Sharon and Joseph talk about overcoming obstacles through meditative practice and living in the dharma. Recorded live from the Insight Meditation Society’s 40th anniversary benefit.
We all have moments in life where we become paralyzed by self-doubt and fear of the unknown. In doing so we become so preoccupied on ourselves that we detach from others. Instead of sharing the moment with someone and giving them our complete attention, we are lost in thought about ourselves. As if we do not even notice the other person in front of us, we are thinking to ourselves, “What about me? Do they like me? Oh no, I said something stupid, I am out of here.”
Despite this loneliness and isolation, there are always moments in life where we let go of that and truly connect with others. The mind is a cascade of recursive thoughts and emotions. While we cannot control these thoughts and emotions, we have the capacity to affect them through the power of our own awareness.
Meditative practice is how we cultivate ourselves so qualities like clarity, awareness, and love can emerge. In Tibetan Buddhism, meditation is translated as “getting used to it.” The “it” being our discomfort, self-imposed limitations, our manufactured fear, and bias. We practice meditation to make a home in the deepest places we have already known. From this place, we are able to witness our emotions and affect our reaction to them.
Sharon and Joseph show us how to find love and awareness through meditative practice. They take questions from their live audience about applying that practice, dealing with chronic pain and anxiety, reincarnation, and intention. Sharon and Joseph also reflect on how to use the lessons of the Buddha, to live in the dharma and find a sustainable quality of happiness within.
“We practice meditation to make a home in the deepest places that we have already known. It is not so unknown, not so impossible to imagine as an experience. It’s not so abstract or far away. We have been there, but rather fleeting.”
Keep up with Joseph Goldstein you can find him online, and if you do not subscribe already, be sure to check out his podcast “Insight Hour.”
This talk was filmed at the Middle Collegiate Church to honor the 40th anniversary of the Insight Meditation Society and celebrate the New York Insight Meditation Center community. For more on the Insight Meditation Society, visit www.dharma.org.