More than just mindfulness

Loneliness

October 15, 2018 Season 1 Episode 7
More than just mindfulness
Loneliness
Chapters
More than just mindfulness
Loneliness
Oct 15, 2018 Season 1 Episode 7
Robert Mitchell
An explanation of loneliness and how key meditations can help us to connect.
Show Notes Transcript

In which Robert explains about the recent science on loneliness and guides a key gratitude and compassion meditation that helps us to understand our emotional responses to Loneliness.
Robert clarifies how mindfulness and meditation can help lonely people to reconnect to the present moment and find the goodness in both our neutral experiences and our interactions with others.
Practices this week are: 'the meditation of no meditation', 'following the breath' and the key Metta Bhavana gratitude practice as taught in the Buddhist tradition (taught in a secular way and with insight into how it works for us).

Speaker 1:
0:02
Yes, that's a dice session is loneliness society. Part of this, our modern life mini series that I'm running the topic today is loneliness and this was specifically requested by a couple of students. There is actually a loneliness as are now that was appointed by the government last year. The thing about loneliness is it's a very real thing and it can be measured so there's a checklist and you, you fill out this checklist and it'll tell you whether you're lonely or not. Just to give you an idea, there's a million people in London who don't have anybody that they can talk to about how they feel. The some of people to whom we can talk to about how we feel, who we view as close friends has been diminishing over the course of the last 20 or 30 years and the reason for the focus on loneliness is because it's deeply correlated with a lot of health outcomes, physical and psychological health outcomes.:
Speaker 1:
1:01
I did a little bit of study in this area a while back and the most enlightening work has been done by an American scientist whose tragically passed on recently by the name of John Catchy Apo. He has seemed to have quite considerable funding, understandably because of this correlation between poor health outcomes and loneliness and so helpful. Authorities want to understand how they can combat loneliness, if they can do anything through policy to enable that to happen. He set up a series of studies, he had quite a number of researchers working for him and he was able to start off with a correlation such as, you know, if you're lonely, your x amount more likely to have these health outcomes, for example, and we know about that. But then the thing is what comes first, the chicken or the egg? Is it the people who are unwell in these ways become lonely or is it loneliness that tends to cause it?:
Speaker 1:
2:04
So then there was a lot of work done to ensure that there's a thing called causality, which means that rather than the health outcomes causing the loneliness, the loneliness causes the health outcomes. And in line with what everybody expected in the human sciences, it turns out that loneliness affects your health negatively, physical and psychological health. The thing is what's easy and what's your twos? It's your natural drive to feel forced to stay within your group. So we're not designed for any of this, what we're designed for, his nature. So this is genetically. So there's a lot of things about modern life that human beings aren't genetically designed for or designed for living with about 150 people, something like that, not 8 million as an example. That's a massive change. We're also designed to live nomadically in nature. So we're in nature all the time and we moved from one place to another within nature seeking food sources and ideal environments. And here we are instead of living in a totally artificial world and that has consequences.:
Speaker 1:
3:28
I'm one of the consequences is a quite understandable perception of loneliness for a lot of people. One of the interesting studies that catchy apo did, so once he'd identified, so these are lonely people in, these are none lonely people. They started interviewing them to discover about their, their, their connections. What they learned was counter intuitive. They produced an APP that buzzed people during the day and they gave 50% of the apps to lonely people and 50% and none lonely people. And it would buzz you during the day to find out if you were communicating with anybody. And on average, it turns out that lonely people don't have any less contact than non lonely people on average. Okay? So this is obviously if you're isolated, um, because of disability or illness or, or something like that, that's a different matter and there's a clear causal effect there.:
Speaker 1:
4:28
If you're lonely, you, you might be the most gregarious person in the world, but if you can't get out to meet people, then, then that diminishes it. But if you take the average lonely person, uh, the average lonely person has quite a lot of contact and the average lonely person is the person that has the average negative health outcomes. So that can't be ignored. Then what they did is they dug a little bit deeper than, and so what's the differentiator? What's, what's different between lonely and none lonely people. And see it turns out the non lonely people when they interact they get more fulfilled. It's very interesting that you used this word fulfillment. They get fulfillment from the interactions. So they're energized by interactions with other people and whereas the lonely folks weren't not to the, to the same level. So they might have energizing interactions but they wouldn't be so common as the non lonely people.:
Speaker 1:
5:26
So what what that means is that non lonely you, what you're doing is you're, you're no more in or less in contact and the lonely guys, but you're getting more out of your interactions, out of your connections with people. Next week we'll be doing connection. Yeah. So I thought about this and, and the word fulfillment stuck in my mind and then it brought to mind something else, which is the Dalai Lama who he's the head of the Tibetan biggest Tibetan Buddhist, um, group. I need to clarify here. I'm an agnostic, so, uh, you know, I don't know. I'm comfortable not knowing, I'm not a Buddhist, but the Buddhist tradition has curated the meditations that I teach for thousands of years as has the Hindu tradition. So I've got a lot of respect for them and I, I, I've learned a lot from them as, so the Dalai Lama, who's this world figure, he focuses on happiness.:
Speaker 1:
6:30
So he goes around the world doing what he can to help people be happy. Happiness is a very real thing. It's like loneliness. You get a checklist if they don't even get a checklist. There's a question. And the question is, overall, I am satisfied with my life on a scale of one to 10. Yeah. And it's a predictive science because you can look at somebody's life situation, you can look at their history and you can generally predict how happy they're going to be. There's correlates. Yeah. These, these sorts of people are happier and these sort of people are left out less happier. But one of the things that the science of happiness hasn't done is they haven't defined happiness. They've just left it as you know, the answer to this question, which is fine, but the Dalai Lama pops up and he defined happiness. What he's actually done is provided a measure for happiness.:
Speaker 1:
7:28
And what he says is that happiness is fulfillment with neutral experiences. Yeah. As an example of a neutral experience, I always use waiting at a bus stop in the Rhine, not being soaked under the, you know, that's not, it's not neutral. It's the variance to be so, but under a shelter. So maybe I should clarify that. Waiting at a bus shelter in the Rhine. Okay. And what fulfillment is, is the sense that you don't need anything more than you've already got. Yeah. So there you are. You're at the bus bus stop. The bus is going to turn up at some point or another and there's nothing polluting and contaminating that neutral experience cause it's not a bad experience. But many people would nominate it as being a bad experience. They would perceive it to be irritating and frustrating and annoying. And we know with it'd be a desire for the bus to come and there's an impatience arises.:
Speaker 1:
8:32
And so what happens is there's an unsatisfactoriness that gets in the way of our happiness. Take that unsatisfactoriness away and actually you're left with neutral experiences. And to be absolutely clear, most neutral experiences or good experiences, cause it's a good experience to be sitting waiting for the bus in the rain because you can listen to the sound of the rain drumming on the roof of the bus shelter. You can watch the water splashing in the puddles, you can see the colors, you can smell it, you can hear the wish of the cars. It's, it's, uh, an intense, if you are capable of extracting the goodness from it and intensely sensory experience and then the, you can elevate that. So a happy person is happy at the bus stop and unhappy person isn't. And then I thought about this and I thought, well that's fulfillments. The same with interactions.:
Speaker 1:
9:32
Yeah. In the same way that you're learning to get the maximum from a present moment, just an ordinary moment or most of vast majority of life is a endless series of neutral present moments where the occasional wonderful thing and the occasional horrible thing in it, but the mind doesn't live in that world. It lives in a world of adversities or the world of rewards and everything else gets discounted. So mindfulness is the undistracted awareness of the experience of the present moment. We're not saying that there's no thought, very important that cause I notice there's a handful of newcomers in the room today. There's a lot of kind of fuzzy misinformation around about mindfulness and it's allowed to continue because it doesn't get challenged. But it doesn't matter about thought either. I'm aware of my thoughts or I'm in them. Yeah. In other words, if I, if I'm thinking about what might happen tomorrow if I'm here and I'm noticing my breath and I'm aware that I'm sitting here and I'm aware that I'm thinking about tomorrow, that's fine.:
Speaker 1:
10:51
Yeah. I'm here and I'm thinking about tomorrow. But what happens is the mind captures you and it puts you in the image of tomorrow and the conversation that you're having with people, you're having it in your head, you're saying something and then they're saying something to you and all of a sudden you're transported to tomorrow. So you're not actually here. And that's called mind wandering. So mind wandering is not mindfulness but thought thoughts. Part of mindfulness as is as is emotion. So it's not a, we're not trying to find this spice without any of that. And so what mindfulness does is it helps us to connect ourselves to the present moment and through connection we develop and we'll, we'll focus on connection next week through connection. We can develop all of the skills we need to extract the most benefit the most from the present moment. And so it seems the site, what it is the same with communication.:
Speaker 1:
11:52
Back in the day. If somebody was talking to me, I would either be off on a tangent in my mind while they were talking to me or I would be trying to get to where they were going first so that I could have the right answer. Now I just shut up and listen. I feel that mindfulness can benefit lonely people were able to learn well what I teach, the mindfulness based resilience, you're learning stress management and emotional regulation techniques and that helps you to, to deal with the friction that's inherent in connecting with other people. But as well as that, what you can do is it can help you get the most out of your connections because you then just become a receiver of information. You're not gonna learn anything extra other than what the person's telling you. And then you're able to respond to them.:
Speaker 1:
12:49
All the guys will understand this, you know, you're having a chat with the other half and then they say that dreaded words. What was the last thing I just said? And you guess, and half the time you get it right and half the time you get it wrong. Uh, that very, very rare. Very rarely happens. It does. It does occasionally, but very rarely happens now. So what, what's happened is I've learned to stay online pretty much. Absolutely. It will contribute to the quality of my communications has done massively. So what we're going to do today is a number of meditations. What they want, I'm going to, I decided to do is focus on gratitude and compassion. Those are just words and they use to describe a whole area of meditation, gratitude, gratitude, meditation, compassion, Meditation. What they do is they will help us in our interactions with others and help us understand what our natural responses when were encountering other people. And then we can learn to enhance that. But first of all, what we'll do is we'll start off with some mindfulness meditation. And so what we're going to do is an exercise, I call it the meditation of no meditation for sound.:
Speaker 1:
14:23
And today's an excellent day for it, especially as we're going to do a walking meditation after the session. And so the way to do is you can either close your eyes or look down in front of you just so you don't get distracted by anything that's going on around you:
Speaker 2:
14:40
and:
Speaker 1:
14:43
allow yourself to be aware of all of the sounds around you. And we can do this. We start the furthest sound:
Speaker 3:
14:52
usually so we can hear children calling in the park or the sound of wind outside the building people's voices, and I'm from time to time, we might be able to hear traffic and airplanes and so on. And what that's doing is that's helping us to become aware that there's a big dome around this stretching in every direction and that big done within it. All of the sound is available to us. We can notice all of the sound that happens in that dome and what the, what the modern mind does is it picks out a sound and it stays focused on that sound. Then it might notice and other sounds and it focuses on that sound. So it's a little bit like a search light,:
Speaker 2:
15:45
but:
Speaker 3:
15:46
at genetic design enables us to notice all of that sound. So we're listening to everything or happening at the same time. And it all combines into one sound in the same way that the individual instruments in an orchestra all combine into the sound of the theme that the orchestra is playing. So all of those separate instruments become one instrument on that one instrument. The theme of the present moment is what we're listening to.:
Speaker 2:
16:23
Okay.:
Speaker 3:
16:24
And there's no instructions with this. So there's no goals, no expectations. You don't get anything from it. All that happens is you're aware of sound all around you. So the sound of my voice just becomes one of the sounds that you're aware of. So instead of listening intently to what I'm saying and tuning everything else out in Stage two, you're allowing all of these sounds into your awareness.:
Speaker 2:
16:58
Wow.:
Speaker 3:
17:02
And this is what I call the meditation of no meditation for sound. So the sound of the wind, the windows banging, people talking, children calling out dogs, barking movements in the building, movements in the run, the sound of my voice. And every so often to add to the same as the present moment. Every so often I'll ring the bell. Well, just practice this, listening to all of these sounds for the next few minutes.:
Speaker 2:
17:50
Okay. Yeah.:
Speaker 3:
18:45
It doesn't matter what's happening in the mind. Doesn't matter how busy the mind is, the mind wanders, thoughts, emotions, sensations, doesn't matter. All we're doing is noticing all of this sound.:
Speaker 2:
18:57
Okay?:
Speaker 3:
18:58
The collection of all the sound aligned, we'll try to pick sounds out when that happens. Probably the best thing is to notice where you are in relation to the sounds so we can use them to locate ourselves and to navigate. Even with the eyes closed, we know where we are because we can hear the sounds of the direction they're coming from. So locate yourself at the center of this bowl of sound that stretches in every direction.:
Speaker 2:
20:25
Okay.:
Speaker 3:
20:43
Okay, so this isn't a meditation. There's no expectations, no goals. You don't get anything from it. And now we're going to move to a slightly different exercise. And in this one, what we're doing, instead of noticing sound, we're noticing movement on the movement. We notice is the movement of the belly just at the point where the valley meets the chest. It's the movement of the breath. So you're noticing the belly rising,:
Speaker 2:
21:20
unfolding, rising and falling.:
Speaker 3:
22:08
So it doesn't matter what happens. Busy mind wandering, mind thoughts, emotions. Doesn't matter. Just noticing that movement.:
Speaker 2:
22:27
Yeah,:
Speaker 3:
22:43
just moving tiny, tiny, tiny movement. The consensus is that people prefer the listening exercise to the focusing on the belly exercise. So they listening exercise is, is frictionless. And so you can come back to it, come back to listening to everything. I, no, no, it's, there's a friction. Less ness to it. And then go back to noticing the movement of the ballet.:
Speaker 2:
24:07
Okay?:
Speaker 3:
24:09
And he's still pretty flat friction less, but it's a little bit less friction. Less. There's an element of unsatisfactoriness creeps into wreck. Okay. So if you gently return your attention to your surroundings.:
Speaker 3:
24:40
So this, this is the kind of key mindfulness meditation. It's very simple. It's a process of noticing the breath. And ideally we notice the breath in the nostrils. And we do that because when my s sitting or lying comfortably, the only movement in the body as the breath and the place it's most obvious is the nostrils. Cause we've got the sharp coolness of the in breath, which helps us to focus on the sensation. And so to meditate, if you place your elbows by your side, get your back as straight as he is comfortable. So comfort first, then straight back. You don't have to sit up so you're not leaning against the back rest. But if you do lean against the backrest, make your back as straight as comfortable. Obviously if you've got a bad back, you sit however you need to set to diminish the discomfort. But other than that it with your back, say against the backrest or, or even just setting up here, elbows by the side. And then you'll notice that your head's probably tilted forward a little bit. So what you do is you look for the place where the scar is most comfortably balanced on top of the spine.:
Speaker 2:
26:05
Okay?:
Speaker 3:
26:05
So that comfort tells here that you're not using any muscles. Two, how old y'all head up? It's not leaning forward or anything like that. And when you're not using the muscles, they're not tent someone. They're not tense, they're relaxed. Sign with the back, shoulders, back, and sides of the neck. Well, what we're doing with this posture is just letting the tension out and then it's more comfortable to meditate. And we're also reducing our stress by a notch because we might sign stress in the body. And then if you place your tongue gently up against the back of the top teeth and you'll notice it's in contact with the sharp part of the bottom teeth, just generally, you find that you're naturally breathe in and out through the nostrils. And then we're allowing ourselves to notice that sensation. Now it's not essential to focus on the breath in the nostrils. You can notice the breath anywhere else in the body. Next best places, the belly.:
Speaker 2:
27:20
Yeah.:
Speaker 3:
27:21
You know, sending the belly rising and falling. But you can also notice the chest expanding and contracting and the upper back and yeah, hitting the back of the throat.:
Speaker 2:
27:37
Yeah.:
Speaker 3:
27:38
Yeah. Anywhere where you're aware of the rhythm and cycle of the breath.:
Speaker 2:
27:47
Okay.:
Speaker 3:
27:49
Last of the meditation. Basically what will happen of course, is your mind will wander because this is the nature of the mind, especially the modern mind. I am I noticing the breath, the mind wanders, return our attention to the breath and repeat.:
Speaker 2:
28:11
Okay?:
Speaker 3:
28:12
That's the full lines of this practice, which is at least 2,500 years old. Notice the breath, mind wanders, returned to noticing the breath repeat, which is practice this. For the next few minutes I'll begin and end the meditation with a bell.:
Speaker 2:
28:52
Okay?:
Speaker 3:
28:54
That's his code. Following the process, just noticing what rhythm and cycle. Just noticing the breath rising and full of them. Well, it doesn't matter what's happening in the mind. It doesn't matter how busy it is. It doesn't matter. Mark, thoughts are repetitive, noisy areas. Finding frustrating. The mind's wandering a lot. It doesn't matter. What we're doing here is getting familiar with the mind and that's the purpose of meditation. Become familiar with the mind. Nothing more, nothing less. So all the time we spend in the presence with the mind of the mind we're getting to now that pattern.:
Speaker 2:
31:44
Okay?:
Speaker 3:
32:38
If the mind a thousand times,:
Speaker 2:
32:42
all we do is gently [inaudible],:
Speaker 3:
32:47
compassionately turn our attention to the breath a thousand times. Hi. So breathing in, noticing whatever it is you can smell, noticing what you can taste, the sounds around you, the sense of setting, the feeling of being pushed into the ground, your feet being pushed into the ground, your body being pushed in. So the chair, and then gently in your very own time or return your attention to your surroundings.:
Speaker 2:
33:46
Okay.:
Speaker 3:
33:55
Okay. So they're all useful. They're all useful for our walking meditation lights are wrong, but that, that last practice, what we're doing is practicing mind wandering. In a nutshell, it was why we've chosen something as neutral as the breath. There's nothing more neutral in the breath because under normal circumstances we can't distinguish between good and bad breath. So it's just a neutral experience. And so we're doing that and the mind wanders and we notice that the mind's wandered. So we're repeating, noticing that the mind's wandered and they, cause we do it a lot. What happens is we're trying to, our subconscious subconscious when we're out and about, what happens is that we begin to notice the mind's wandered. That's how we train mindfulness. So there's a, there's a good definition of mindfulness as many men definitions of mindfulness, but one of my favorites is mindfulness is awareness of unawareness. Yeah. So you of long, Yep. Mind's wandering. You realize your mind's wandering that moment. That's mindfulness. It's known as the moment of recognition and we want to repeat it over and over again more. We do it more, it happens. The more it happens, the more we have the choice about how we use our minds.:
Speaker 3:
35:24
Yeah, that's power is choice. Nothing else. Power is money. Power isn't wealth. Power is nothing. However, his choice, if you have infinite choice, you no ties, you've got nobody imposing any anything on you. You have absolute freedom. So you can, you can do whatever you want. The mind unfortunately is trained to repetitively, persistently, continually go over those things in our life that it deems to be the most important. By noticing that that's happening. We then have the choice and that choice brings up to us the power, so we become empowered and then the the, the, the, our relationships or the world changes. It's a change of perspective. When the perspective changes, everything changes. Somebody comes in that door with a blindfold on and you're standing over in the corner and I take the blindfold off, I look here, they see the windows, they see this part of the ceiling.:
Speaker 3:
36:29
They see the park, take them out, turn them round three times, bring them back in the same room, stand them on the other side and take the blindfold off and they can see the door. They can see the fireplace, they can see the floor. Yeah, same room, different perspective, mindfulness, same life, different perspective. But one way you have the choice about what your mind does and the mind is key to everything. Notice the difference between the lonely people in the non lonely people. Something in the mind means that those interactions is fulfilling for the non lonely guys. Not Fulfilling for the others first step to change in any of this. Anything usefully other than beating yourself into a new habit instead of an old habit. That's the way that we do it. Force, force, force, force, new habit. New Habit works fine, but that's how you train dogs.:
Speaker 3:
37:30
Yeah, human beings. It is human beings. We want freedom. We want choice. We want to be able to change. We don't want to enforce a new habits because what happens when that habit becomes a problem is enforced a new habit. No, there comes a point where that becomes impossible. So if you have the freedom of choice to apply your mind to whatever you choose, then there's no greater freedom than that. That's one of the reasons that I teach this. So that ego that's mindfulness allows, allows you to come back to now what happens when we're here? How do we get from unfulfillment to fulfillment with human beings? And so there's a whole, the, in the Buddhist tradition, there's a whole repertoire. Huge repertoire of practice is known as metabolic. No practice of loving kindness. So largely we do what we do because of our emotions drive us to do it.:
Speaker 3:
38:35
Um, you know, part of habit creation is, is, is aligning our emotions to get a particular outcome. And once that happens, you know, if we're doing the same thing on the same day we get it becomes on satisfactory if we're not doing it. So, and the unsatisfactoriness is the emotion and the emotions pushing you back to doing that thing. So this is what it's like to be human. But what we want to be able to do is to connect with other people in a useful way and, and to understand what our emotional relationship is to others and to ourselves. And so this is where metal valve no works and it, and it works not by looking at dark side of emotions, the uncomfortable side of emotions. We're using the comfortable emotions to understand all of our mind, including the uncomfortable ones. And we can do that.:
Speaker 3:
39:31
We can also learn two key things. One is to rebalance the world from being one that's hostile and on the satisfactory to one that's been that side of the neutral satisfactory and were able to elevate our mood. It's, it takes a while to be able to elevate your mood, but it can be done. So. So it's uh, there's great studies that prove this long term meditators can elevate their mood. And I do that through practice, practice of loving kindness techniques. So what, what we're going to do is a gratitude meditation now. So if you get yourselves comfortable, elbows by the side,:
Speaker 3:
40:18
skull as comfortably positioned on top of your spine as possible, noticing the breath, aware of being here in the present moment. And what I'd like you to do is to bring to mind, and don't worry if this is tricky, sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. There are no absolutes with this. It's a practice. So it doesn't work for you the first time. What was the second or third or fourth or the fifth and in time you find something that works for you and then you move on. So compassion has to be practiced. Forgiveness, you learn it like that, apply to everything. Compassion. We need to work on it. And so I'm noticing the breath and bring to mind a being. So it could be a a person either from the president or from the past or it could be a creature, could be a pet from the present or the past, whatever being it is that brings you a warm feeling when you bring them to mind. A warm feeling of appreciation and connection and if, if it's available love, whatever it is that elevates your mood when you encounter that being oh, the from the president or from the past.:
Speaker 2:
42:00
Okay.:
Speaker 3:
42:05
And so you're noticing the breath. I was just saying the sensations in your body, I'm holding the image could be damage, the memory thoughts, the sense of that being, that person, that creature, whatever it might happen to be, whatever brings that beam to mind and notice how you feel and allow yourself to feel that way.:
Speaker 2:
42:42
Yeah.:
Speaker 3:
42:43
And what we do is we, we now say a mantra in our head, do this on the out breath. So breathing in normally and you're saying your mind, may they be well man, I be happy. My life. Find peace of mind. I be well, I'd be happy.:
Speaker 3:
43:12
I they find peace of mind. Just holding that image of being in your mind that brings you a warm feeling and allowing yourself to feel that warm feeling. That's why it's there. Now bring to mind a neutral person, a neutral person. There's somebody whose name you don't know, but who you encounter and you have yet to make your mind up about whether you like or dislike them. So it could be a neighbor you don't know by name or a colleague you don't know by name or somebody that you see around or someone at a local shop or a driver or somebody at the railway station. Doesn't matter who it is. Bringing to mind that neutral person, whoever they are.:
Speaker 2:
44:06
Yeah,:
Speaker 3:
44:07
and could it have an image in their mind? Could just be the sense of interacting with them. And then you say in your mind, may they be well all on the outbreath, may they be happy?:
Speaker 2:
44:25
Yeah.:
Speaker 3:
44:26
My, they find these of mind my IEP. Well, may I be happy? May they find peace of mind.:
Speaker 2:
44:56
Yeah.:
Speaker 3:
45:00
And notice how that makes you feel. And now bring to mind a difficult person, not your arch enemy. Only somebody who may have said something in consider a thoughtless, unhelpful, maybe even a little bit rude over the last week or two, living in a city of 8 million people, difficult not to have encounters where there is friction. So yeah, this is somebody who's irritated you or frustrated you or annoyed you, not somebody that's done terrible things or hurt your directly. Sometimes they don't know they're doing it. Other times they're in different, that kind of thing. That's what we're looking for. And so I hold that difficult person in mind and on separate outbreath saying your mind.:
Speaker 2:
46:15
Yeah.:
Speaker 3:
46:16
May I be well, may I be happy? Might I find peace of mind?:
Speaker 2:
46:30
Yeah,:
Speaker 3:
46:32
just was, if we start in this the first time, probably don't notice an emotional response to much of this might notice a lot varies, but first it's just words. May they be well,:
Speaker 2:
46:47
okay,:
Speaker 3:
46:47
might I be happy my they find peace of mind.:
Speaker 2:
46:58
Okay.:
Speaker 3:
47:00
Notice how you feel and now bring to mind your image of yourself. However you see yourself could be the you that looks at you out of the bathroom mirror how you feel other people see you. You'll latest Selfie, whatever it is. It could be an image. It could be the thoughts you have about yourself, how you feel, you all, it doesn't matter. Bring to mind yourself and you sign your mind. May I be well, may I be happy, may I find peace of mind. So this can be tricky. All of these can be tricky. If it's tricky, it's just words. Just repeat the words. May I be well, may I be happy my I find peace of mind. And now again, bring to mind the being that brings here the warm feeling.:
Speaker 2:
48:22
Wow.:
Speaker 3:
48:27
Hold them in mind from the president or from the past. And notice how you feel. Allow yourself to feel like that. Notice the breath. If you've got a warm feeling, notice that when you're breathing in, you're breathing in that warm feeling. And as you breathe out, you're pushing it out throughout your entire body, out to your fingers, down to your toes. And then breathing in. Noticing what you can smell. Noticing what you can taste:
Speaker 3:
49:32
and in your very own time, return your attention to your surroundings. That took me a while to figure out what that does. That's a huge thing. What we just did there. It's immensely powerful. All of these actors, a rapper, I represent our world. So I call them actors for want of a better word. The neutral person who's the neutral person is actually 8 million of them last a lot more that there's a billion of them. We don't know their names and we, most of our interactions are with neutral people. Hey, you're driving along with a neutral person in front of you. You know, that's it. Person that walks out across the road there are neutral, the neutral people everywhere. And we want, what we want to do is we want to understand how we react to neutral people. There's nothing to be, but we know then. So what happens for many of us, it doesn't happen for everyone.:
Speaker 3:
50:34
Some people find this tricky. Don't worry if you do, you just repeat this. Repeat it, repeat it. It works. It's magic. Um, so we bring to mind the, the, the good person, the person that gives us a warm feeling. And that's kind of our 10 out of 10 on the happy scale. And then what we're doing is we're comparing that 10 out of 10 with all these other interactions. So neutral people, if, if you, if you wish a neutral person, well if he'd get a little blip of joy and happiness, that's good. If you don't, that doesn't matter. But the more you do this, the more of a of a sense of warmth that you get when you bring neutral people to mind. Same with a difficult person and all them neutral people that me and you let me let you into a little secret from time to time.:
Speaker 3:
51:28
They, and you are all difficult people, right? So, and, but some people are difficult all the time. I'm sure no one in this room is now. What we want to be able to do is understand how that affects us. How does it affect us to, to work with and, and, and to, as I said, to work with, to uh, interact with difficult people. And if we develop practices, we want to see progress. And what does progress look like or progress looks like there's more warmth when we bring in, bring difficult people to mind. Less unsatisfactoriness, more warmth so we can, they were learning. So I love, I am owed bit by bit and it's like a laboratory. We're learning what our, our reaction is. And then there's ourselves. I first time I did this I thought, yeah, cool. Compassionate robber. Yeah. I'm, I'm, I'm happy with the neutral people.:
Speaker 3:
52:27
I'm even all right with the, uh, I was quite delighted actually. Yeah, I could, I can wish the, the difficult people well came to me. Nothing. So my, my sense of self, I wasn't satisfactory. It wasn't, I wasn't comfortable with it. And you know, it's this kind of thing happening throughout this, but doesn't matter because what you do is you just repeat, repeat the exercise, repeat the exercise, and then we, we come back to the warm feeling because that's the way we want to, when the session, we want to end it with a warm, fuzzy feeling. So this is the kind of practice that we can do to help us to reduce friction in our interactions. Mindfulness helps us to extract the most we can from our communications with people and the gratitude meditations help to take off the rough edges of our interactions. And then, you know, hopefully we'll move if, if we do find it difficult, gaining fulfillment from interacting with difficult people and not neutral people, and then move over to becoming more fulfilled. We can do that. And in [inaudible] 96 I left an entire industry and started retraining because I hated people. You ever heard these people say, oh, I hate people. I was one of those. Yeah. I could have had a like an I hate people see shirt. Yeah. I kind of like people now.:
Speaker 3:
54:01
Yeah. Yeah. Actually even difficult people. So it's transpires. Um, and so you can, we can, we can learn to connect and, and it's three steps forward, two steps back, three steps forward, two steps back as what progress looks like. Almost half the time you're actually going back. Doesn't matter. Look back far enough and see how far you've come. That's the thing, to do these, these things, these meditations don't change his straight away, but they change you and an ongoing basis can. So that's a little insight into loneliness.:
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