This week on the Mindrolling Podcast Dr. Mark Epstein joins the podcast to talk about changing our perspective and getting over ourselves with the tools of Buddhist practice.
The Stories We Tell Ourselves (Opening) – Raghu and Mark take an honest look at the stories we tell ourselves. They look at how teachings from Buddhist practice can help us in getting over ourselves by putting our thoughts and speech into check.
Mark shares a story from his new book, Advice Not Given: A Guide to Getting Over Yourself, about his father’s struggle with cancer and how that brought them closer by opening a dialog about death and spirituality.
Sharon Salzberg and Raghu share a conversation about the process of getting real with ourselves with the help of mindfulness and meditation practice on Ep. 225 of the Mindrolling Podcast.
Sit, Ego, Sit (11:55) – The most important events in our lives – from falling in love to giving birth and facing death – all require the ego to let go. Mark talks about what he has learned from his training in Buddhist practice and Western Psychology about setting our ego aside while also making room for our true selves to come forward.
“A lot of people who are attracted to the spiritual pursuits are doing it to damp those feelings down. They are looking for other ways to hold themselves at bay. A lot of my work is to counter that tendency that I saw in people when I was younger. Even advanced meditators are afraid of their deepest feelings, but I think there is a way to use the meditation to make that more tolerable and grow through the process.” – Dr. Mark Epstein
Taking A New View (26:10) – The Buddha proposed the practice of Right View as a way to encourage people to be realistic about themselves and the nature of things. Mark talks about changing our perspective and the resistance to impermanence that we must overcome to do so.
“The reason that Right View comes first in the Eightfold Path is that you have to set your conceptual understanding, so you know why you are doing this sort of ridiculous thing of sitting and doing nothing when you are meditating. What should we be focusing our mind on? It is more than the breath or a mantra.” – Dr. Mark Epstein
It Begins With You (42:00) – Mark emphasizes the importance of being mindful of the way we speak to ourselves. He explains why the way we speak to ourselves so strongly influences how we interact with the world and becomes a hindrance to our development.
Photo via Bychykhin Olexandr