Lama Surya Das – Awakening Now – Ep. 31 – Wayne Muller

Wayne Muller

Lama Surya Das brings on Wayne Muller to talk about time and how we spend what precious little of it that we are given. How can we lift ourselves from the trance of our mundane lives? Wayne believes the most radical challenge to our culture is to challenge the way we live in time.

Wayne Muller invites us to step out of the trance of ordinary time. We associate efficiency with success and acquiring more and more. However, stepping away from that lifestyle is the key to using our limited time best. If we do not step back and give attention to ourselves, we burn out and become unavailable to others. Listen to Lama Surya Das and Wayne’s thoughts on time, fulfillment, and more on this episode of Awakening Now!


“When people are on fire about something, they can make almost anything happen.” – Wayne Muller


Show Notes

01:30 – Lama Surya Das introduces Wayne and his work. One book of Wayne’s, in particular, stands out to LSD,”Legacy of the Heart: The Spiritual Advantages of a Painful Childhood”. The two discuss the advantages of learning lessons from a painful childhood, instead of feeling afflicted by the past. With the right perspective, we can find gifts in hardship.

05:50 – Wayne speaks to the transformative power of finding strength in one’s self in times of suffering. During times of agonizing pain, Wayne found relief in stillness and being with his breath. When all of our securities are stripped away, we are forced to focus on only the most essential things. This lifts us from the trance of our mundane lives and shakes us awake in an undeniable way.

12:00 – LSD and Wayne discuss the relevancy of the sabbath in all spiritual practices. Westerners have a culture focused on accomplishment and productivity. As a result, we are overworked and have very little of ourselves to give to one another.

15:50 – If you pulled all of your money together would you be able to come up with $400 to pay for an emergency? A recent Atlantic article covers recent polls that show 47% of American families would have to borrow the money or be unable to come up with the $400 at all. The pressure of living paycheck to paycheck with nothing to show for their work has left many feeling empty.

19:05 – What can we do for the next generations to live more fulfilled lives? While we cannot change the dominant culture we can build alternatives that are more attractive. Wayne has been working with young people lately doing just this.

26:45 – LSD addresses the concept of time. He and Wayne compare being present in the moment to taking a moment of sabbath.

32:00 – Wayne gives advice on how to let ourselves appreciate the moment and slow things down. LSD has found recently that observing trees has become a powerful meditation for him.

37:00 – How do we live in time in such a way that we are existing in a state of love? It requires stepping out of the trance of productivity and the associated worldview so many of us have adopted. Wayne talks about his practice and what he does to center himself.

42:15 – We hear about Wayne’s work at the Ghost Ranch. Faculty at the Ghost ranch help visitors step out of time and, awakened, can step into their true selves.

46:35 – LSD brings up an interesting project focused on memorializing the deceased online instead of a headstone and grave. It begs the question of how we work towards and experience a good life and a good death without regrets.


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Photo via Healing Journeys