Zen Meditation at home for beginners (The Four Tasks of Mindfulness) | Rem Cooning | Skillshare

Playback Speed


  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Zen Meditation at home for beginners (The Four Tasks of Mindfulness)

teacher avatar Rem Cooning

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

21 Lessons (3h 42m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:12
    • 2. My Story

      4:31
    • 3. DAY 1: Why you need Mindfulness?

      1:48
    • 4. DAY 1: What is Dukkha?

      3:25
    • 5. DAY 1: Establishing ground

      5:18
    • 6. DAY 1: Guided Meditation • 15 min. • Mindfulness of the Body

      15:01
    • 7. DAY 2: What is mindfulness?

      2:26
    • 8. DAY 2: How Mindfulness creates wisdom

      1:03
    • 9. DAY 2: Fine Tuning Posture

      1:30
    • 10. DAY 2: Guided Meditation • 15 min. • Mindfulness of Sound

      15:22
    • 11. DAY 3: Meditation as an appropriate response

      1:48
    • 12. DAY 3: Cultivating the Skill of Presence

      0:51
    • 13. DAY 3: Guided Meditation • 15 min. • Mindfulness of Sound

      15:22
    • 14. DAY 4: How to Embrace Suffering - 1st task

      4:08
    • 15. DAY 4: Guided Meditation • 20 min. • Mindfulness of Breathing

      19:57
    • 16. DAY 5: Note and Let go - 2nd Task

      8:38
    • 17. DAY 5: Guided Meditation • 30 min. • Mindfulness of Thinking

      30:21
    • 18. DAY 6: Stop And Ride the Wave - 3rd Task

      13:31
    • 19. DAY 6: Guided Meditation • 30 min. • Mindfulness of Thinking

      30:21
    • 20. DAY 7: Act with Integrity - 4th Task

      10:20
    • 21. DAY 7: Guided Meditation • 35 min. • Riding the wave of emotions

      35:31
  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.

229

Students

--

Projects

About This Class

7 days introduction course to mindfulness zen meditation including videos and guided meditations.

Zen Meditation

Find your inner peace and practice mindfulness by learning different meditation techniques taught step by step for every level.

  • All beginners or experienced people who want to learn new techniques and tools of meditation

  • Anyone who has never meditated and interested in starting meditation

  • Anyone who wants to deal with stress management

  • If you feel overwhelmed in your personal life

  • If you are fighting with work stress and want to clear your mind

  • If you want to improve your overall wellness

My hope is that by teaching mindfulness meditation, it can help ground, nourish and expand others in the same way that it has done so for me.

On this path, I've been fortunate enough to study with many wonderful teachers. My primary teacher is Hoben Kim Hansen from the White Plum Lineage of Soto Zen. My secondary teacher is the late Buddhist & yoga teacher Shoken Michael Stone, from whom I've received certification to teach.

Feel Your Meditation Come Alive as Your Use of Breath and Gravity Comes Alive

Many traditions teach that your meditation deepens as the length of your exhalations deepens.

Lengthening exhalations comes out of an exploration of the connection between your breathing and the ways in which every part of your body experiences gravity.

One way to explore that connection is through practice with a sword.

Another way is to split firewood with a splitting maul.

When done properly both of those practices strongly reinforce the use of breath and gravity when doing Zen meditation.

The work of Zen meditation is to resolve duality – the simplest duality to begin working on is the mind and body duality.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Rem Cooning

Teacher

Hello, I'm Rem.

 

I have been a student of meditation for almost half my life. I began experiencing the healing benefits that arise from a routine meditation practice in my mid-teens, in the midst of struggling with anxiety. From that point on, I've been committed to continuing the practice, as well as sharing with others the gifts that arise from sitting still.

My hope is that by teaching mindfulness meditation, it can help ground, nourish and expand others in the same way that it has done so for me.

On this path, I've been fortunate enough to study with many wonderful teachers. My primary teacher is Hoben Kim Hansen from the White Plum Lineage of Soto Zen. My secondary teacher is the late Buddhist & yoga teacher Shoken Michael Stone, from whom I've rec... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
    0%
  • Yes
    0%
  • Somewhat
    0%
  • Not really
    0%
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hi guys, my name is Remington Cooney and welcome to my course, The Four Tops of mindfulness through the dao of noun. The dao of now is an initiative to set up a monastery without walls by bringing meditation online for people like yourselves to access so that we can all stop practicing together no matter where we are in the world. This course is on the full toss, the full tasks, uh, based off of the Buddha's four noble truths, the full talks are embraced like go, Stop and act. And through this course you're going to learn how to start a meditation practice and embed these full tasks into that meditation practice so that you can integrate it into your everyday lives. This course is also appropriate for intermediate meditators who want to deepen that practice. But it's especially pertinent for what? For people who want to begin a meditation practice from scratch. So sit back, literally enjoy the cos, and by the end of it, you should at least have a solid meditation practice and maybe a bit more understanding of the existential components of our lives and our minds and how to work skillfully with them. Thank you for taking this course. 2. My Story: What I remember about entering into puberty and entering into my teenage years was realizing that life wasn't all joyful and noticing the anxiety in me and trying to investigate it. I think where I went wrong. If you could say that, was that I tried to really think my way through my anxious thoughts. So we will have anxious thoughts, right? We have thoughts that are passing through our minds every day that give us a sense of anxiousness and what I was doing. I had this very overactive mind. And in these early teen years, I started to feel a lot of pressure. The social pressures that we have, academic pressures. I had personal pressures on myself, expectations and whenever I had these anxious thoughts, I would cling to them. I would see them in my mind and I would grab them and I would say, what is this anxiety? What is this anxious thought? I would investigate it. But the way that I investigated was thinking my way into anxiousness. Adding what they say in Zen, a head on top of the head. Anxious thoughts are the first head. It's normal to have these things. But when you go inside and you try and think your way out of them and I think maybe you've done this in your lives as well. You've tried to think your way through anxiety. All it does is it just spirals and perpetuates that anxiety so that it gets worse and worse and worse. And this is what I was doing cognitively. I was going in and going, how can I think my way through this anxiousness? And in the process of it, I actually got more anxious. And I took passing thoughts that were just going to dissolve and actually imbedded them into my body. I started manifesting the feeling of anxiety in my body. Now my mom, who had been practicing yoga and meditation, could see the existential dilemma that I was getting into. I myself, getting myself into. You can see it very clearly. And she thought it was in my best interest to go and meet her yoga teacher. Hey, yoga teacher who I only know as Mr. Mohan, was actually an, an Indian guru who studied with Krishna, which area? And was in Singapore at the time where I was living. And I went to see him and he said nothing wrong. Nothing wrong in your head. You asked her own thoughts and it was basically telling me that my anxiety was something that I was creating in my own mind, which in hindsight, I think it was. And he said you can overcome this through reading practices, through yoga, which I didn't even know about at the time. And so he told me these very basic yogic exercises and some salutations and breathing and calming and chanting. And that night I went home and I practice these practices. And straight away, I remember very clearly the feeling of the habitual chatter of my mind shifting. As I did these very simple practices. Breathing in, breathing out, arms raised, arms coming down. I was so anxious I could Bailey flex my arms, but I managed to do this and I noticed this habitual chatter shift. And what emerged in place of the chattering mind and the anxious thoughts was pockets, joy, pockets of hope, pockets of contentment that I could feel in my body. I was going from a place of attractiveness to a place of energetic expansion in the matter of only 10-15 minutes. This really sparked something in me. It really sparked the sense of wanting to go deeper into whatever this practice was and how it was helping me. 3. DAY 1: Why you need Mindfulness?: Hey guys, welcome to the four tasks of mindfulness with me, Remington Cooney, mindfulness coach and meditation teacher at the dao of now. The Tao now is an initiative to bring Eastern mindfulness practices to Western audiences with the hope of building a monastery without wolves. So why should you take this course? You should take this course because you suffer. Now I don't mean you suffer and a typically Western sense of the term, I mean that something in your life is probably causing us sense of dissatisfaction, sense of lack. That deep down we feel may be unfulfilled or that something is missing in life. And this is very common for us humans. But why do we feel this way? In response to this feeling, we often try and gain things in life. We try to gain a sense of fame, fortune, friends, food, you name it, we're trying to gain it now, why is that? Well, this course is about answering some of those deeper existential questions, but it doesn't answer it through verbal answers. This is very much to do with the wisdom traditions when in Taoism and Zen Buddhism, if you came with an existential question, they wouldn't give you a direct verbal answer that would give you practices to work with. This course answers some of those deeper existential questions by giving you practices for mindfulness tasks specifically. And these mindfulness tasks are there to help you cultivate and transform your path so that you can meet some of these more existential dilemmas from a place of an open hot. These mindfulness tasks are based off of the works of Stephen bachelor, who's written a lot about the four tasks. And he's based his works off of the four noble truths of the Buddha. So in a way, this is my interpretation of Steven's work and the Buddha's work. Thank you, Stephen. Thank you, Buddha. 4. DAY 1: What is Dukkha?: You know that feeling when you're alone and there's no one around you to distract you. You maybe your phones died because the battery is out or something like this and you're alone and you start to feel inwards. And often you come in contact with a sense of void, something that feels a little bit empty deep down. And when that happens, we often start asking deeper questions. What's the meaning of my life? Who am I? What is this all about? And often these questions can sometimes lead us to freaking out like they got it and I thought, I don't wanna go there. I don't wanna go there. It might get me depressed. Where's my phone? If you know what I'm talking about? If you've been there, you should keep watching this video because this is what this video is about and this is what this course is about in its entirety. There is a way to meet this existential dissatisfaction that serves as a path for transformation. If one side of the coin of Docker is dissatisfaction, the flip side of the coin is your greatest human potential. All you gotta do is flip that coin. Life is full of dissatisfaction. We cannot always get what we want. We sometimes get what we don't want, and even we do get what we want. It doesn't always last. This, according to the Buddha, was the basic tenants of the word Docker. Now Docker is often clumsily translated into suffering when it's put into English. But as I said earlier, maybe a definition aligns a little more closely, is an existential dissatisfaction or a sense of lack. This sense of dissatisfaction can range from a subtle sense of loneliness to a moderate stress, or even trauma and anguish depending on how much we resist. Docker for universal truth behind it is that we all experienced Booker. It's part of the human condition. And the thing is, we all want out. If there's one thing that binds us together as human beings, it's that we all want to be free of suffering and to exist in a state of loving contentment. Now you might have to dig a little deeper to see it. But if you look at the root of every action that you take in your lie, the number one motivation at the very root of every action is to be free of suffering. I mean, think about it. The money that you acquire, the people that you surround yourself with, the relationships that you have, the house that you've bought. Everything in life that we act towards deep down is to get away from a sense of lack, to get away from a sense of existential dissatisfaction, embrace the first ups. And we can give an honest examination of our life and see it route how dissatisfaction motivates our actions. That honest examination allows us to move forward into this transformative path. So I know it can be confronting at this point to sort of hear this. And you're probably thinking, Well, no, I don't suffer Actually, my life is very nice and I'm very satisfied with everything. But we don't want, we want to get away from this sense of this Western suffering and look more at Docker as something that's very mild but very chronic. It's a background sense of irritability or a low-level anxiety or this right in the distance. The sense of a lack of fulfilment that keeps us actually chasing and our lives. It keeps us either the distracted or chasing something that we feel we need to gain. 5. DAY 1: Establishing ground: Hi, and welcome to this video on establishing ground, setting up a meditation posture that's going to be conducive to doing the guided meditation that are offered in this course. This video is called establishing grounds because we're setting up a posture that's gonna keep us grounded. One thing in meditation is we have a lot of stuff going on up here and our thoughts and it tends to ungrounded us from our lives. So how can we use the body to anchor us deep into the ground? First thing, we need to create a base. And as you can see, I'm sitting on a cushion. And that cushion allows me to be elevated so that my hips are above my names. It's really important for us westerners, especially who have tight hip flexes to actually sit in a way where we're elevated and that our knees and below I'll hips so that we don't sort of get tense in the back and stop calling over. So it's really important to put a prop underneath. You're underneath your bum to elevate your hips. So that's the first thing and creating a base. The second thing is to make sure your knees are as close to the ground as possible. To really create a sturdy meditation posture, you wanna have three points in contact with the ground at all times or in contact with the cushion. If this a cushion under you, this creates a tripod effect. So you can see my knees are on the ground here. I have a cushion on my backside, and that way I have stable thumb posture. This is the first aspect of creating or establishing ground. As we look up in the posture. This is the first aspect in establishing ground. You'll also notice that my feet are in parallel to one another. This is the Burmese way of sitting where we don't quite see in a half lotus position, which would be like this. Instead we bring out front leg down parallel in front of our back leg. And I find that this is a really comfortable way to sit. If you'd prefer to have your foot up on your thigh, that's okay as well. And if you prefer to use a chair, that's okay as well. But for me I like to sit and I find that I'm most sturdy and grounded on the floor in this position. As I work my way up. I'll talk about hand placement. Your hands can be either on your needs, palms face down, palms face up, or gently nestled in your lap. You will notice that when I Nestle my palms in my lap, I often put my thumbs together. The cosmic mudra. This is a mudra that they use often in Zen practice. And it allows us to hold the energy of our center and the center of the universe in the ends. So once again, palms face down, palms face up, palms in the lab. In this posture of meditation, we also want our spine to be elevated. So imagine that you're sitting with a sense of pride. You're proud to be alive. And that's how we sit. You know, the sense of dignity, a sense of uplift. And you'll notice the more that you bring the spine into an erect position, the more the energy will flow freely around the body. And you will actually enact and live that sense of pride in your practice. So lift the diaphragm, lift the spine up so that the diaphragm is free to expand and contract as you breathe and the lungs are free to expand and contract. This is really important. Make sure that you're getting enough oxygen when you're sitting in meditation. The shoulders and moving up now to the top half of the body. The shoulders ideally are in line with the ears and the chin, ideally in line with naval. And in this way we can ensure that there's some sense of we can ensure that there's some sense of stability and some sense of alignment. External alignment in our posture, which helps over time when we start sitting for longer periods. Finally, imagine that the top of your head, the crown, and even your whole head, is like a helium balloon. It's got this sense of lift, the sense of buoyancy to it. And as if your crown is sort of rising up to the ceiling, maybe you can imagine there's a thread pooling the crown of your head up into the sky. And in that way, you will continuously lift up out of the root of the posture, which is on the cushion, creating maximal breathing space, which will really help you in your concentration of your practice. So overall from the feet up to the head, you now know how to align your posture. And you have a tripod effect with your knees and your cushion to create ground. Once again, establishing ground is really, really essential in meditation because a lot of thoughts are going to be coming and going. And they're going to want to pull us away from the rooted anchor of our breathing and the rooted anchor of our posture. Posture helps bring us back. It is just as important as the breathing. And it's important to be comfortable as you take the lessons and the guided meditations in this course. 6. DAY 1: Guided Meditation • 15 min. • Mindfulness of the Body: Welcome to this meditation, mindfulness of the body. And this meditation. We will practice dropping into the body through tuning the senses. Within every human body. There are five senses. The sense of touch, taste, sight, sound, and smell. Often the senses can distract us. And we don't have control over them. And they scatter our attention. But with some training and some mindfulness, we can use the senses as anchor points to drop deeper into the body. So let's begin this meditation by firstly taking three deep breaths. Taking a deep breath in, feeling your inhale, fill up the lungs, expand the lungs. And then exhaling out fully all the way to the end of the exhale. Taking another breath in and exhaling out all the way to the end, the exhale. And then taking a deep breath in, feeling up the lungs and then converting that inhale into a long exhale. Remembering that freedom always lies at the end of the exhale. And now allow your breathing to return to its natural rhythm. It's natural pace. And just let the body breathe. The body. Don't try and control the breathing or manipulate the breathing, but instead, trust in your body's ability to heal body knows how to breathe. And on your next inhale, let your attention on the breathing go into the background. And bringing to the foreground, the attention to touch. To the body's feeling of touch. We can investigate the sensory anchor point of touch by feeling the points where our skin is making contact with the surface. And so if you're sitting on the floor, you might want to begin this body scan by feeling where the legs are touching the flow. Or feeling perhaps where the hands touching the legs. Without judgement. Just noticing the temperature and the texture, allow skin making contact with the surface. And as the breathing continues in the background, really hone the intention to the micro detail of the contact between the skin and surface. Perhaps also noticing the pressure of the tailbone. And now backside plugged into a cushion either on the floor or on a chair. Taking a deep breath in, exhaling out fully. And bringing our attention up into the mouth. Noticing a taste or any texture in the mouth. As we anchor in the sensory awareness of taste. Is there a flavor in the mouth that you can notice? Or is the flavor neutral? Is the mouth salivating or is it resting? And pay particular attention to the position of the tongue. Because when the mind is busy, the tongue also becomes busy. When the mind is quiet. The tongue rests at the bottom of the mouth. Very quietly. As you breathe in. And as you breathe out. See if you can quiet down the tongue. And just pay attention to the tastes in the mouth. Moving up into the nose. Take a deep breath in. And notice if there's any sense of smell or lack thereof. And exhale fully on the breath out. Bring your attention right to the tip of the nose and investigate this olfactory image. Sense of smell. And even if there's no sense of smell on the inhale, pay attention to what that is like. Take a deep breath in and bring your attention up to u. E is receiving the sounds of the environment as if your e is would like microphone's not judging, but just taking in okay, every micro detail of sound and absorbing it, filtering it into the body. What sounds can you notice? And where do the sounds that you're receiving actually meet the ys? Upon which moment to sounds actually turn into sounds. Investigate this with curiosity and kindness. On your next inhale. Bring your attention to your eyeballs. And notice the vision or the field of vision that exists behind your closed eyes. Look into the eyelids and notice the specks of light and the patches of darkness that exist in that field of vision. Pay attention to this site as you breathe in. And as you breathe out. And as we end this meditation, allow the eyes to open and receive with a fresh mind whatever exists in that field of vision. Thank you. Feel practice. 7. DAY 2: What is mindfulness?: So what is mindfulness and why do you need it? The working definition of mindfulness that's often used these days is that it's paying attention in a particular way on purpose in the present moment, non-judgmentally. Now this is a great elevator pitch for mindfulness. And I think it's done the tradition of my plus, a lot of good. But that sentence needs some unpacking. Firstly, mindfulness is cultivating a sense of the present moment awareness. And we do this by investigating what's going on right here, right now with a sense of curiosity and kindness. This is what's meant by non-judgmentally. Being curious and being kind is important because it allows us to stay open and available to what's going on in each experience. At the root of mindfulness is actually paying attention to how we are paying attention. Have you ever noticed you have the ability to watch your own thoughts. What is it that's actually standing back and watching those thoughts? Probably indescribable, but maybe call it consciousness. You could call it our higher self. You know, you could think of all different ways of describing it. But we had this ability to see up thoughts passing by as if they're on a movie screen and to actually stand back as if we were ten rows back in the cinema and watch our thoughts. This is really, really cool when you investigate it. And this is what meant by paying attention to how we are paying attention to the outcome of this practice, of being open to the present moment experience, furious and kind of paying attention to how you're paying attention. The outcome of all of this is that it actually shifts the habitual chatter of all those different stories that you have going on in your head. And when we get out of that habitual chatter, those storylines, all those mind loops is I like to call them. We can actually have a direct experience of reality. We become more engaged with what's going on right here and now. As opposed to commentator on what's going on right here and now. So does that make sense? We spend most of our lives commentator on our experience which disconnects us. But when we can be right close to our experience with NO habitual Chadha, things become a lot richer. We have a lot more engagements with life, and it gives us a sense of overall contentment. This is why mindfulness practices boredom. 8. DAY 2: How Mindfulness creates wisdom: So the result of being intimate with the present moment, being intimate with whatever is arising in our present moment experience is that we learn to meet each moment, whether it's pleasurable, painful on neutral, we can meet each moment with a sense of equanimity because we're not going to be as reactive when we can really engage with each moment. Without reactivity, we have a choice. We have a choice in how you want to respond to whatever is coming into our lives. And this is the beginning of wisdom. So let me backtrack a little bit. Mindfulness is a present moment awareness practice. A teaches us how to become intimate with each moment that's arising. And by being incident with whatever the moment is bringing, we can cultivate a sense of equanimity to that moment and non reactivity. When we're non-reactive, we can respond by choice. And not just out of some habitual pattern that's been playing out our whole life. This is really the root of transformation in our part. 9. DAY 2: Fine Tuning Posture: The final thing I wanna say about establishing a grounded posture is actually a bit of a visualization that you can do when we go into the sitting meditation. So just before you start doing the guided meditation or before you start noticing your breathing. Imagine that or not even imagine, take three breaths from deep within the ground. Imagine that you're inhale is coming up from the root of the earth. So right now, as I inhale and I exhale, inhale and exhale, I'm visualizing my inhale, not coming from out here, but coming from the root of the earth into my body from the bottom up. And as I exhale, that energy is going back to the earth. This is one of the most grounding practices we can do to get started in meditation. It helps so much, especially when my mind is out there and it's craziness, thinking about the millions of things we have to do. Three breaths, rooting into the earth. Stable posture. Let's begin at the beginning. 10. DAY 2: Guided Meditation • 15 min. • Mindfulness of Sound: Welcome to this meditation. Mindfulness of sound. To begin this meditation, allow your body to settle into the posture that you have chosen for the duration of this meditation. If you're sitting on the floor, really feel the tail bone and the lower body route down into the ground. And if you're sitting on a chair, feel the soles of the feet flat on the floor, rooting down into the ground. And this allows us to establish and grounded posture, One of stability and integrity. As we choose to practice. Let's start this meditation with three deep breaths. Inhaling, fully, expanding the lungs. And exhaling out all the way to the end of the exhale. Breathing in deeply, feeling an expanding along with fresh air. Before exhaling. All the way to the end of the exhale. The final deep breath in, and a long exhale. And then let your breathing revert back to its natural rhythm. It's natural pace. And just allow the body to breathe naturally. In other words, let the body breathes the body. Trust in the body's ability to breathe. With every breath in and breath out. Feel yourself settle deeper and deeper. Into the center. Your body. Allow yourself to drop in to this present moment. To really feel the breath. Touching the core of your center. You can visualize the breath going in and out of the stomach. As if you are breathing in through the naval and now through the naval. And as we do so, the belly rises and falls. Lee rises or falls, rising and falling with every breath. And now that we've made a connection to the breathing body, allow the breath or the concentration, the attention that you have on the breath to move into the background. And bringing to the foreground the attention on sounds. So wherever you will seated and whatever is occurring in your external environment, take in those sounds, is and bring your attention fully to just receiving those sounds. It might be the sound of my voice and might be sounds in your own environment, both internally or externally. Doesn't matter what the sounds are. Just about bringing our attention to them fully. All the while the breathing continues in the background. Let me keep trusting in our body's ability to breathe itself. One way that we can practice by receiving sounds is to imagine that L is a like microphones. And these microphones receive all sounds without judgment. So whatever sound you receive three or listen to it. With beginner's mind. In other words, listen to the sounds like you've never ever heard them before. In your life. Listens is the sounds as if they completely fresh. And what is the texture of the sounds that you can hear? Those sounds actually meet the 0s. I will point to the t0 is ten the sounds into sound. We can investigate this with curiosity and kindness. In our practice. And you might notice that as you listen to the surrounding sounds of the room, that your mind begins to wander until one of two places. It might wander off into the future, making plans or to-do lists. Or it might wander off into the past, ruminating on a storyline. In either case, if your mind wanders away, just gently guide it. Like a parent would guide the child. Gently guided back to the anchor point of sound. And with fresh open is begin listening again with curiosity and kindness. All the while, still trusting in the body's ability to breathe. Still feeling that inhale and exhale and the background. And keeping the practice of listening to sounds in the foreground. Listening to sounds is a great way to bring ourselves back into this present moment. Because sounds only exist in the present moment. By listening deeply. We can begin to hear the subtle whispering of the universe. As it talks to us. In a myriad of ways. Listen closely. Listen to sounds like a deer. Listens to sounds in the forest. With open alertness. Presence, and stillness. Listen to sounds as if your life depends on it. Because in many ways, it does. Begin to deepen your inhale and exhale. To finish this meditation. Come back to the feeling, sensations of the body. And when you're ready, open your eyes. Thank you for your practice. 11. DAY 3: Meditation as an appropriate response: There's a great story in Zen of a student coming to his teacher and asking teacher, teacher, what is the actual meaning of Zen? What is the meaning of Zen practice? And the teacher pauses and looks as this student says, simply, zen is an appropriate response. So what did the teacher mean when he said this to a student? Well, let's go back to mindfulness. I was talking about how mindfulness instills in us a sense of equanimity and cultivates a sense of non reactivity. And what I mean by that is you're not acting out your habitual reactions when something arises in your life, you're able to pause and choose how you would like to react because you're not acting out of habit anymore. When we can choose how we want to react to each moment, we can choose to respond wisely. The Buddha said about life, that life is impermanent. Life is always changing, nothing stays the same, and this is actually what causes us a lot about dissatisfaction. So having a set of rules and regulations laid out for every moment in life is impossible, it's fluid. Our response needs to be fluid. And therefore, in each context, in each moment that's arising, we need to be out or respond to appropriate to that moment. And this is one of the benefits of mindfulness practice and learning how to be nonreactive to states in our life. We can then choose to respond from our hots and not just habitual storylines and now heads. So if mindfulness is the mind state of present moment awareness than meditation can be thought of as the tool, all the method in which we can enact this mind state. 12. DAY 3: Cultivating the Skill of Presence: And now our minds a design to wander. There's actually part of the brain called the default mode network, which is on its online a lot of the time and it keeps on mind wandering off. And when we wander around the me time travel, we can be quite creative. But too much time traveling, too much mind-wandering isn't a good thing because it stops us enjoying the richness of what's going on in our lives right here and now. To be present with others, to be present with the task at hand. This is one of the greatest gifts of life. This is one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves and to that part of life that we're engaged in in the present moment. And that's why it's an order. I really feel that mindfulness can cultivate one of the greatest skills that we have to offer, which is presence. 13. DAY 3: Guided Meditation • 15 min. • Mindfulness of Sound: Welcome to this meditation. Mindfulness of sound. To begin this meditation, allow your body to settle into the posture that you have chosen for the duration of this meditation. If you're sitting on the floor, really feel the tail bone and the lower body route down into the ground. And if you're sitting on a chair, feel the soles of the feet flat on the floor, rooting down into the ground. And this allows us to establish and grounded posture, One of stability and integrity. As we choose to practice. Let's start this meditation with three deep breaths. Inhaling, fully, expanding the lungs. And exhaling out all the way to the end of the exhale. Breathing in deeply, feeling an expanding along with fresh air. Before exhaling. All the way to the end of the exhale. The final deep breath in, and a long exhale. And then let your breathing revert back to its natural rhythm. It's natural pace. And just allow the body to breathe naturally. In other words, let the body breathes the body. Trust in the body's ability to breathe. With every breath in and breath out. Feel yourself settle deeper and deeper into the center of your body. Allow yourself to drop in to this present moment. To really feel the breath. Touching the core of your center. You can visualize the breath going in and out of the stomach. As if you are breathing in through the naval. And now through the naval. And as we do so, the belly rises and falls, rises. A leaf falls, rising and falling with every breath. And now that we've made a connection to the breathing body, allowed the breath while the concentration, the attention that you have on the breath to move into the background. And bringing to the foreground the attention on sounds. So wherever you will see that and whatever is occurring in your external environment, take in those sounds, is and bring your attention fully to just receiving those sounds. It might be the sound of my voice and might be sounds in your own environment, both internally or externally. Doesn't matter what the sounds are. Just about bringing our attention to them fully. All the while the breathing continues and the background may keep trusting in our body's ability to breathe itself. One way that we can practice by receiving sounds is to imagine that R is, I like microphones. And these microphones receive all sounds without judgment. So whatever sound you receive, three E is, listen to it. With beginner's mind. In other words, listen to the sounds like you've never ever heard them before in your life. Listens is the sounds as if they are completely fresh. And what is the texture of the sounds that you can hear? And where do those sounds actually meet the ease. And will point to the t0 is ten the sounds into sound. We can investigate this with curiosity and kindness. In our practice. And you might notice that as you listen to the surrounding sounds of the room, that your mind begins to wander until one of two places. It might wander off into the future, making plans or to do lists. Or it might wander off into the past, ruminating on a storyline. Either case, if your mind wanders away, just gently guide it. Like a parent would guide the child. Gently guided back to the anchor point of sound. And with fresh open is begin listening again with curiosity and kindness. All the while, still trusting in the body's ability to breathe. Still feeling that inhale and exhale in the background. And keeping the practice of listening to sounds in the foreground. Listening to sounds is a great way to bring ourselves back into this present moment. Because sounds only exist in the present moment. By listening deeply. We can begin to hear the subtle whispering of the universe. As it talks to us. In a myriad of ways. Listen closely. Listen to sounds like a deer. Listens to sounds in the forest. With open alertness. Presence, and stillness. Listen to sounds as if your life depends on it. Because in many ways, it does. Begin to deepen your inhale and exhale. To finish this meditation. Come back to the feelings, sensations of the body. And when you're ready, open your eyes. Thank you for your practice. 14. DAY 4: How to Embrace Suffering - 1st task: So on a biological level, the human brain is actually engineered to escape dukha. We have all these survival mechanisms put it into the brain to get away from that which is going to cause us pain. So do occur at best as unpleasant and at worst is actually painful. But here's the thing. When you're trying to escape dukha, when you're trying to escape suffering or dissatisfaction because it causes you pain. You're more on the lookout for it. You're looking out for threats and our environment that are going to induce something painful. And therefore your remaining in a fear state in the brain, in remaining in this fight or flight state. By remaining in fight or flight, by remaining in fear, you are actually inducing the very suffering you're trying to get away from. You can think of this as a bit of a design flaw in modern humans that worked really well for our caveman ancestors. But for us today, it doesn't work so well because there is so many things in our environment that are actually going to inflict that are actually going to compromise L survival. Buddha actually found through his studies of his own mind, is that resolution to Docker is actually not by going around it or getting away from it by going right into it, through it and seeing it for what it is, seeing its nature, allowing us to become intimate with it so that eventually we can transform it and see it a rise and fall because dukha comes and goes, it's not permanent. It's in permanent like the rest of life. It's, you know, it comes and goes. So this is really our greatest existential task as humans, is to actually meet our own dissatisfactions and to embrace them in order to transform them. And in the next segment of this video, we're gonna look at some tasks of how to do that. The first step is to simply acknowledge and embrace any sort of dissatisfaction that's showing up in your life or even in your body. This is the honest examination that I was talking about earlier. Many of our actions in life based on chasing that which is pleasurable and avoiding that which is painful in order to try and resolve the sense of dissatisfaction in the sense of black, sense of Dukkha. The question is, what if you were to really acknowledge and meet your suffering, right where it's at. What if you were to really embrace dukha, what would happen? This is the question of inquiry. I would like you to take into the meditation practice that we're going to do together. To give an analogy, imagine you've just had a fight with your partner, someone you really, really love. Well, maybe it's a family member. You've had a fight with them. It's a really long fight. Maybe this fight has lasted your whole life. And you finally Want to make up. What do you do? You'd probably stand either I you may apologize. You'd say, I forgive you, and then you'd give each other a really, really big hub. This is what I mean by embracing dissatisfaction. Really open your heart and give a hug to anything that's causing you a challenge or a, or a sense of lack in your life. And meet it where it's at. Give it loving kindness. Bring it into your life and say, Yes, I see you, it's okay. Eventually what happens is that stuck energy that's causing that challenge, that dissatisfaction internally will shift. And so in the meditation practice, we actually observe the shifting that occurs when we accept and embrace our dissatisfaction. The practice series of this course and the audio meditations will help you take this step to embrace Docker, to do this honest examination. And we do this through mindfulness of sound, mindfulness of the body, mindfulness of breathing. In some. It's important that we learn to embrace dissatisfactions in order to meet our life where it's at. And to begin this path of transformation, remember, the way out of Dukkha is to go right in. 15. DAY 4: Guided Meditation • 20 min. • Mindfulness of Breathing: Welcome to this meditation, mindfulness of breathing. Let's start this meditation by taking three deep breaths. Taking a deep inhale all the way in, expanding the lungs. And then exhaling fully all the way to the end of the exhale. For taking another deep breath in, filling up the lungs, expanding the lungs. And a long exhale out. Getting all the way to the end of the exhale before taking a deep breath in and a long exhale out. And when you get to the end of the exhale, just allow your breathing to return to its most natural and normal state. And allow your natural rhythm of breathing in and out of the nostrils. And let your body, the body, let your body settle into this meditation. As you allow it to just breathe itself. Deep breath in. Exhale. The body knows how to agree. We are born with this ability to stay alive and to breathe deeply in every moment. Our job in this guided meditation to really learn how to trust in this body's ability to breathe. So as you breathe in, trust your body's ability to Bree. And as you breathe out, continue that trust in that relationship. As we breathe in. We breathe out. As we breathe in. We've read out as we breathe in. Following the exhale. All the way to the end to the exhale. Freedom can be found at the end of each exhale. Investigate this in this practice. And as we settle into this meditation more and more, I'll breathing will become calmer and calmer. But you may notice tension or discomfort in the body. As you sit in meditation posture. Do a quick body scan. Head scanning down through the top half of the body. And if you notice there are places of tension, maybe in the show, lose. In the abdomen, in the breath to the place of tension. And just allow the breathing to massage and permeate and relax that area of the body. The body knows how to trust in your body's ability to breathe itself. As you sit here and pay attention to your breath as the anchor point of this meditation. You might notice that you'll thoughts get generated and start to take your attention away. You may notice that your mind wanders off into the past or the future. Thinking about stories, making plans. And keeping itself busy. The beauty of breathing is that the breath comes and goes only in the present moment. And so by harmonizing with the breath, we can bring our minds back to the present and go deeper into this very moment. One way we can go deeper using the breath is by focusing on the inhale and exhale right at the tip of the nose. So in this meditation, bring your concentration to the aperture of the nostrils, the tip of the nose. And as you inhale, feel very closely the going in through the knowns. And as you exhale, again, pay attention to the feeling of the air moving out through the knowns. And for the remainder of this meditation, keep your attention right there at the tip of the nose. And bear witness to the inhale and exhale. How does the inhale feel on the tip of the nose? How does the exhale feel as it exits the nostrils? Can you notice a difference in the temperature and the texture of the of the inhale and exhale. As we breathe in. We breathe out, as we breathe in. And as we breathe in. Following the exhale. All the way to where it ends. Remember that freedom can be found right at the end of the exhale. Mindfulness is about bringing attention to the present moment. In this mindfulness of breathing practice. We tame the wandering mind by bringing it back to the anchor point of the breath in the body. And specifically at the tip of the nostrils. Throughout your day to day life, you can continue this practice. Every time the mind wanders into the past and the future. Channeling guide the attention back to the breathing body and to the quality of the inhale and exhale at the tip of the nostrils. The more tension you can bring to the texture. And the temperature of the inhale and exhale. Concentration ability begins to increase. And the more we can drop into a deeper form of meditation practice. Thank you for your practice. 16. DAY 5: Note and Let go - 2nd Task: So welcome to the second task. Note and let go. Now to recap. Mindfulness meditation, as I said earlier, is a method in which we alerting to respond wisely to life. If you remember the Zen tail I was talking about the master was defining Zen as an appropriate response or saying the meaning of the practices and as an appropriate response meaning that in any context, we want to be flexible and fluid in our responses so that we can respond wisely to each moment. If we have a set of rules and regulations for everything, That's not a flexible way of working with life. And because of the impermanent nature of life, we need to be fluid. We need to work with what's changing. But what are we responding to exactly? Life is sort of like a movie, if you can think of it that way. And the way it plays out in our minds is a bit like the movie screen. We have all these passing thoughts that come and go along the, this movie screen of our lives, which usually is like, it's kind of projected onto our experience externally. But when you close your eyes and you go inwards and meditation, you can really see this movie screen clearly. And if you sit yourself ten rows back in the cinema, metaphorically, if you sit yourself ten rows back, you can watch the thoughts passing by on this movie screen, the thoughts of really wanting dinner right now. I'm not sure why I'm taking this course. What is meditation good for anyway, you know, all these little things that come across this movie screen. We don't have to be as involved in those thoughts. As we think we do often, we think that our thoughts are a part of our identity. But by sitting back and watching this movie screen, you begin to see that your thoughts come and go. And sometimes if you invest no energy into them, they just pass by without leaving much of an imprint. Now remember this because this is going to be important when we go into practicing the second task of noting and letting go. The key to success in the second task is being able to be an observer of your own thoughts as they play out on the movie screen of your mind. By becoming an objective observer of our thoughts, we can choose how we want to respond to the storyline that's playing out in that movie. And we have a lot more, we have a lot more choice and how we want to respond in that month. Have you ever experienced one of those nagging thoughts that sort of orbits your consciousness over and over again. Maybe it's a thought about a fight you had with your partner or thought about something stupid you said at work or even maybe a thought about a recent purchase you made and you didn't get a great deal and you feel like you've been ripped off. I'm I'm pretty sure you can relate to what I'm talking about here. We all have these nagging thoughts that orbit our consciousness throughout the day. And we actually spend so much time and energy invested in these thoughts. Either we're trying to swipe from the way by working them out, or we're trying to sort of put them under the proverbial RUG. We're trying to put them under the carpet so that we don't have to deal with these thoughts. But both approaches take a lot of energy. The Buddha himself said that what we focus on will expand. What we put our energy into is going to obviously expand. So if we're putting energy into swiping away, nagging thoughts or putting them under the carpet. We're actually investing energy into growing them. We're giving those thoughts, sun and water, so that they end up expanding more. And this is not really an approach that works conclusively with meditation, all with life in general because we end up getting lost and tangled and our thoughts. There's a really good model that my meditation teacher, Michael Stone, taught me about how thought patterns work and I'd like to share that with you now. I was talking about how these nagging thoughts tend to loop. There's a traditional term for this. It's called chitter variety. And chitter is our consciousness. Poverty is the, It's literally translated as a whirlpool. And it's basically when put together the thoughts of consciousness that loop around and around over and over again. So these are those thoughts that are going around your consciousness orbiting them, as I said before, what happens over time is that these thought patterns, these tutor varieties that build up, they tend to gain more and more momentum. They become. They go from passing thoughts into storylines, eventually into belief systems. And when they, when we're really invested in them, in them, one, we're trying to resolve them throughout thoughts a bit like I used to do with my anxious thoughts. You know, back in the day when I was telling you about anxiety, I used to try and go into the anxious thoughts and resolve them through thinking. And oldest seem to do was create what I call mine snags. Now mine stags are when alpha thoughts loop around so much that they become entangled, they actually kinda snag in on each other. And if, if you try and undo it with thinking and doesn't really, really help, the best way to describe a mind snag is through an analogy, a fishing analogy. So when I was living in Singapore, my dad and I used to go out to Malaysia and we would go fishing a lot on pull our hour or some of the islands off Malaysia. And this is where I first learned how to fish. And basically we would cost are rods off into the ocean. We sit there with the bait. And every now and then, my line, my fishing line. If you've ever seen a fishing line that's very thin, used to get snagged on something, you know, snagged on a rock or snagged on the Jedi as I was reading it in or snagged on a greedy crab claw that had grabbed it. And I would often try and pull up this fishing line trying to snag it. And my dad would be like, I don't know that because it would just get worse. It would just get more snagged. He'd come over my dad and he would take a pair of pliers and he would just cut the line. And in doing so, he would just say to me, let's just start again. And I think in meditation practice, it's very much about this. If you try and follow your thinking, that's distracting you. If you follow these mind loops and try and investigate them too much, they get snagged like the fishing line and you can't unsee snag, it's too tangled. But if you just take a pair of pliers and cut through it, suddenly you can start again. So what does that to do with the second task? The second task is a way of us cutting through our mind, snags, coming back to our anchor point and starting again. The way we do this is through a traditional of the past and a technique called labeling on noting practice. It's very, very simple. But when used effectively, it can really get us out of those mines snags. When we do noting practice, we observe the thoughts that are coming up in the mind and we labeled them as an objective observer. Just how we see those thoughts. For example, if I'm feeling really tired and I'm starting to fall asleep and meditation, which is likely something that you will do. You just note feeling sleepy or sleepy, sleepy. Or you can even put a word that you can put the word just in front of it. So just sleepy. So a falling asleep. And you just say to yourself, sleepy, sleepy. If you're hungry. Just note hunger, hunger or hungry, hungry, just hungry. And you can use this for other things. If you have lots of thoughts coming up, you can note thinking, thinking, just thinking. There's, you know, whatever thoughts of parsing. You just label them as you see them. And in labeling them, usually you want to label them twice because it kind of adds that cut to it. Thinking, thinking, but cut, Come back to the anchor, come back to the breathing, comeback to the sound. And then when we do this, it keeps us away from the storyline behind those thoughts. It keeps us disconnected so that we don't invest so much energy and allows those passing thoughts to, to remain passing thoughts as opposed to them becoming, yeah, belief systems really all becoming mine snags. So in this meditation that I am going to give you on the second task, we're going to practice noting and letting go, and then coming back to the anchor point of meditation. 17. DAY 5: Guided Meditation • 30 min. • Mindfulness of Thinking: Welcome to this meditation. Working with thoughts. Begin this meditation. Let's take three deep breaths together. Taking a deep breath in, filling up the lungs, expanding and breathing out, finishing the exhale, taking a deep inhale all the way to the bottom of the inhale and then exhaling out fully. All the way to the end of the exhale. Third, deep breath in belongings, expanding alongs and then exhaling right to the end of the exhale. And then allow your breath to just move back into its natural rhythm. It's natural pace. And let the body, the body. In other words, trusting your body's ability to breathe itself. Mm-hm. Mm-hm. And as we breathe out, has we breathe in? We breathe out. As we breathe in. Following the exhale. All the way to the end of the exhale. Freedom is found. At the end the exhale. Investigate this. And as you allow your body to bring attention to the tip of the nose, inhale and exhale. Right on the aperture or the tip of the nostrils. What you'll notice when you try to maintain attention on the breath is that the mind begins to wander. The mind maybe wanders into the future, back into the past. And as the mind wanders, thoughts begin to arise. Notice in your mind, if there are thoughts that are arising as you pay attention to the inhale and exhale. At the tip of the nose. Whenever your mind wanders into the future or the past and begins to generate thoughts. There is a method to thoughts and coming back to the breath. This method is called labeling. So when the mind wanders into the future, starts thinking about the future. Just say quietly in your mind, future, future. And the return to the inhale and exhale. If you find the mind is wandering back into the past to say quietly in your mind, past, past. Released the thought and bringing the attention back to the inhale and exhale. Try this now. If you notice that your mind is just wandering off into general thoughts and you're not sure if they're in the future or in the past. You can simply label the thoughts by saying thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking, future, past, pass. Release the thoughts. And bring the attention back to the breathing. Right at the tip of the nose. Bringing the attention back to the breathing and the aperture of the nostrils. And as we breathe in, we read that. As we breathe in, we follow the exhale all the way to the end. The final way that we can work with a wandering mind is by simply acknowledging the thoughts that comes and the thought that goes through the mind. When you're paying attention to your breath. And your mind wanders away into a thought. Just say quietly in your mind. Hello, thought. By thought. Come back to the breathing. Hello, thought. Goodbye thought. And coming back to the anchor point of the breath. Try this now. Future, future. Past pass. Thinking, thinking. Tools of noting and labeling thoughts that can help us with distractions. We use them. And then we come back to the breathing body. And the anchor point of attention at the tips of the nostrils. Thank you for your practice. 18. DAY 6: Stop And Ride the Wave - 3rd Task: Hey guys, and welcome back to another video with me Remington Cooney, mindfulness coach and meditation teacher from the Tao of Now. Today we're gonna talk about the third task, stop and ride the wave. I really loved this task. In fact, I think it's probably my favorite task because it reminds me of a story that I'd like to tell. My story is about surfing. Have you ever been surfing before? It's not so easy. I actually, growing up in Singapore was an extreme sports athlete in my teenage years. I was not professional, maybe like a good amature going into a professional arena of rollerblading, aggressive inline skating was what it was originally called back in the day. And I know that sounds really cool. But yet, I was extreme sports athlete. I was really into rollerblading like stunt rollerblading, the half-pipe you name, and I was doing it. And I was also pretty into escape lording. I did a lot of snowboarding later on when I moved to Canada. So it was really, really into extreme sports and quite a natural at these things. And so when I moved back to Australia from Singapore, I wanted to get back to my Australian roots. And one way I wanted to do that was to start surfing. So you know, I'm at university and I sign up for this surf camp and a goal along with my friends and I think surfing, Yeah, it's a balanced sport, is an extreme sport. No problems. I'll be good at this. And I get their first day of surfing and I'm paddling. And I suddenly find that I'm actually not a great surfer at all. I mean, I know it takes time to develop skills in any sport. But right from the get-go surfing and I were at loggerheads. I mean, I just remember going in in the surf camp and paddling into these waves and just getting absolutely smashed. And all it did was raise this adrenalin and me to be like hypercompetitive and be like, I'm gonna get this sport down. I'm gonna do this. I'm going to learn how to serve today and I'm going to be good at it today. So you're right there. And then I really was trying to take control of the situation much like I would have tried to take control of any other extreme sport when it's a mind over matter, you try and dominate the sport by taking control. What I didn't realize at the time is surfing is not like other sports. It's not about taking control. In fact, it's actually about letting go of control. Much of the success and surfing is about stopping letting go and then learning to ride the wave. And this has a lot to do with this, the task stopping and riding the wave. And I'm going to tell you how when you're out there on the ocean, you really have to tune in, in surfing into what Mother Nature is doing. You have to bear witness and behold the rhythms of the ocean, how they're flowing, and not to fight them, but to learn to go with the flow with those waves. I mean, I'm still not a great surfer by any means, but I'm starting to learn here in Bali how to do it. And I'm also watching people who are really good at it and talking with them. And what they say is you stop. You, take time to bear witness, behold the ocean. And then when you can feel in synchronicity in harmony with what the ocean's doing. That's when you ride the way. Meditation practice isn't so different. We're going to have a lot of emotions coming up in meditation practice, rather than trying to control those emotions and trying to fix them and put them into situations that we want. We really have to stop and ride the wave of emotion. And this third task is really investigating how we do that. So the irony is when we stop trying to control our action and we really allow ourselves to be open and to feel what's going on. We open up ourselves as a vessel to allow something greater to move into us and help us harmonize with whatever is occurring in that moment. This is actually what it means to surrender to something that's greater than us. Now this wasn't necessarily a teaching of the Buddha. This was more a teaching of the ancient Chinese sages known as the Daoist sages. They spoke of the greater path as the Tao. And that we could by opening ourselves up as a vessel, allow the dao to enter into us and for us to flow with the dao. In fact, they had a Chinese term for this and it was called wu wei. When someone's acting in wu wei, it means that they are in a sort of effortless effort, a flow with life, a flow with nature. And they are allowing the dao to come in and move through them so that they can perform actions that otherwise they wouldn't really be able to perform. I think in surfing, it's a lot about wu wei. It's about opening yourself up to Mother Nature and allowing her to move you as long as you're in surrender and in synchronicity, You still have to have the skills. You still have to do the work. But it's not so much about cognitive control. It's more about surrender, opening up, stopping, and writing the way. So how do we do this in our meditation practice? Well, the third task is very much like replacing the surfboard without feeling states. Let me explain that. I'll feeling states are very complicated processes. We try to understand them by analyzing them with logic, digging into them. And we tend to over analyze these complex layers that exist within us. Eventually they end up like mine snags, you know how the mental processes that I was talking about sort of loop over and over and over again and eventually become very entangled. And we can't think our way out. Feeling states also become entangled, but they really become entangled as energetic knots in the body. They sort of get locked into the body. You know, when you're having a lot of anxiety gets locked in this tension. If you're having depression that might get locked in this tension in the shoulders or something like this. So we, our bodies sort of stores these feelings states as knots. If we stop in meditation practice from analyzing these feelings states and we just bring our breath to them. Over time. The breath sort of massages the feeling states and they unravel, these knots unravel. And we feel a sense of expansion and buoyancy in the body. Now not all are feeling states a bad. Some of that feeling states in the body, I actually really, really good. So it's important in this practice of the third task to also stop and ride the wave of good feeling states. And we do this in the same way as working with negative feeling states or unpleasurable feeling states. We go in, find a pleasurable feeling state in the body and just allow our breathing to permeate that, to expand it, to allow it to grow. The Buddha talked about feeling states, bottle necking through something he called the retina. That every feeling we have bottlenecks through either a pleasure filter, a pleasure filter, a filter of displeasure, or unpleasurable, and a filter of neutrality. So pleasurable, not pleasurable, neutral. Every feeling goes through this bottleneck. And algebras. Observers in the meditation process to release is to really see that these feelings states are not necessarily our own identity. To once again stand back and just behold the feeling state so that it can play out and unravel from the Not that it might be causing in you. This all sounds probably pretty theoretical. At this 0. This old sounds probably pretty abstract at this point. But when you're in the practice itself, it becomes quite illuminated. And it can be quite a profound process to not have to do anything with your feelings other than stop and ride them out. So just to recap, I was saying that feeling states bottleneck between three places. So they bottleneck through Vietnam, which can be one of three things, pleasure, displeasure, neutrality. Or really actually I should say pleasure, neutrality, displeasure, right, in that order. So every feeling state that comes through has this sort of filter. Think of them like Instagram filter. This, you know, is one contemporary way maybe to think of it, that we have this pleasure filter. We have this new neutral filter and this unpleasurable or displeasure filter. Okay? So everything going through those. Now, in everyday life we don't really see this process play out. All we know is we get triggered by something. Let's use traffic for an example, you riding around, I ride a motorbike here in Bali plenty of times when someone cuts me off and suddenly, you know, I'm fearing for my life. I'm like, holy shit, like you cut me off. Like, you know, I get triggered. There's emotions that come up. I'm certainly not feeling pleasure, I'm feeling displeasure in that moment. And when that happens, there is an instance, habitual response or instant habitual reaction. And in this case, when you feeling something pleasurable, it's really, in this case when you're not feeling any pleasure, the instant reaction might be anger or it might be sadness, or it might be something negative. Now, what the practice of the third task, stopping and riding the wave can help us with, is to widen a gap between a trigger point. So that which triggers the initial emotion. And the way that we respond normally it's quite instantaneous trigger reaction. That's the habit through a breathing practice of noticing are feeling states we cultivate, as I was talking about earlier in the previous videos, a sense of non reactivity. Because we can watch the feeling, state, label it, observe it, write it out without necessarily taking action. When we can do this, we widen the gap between that which triggers the emotion and the way that we want to respond. But why did this gap more choice we have in cultivating an appropriate response. You remember the Zen tail I was telling you? So we want to be able to respond to each moment appropriately. And the wider the gap, the more possibility we have in doing this. This gap between trigger and response is what I call the buffer zone. And we as meditators, are aiming to build the buffer zone where building a buffer between that which causes us pain, pleasure, neutrality, and the way that we want to react so that we can constantly make wise, skillful choices in response to each action reaction in life. Eventually, over time, the ability to notice what your reactive to and to not react to it in a habitual way allows you to watch the rise of an emotion and the foal of an emotion with a sense of non reactivity. Now it's not to say that I'm teaching you how to become emotionless, really, I'm stressing the fact that you're learning how to respond to your emotions in a way that you would like to, as opposed to a way that you've been habituated to. Do you see the difference? So as we're riding this wave of the emotion with the breathing, we can actually cultivate. We can actually watch a cessation of reaction. And the Buddha called this cessation is stopping of reaction. And the Rohde ha, so when the Rohde who is really mastered, that is the beginning of true contentment. So to sum up on this third task, we are stopping and riding the wave of are feeling states by observing how these feelings moved through retina, pleasure, neutral displeasure, and just observing that without getting engaged in the storyline behind the feeling, because it's the storyline that drags us into the undercurrent of the surf. Really we want to stay on the wave and ride it out. The more non-reactive we are to our habitual storylines behind those feelings, the more that we are able to observe that feeling rise and pass with the breath without necessarily getting so involved. And when we can do that, we widen the gap, build a buffer zone, and respond appropriately to certain triggers in our lives. This is how the third task of stopping and riding the wave works. But obviously, like all the other tasks, to really, really practice this, we need to be in meditation, sitting still, noticing the rising and falling of feelings, observing them contracting and expanding in the body and staying with the breath or the anchor point all the way through. 19. DAY 6: Guided Meditation • 30 min. • Mindfulness of Thinking: Welcome to this meditation. Working with thoughts. Begin this meditation. Let's take three deep breaths together. Taking a deep breath in, filling up the lungs, expanding and breathing out, finishing the exhale, taking a deep inhale all the way to the bottom of the inhale and then exhaling out fully. All the way to the end of the exhale. Third, deep breath in belongings, expanding alongs and then exhaling right to the end of the exhale. And then allow your breath to just move back into its natural rhythm. It's natural pace. And let the body, the body. In other words, trusting your body's ability to breathe itself. Mm-hm. Mm-hm. And as we breathe out, has we breathe in? We breathe out. As we breathe in. Following the exhale. All the way to the end of the exhale. Freedom is found. At the end the exhale. Investigate this. And as you allow your body to bring attention to the tip of the nose, inhale and exhale. Right on the aperture or the tip of the nostrils. What you'll notice when you try to maintain attention on the breath is that the mind begins to wander. The mind maybe wanders into the future, back into the past. And as the mind wanders, thoughts begin to arise. Notice in your mind, if there are thoughts that are arising as you pay attention to the inhale and exhale. At the tip of the nose. Whenever your mind wanders into the future or the past and begins to generate thoughts. There is a method to thoughts and coming back to the breath. This method is called labeling. So when the mind wanders into the future, starts thinking about the future. Just say quietly in your mind, future, future. And the return to the inhale and exhale. If you find the mind is wandering back into the past to say quietly in your mind, past, past. Released the thought and bringing the attention back to the inhale and exhale. Try this now. If you notice that your mind is just wandering off into general thoughts and you're not sure if they're in the future or in the past. You can simply label the thoughts by saying thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking, future, past, pass. Release the thoughts. And bring the attention back to the breathing. Right at the tip of the nose. Bringing the attention back to the breathing and the aperture of the nostrils. And as we breathe in, we read that. As we breathe in, we follow the exhale all the way to the end. The final way that we can work with a wandering mind is by simply acknowledging the thoughts that comes and the thought that goes through the mind. When you're paying attention to your breath. And your mind wanders away into a thought. Just say quietly in your mind. Hello, thought. By thought. Come back to the breathing. Hello, thought. Goodbye thought. And coming back to the anchor point of the breath. Try this now. Future, future. Past pass. Thinking, thinking. Tools of noting and labeling thoughts that can help us with distractions. We use them. And then we come back to the breathing body. And the anchor point of attention at the tips of the nostrils. Thank you for your practice. 20. DAY 7: Act with Integrity - 4th Task: Welcome to the fourth task, act with integrity. So far we have explored three tasks. Embrace dissatisfaction, note, and let go, Stop and ride the wave. With these three tasks. With explored them in the practice of stillness meditation or sitting meditation. But old three tasks can actually be brought into our everyday life. This is what I called earlier integral contemplation. Integrating the contemplate of practice so that it goes from a stillness practice, an exploration practice in meditation to mindfulness on the go. The fourth task is all about creating mindfulness on the gov. Acting with integrity is bringing your mindfulness practice to the streets so that there is a seamless thread between your cushion practice and what you're taking out there. In this video, we're going to explore that. So the question is, how do you make the first three tasks actionable? How do you bring into the streets? Well, just naturally sitting and doing meditation and practicing embrace dissatisfaction, noting and letting go, riding the wave, stopping. All of that, we'll just very naturally influence your life. It'll perfume Your life will permeate into your existence because it's shifting how your mind works. You're going to become less reactive to triggers. You will hopefully have less stress because you're working with your breathing system and activating your parasympathetic nervous system on a daily basis. And, you know, just that's how meditation practice can stop to shake the brain and influence our life. But we can go a little deeper than that. To take it a little deeper, let's look at the first task. Embrace dissatisfaction. Now when you're going through your day-to-day life or in the office or you're out on the streets, you walking around, buying groceries, whatever you're doing in your life, which we all do, I suppose in some way or another. When you find yourself in a moment of dissatisfaction, take a pause. You can't just stop, drop and sit probably right there and then, but take a pause and notice where the dissatisfactions arising. Breathe into it. Watch it. And then just say, I see you. I feel you. It's okay. Acknowledge it, give it it's time to be there, and then come back to the task at hand. I think this is very much what Zen practice in, especially in the monastery teaches. You know, one thing about Zen practices. They do a lot of working tasks in the monastery that chopping vegetables, they're doing the garden. They're very engaged in life. And while you're on retreat, things do come up, difficulties come up, dissatisfactions come up. And when I've spent time in monasteries, I've seen how the monks sort of acknowledge what's coming up and then get back to the task at hand. There's a great zen saying. Before Enlightenment. Fetch water, chop wood. After enlightenment. Fetch water, shop would. In other words, no matter the task at hand, no matter what's coming up. Acknowledged, and then just come back to it. I also recommend to integrate the first task by setting on your phone some sort of reminder. You know, whether it's through an app like Insight Timer, having a reminder come up to say five deep breaths or embrace dissatisfaction. And when that reminded comes up, probably set one in the morning, the afternoon, evening when it comes up. Just pause And notice in your body what might be arising that's causing you dissatisfaction, breathe into it, acknowledged, and then come back to the task at hand. So that's the first task in an integrated format. For the second task, noting and letting go. A really good way to integrate this is in a conversation with another. So you've probably experienced this as well. I certainly experienced this a lot when we're having a conversation with someone where often half listening, maybe two-thirds listening. But at the same time we're making a mental to-do list of things in the future and things in the past. Are we having those orbiting thoughts that I was talking about earlier? There's mine loops happening off in the distance to practice noting and letting go as you're listening to the person who's talking to you and you have a distracting thoughts. Just see it as Git diversity, a mind loop. Taken note, make a label, thinking, thinking, groceries, groceries, to-do list, to do list, whatever it might be. And then just come back to the anchor point of your attention, which in a conversation is the sound coming from the person opposite view. So you really practicing deep listening in this moment. And the anchor point of your attention is no longer the breath, it's the sound in front of you, just like we did in meditation, but this is integrated on the go. You're listening, tending to listen, maybe. But you listening and then something takes you away and you go thinking, thinking back, this is a really nice way of integrating the second task. For the third task, stopping and riding the wave. One way we can integrate this so that it becomes mindfulness on the go is to once again set a reminder either on our phone or through a post-it note on a wall maybe in your office or in your bedroom. And when you see this reminder, stop it completely. Stop what you're doing and do a body scan. Scan from the head down to the feet. You might want to do the tuning the census scan that I gave you in the meditation practices. And notice in that moment, feeling tones in the body, pleasure, displeasure or whatever it might be. And just practice for like two minutes, three minutes breathing in to those feeling tones, riding them out, riding the wave. And then just like before coming back to the task at hand. So say you notice when the reminder goes off that there's a bit of stress situated sort of in the ribcage area or at usually in the shoulders and the neck body scan. Okay. This is where the pockets of stressor bringing my breath. To those pockets of tension or pockets of pleasure, depending on what the feeling is. Noting. Riding the wave and an opening your eyes and coming back to the task at hand. This is one way we can integrate the third task. And so all of these tasks that I've talked about so far dovetail really beautifully into acting with integrity. But there is a final thing we can do to sort of seal the actionable fourth task. And that is to bring loving kindness and compassion right into the middle of our lives to really open our hearts to what's going on in our lives. The Buddha termed Loving Kindness as Mehta. And meta practices, something that's done by Monastics all over. In metta practice, we're trying to open our hearts to share as much love, both to ourselves and to all beings which really one in the same because of interconnectedness. So when we give ourselves maximal Mehta, we are sharing with everyone else maximum meta. When we give others Method, we have sharing that without selves. So really acting with integrity. A large portion of that will occur when we can bring compassion into our lives. And bringing compassion into our lives can often lead to a deep insight, or as they say, Vipassana in the Buddhist tradition. So the final meditation that accompanies these four tasks is a metta practice, loving kindness practice to help you open your hot to whatever's going on in your life so that you can become more still, more imbalance and hopefully more content. Whatever's arising. I really want to emphasize this final task of acting with integrity through loving kindness and compassion. Because I think it's what the whole path of spirituality, of Buddhism and of maybe any religion in general is really pointing to that we can find our way out of dissatisfaction through compassion and loving kindness, as well as practicing these three tasks on the go mindfully and integrated. So thank you for joining me through these four tasks. It's been an honor to guide you. And I want to finish by saying that every moment is a moment to practice just filming this course. You've probably noticed that there's all these sort of background sounds as we hear in Bali, sort of doing a live stream as it were in many ways of things coming and going into our lives. And, you know, it's been a really good practice for me to stay concentrated as I deliver this information, even with, you know, audio things going wrong and old the motorbikes of Bali around us and all of these things helped me to practice. And I think I want to encourage you to work with those things in your life that don't always quite go right. And to see them not as going wrong, but as a moment to enter into practice. If you remember, I told you the story about the non coming to the teacher and asking how do I enter my life? And the teacher saying, enter through sound, enter through what's showing up in this moment. That's the teaching I'd love you to take away the most is whatever showing up in your life. And to there. Thank you. 21. DAY 7: Guided Meditation • 35 min. • Riding the wave of emotions: Welcome to this meditation. Stopping and riding the wave. To begin this meditation, let's take three deep breaths together. Inhaling all the way in, filling up the lungs, expanding the lungs, and then exhaling out to the end of the exhale. And finishing the exhale, breathing and again expanding the lungs outwards. And then exhaling right to the end of the breath. Finally taking a third deep inhale, all the way to the bottom of the inhale. Finally, taking a deep inhale all the way into the bottom of the inhale, the full, fully exhaling out. And then just allowing the breath to be at its natural pace. Its natural rhythm. Let the body, the body is, the breadth is shallow. Let the breath be shallow. And if the breadth is deep, let the breath be deep. Your body knows how to breathe. So just trust in your body's ability to breathe itself. In this meditation. Feel how with every breath that you take in, your line comes. Just that little bit more. And you're able to settle into the center of yourself. In meditation practice. We work on calming the energy of the lined by settling that energy down deep into the core of the abdomen. And really breathing from the center point of ourselves. Investigate this. As you breathe. Stopping and riding the wave is about working skillfully. With difficult emotions. Take a moment now to scan inwards. And notice where in the body might be housing. And emotion of tension and emotion of stress. Or even just an emotion. That is just a little bit sticky. Take that moment now. Feel into the body. And notice where you feel an emotion that is stuck. Maybe it's sadness in the stomach or in the hot. Maybe it's stress or tension in the shoulders and the neck. Maybe it's fear in the throat. Whatever that emotion is. Allowed to be the acknowledged it and embrace it. One way we can acknowledge and embrace the emotions that get stuck in our body is by bringing out breath. To that emotion. So taking a moment now to breathe inwards and guide the breath towards the area of the body where the emotion feels stuck. Exhaling when you need to. And as you bring them breath to that area of the motion, notice if the Emotion expands, contracts and just observe. It is very likely and very, very normal that when we bring our breathing to our emotions and our body, that is Storyline begins in our minds. And the storyline might go back to the past or it might go into the future. But either way, the emotions we feel generate a reaction. And that reaction becomes a story. In this meditation, see if you can observe and breathe into that emotion without letting the storyline carry you away. In other words, can you just stay with the sensation of the emotion and simply feel ill feelings without creating a story. The meditator, all the yogi is interested purely in raw sensation and not in the story. So once again, just guide he'll breath on the inhale into the area of stickiness, into the area of stuck emotion. And feel the contraction and the expansion of that area of the body. Staying with the raw sensation of feeling. Take notice. Does that emotion have a color? Does that emotion that you're investigating habit texture? You might even notice it has label. Just observe these qualities. Without the story. Breathing in and breathing out. Breathing in and exhaling. Breathing in and breathing out that area of emotion. Permission to acknowledge, accept, and embrace that energy. And as you breathe into it. And you notice it, expand. Ride the wave of fat in motion. All the way to the point of contraction. Just like you ride the wave of the breath. As it expands, it contracts. We can bring this very same practice to the anchor point of the motion in our bodies. Breathing into the emotion, feeling expansion and reading out of the emotion, feeling contraction. Every time the mind wanders away into the storyline, just bring it back to roll. Sensation, feeling our feelings fully. With curiosity, kindness, and acceptance. We stopped and ride the wave of this emotion. We can eventually observe that behind this emotion is emptiness. And as we ride out the wave of the emotion, we allow this emotion to be resolved over time, dissolve. Our emotions just want to be recognized and acknowledged. They want acceptance. So as we end this meditation, remember to accept, acknowledge, and embrace the waves of our feelings without creating a storyline. But by just staying present with what's arising to alignment. Thank you for your practice.