Trudy Goodman – BHNN Guest Podcast – Ep. 38 – Exploration of Identity

Trudy Goodman reflects on the nature of identity and offers practices to help take a step back, slow down, and breathe.

Trudy Goodman, Ph.D., is a Vipassana teacher in the Theravada lineage and the Founding Teacher of InsightLA. She also teaches residential retreats at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA, Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center, and Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, among others. Learn more at

Take the Backwards Step

Understanding identity is a central part of the Buddha’s teachings of liberation. Trudy talks about how the problem with identity is that we cling so tightly to the sense of a separate self that we forget we’re part of something bigger. She shares the practice of taking the backwards step so that we can slow down and see how we are all connected.

“You can start to witness, observe, and receive the moment, instead of leaning forward and trying to grab it.” – Trudy Goodman 

Explore more about identity with Krishna Das on Pilgrim Heart Ep. 53
Practices for Staying Present (18:00)

Trudy offers a series of practices to be more present for each moment, and not get caught in our separateness and patterns of reactivity. She talks about the power of watching our breath, and how we can cross the flood of experience that arises in our hearts.

“This is just what we do. Suffering moves through us and we make it ‘mine, my suffering; it’s a story about me, the ways that I’ve failed.’” – Trudy Goodman

The Lucky Ones (33:20)

Trudy closes the show by reminding us how truly blessed and lucky we are – most people can’t afford the luxury of slowing down, this world is simply moving too fast. She shares stories from her experience teaching mindfulness that help keep this perspective in mind.

“Together we’re creating a serene and beautiful field of loving awareness, of mindfulness as loving awareness, a kind of tenderness that comes from appreciating our life and our blessing, and from gratitude.” – Trudy Goodman

Art via fran_kie