through sharing a personal story of overcoming an unbearable loneliness by facing it head on in her meditation practice.

“I refused to act out anymore. I kept learning how to hold myself. I had to learn how to tolerate, I had to learn how to not respond every time I felt empty. In doing that enough times—learning how to trust myself, learning how to not be triggered by my loneliness—it just started going away. It got less and less. Then, loneliness was just an emotion; it was no longer overwhelming or overpowering me.” – JoAnna Hardy

For more JoAnna on sitting with ourselves and trusting our loneliness, tune into Ep. 41 of the BHNN Guest Podcast