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Episode 65

Joseph Goldstein’s Mindfulness


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Joseph Goldstein, Insight Meditation Society sage, with us in conversation about his new book Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening – washing the mind of neurosis; combating I, Me, Mine; what you’re looking for is what is looking…

 


10 Comments on Joseph Goldstein’s Mindfulness

 

  • This was a sundae of rich ideas of mindfulness discussed with heartfulness.
    I remember the story of Ram Dass arranging for the small cottage for his private retreat now I’ve learned it was to be under the guidance of Monindra, another piece of the Ram Dass story is filled in. And you, Raghu, we’re among the group that he resigned himself to teach when Monindra would not be there, as that was the unexpected turn in his “plan”, and which turned out to be full of grace.

    Great question David with regard to the fear of a nihilistic stance. That fear haunts me – regularly. So glad you posed it.
    Joseph, in responding said something that stood out. He said in speaking of that fear, learning to be “free in it”. He did not say “free from it”, which is the position I generally think of in managing fear. His description of being with one’s fear with such sweet compassion as in helpin a child who was fearful. It brought to mind the lovely idea that Alan Watts presented in his discussion of Jung when he said, “I myself stand in need of the arms of my own kindness.”

    So much here to embrace…. On to get Josephs’s book.
    Thank you David and Raghu, and Joseph.
    Namaste all.

    • Posted by Chris Truhe on 04/30/14 •
  • You know, Chris, this podcast was so special for me, given my immersion in Joseph’s new book. When I was reading it – and it took months – it just lit up lights in my mind and opened my fearful heart just a bit more, so I was very very pleased to talk with him. Also, he exuded so much tangible sweetness as well as that agile, lucid mind. But, as in all the amazing IMS books by Sharon and Jack and Trudy (and hundreds of other teachers in and around the Buddhist path) It also scared me momentarily when I saw certain comfort/control attachments dropping away and new, simple, inevitable yet unknown ground opening up. Nihilism, even depression can then loom…so his answer certainly helps as you mention. Joseph was a delightful person to share some time with and I feel both honored and moved, in truth.

    Thank you so much for listening and writing to us. It enlivens the whole reason for doing these things – hearing from the hearer. And…you have such a blessed name – True spelt the Martian way…thanks, Namaste, David

    • Posted by DavidSilver on 04/30/14 •
  • You know, Chris, this podcast was so special for me (and for Raghu), given my luxuriating immersion in Joseph’s new book. When I was reading it – and it took months – it just lit up lights in my mind and opened my heart just a bit more, so I was very very pleased that we could talk with him. Also, he exuded so much tangible sweetness as well as that agile, lucid mind. But, as in all the amazing IMS books by Sharon and Jack and Trudy (and hundreds of other teachers in and around the Buddhist path) it also scared me momentarily when I saw certain comfort/control attachments dropping away and new, simple, inevitable yet unknown ground opening up. Nihilism, even depression can then loom…so his answer certainly relieves and releases, as you mention. Joseph was a delightful person to share some time with and I feel both honored and moved, in truth.

    Thank you so much for listening and writing to us. It enlivens the whole reason for doing these things – hearing from the hearer. And…you have such a blessed name – True spelt the Martian way…thanks, Namaste, David

    • Posted by mindrollingpodcast on 04/30/14 •
  • […] Listen here. […]

  • Feeling tuned into Mindrolling, I had pulled out my copy for a revist of Living this Life Fully, just before the recent online maui retreat. Interesting consideration about courage, after seeing a line in Svobooda’s Kundalini, about the two qualities of Hanuman as Maha Das and Maha Vir, and the path of servant and hero. Reading in the Ramayana last night Hanuman considering the best soldier is one who does more than was asked of him when deciding to burn Lanka. Service in fulfilling duty and Heroic in going beyond. hmm,Habit and its relationship to inertia, maybe Karma is inertia resulting from a motivation rooted in limited identification, and by witnessing action and intention there is a tacit identification with a being level of ourselves rather than the doing level.

    The comments of ‘what your looking for is what is looking,” prompted me to remember the book It So Happened That, by Ramesh Balsekar, on one page he relates about when Ramana Maharish had a feeling that his body was going to die, similar in essence to David’s comment about breathlessness and the subject of fear. Ramesh comments, he didn’t send for a doctor. Instead he thought, Let me watch what happens… a statement of courage and curiosity.

    Around non-attachment vs. detachment regardless of the verbage, not-holding vs. giving up, it seems the motivation in which we use them determines the ground of our vantage point. Awareness could be never-attached yet never-seperate, Attention can be non-attached, and ego can be detaching identification with experience to connect to the other levels.

    In tibetan buddhism there is a reference to semblant clear-light (our view of emptiness?)and actual clear light (emptiness regardless of our view?) and the merging of the two. Seeing phenomenon in the context of impermanence leads us from the suffering of holding on, to a compassion where emptiness is revealed as nothing-to-hold-on-to. Maybe this emptiness is the semblant clear light (what your looking for), while actual clear light is an emptiness beyond phenomenon (what is looking without looking). Heady in the words, Hearty in the bliss of that mahamudra.

    Really balanced podcast, lots of material without feeling overloaded.. awesome! A puppy in Varanasi… an aspect of suffering, and just being a puppy, heartbreaking and heartopening

    • Posted by Nick p on 04/30/14 •
  • i’ve had this podcast episode on repeat for the past few days and continue to for the next weeks and months. It is so great! I’m totally going to get Josephs book and I look forward to reading it. You guys are amazing! Thank you so much for this! Your words have totally made my mind feel so different and amazing and just really make me think deeper and more. You guys rule! I heard you guys on Duncans podcast and decided to check out your podcast and I am so happy I did! Much love from Willowick, Ohio

    • Posted by guicemann on 05/10/14 •
  • Our pleasure. I guess we learn just as much from these gems we find. It’s encouraging that parallel to our dumb and incredibly dumber culture, there are still so many who pursue deep truth, right?

    • Posted by DavidSilver on 05/17/14 •
  • Yes indeed. We soooo enjoyed talking with this exceptional man, who clarifies for everyone how to deal with the intrusive streams of thought that try and govern our lives. Joseph is great! Thanks for listening, David

    • Posted by mindrollingpodcast on 05/17/14 •
  • Thanks so much for this podcast. I’m a huge fan of Joseph’s teachings, and it was wonderful to hear him in this conversation. Great questions, and great answers!

    • Posted by Seth Strimas-Mackey on 06/24/14 •
  • I shouldn’t really make a favorite, because we enjoy all the podcasts, but this Joseph conversation is my absolute favorite. He is like polished glass in his clarity and ability to cut through it all and go to the truth. Seth, means a lot to me that you were already into Joseph’s teachings. I wanted this podcast to be exactly right. I made notes and thought about his Mindfulness book for four months, so desirous of not wasting his time and allowing him a relaxed environment to talk.

    • Posted by DavidSilver on 06/28/14 •
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