Month: November 2016

32 – How to Meditate

In this podcast episode, you will learn how to practice Threefold Mindfulness Meditation (Calm, Observe, and Analyze). This meditation technique is aimed at training the mind to overcome our habitual reactivity. The goal of this meditation technique is to learn to create a space between what happens (stimulus), and how we react to what happens (response).

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Transcription of the podcast episode:

Hello. You are listening to the Secular Buddhism podcast and this is episode #33. I am your host, Noah Rasheta, and today I’m talking about threefold mindfulness meditation.

Welcome back to the Secular Buddhism podcast, a weekly podcast that focuses on Buddhist concepts, topics and teachings presented for a secular minded audience. The Dalai Lama said “Do not try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist. Use it to be a better whatever you already are”. If you’re new to Secular Buddhism or you’re interested in learning more, check out my book “Secular Buddhism: Eastern Thought for Western Minds”. It’s available as paperback on Amazon, e-book on Kindle, and iBook on iTunes. It’s also available as an audio book on For more information and for links to those book versions, visit

Now let’s jump into this week’s topic. So, before we get started I want to remind you that this content is also published on my website Two common questions I receive quite regularly are, “Why do we meditate?” And second, “How do we meditate?” So, I wanted to address this.

The reason we meditate – Our minds are engaged in an ongoing process of assigning meaning to events as they unfold. We create stories about ourselves and others. The guy who cuts us off in traffic. The strange look on the face of the clerk in the grocery store. The tone used by a co-worker and so on. We’re generally not even aware of this process and yet these stories that we create in our own minds can end up being the greatest source of stress in our lives. Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years as a tool to help us move beyond those stress inducing thoughts and into a more peaceful state of awareness that’s anchored in the present moment. And when practiced regularly, meditation has been proven to increase positive emotion, emotional intelligence and self control, while at the same time decreasing depression, anxiety and stress. I have links to all of the scientific research on So you can visit that and click on those links and see what the research shows about how meditation makes a difference.

So, the next question – How do we meditate? So, the reason that we meditate, as I mentioned, can be to obtain more calm or peace. But how do we accomplish that, because like exercise meditation may be simple but it’s certainly not easy. And the secret is to develop a consistent practice. Meditating for five minutes everyday is better than meditating for one hour every month. And threefold mindfulness meditation is a technique that I’ve developed to make meditation easier to practice.

So, threefold mindfulness meditation only takes 15 minutes and it’s broken down into three 5 minute parts. And if you give it a try – I challenge you to try meditating for 15 minutes a day. Try this for 14 days in a row. That’s two weeks. You’re going to notice a difference. I’m going to create a 14-day meditation challenge and by the time you’re listening to this podcast, hopefully you’ll see the link to join that 14-day meditation challenge on

I want to talk about the three parts of the threefold mindfulness meditation technique. Part one, I call “Calm the mind”. The mind is a lot like a jar of murky water. Constant agitation and movement of the jar causes the water to remain murky, but when you keep the jar still for long enough, the sediment will settle to the bottom and you’ll have a jar of clear water. In order to be able to gain insight into the nature of your mind, you must learn to calm the mind before it becomes clear. So, the first 5 minutes of the meditation technique are dedicated to calming the mind by focusing on your breath.

There’s a powerful breathing technique used by free divers to lower their heart rate and to reduce stress as they prepare to hold their breath to go underwater. Freediving is a form of underwater diving that relies on the divers ability to hold their breath until resurfacing rather than the use of a breathing apparatus like scuba gear. So, I learned this technique while I was training for four days with the U.S. free diving record holder, Ted Harty. What he taught me is this technique that works like this. You inhale through your mouth for 2 seconds. Then you pause and hold for 2 seconds. Then you exhale over the course of 10 seconds. And at the end of the exhale you pause or hold for 2 more seconds. Then you repeat the whole process.

So, the way it works – kind of counting it out, you would start with the inhale. So, it’s (inhaling) through your mouth – one, two; 2 seconds. And then you’re going to pause and hold your breath for 2 seconds. And then you exhale over the course of the next 10 seconds. And to do that, the secret is if you exhale through your nose, that might be easier. If you do it through your mouth, you have to use maybe your tongue kind of tucked behind your teeth; almost like you’re going to do a “s” sound or a “Shhh” sound. And that will restrict how much air comes out, because you need to restrict the air flow so that you don’t just – you know in the first 2 seconds of exhaling all your air is gone. You’re not going to make 10 seconds, so you have to exhale slowly. You don’t necessarily have to make a sound, but it is easier if you make a sound.


Then as you practice it, you’ll get more and more familiar with it and you won’t have to make a sound as you exhale. You’ll just know what the right pressure is of the exhale to ensure you’re going to last 10 seconds. And more often than not, the first time you do this – every time I do this, the first round, I can’t hit 10 seconds. I can probably do 6 or 7. And then on the second round I can do 7 or 8. And on the third round of doing this, I can do 9 or 10 seconds. Once you hit 10 seconds, you can do 10 seconds. And you are going to repeat this process over and over and over for the first 5 minutes.

And the way it works is your focus is on your breath, because you’re counting it. So, this is focusing your mind on an object. The object is your breath or staying on pattern. But what’s happening physiologically is because the exhale is longer than the inhale, your body is going through the physiological change of saying, “Okay, we need a – “. Ted told me this is called the mammalian reflex. What’s happening is your body is gearing up to be able to stay underwater longer, so it starts to put in place the systems it needs to ensure that it can last longer holding your breath, so it lowers your heart rate.

The crazy thing – in the professional world of free diving, the number one thing that will ensure you can hold your breath longer than normal is lowering your heart rate. People who tend to go into it with a strong Type A personality of “I’m going to hold my breath as long as I can”, tend to perform less well than somebody who goes in with a very calm mind. Because the more calm you are, the less your body needs oxygen. At least that’s how he explained it to me. So, I found that to be quite interesting. So, in a physiological way, we are calming the mind by slowing down the heart rate. And we are focusing the mind on a single object, which is the breathing pattern that we’re trying to stick with.

Now, what’s interesting is when you do this, after 5 minutes you will notice physically a sense of calm comes over you. This is a really cool technique that I like to use when I’m transitioning back from work to home. If I have a couple of minutes I’ll sit down and just practice this breathing technique for a minute or two. And it makes a big difference. It really does calm the mind. So, that’s Part One. We’re calming the mind using this breathing technique.

Now, I’ve made an audio track that’s 15 minutes long. You’ll see that as the next episode in the podcast. That’s going to be available for you as an MP3 to download it to use it as a guide so you can listen to this and follow along. The first 5 minutes has a metronome spaced out at 1 second intervals so that you don’t have to count in your head. You can just listen to the metronome and stay on track with the pattern. Otherwise, you wouldn’t know if you’re actually holding it for 2 seconds or if when you’re exhaling for 10, was it really 10, or are you just counting fast. So that audio file will be available and that will be very helpful for you.

Part Two is observing the mind. Meditation can help you to change the way you perceive and react to the moment to moment events as they unfold. So, this shift takes place when you go from thinking to observing. It’s by observing that you learn to create a space or a gap between stimulus and response. So, imagine you’re driving and suddenly you get cut off. That’s the stimulus. You’re walking and somebody gives you a dirty look. That’s the stimulus. How do you react? That is the response. So, habitual reactivity is when you react to an event without even having the time to decide how you want to react. This happens to us all the time.

There is no freedom in habitual reactivity. It’s in the space or this gap between what happens to you and how you react to what happens to you that you have the freedom to choose. And this is the second part of meditation. So, the first part is learning to calm your mind. But the second part is learning to practice a technique that reduces our habitual reactivity. And this is the phase of the threefold mindfulness meditation technique that’s designed to train your mind to practice observing your senses, thoughts and emotions.

The technique works likes this. You practice observing your physical senses first. So, you can scan your senses from top to bottom of your body. For example; starting with your head, try to observe and ask yourself, “What does my head feel like?”; “What do my ears hear?”; “What is my nose smelling?”; “What does my back feel like? Is it sore?”. You’re just observing. You’re not answering these questions. You’re trying to get in the mindset of observing. “What does it feel like to observe my body breathing?” You’ve just been doing 5 minutes of breathing where you’re trying to stay on a pattern. There’s a lot of observing that can be done there. “What do my legs feel like? Are they going numb from sitting here with my legs crossed?” “What do I feel in my feet?” And so on. Again, you’re just observing things here.

Then you move on to your thoughts. You can imagine that you are sitting in a field and you are observing the clouds passing by in the sky. When you look at clouds, do you ever see a misshapen cloud? No. Because there are no misshapen clouds. When you’re observing your thoughts, it’s the same way. It’s not about right or wrong thoughts. What you see is just what is. So, apply this to the meditative process of observing. Just observe your thoughts, but don’t judge them. And don’t think that there’s something you’re supposed to or not supposed to be thinking while you meditate. Because remember it’s thinking mind that we’re trying to get out of and observing mind that we’re trying to get into.

So next, I want you to practice observing your emotions in the same way you would observe clouds. Notice how if you are feeling an emotion, like anger for example, you are not actually angry. You are experiencing anger. This is creating a little bit of separation between your emotions and you. So, two key findings should emerge when we’re consistently observing our senses, thoughts and emotions.

One is that they are impermanent; meaning they are always changing. They arise. They linger. They go away, just as the clouds in the sky do.

And number two is that they are interdependent; meaning they have causes and conditions. For example; if you sit long enough and your leg goes numb, the cause of the leg going numb is that I’ve been sitting here. There’s a cause to it. And the cause has its own cause. And that goes on and on. Every cause has its cause. So during this part of the meditation you’ll notice how quickly your mind shifts from observing back into thinking; making meaning. And when it does, just bring your attention back to the practice of observing. Remember, observing that you’re no longer observing is still a form of observing, so don’t be harsh on yourself.

The whole goal of this part of the meditation is to practice observing. That’s what creates space between stimulus and response. It’s our ability to remove ourselves from the thinking mind into the observing mind and that will create that space between stimulus and response. You choose how you respond.

So, part one is calming the mind. part two is learning to observe, and what we are observing specifically are senses, thoughts and emotions. And now we’re going to talk about part three.

Part three is called “analyzing the mind”. After observing that the nature of our senses, thoughts and emotions is that they are impermanent and interdependent. Now, we want to analyze the implications of these observations. So, if you are experiencing an emotion, such as anger, this is where you get to spend time analyzing it now. For the second part, if you were noticing or observing your emotion, you’re not doing anything with it. You’re just observing it. But for this part, we are going to analyze it. So you could ask “What are the causes and conditions of this emotion?”. And when you find the causes, “What are the causes of those causes?”  What you should find, if you are analytical enough and you spend time with it is that everything that has a cause, has a cause. And that cause also has a cause. And this goes on and on. And this process can go on forever because all things are interdependent; all things have causes.

So, if your senses, thoughts and emotions are not permanent, what about your sense of self? What is the “self”? The Dalai Lama practices this form of meditation, called analytical meditation, which I have incorporated to be the third part of threefold mindfulness meditation. So, it’s in this phase of meditation, he asks himself the question, “who am I?” And this is what you’re going to do, too. Ask in the context of observing the nature of my mind, being impermanent and interdependent, then “Who am I?”. And if you can observe your thoughts, then you must not be your thoughts, so perhaps you’re the observer of your thoughts. And if you can observe that you’re observing your thoughts, then maybe your not the observer. You’re the observer of the observer. This gets crazy, because this can go on and on.

If you can observe your emotions, then you are not your emotions. Are you the observer of your thoughts and emotions? So, the ultimate aim of meditation is to arrive at an understanding of the nature of reality; the nature of the self. And that is that the sense of self we experience, like all other things, is impermanent and interdependent. It’s constantly changing and it has causes and conditions. So, whatever it is you’re experiencing, try observing it and then analyzing it for its causes and conditions.

One of the secrets of meditation is that you don’t will yourself to be calm or peaceful by meditating. It cannot be forced. And I think there’s a misconception here, because people spend time meditating thinking what I’m doing is I’m sitting here and pretending to be peaceful or calm hoping that if I fake until I make it, eventually I will be. And that’s not how it works. The key is that you learn to understand the nature of your anguish; the nature of your anger or your discomfort, or whatever emotion it is that you’re experiencing.

Understanding the nature of yourself brings about peace naturally. It’s not forced. When you understand your anger and its causes, then you become liberated from it. And it’s not because you force it to go away, but because you allow it to be the impermanent emotion that it is. And by the very nature of being impermanent, before you know it, it’s gone. And when it comes back, because it will, you can greet it like an old friend. But this time you won’t be trapped by your reactivity to it anymore. Freedom from habitual reactivity is the essence of what it means to be mindful. What it means to be awakened or enlightened.  And it’s something that we can practice. We do this over and over, day after day, until we’re free from our habitual reactivity. This is the goal of threefold mindfulness meditation.

We learn to calm the mind. Then we observe the nature of the mind. Finally, we analyze it, so that we can gain insight about ourselves.

So, to make this meditation easier,  I mentioned before, I’ve created a 15 minute audio track to help you through each phase. The first 5 minutes have a 1 second metronome to help you stay on track with the breathing pattern. At the end of part one, you’ll hear a bell. This bell indicates that you’re now entering part two. During the next 5 minutes, practice observing your senses, thoughts and emotions. Over time, you’ll get back into thinking mode, where you start making meaning of things. Gently return to being a neutral observer; like watching the clouds. When you hear the bell ring again, you’ll know that now you’re on part three.

And it’s for this last 5 minutes you’re going to practice analyzing the causes and conditions of your senses, thoughts and emotions. It’s amazing how many of us experience emotions without ever really understanding why we’re experiencing them. Are you really mad that somebody cut you off? Or is there a deeper discomfort that’s causing you to react with anger to a stimulus such as being cut off? You can ask yourself, what if it was a duck with its ducklings that’s walking in the road that forced you to slam on your brakes or forced you to swerve. Would you still feel the same amount of anger? Why or why not? Analyze that emotion.  And at the end of the meditation, you’ll hear the final bell that indicates the 15 minute meditation is over. And that’s it. In one sitting you’ve practiced threefold mindfulness meditation.

I would challenge you to make a goal to practice this everyday for at least 14 days and see if you notice a difference in your habitual reactivity. And then after that, keep going. Just make it a daily practice. So think about this for a second. What price would you be willing to pay to be free from your habitual reactivity? The investment is only 15 minutes a day. And I hope the resources I’ve made available to you on our journey to have greater peace and contentment in life will be helpful in that process.

Try using the audio track. I am going to make a guided version of this. And as you use the guided version I think it’ll help you to become familiar with the technique. Over time you may not need the guided version. You can just listen to the audio. The audio helps you stay on track to know when to switch from part one to part two to part three. And how to stay on track with the breathing pattern in part one. And eventually you may not need that one either. You can just do this without any kind of assistance. I’m going to upload the 15 minute audio file to help you as a meditation guide. There will be the unguided version, which is just the music and the metronome. Then you can download the guided version, too. And you’ll be able to download this as an MP3 and save it for whenever you meditate or you will be able to stream it like you would a podcast. I am also going to be uploading that guided version that I told you about. So, you’ll see those on the podcast list soon. And remember, this content is typed out and published on so you can re-read this to really get a sense for how this meditation works and how to do it.

So, that’s all I have for the podcast episode on how to meditate or an introduction to threefold mindfulness meditation. If you have any questions about it, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. You can find me on Facebook. We have a Facebook study group called “Secular Buddhism”. We have the Facebook page that’s also called “Secular Buddhism”. And then on the website, you can always reach out to me through the contact link and it’ll email me. There are several ways to track me down and get a hold of me.

If you enjoy this podcast, again, please share it with others. Write a review. Give it a rating in iTunes. If you are in a position to be able to, I would encourage you to consider making a one-time donation or becoming a monthly contributor to the podcast by visiting and clicking the donate button on the top of the page. That’s all I have for this episode and I look forward to another one. Until next time.

31 – The Fear of Uncertainty

Why do we fear uncertainty? In this episode, I will discuss how we are hardwired to fear the unknown and how that fear affects our quality of life in the present moment. The problem isn’t that there is uncertainty in life, the problem is that we’re not OK with the fact that there is uncertainty in life.

Subscribe to the podcast on:
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Transcription of the podcast episode:

Hello, you are listening to the Secular Buddhism podcast and this is episode number 31. I am your host, Noah Rasheta, and today I’m talking about dealing with the fear of uncertainty. Welcome back to the Secular Buddhism podcast. A weekly podcast that focuses on Buddhist concepts, topics, and teachings presented for a secular-minded audience. The Dalai Lama has said, “Do not try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist, use it to be a better whatever you already are.” Before I jump into this week’s topic, I’m excited to announce that a book I’ve been working on for the last year or so is finally available for purchase on Amazon, in iTunes, and on, several formats of the book.

This is something I’ve been working on specifically as to serve as an introduction to Buddhist thought. I wanted to make it easy for people to be able to go to one source, to this book, and to learn all of the basic concepts pertaining to Buddhist philosophy. So, the idea is that you can take these concepts, listen to it in this book, or read the book, and be able to have a much easier understanding of Buddhist thought. So, if you’re interested in learning more about Buddhism, it would be a great place to start to have an introduction and a foundational understanding of Buddhist philosophy. And, I think that will make all of the topics that are discussed in these podcasts a little bit more relevant, and they’ll make more sense because you’ll understand the background of the overall thought behind this world view.

So, if you’re interested, again, check out, scroll down to where it says “Read the book”, and then you can click on “Learn more”, and you’ll see the various formats of the book. The e-book, the paperback, the audio book, and the iTunes version. There’s even a PDF version. Several different versions are available. I would appreciate your support in getting one of those books, and that’s a great place to start with all of this. So, if you have any questions about that, please feel free to reach out to me, but that’s something that I’m excited to announce that is now available. A lot of you have been waiting to have a book or something that would serve as the foundational presentation on overall Buddhist thought. So, that’s a great place to start.

So, now let’s jump into this week’s topic, dealing with the fear of uncertainty. I’ve recently had several podcast listeners reach out to me asking me to talk about this topic of uncertainty, and specifically about learning to cope with the fear that arises from uncertainty. So, why do we fear uncertainty? Well, our brains are essentially hardwired to react with fear to uncertainty. In a recent neurological study, a Caltech researcher took images of people’s brains as they were forced to make increasingly uncertain bets. And, the less information the subjects had to go on, the more irrational and erratic their decisions became. And, you might think that the opposite would be true because you might think that the less information we have, the more careful and rational we’re going to be in evaluating the validity of that information. But, oddly enough, this isn’t the case. And, as the uncertainty of the scenarios increased, the subjects’ brains shifted control over to the limbic system which is the place where emotions such as anxiety and fear are generated.

So, uncertainty seems to trigger a battle of sorts between the rational brain and the emotional brain, the rider, and the elephant. And, I can imagine how at one point this was an evolutionary survival tactic. I can just picture early ancestors of ours venturing into an unknown dark cave and immediately feeling that sense of fear, and that sense of caution with their senses being heightened because death was maybe just around the corner. Well, the problem is that in our day and age, rarely does uncertainty mean that our lives are on the line. Yet, we’re hardwired to feel this way because it’s a survival mechanism. So, as we face uncertainty, our brains push us to overreact, and that’s normal. So, how do we work with that? And, is it possible to move beyond fearing change, and furthermore, can we learn to relish and even welcome uncertainty?

Well, I think the key lies in understanding the relationship between the rational brain and the emotional brain, the rider, and the elephant. This is a behavioral psychology mental model that was originally presented by psychologist Jonathan Haidt in his book “The Happiness Hypothesis”. He argues that humans have two sides. An emotional side that’s automatic and irrational, this is the elephant, and an analytical side that’s controlled and rational, the rider. So, according to this model, the rider is rational and tries to plan ahead, while the elephant is irrational and it’s driven by emotion and instinct. So, uncertainty causes the rider to panic and then the elephant takes over essentially.

From the Buddhist perspective, the elephant could also represent our habitual reactivity, that knee jerk reaction that comes with encountering uncertainty. And, taming the elephant isn’t about eliminating those reactions. It’s more about how quickly can the rider, or the rational mind, regain and maintain control when the emotional mind is trying to take over, when the elephant is trying to take over. So, I want to talk about that just a little bit. First, from the perspective of the wisdom of adaptability. So, it’s seems that the more resistant we are to accepting change, the more we’re going to suffer. Change can be painful, and perhaps that’s why we’re so anxious about uncertainty. In fact, Thich Nhat Hanh says, “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering out of fear of the unknown. They prefer suffering that is familiar.” I think that’s a fascinating thought, that our fear of the unknown, or our fear of uncertainty, could cause us to prefer the suffering that we’re experiencing in an environment that’s familiar. Because, what’s familiar is so much more safe than the unknown, so even though we suffer more in that familiar space, we’re just gonna stay there.

There’s a video that I shared quite a while back on Facebook, and it’s been shared by many people, of a little boy who’s in the water and he’s floating on his back but he’s hanging on to this rope. And, he’s crying, he’s panicking because he’s acting like he’s about to drown. And, then somewhere off to the side the mom, or somebody, walks into the frame and grabs his legs and just puts them down so that he can realize how shallow it is. And, he puts his feet in the water and he stands up, and the water was only to his waist or less that whole time. Of course, he immediately stops crying and the video circulated as a meme kind of saying, “When you overthink this is what overthinking looks like,” or something like that. And, I think that’s a nice visual representation of this concept of we prefer to stay suffering in a state that’s familiar. In this case, floating on your back thinking, “I’m about to drown.” That’s still familiar. It’s full of suffering, but what’s even scarier is deciding, “Well, what if I put my feet down and realize, ‘No, this is deep. I really can’t stand there.'” That uncertainty, that fear of uncertainty, could prevent me from wanting to lower my feet when, in this specific case, the reality was, “Well, just lower your feet,” and it’s actually really shallow.

And, I don’t think the point is to try to highlight here that life is always that scenario. It’s always better than you’re expecting, that’s not the point. The point isn’t that it’s always shallow, the point is that the suffering was there whether or not it was shallow, and there’s only one way to know. Relax, put your feet down. There’s an expression I really like around this thought, and this comes from the Tibetan poet [Shantideva 00:09:06]. And he says, “If the problem can be solved, why worry? And, if the problem can’t be solved, then worrying will do you no good.” And, I really like that because, really, what’s the point of worrying? If you can solve it, then start doing, start focusing on, “How do I solve this?” But, if it can’t be solved, then again, why worry because nothing can be done about it.

I have a good friend of mine, a foreign exchange student who was living with us last year, was talking to me earlier today, well, actually yesterday, and telling me about an incident he had where he was filming several video files that he was putting together, a YouTube video, and when he moved the files over to his computer and started to work with them, the files that he deleted that he no longer needed, ended up being the files that he did need. And, at that point, he had already wiped the hard drive and he was trying to recover those files, and he had to buy software to see if he could recover it, and that wasn’t working and it was a really stressful situation for him as you can imagine. Filming for however long, it was probably hours worth of footage, and you’re trying to put together a video and you realize that you just deleted the files that you needed and you can’t recover them. Even with that software, he wasn’t able to recover it.

And, what was interesting is he was telling me this story later and he was saying how surprised he was with how quickly he found contentment in that situation realizing … He was getting really frustrated until he just accepted, “Well, I can’t do anything about it.” And, it was in that moment that he started to feel that contentment. And, I imagine that contentment was directly correlated with how quickly he was able to accept what was, and adapt to that new reality he was faced with.

I think part of why we fear uncertainty is because we seem to get caught up in this game of thinking that we can actually control life as it unfolds. And, this illusion of control happens because sometimes we do control parts of what’s happening, and I think that makes us forget that we actually don’t control it at all. Sickness, old age, death, and so many other things come in from time to time to remind us that we are simply not in control. So, think about this. The problem isn’t that there is uncertainty in life, the problem is that we’re not okay with the uncertainty that there is in life. Those are two very different things. I think that’s why we fear it. Not because it’s there, but because we don’t like that it’s there. And, the crazy irony in all of this is that uncertainty is the only certainty. It’s always gonna be there, there’s no getting rid of it. So, I guess you could ask yourself, “What would my life be like if I was okay with the uncertainty of it all? What would that look like?”

I had another podcast listener reach out to me, in fact, it was earlier today that I was reading her e-mail and she was concerned about upcoming decisions that needed to be made regarding schooling, having to pick the right school. And again, to me, this is another example of uncertainty. She was wanting to get the right choice. And, I think the fear of uncertainty was, “How can I ensure that I pick the right school?” And, perhaps even a little bit more, “How can I ensure I don’t pick the wrong school?” And, to me, both of those scenarios are really about, “I don’t know what’s going to happen once I pick, and that uncertainty is scaring me.” But, what if it’s not about right or wrong? What if there isn’t a right or wrong pick? It’s only gonna be right or wrong based on perspective, right? Because, I could pick a school and at some point in the future look back and say, “Well, my life has worked out this way or that way, therefore I must’ve picked the right school.” Or, you could look back and say, “I’m not happy with where my life is, I must’ve picked the wrong school,” and both of those could be wrong. Both of those scenarios, I shouldn’t say wrong, both of those could be inaccurate because it’s just gonna be based on perspective anyway.

Alan Watts talks about how faith is an attitude of being open to whatever might be. And, to me, this implies that rather than having faith in making the right decision, I’m placing my faith in my ability to wisely adapt to whichever choice I end up making. ‘Cause, in this sense, faith is not about trying to eliminate uncertainty, it’s about being comfortable with uncertainty. You could almost say that faith is synonymous with uncertainty. So, applying this to that scenario of the school, the fear of uncertainty can be minimized by increasing the faith that I have in myself to be able to adapt to whichever decision I end up making. I hope that makes sense.

Buddhism teaches that all things are impermanent. This means that all things are continually changing, and this implies that all things are going to be uncertain because they’re always changing. This impermanence is the permanence of an uncertain future. So, fear of an uncertain future affects our quality of life in the present moment. And, I experience this all the time with being a business owner. Uncertainty is scary, but it’s also unavoidable. And, one of the things that I’ve done in my own life is to try to focus on developing my ability to adapt. Because, the quicker I can adapt, the better things go. For example, I’ve had multiple deals that I’ve been working on in the past several years with my business. I manufacture photography accessories, a lot of you know this, and I sell my products to various chains and stores throughout the world, and AT&T Wireless was one of my customers that was selling one of my products in their stores. And one day, out of the blue, after, I think, six or seven months of working with them, they decided to recall one of the products that we manufacture. And, when they do something like that you, contractually, you just have to take everything back.

So, out of the blue, I get this call that thousands and thousands of a certain tripod, or a certain product that I make, were gonna be sent back to me. And, it was devastating because a lot of money had been invested into manufacturing those products and they’re all out there in the market, and to have them pulled that way means I have to take them all back and I have nowhere to sell them because they were the ones selling them. So, immediately this produces a high level of uncertainty. What’s gonna happen with these products? What’s gonna happen with the purchase orders that they had placed that they owe me? I’m not gonna get that money now. How am I gonna pay for all of the manufacturing costs that I had incurred to manufacture these? Right out of the gates it was a lot of uncertainty and it’s really scary.

So, what I’ve found for me, in this experience, what I was able to do right away is just quickly adapt to the new set of circumstances. I think sometimes the suffering that can come with a scenario like that is not accepting the new scenario. It’s like you’ve just been dealt a new hand of cards and you don’t want to accept it. You’re like, “No, this isn’t fair. This can’t be happening.” Sure, I could’ve experienced all that, but it doesn’t help because the reality is that there’s a new reality. Prior to the call, there was a whole different reality. Then that call comes in and everything changes in that instant. And, this is where the wisdom of adaptability kicks in. It’s how quickly can you adapt to the new set of events as they unfold, the new reality that’s constantly changing.

And, this is why I like to compare life to a game of Tetris. Because, that’s kind of the point is that it’s constantly changing. You’re always getting a new shape and you’re always adapting your gameplay to the new reality that’s constantly unfolding in front of you. I think that’s one way to combat the fear of uncertainty is to increase my ability to adapt as the game unfolds. I think there’s always gonna be fear of uncertainty. The point isn’t to get rid of that fear, I think the point is to become comfortable with it and to recognize, “Well, that’s natural. The fear of uncertainty is natural, so I’m gonna move past it quicker because I don’t have to get frozen in that fear.”

And, I think meditation plays an important part here. In a way, meditation is the practice of becoming comfortable with this comfort. Our quality of life in the present moment goes up as we become more comfortable with uncertainty. And, I think that this is practiced directly when we’re meditating. If you think about it, the whole point of meditation is to practice being with what is. It’s not to change reality, it’s to become comfortable with reality. And, if uncertainty is reality, then meditation is a great place to practice being comfortable with that uncertainty. And, I’m going to address in a different podcast a whole method, or a whole set of techniques built around the idea of using meditation as a tool. So, I’ll address that probably in next week or the following week’s podcast. There will be an episode that’s specific around meditation.

So, I want to share a couple of final thoughts on this topic. One, we need to stop trying to have certainty in life. Remember, I’ve talked about the game of Tetris. And, the point is that you don’t know what’s coming next, that’s the whole point of the game. So, what you can practice is just observing. If you’re playing Tetris, what you’re practicing is just observing what you have and, “What do I do with what I have?” You don’t play Tetris trying to figure out how to anticipate what the next five pieces are. You could rack your brain trying to figure that out, but you’ll never figure it out. Because that’s the whole point of the game is that you don’t know.

So, what if you could practice just getting into that mode of observing? So, when it comes to fear of uncertainty, don’t judge the fear of uncertainty, just observe it. Don’t over-identify with the emotions that you experience because remember, you’re not your emotions. Rather than seeing fear as, “Uh-oh, I am afraid,” think of it as, “I am experiencing fear.” Create that little bit of separation between you and your emotions because you’re not your emotions.

And, the final thought is to try to learn to just go with the flow. Be like water. Think of how water adapts immediately to anything and everything. To me, water is the ultimate expression of the wisdom of adaptability. Because, it’s in the fact that water can adapt to anything, that water has the power to change anything. Water in the form of a river flows through a canyon and it adapts to whatever the path needs to be for it to flow, and at the same time, water is what’s carving that path. So, the strength of it is found in its adaptability. And, we can go through life in that same way, we can be like water. We can adapt to the circumstances around us, and at the same time, shape those circumstances. But, we’re shaping them because we are adapting to them.

That’s the paradox, and I think that’s the paradox that sums up this topic of the fear of uncertainty. There’s no need to fear it because uncertainty is the only certainty out there, it’s just what is. And, the sooner we can accept that, and be with that, we can go with the flow and use uncertainty as part of our strategy of playing the game. A lot like playing Tetris. Realizing that the whole point of the game is that I don’t know what’s coming next. That’s the point of the game. So, think about that and ask yourself, “What would life start to look like for me if I didn’t have that fear of uncertainty? What if I was okay with uncertainty because now I understand that certainty is part of the game?” And, like my friend that I mentioned earlier, when circumstances unfold, the quicker you can adapt to those circumstances and accept them using Shantideva’s wisdom, “If you can do something about it, then why worry? If can’t do something about it, then why worry?” In both scenarios, why worry? What would life look like?

So, keep that in mind. And, as I said, I will add to this discussion in a future podcast episode. But, this is all I have for now with this one. So, thank you for listening. Thank you for supporting the podcast, for being listeners. Thank you for supporting the book if you end up getting that and having that as a foundational understanding of Buddhist philosophy. And, just in general, this is a week to be thankful, this is Thanksgiving week. I’m just thankful for all of you, and for your support, and for being a part of this journey with me. So, thank you and until next time.

30 – Why do I do this?

Society tends to want to put labels on people, are you a this or a that? Are you one of us or one of them? These labels can be useful to describe how we are but not who we are. I’ve felt pressure recently to define what I am or what I’m not. This has made me think about why I do what I do. Why do I practice and teach Buddhism? Ultimately, it’s because I’m trying to be a better version of me. I hope you enjoy this update and explanation. I will do my best to keep up with regular podcast episodes from here on out.

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Transcript of the podcast episode:

Hello, you are listening to the Secular Buddhism podcast and this episode number 30. I am your host, Noah Rasheta, and today I’m talking about why I practice and teach Buddhism.

Welcome back to the Secular Buddhism podcast, a weekly podcast that focuses on Buddhist concepts, topics, and teachings presented for a secular-minded audience. Remember, “Do not try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist, use it to be a better whatever you already are.” That’s one of my favorite quotes by the Dalai Lama. Please keep that in mind as you listen to this episode.

If you enjoy this podcast, please share it with others, write a review, or give it a rating on iTunes. If you’re in a position to be able to, I would encourage you to consider making a one-time donation or becoming a monthly contributor to the podcast by visiting Now let’s jump into this week’s topic.

Hi guys, it’s good to be back with you. It’s been several weeks since I recorded the last podcast episode. I know this is intended to be a weekly podcast, and I’m trying to do my best to make sure this a weekly podcast, but every now and then other things get in the way and it’s difficult for me to find the time to keep this updated. This is a return episode, where I’m trying to return to my commitment to making this a weekly podcast for you.

Several of you have reached out to me to tell me how much these podcasts mean to you and how beneficial they are, and that definitely helps me to have the determination to do this. It does help having people supporting me for the podcast because I do this on the side, and I have about 10 regular monthly supporters. That definitely helps, it helps to maintain the cost of hosting for the audio files and the website hosting. More importantly, it gives me access to resources to be able to travel and to the workshops that I’m trying to do.

Keeping all that in mind, I wanted to address a topic that has come up for me recently, that has made me really think about why I’m doing this. Why do I teach Buddhism? Why do I practice Buddhism? This has to do with, I think society tends to want to put labels on people. I felt the pressure with this in recent months with me from the standpoint of, are you a this, or are you a that? Are you an us, or are a them?

This is a concept that I’ve wrestled with because something I enjoy so much about Buddhism is how it doesn’t really have the us versus them mentality, at least from the standpoint of the way I’ve been teaching it and presenting it, the way I’ve learned. I wanted to address this a little bit and this starts with the emphasis of explaining what am I, and why do I teach what I teach?

I want to start with a quote that I’ve shared before, which is, Dr Mark Epstein was asked, what is the difference between a Buddhist and non-Buddhist? His response was that the non-Buddhist thinks there’s a difference. I’ve always liked that because I feel like the perspective that I’ve gained from Buddhist teachings, is the understanding of oneness. When we truly understand that, we start to erase these lines between us and them.

I’ve thought about this a little bit more, and I like thinking that the difference between someone who’s enlightened and someone who’s not enlightened is that the non-enlightened, or the non-awake person thinks that there’s a difference. In reality, there’s not difference, there’s really no difference. The enlightened person understands that we’re all the same. This is something that really speaks to me when it comes to why I teach and practice Buddhism.

I understand that we’re all hardwired from an evolutionary standpoint to be social creatures, and for millions of years, our survival literally depended on our ability to have those strong social bonds with others. This comes in the form of our bonds with families, with our communities, and with society as a whole. It depends on individuals who are committed and connected for the well-being of the group, and I understand that.

One of the positive aspects of this hardwiring is that kindness and compassion, these can feel natural towards those that we perceive as members of our in-group. We seem to feel a natural bond or a natural sense of connection with people who are like us. Thich Nhat Hanh says, “The more we understand, the more we love, and the more we love, the more we understand.” Perhaps it’s because we feel like we understand those who are like us that we feel more inclined to love those who are in our ingroup.

Unfortunately, the other aspect of this social hardwiring is that we tend to classify people into these two overall groups of us and them, ingroup and outgroup. Those who share our views, whether these be political views, religious beliefs or disbeliefs, or even as simple as who we share a sports team with, we tend to create these lines of the people that we see as us, our in-group, and those that we think we understand and, therefore, we feel it’s easier to be closer to or to have compassion for, or to love. Anyone who doesn’t fit into that perceived in-group becomes “them”, so this problem of us versus them.

It’s a lot more difficult for us to love them because we don’t understand them. I think we tell ourselves, how could they possibly not be like me or not be like us, whoever “us” is? We all know them. For some, “them” is the liberals; for some, “them” is the conservatives, the independents. On the beliefs spectrum it could be, us is the believers; them, the non-believers, or it could be the us is the non-believers and them is the believers. This breaks down into specific groups. Us could be the Catholics; them, the Protestants or backwards, or the Muslims or racial groups.

We’re very good at creating these lines of us and them across all kinds of different spectrums, but these ultimately end up being labels. I really like what Neil deGrasse Tyson says about labels. He says, “A label is an intellectually lazy way to assert you know more about a person than you actually do.” This goes back to that idea of understanding. Thich Nhat Hanh says, “The more we understand, the more we love, and the more we love, the more we understand.”

With a label, it creates an artificial understand. I think I understand them, what I really know is that “them” is not us and then I know more about them than I actually do. That false sense of understanding could be the very thing that blinds me or prevents me from being able to have love or kindness or compassion towards anyone in my outgroup who’s not a part of my in-group. The lack of proper understanding is dangerous because we think we understand people, and in reality we don’t. I think following this logic, it seems we can safely assume that any group that we don’t feel fond of is a group that we simply don’t understand.

Think about that for minute. Think of your own in and outgroups. What groups are in, and what groups are considered out? Who’s us, and who’s them, and why? Why would someone be us, and why would someone be them? Think about that in your own life. The goal isn’t to make everybody the same, we know that’s impossible, in fact, I think that would be sad. There was a time in my life when I believed that the key to peace on earth was for all people to believe the same thing. I spent years of my life dedicated to this object of converting people to my way of thinking.

On a trip in Japan many years ago, I took a day in Tokyo to do a tour of the city with a tour guide, a bicycle tour. One of the things that we did is, we stopped at the various Shinto shrines, where the fishermen would go do their morning routine before going out and going fishing. It was fascinating to watch them doing their rituals and their routine. It was a beautiful thing to see a cultural practice that was very different from my cultural norm.

I remember thinking at that moment how sad it would be if all cultural or ritual practices in the world were the same, if we didn’t have that diversity. I remember thinking how sad that there was a time when I would’ve felt like it was okay to eliminate those cultural practices in favor of everyone believing what I believe. Now I view that and think how sad, how bland. It would be like encountering a good meal, a good dish, and then deciding I want everyone in the world to taste this. I don’t think anyone should eat anything else because this is the best.

With food, it makes sense that we wouldn’t want to do that. What makes food so good is that there are so many different choices and so many different tastes and styles, we wouldn’t want to impose one on someone else. We’re perfectly content with knowing that your favorite dish can be your favorite dish, and my favorite dish can be mine. Your love for your dish does not take away from the love that I have for my favorite dish. That seems to be very logical, it makes sense with food, but when it comes to ideas and ideologies, it’s a lot more difficult.

I understand some ideas are harmful to others, and I think that’s where a line needs to be drawn, and ideas need to be called out as bad ideas because they’re causing harm on others. I understand that, but overall, what I’m saying is typically we treat our ideas as …

If we were to compare these things to food, it’s like saying, “I’ve discovered this certain dish and I want you to experience what I experience when I taste this, when I eat this. The reality is, you may not. You may taste it and say, “Well, I don’t like that.” For me to feel offended or to think you’ve got to taste it again, you’ve got to get to the point where with is as tasteful to you as it to me, sounds silly when we’re talking about food.

I don’t know why we have such a hard time with dealing with our ideas and with our beliefs in that same sense, we want others to experience our ideas the way we do. We want them to be meaningful to others the way they are meaningful to us. The truth is that, an idea, no matter how good it is, or a belief, not matter how good it is to me, doesn’t mean anything to you if it’s not meaningful to you the way it is to me, and that can’t be imposed or forced.

Going back to the overall topic here, we all have differences. The problem isn’t that we’re different, the problem is that we’re not okay with the fact that we’re different. Those are two very different things. It’s okay that we’re all different, but it’s not okay if I feel that it’s not okay that we’re different, that’s where the problems start. How do we start to understand them, whoever them is?

Again, going back to this us versus them mentality. Think of them, whoever pops into your mind as them. Buddhism is a contemplative tradition that teaches us to look inward. In the process of discovering who I am by asking who am I? And, therefore, understanding who are we? We begin to discover a sense of unity in our differences. In fact it’s the very fact that we are different that makes us the same because what you’ll start to understand is, I am one of them to someone else. That means we are also them to someone else, so this whole idea of us and them is, in a way, what makes us all the same because we’re all actually them.

I might be them to someone, you are certainly them to someone, so if I’m them to someone and they’re them to me, then now we’ve got something in common because we’re both them to someone. If we’re all them, then we’re also all us, because we’re all part of a group that is that is them to someone else. I know that might sound a little wonky, but in reality, if you think about that, that is what makes us all the same, it’s that we’re all different.

I think this a key teaching in Buddhism, it’s the discovery of the nature of self. The self is not separate form other, but we’re one with other, we’re the same. The labels that we give ourselves and that we give others are simply that, they’re just labels, and the reality is that we are not our labels.

I’ve talked about this before, I think, in a podcast episode, but I like to think of labels as items of clothing because we all wear different items of clothing, or think of color, the color of a shirt. The fact that I might be wearing a blue shirt doesn’t speak to who I am, it speaks to how I am. I’m the guy in the blue shirt, and you might be the guy in the red shirt or the orange shirt. It would be silly to confuse that and to say, “That is a red shirt person, I am a blue shirt person,” because these labels can change. Most of these labels change over time.

At one point, I was not a dad, and now I am a dad, that’s a label that I carry. A lot of our labels work this way, especially with religious or political ones. They can morph and evolve and change over time, I know they certainly have for me. What if we viewed our labels as descriptions of how we are, but not confuse those with who we are?

There’s a practice in Buddhism called analytical meditation, this is common in the Tibetan tradition. In fact, the Dalai Lama does a lot of this style of meditation, analytical meditation, where you are continually asking yourself, who am I? This sense of self that I have, what is it? Am I my thoughts? Am I my memories? You’re trying to pick apart the question of, who am I? If you do this analytically, what you’ll find is that there’s no part of you that is the you separate from everything else.

The you that you are is the sum total of everything that makes you you, and because you can’t single that out – and I’ve mentioned this before – just like with a car and all of its parts, you can not disassemble the car and say there is the car and go pick one of those parts, because the car is all of them. We’re the same way.

There’s no part of me that’s me without all of me that’s me, so it’s in that sense that I gain a proper understanding of the sense of self. This can extend on to, my understanding of who I am or what I am also influences my view of the group called us, anyone that’s like me because we’re none of those things. What you discover in this analytical process of meditation in terms of the sense of self is that what I am is, I am life, and that’s really all I am.

Having said that, there’s another aspect of Buddhism that really resonates with me, and this the two key things I wanted to address in this podcast. The reason that I’m doing this is, one, to dispel that sense of separation from self and other, to understand that there is not difference, to say I’m a Buddhist because I’m not a Buddhist. The understanding that there is no difference between a Buddhist and a non-Buddhist, that’s really the goal.

I want to teach that because I think what the world needs right now, is that sense of unity. It’s always needed it, it’s especially evident now, but this idea that there’s us and them is an illusion. There is no us and them, there’s only them, which means there’s only us. The second aspect is the understanding that I am the source of it all. This introspection into trying to find the self, what you’ll discover in that process is that I am the source of it all.

Let me explain this a bit. What happened when Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha, when he was sitting in meditation under the Bodhi Tree, he was seeking an understanding of the nature of reality. He was trying to discover this understanding of the nature of the mind, and where does this sense of self come from? He was asking, who am I? What am I? He asked, why does this sense of self prevent us from seeing our oneness with everything else.

It was in this state of contemplation and self analysis that he discovered that he was the source of his interpretation of reality, that he was the source of his positive and negative emotions, that he was he source of his temptations. It was just him. In that moment, he realized that we are all the source of it all.

We construct our own heaven or hell, and it happens in the here and now. He became aware of the nature of reality, which is, essentially, that there’s reality as it is, whatever it is, and we are the ones who add meaning and add stories to that reality. We construct layers upon layers of reality on reality and, therefore, it’s our individual perceptions of reality that are unique, so my reality is mine and yours is yours.

This self-awareness is what lead him to gain this title of Buddha. The title Buddha just means awakened one, or one who is awake or enlightened. That’s what he was, he was a teacher who taught the nature of reality. What came out of that is his understanding of the nature of suffering and the path that leads to the cessation of suffering. Coupled in that, was the understanding of all things are impermanent, meaning all things are continually changing and all things are interdependent, all things are connected. Constant change and constant connection are an integral part of understanding Buddhist thought. You combine all this, and this was that sense of awakening that he had, to be able to understand reality as it is.

The discovery that we are the source of it all, is actually incredibly liberating, and it really resonates with me. This is why Buddhism is called the path of liberation because he implication of this understanding, is that if I feel a sense of hatred, I am the source of it. It’s my perspective or my memories, my upbringing, my beliefs, and many other things go into that, but ultimately, it’s all on me. It’s me. There’s no way to scapegoat this, there’s no the devil made me do it or the devil made me think this because in this approach, there’s really just me and my mind, and I am the source of it all.

For me, this is a really powerful way to go about experiencing life, and understanding that I’m in control of it. I am the source of it all. My perceptions influence my reality, but it’s just me. For me, like I said, this understanding is very empowering because not only am I the source of my hatred or jealousy or discontent, but on the flip side of that, I’m also the source of my kindness and peace and joy and my happiness.

This knowledge, coupled with the understanding of impermanence, that all things change, and interdependence, that all things are connected, ultimately gives us freedom. The freedom that we gain is freedom from our habitual reactivity, this is freedom from ourselves. I think if you really explore the root of what we’re all trying to get is that ability to control your own emotions, our own reactivity.

The idea behind habitual reactivity is that there is stimulus, and then there’s a reaction. This is talked about in a lot traditions, but the idea is that something happens and we react. Often, this happens so quickly and so powerfully that we don’t even realize that our reactions are separate from the stimulus that started them. We see them almost as this inseparable chain of events. Something happens to me, and I react to it, almost as if that was the next step in the chain. The reality is that there is space between the two events, the stimulus and the reaction. What we’re trying to learn, to develop, is the ability to increase that gap between the stimulus and the reaction.

The typical example I share about this is the example of being cut off. You’re driving, you get cut off, and you instantly react. That’s not problematic, we’re hardwired to work this way, but there’s no freedom in our inability to control how we react when things happen. This is habitual reactivity that I’m talking about, it’s something happens and boom, I react. What would it be like to go through life gaining mastery over the way that we respond to the events as they unfold? This is freedom, this is what Buddhism is ultimately trying to teach and help us to obtain, that freedom from our habitual reactivity.

Buddhist teachings give us power over ourselves. There’s a quote by Lao Tsu, who so wisely said, “He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.” I think of all of the things that we seek in life, we’re trying to obtain happiness, but we do that by thinking that we’ll get it by having more power or more wealth or more fame. Those are illusions.

Ultimately, the reward that’s taught through these contemplative practices isn’t about obtaining happiness, it’s about obtaining freedom. Thich Nhat Hanh says that freedom is the only condition required for happiness, so happiness is the result, but it’s not the goal. Freedom is the goal, freedom from our habitual reactivity.

If you think about that, apply it into day-to-day living in a very practical way, what this means is, imagine life being able to unfold for you in a way that you do not have to react instinctively. You would have the ability to determine and have freedom with how you react to the events as they unfold. That’s the freedom that we’re talking about with these practices.

For me, Buddhism is not about changing others, it’s about understanding myself, and thereby, understanding others, but I do that through understanding myself. It’s through understanding that we can learn to love. I mentioned earlier Thich Nhat Hanh says that the more we understand, the more we love, the more we love, the more we understand. It’s through that understanding that we gain love and compassion, compassion for others, and compassion for ourselves.

This idea of self compassion is that I need to understand who am I, and what am I? This is why we practice and we ask that question in the contemplative practice, the analytical meditation I talked about. The continual question that you’re asking is, who am I, or what am I? You’re looking for that sense of self to understand it.

Ultimately, this is why I teach and practice Buddhism, not to make the world a better place, but to make myself a better person in the world. The better we each are, the more kind, compassionate and loving we become individually. The irony is that is what makes the world a better place, not because we’re trying to change the world, but because we’re trying to change ourselves.

Ultimately, that’s my goal, and that’s something I wanted to clarify in this podcast, addressing that question of, why do I do this? Why do I teach this? Why do I practice this? Ultimately, it’s to gain that understanding that the sense of separation between us and them is simply an illusion, there is no difference, there’s just us. We’re all the same, we’re life. In Buddhism, this transcends even the human race, this is sentient beings we’re talking about, all sentient beings.

The second component, like I mentioned, is to gain that sense of empowerment and knowing that I am the source of it all. I am responsible for my positive emotions and also for my negative emotions, and I can’t pin negative emotions like hatred on external circumstances. The flip side to that is that I can also not pin on external circumstances positive emotions like joy and happiness. These things are found internally and not externally.

I think our society tends to function in a way as if these things were external, as if happiness is something that I find out there by changing certain circumstances, when the reality is that it doesn’t work that way. It’s internal. I’ve mentioned this quote before from Brother David Steindl-Rast, who says that gratitude is not what makes us happy, “It’s not happiness that makes us grateful, it’s gratefulness that makes us happy,” and I truly believe that.

Having a contemplative practice that helps focus our understanding of the nature of reality a bit is a form of wisdom that can generate compassion. These are the two things that we constantly strive for in Buddhist teachings, it’s wisdom and understanding. Ultimately, that’s why I do what I do, and that’s what I wanted to share with you in this podcast episode.

As I mentioned before, this is also my commitment to you. I’m determined to get better at recording these podcasts more regularly, trying to do a weekly podcast, so you guys can hold me to that. If a week to two goes by and I haven’t recorded a podcast, send me a message through Facebook, email, something, and remind me and say, “Hey, where’s the next podcast episode?”

I really appreciate your support. So many of you have reached out to me to share your thoughts and your gratitude for specific things you’ve heard in these podcast episodes, and I really appreciate that. That makes a big difference for me, so please continue to reach out to me. I feel this is a journey that we’re all on together, me recording these and getting to know you, the people who listen to these.

Thank you for your support, I really appreciate it, and I look forward to recording another podcast episode next week. Until next time.