This time on the Mindrolling Podcast, Tim Desmond shares mindfulness practices for real life that can get us through the greatest difficulties that life has in store.
A psychotherapist, author, and faculty Scholar at Antioch University New England, Tim Desmond is also a long time student of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. Tim is a co-founder of Morning Sun Mindfulness Center and a teacher of mindfulness and self-compassion practices audiences around the world. Learn more at timdesmond.net.
Links from this episode: Plum Village Walking Meditation | Thich Nhat Han
Deeper Than Despair
Tim shares his first encounter with Dharmic teachings – via Thich Nhat Hahn. He talks about learning to use those teachings to work through the challenges, suffering and devastating loss that life presented him with.
“When I am talking about ‘deeper than despair’ it is this recognition that, whatever we are going through in life, the intensity of pain is tapping into the energy of life in us. It is tapping into something that feels extremely precious. It doesn’t need to be understood as the ego clinging or being based in ignorance. Because seen from the perspective of non-self, that energy is still there. The energy of a loved one dying. The love and loss that are there are part of the mammalian body going through the experience of loss, but it’s recognizing that it’s not separate from love.” – Tim Desmond
Mindfulness Practices for Real Life (21:00)
Raghu and Tim talk about the motivations behind our spiritual practice. They look at the necessity of cultivating the skills developed in practice before we need to use them in the real world. Tim shares a walking meditation practice he learned from his time in Thich Nhat Hahn’s Plum Village.
“Often when I think about spiritual practice, one of the metaphors I think about is martial arts. In the sense that the worst time to try and learn martial arts is when you need it. If you wait until you need it, you are never going to succeed. We have to have been practicing before the moment of extreme need or it is just not there – and we can’t expect it to be.”- Tim Desmond
Everything is the Path (35:50)
Tim and Raghu talk about some of the different practices we can use to work with our own hangups that get in the way of awareness and libration. They look at how learning to accept and love things as they are can open us up to moments of stillness and clarity.
“Ram Dass uses the witness. There is no judgement, it is a calm abiding with whatever happens to float by you. That awareness, to me, is extraordinarily important to have as part of the perspective that, day-to-day, everything is the path.” – Raghu Markus
All the Wrong Reasons (51:50)
How can we bring awareness to our intentions? Tim shares his experiences with the Occupy Wallstreet Movement and the lessons he learned there around the motivations behind our actions.