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From ABC, this is the 10 percent happier podcast. I'm Dan Harris. Hey, gang, we're diving in on another Buddhist list today, one of the many things I like about the Buddha is that as far as I can tell, he pretty much always aimed his messages, even the hardest to swallow ones at the pleasure centers of the brain, even when he's talking about ethics, which could come off as preachy or abstemious. Today, we're going to talk about the five precepts.


The precepts are kind of like the Buddhist version of the Ten Commandments, except, as you will hear, there is by design an enormous amount of flexibility in how you can interpret and apply these precepts. And undergirding it all is, as mentioned earlier, self-interest. The reason not to steal or lie or kill is that in the end, it protects your mind. My guest is Josephine to Marie Gibson, who has trained in the Soto Zen and Theravada traditions, is on the teacher's council for the New York Insight Meditation Center and teaches in a variety of other settings, including the Insight Meditation Society, Zen's pronouns, are they and them.


And a quick note before we dive in. Lives on a busy street, so you will sometimes hear a little bit of background noise, but it's not a big deal. Here we go now with Josslyn Tomaree Gibson. Jozen, nice to meet you, virtually nice to meet you as well to thank you for having me.


So I'm interested when you were chatting with folks from my team about what we should talk about in this podcast, you chose the precepts.


What are the precepts and why did you think that was important to discuss?


First of all, that first question, what are the precepts is the question for me in this embodied type of way. So the the precepts that I'm referring to, what a typical five that we may take or work on an insight, a personal retreat, something that folks may be familiar if they said it, insight meditation society, for example, and. So these five, I'll list them quickly, I see them in poly, I think it's important for me to to honor the Polish language in the lineage in that way coming from India and just really honoring the ancestors in that lineage that land here to be in this conversation with us.


So this is the first time that we had to wait in the car by somebody on me, which is roughly translated into I undertake the training to refrain from destroying living beings. The second precept adding the diner where Dominique coupledom, somebody on me is I undertake the training to refrain from the arrest is within that first word. And in this case, I deny Donna stealing or taking that which is not freely given to her to take the training to refrain from stealing or taken that which is not freely given car Masuma, etc.


. Without Milicic up at somebody's army, I undertake the training to refrain from sexual misconduct. Mousseau Waddah, where dominie sick, but similar to me, I undertake the training to refrain from false speech and then the fifth Sudar may at my job on my back tanah, where Dominique would seem to me I had to take the training to refrain from taking intoxicants which caused carelessness and cloud the mind. And so these are guideposts for me. They haven't been for my life, but they've been guideposts for me since the buddhadharma reintroduce themselves to me in this life and everything that has been going on this past 20, 20, even before that to this.


Questioning not only of what our global ethics, so these precepts we think of as Seela, these moral ethics, moral conduct, what are a global more ethics, what are local moral ethics and context? But what is my own? What are my own? How do I embody these? How do I. Support locally and how does that branch out? What does that impact, what does that affect? And so these teachings have been very powerful for me since formally starting practice some 17 years ago now.


They've been a beautiful challenge, a beautiful struggle. They've impacted relationships, they've impacted where I live, how I live, who I live with, what I eat, where I eat, what I listen to, what I share is so much, it's all connected to it. This investigation of the self, the self and our life. What is this I that we have just pointed to in our practice within this practice of not self Ainata. So there's this intersection interplay and there's this dance and beautiful creativity and.


How do I honor that in this relative life in my conversation with you then? Let me get out of the way to a question that I think may have popped up in some of the minds of the listeners, some people listen to this show may say to themselves, you know, I'm interested in meditation in large part because. I had a bad experience with organized religion, and this reminds me of the commandments, and it sounds like a bunch of rules I need to follow.


So what does that have to do with my meditation practice?


Exactly. That's a beautiful question. There's a teaching that the Buddha emphasized, which is Amy Pascal. And he Pascal is. Investigation, learning for yourself by going through and investigating what this means for you. And it's a reminder that these are not rules. These are guides now, rules, in a sense, if you are a lay person, no. If you are a monastic, if you are living in a monastic way, there is a way in which this can be expressed as rules of living, but it's a way of living.


And you have the choice to recognize how this lands for you, how this feels for you.


So not commandments offerings, suggestions with this energy of a hypothetical, come see for yourself. Come and investigate, which is also asking for this Sentsov.


What you said right before asking that question, then let me get out the way, wasn't you getting out the way? Let's get this question out the way in the sense of how can we recognize when we this conditioning of ours gets in the way of us just lending ourselves over to and investigating where are the blockages, the hindrances? And from time to time, we may hear some sound in the background. And that's because I live in a very densely populated area with a lot of beings doing these things.


And it's a beautiful way to practice. And so. Engaging even with that, engaging with what arises, not being upset, understanding what's happening in the outside world. How it impacts what's going on inside. Yeah, I appreciate you describing it as a for us laypeople as a guide rather than. You know, strict rules. I think maybe the best way to help us understand that would be to walk through each of the precepts and then and get a say because you listed a vast array of areas.


Impacted in your life by these guides, by these precepts, so let's start with the first one, which is kind of the Buddhist version of Thou Shalt Not Kill. Refrain from taking another life. How are we to understand that? And does it go deeper than the obvious?


I definitely believe it goes deeper than the obvious. I'll just say that my practice is coming from to if we can be binary in this way to lineages the terrible inside, which is from primarily Jantar Thai Forest lineage and also Maharshi side lineage and then the Sotos in lineage. So I just named that because from time to time it will come into play. And how I'm speaking about my understanding from these two different perspectives. Which are all one? So overall, what I've been taught and what I received and what I've come to understand from an embodied place, this is not something that I think about, but it's something that I feel it's being felt in the belly and in the heart that these precepts are about not harm.


That's the overall theme, if you will, about these precepts. And so, yes, not killing. It's in the suttas with the Buddha talks about literally not taking a life in these steps of how that comes to be from the thought process to the perception to the act, the intention, all of that. One of those is breaking the precepts. Even the thought can be so called breaking the precept. And so that became interesting to me. And I started to feel into.


How that plays out, even in conversation when we're in conversation, am I jockeying for position to cut someone off in conversation? Right.


Am I, in a sense, killing this train of thought in their offering in that way? And so there's the very grotesque piece of it, which is killing a living being, and then there's the peace that we really made, even take for granted of the lack of connection or lack of community and the lack of relationship with how we limit or how we invade or dominate a conversation, dominate a space. And this is near and dear to my heart being of a racialized body or racialized black body of also Japanese ancestry and.


Their ancestral. Familial understanding of. Not only not harm, but honoring and resiliency and care. In that way, that's taught that's passed down. And it gets played out and how we eat. And what we eat, but when I bring in my factors of this practice over the years, I've become vegan. And I'm vegan, not so much for I didn't go into it because of health reasons. But I feel healthier. My energy levels have shifted and there's something about this that I believe has to do with not just my lack of partaking in the meat industry, but it's that whole system.


In the energies and the intentions of how we mass produce and how we share food. The energies of the butcher that may not understand how to be connected with the animal in a way that is wholesome and a sharing of that energy that then gets passed to my ingestion of that food, we are all energy in that we were all sharing in that way and is being passed now, is being passed through. So this is not so much about the not eating of the animals is how are we treating animals, plants, food, water, the whole of it?


How are we sustaining? How are we adding to the resiliency of this earth of us as human beings which are not separate from the earth? Air, water, fire. You brought up veganism.


I had a similar transition, a big reason why I stopped eating animal products, although I do occasionally have some ice cream. But there are many.


I use this term somewhat lightly, devout Buddhists who do eat meat. I mean, the Dalai Lama comes to mind. Our mutual teacher, Joseph Goldstein, comes to mind. And I know one of the things that I've tried to tread very lightly with as a vegan is being, you know, I think some of my brothers and sisters in the vegan world can be a little. Judgmental. I know that for me, before becoming a vegan, I when I heard the word vegan, I just thought of.


Renunciation and self-righteousness, so I brought it up the veganism thing, and I thought it might be triggering some people listening. So are we bad people or bad Buddhists or bad meditators if we have a steak once in a while?


No, no, not at all. And this is point to our attitude. And I love when you kind of conflated renunciation and self-righteousness. Those are very different things to me. And so. I think there's a way in which we need to have a center renunciation in our lives and feed renunciation in our lives, we're going through this food pun and let go of this feeling of self righteousness and being greater than equal to or less than in some way.


We know our monastics go through these beautiful ceremonies, going on alms rounds, monastics who go out into the world with a beautiful bowl, if you will. And the community many times understand who they are and they offer them their food from their homes to these monastics in honor of their practice, in honor of song of community. And so this is the way in which that energy, the intention to nourish and to give that generosity and are receiving, you receive what is given to you in that way.


I remember when I entered into vegetarianism, so I was more kataria than anything. And I went to my granddad's house and my great aunt was known to have the best pork chops and the best chitlins on the block. And there were I'm not a fan of chitlins and I don't really want to describe what they are to our audience who don't know them. But you can look them up later. But they're meat products in this way. And when I let her know that I was a vegetarian.


It hurt it hurt her and she started to cry and it allowed us to be in the conversation around what that meant for me and what that meant for her. And this was me learning more about. What type of energy and intensity she was putting into her food when she was feeding me, I didn't live with her, but I was going to visit and we would I would see her about maybe once or twice a month. I tend to just really offering a part of her in this way.


And this was before the buddhadharma was introduced to me in this life. But that was my first understanding of this expansion of this first present. Yeah, the expansion being. Even thinking you're doing the right thing with your dietary choices, even that can have a negative impact on somebody else. So it's very complicated.


It's very complicated. It is. And it lends itself to having a conversation again and not a self-righteous conversation that I am doing this. Therefore, you not only need to do this, but I'm going to look down on you in order to do this. Right. But let's really have a conversation of where you're coming from, where you live, what your situation is. And so this is leading in to that that word, that conversation, that dialogue, the sit down piece, which is, as we know, challenging.


It sounds like the spirit in which you approach the precepts overall is one of having an inner conversation about what does this mean about how you, Josefin, are going to live your life in any given moment?


Right. Right. Yeah. And, you know, there's. So there's living life in every single moment, everything, as we mention, is energy, and therefore everything in some shape or form is a conversation in itself. And how will we engaged in that conversation, how we engage with ourselves when we first wake up in the morning? What is the next thing that we do? How present are we? This is where the mindfulness practice comes in.


And knowing when we are lost in thoughts. We are lost in some activity and we're not so present. What do we do? We begin again. Right. It's not something to. Police judgment upon or even to expect things to be different. Can we really honor things as they are, just as it is? And from there, that's where the possible comes in the investigation. What is this? Right. What's the conditioning of all of this within?


Have I adopted this? Have I been taught this? Where is this landing in the body? We have a ton of practice that helps with that, we have abramovitch our practice that helps with that.


These practices that help us to investigate our relationship with the precepts, whether we are so-called Buddhists or not, we are engaging with these precepts in some shape or form.


We are following them in some way or we're not. And then there's the in between the spectrum is not binary is all fluid. Yeah, you said some nice words about renunciation before, I just want to pick up on that because the aforementioned Joseph Goldstein. He has a good rap on the word renunciation, which doesn't have positive implications in the West in English, but he likes to reframe it as non addiction.


So you might renounce. I don't know, lying or alcohol, you could think of that as a sort of asceticism or self-denial or you can think about it as being actually in your interests because you're dropping an addiction.


Is that where you were going with your sort of warm sentiments vis a vis renunciation? In some sense, yes.


The non clinging aspect there is the letting go aspect. There's not an addiction, which, again, is asking us to be in relationship with those words, what those words even mean to us. You just named a couple of things about not being addicted or letting go of alcohol, which is another precept that's in there, our relationship with so-called intoxicants. I want to jump around. But the relationship with that is intoxicants that lead to hear this sort of cloud the mind.


Many of us have relationships with medicine, we need medicines in the body, and some of those medicines involve alcohol, so we cannot fully rid ourselves of alcohol. But are we then drinking alcohol on a level that allows us or access to takes us out of our bodies, where we're then acting in a way where it's not our true nature, if you will? It's another nature. It's a zombie like nature, and so there's harm that comes from that from time to time.


And if we have an interest in non harm, if we have a capacity to engage with this in a non harming way. Then let's engage with that conversation that's engaged with that practice and community, we're not alone in this. This is where the songa piece comes in.


Well, not alone. Saga being the Polish word for the sort of community of meditators.


Well, you said you didn't want to jump around, but I'm going to give you permission to jump around. I know that the precept around intoxicants is later, but we're already there.


So let's jump to it's the same kind of question, and I'm asking this a little bit in my role as interviewer here. But does this precept around intoxicants mean we shouldn't drink? And how do we understand intoxicants? How do we define intoxicants, sugar be an intoxicant? So can you say more about how you understand this?


If we're following our dear teacher Joseph with understanding of intoxication as addiction, peace, we're not seeing addiction. Yes, sugar for sure is an intoxicant. We can look at the ways in which sugar has been inundated and pressed upon us culturally. Right. And we have these sugar habits that many of us aren't even aware of.


So it's relational to the individual as much as it is to the cultural so-called norms that we are navigating through. Some people need sugar at certain times in their life. We talk about folks who are working with forms of diabetes. They may need forms of sugar in order to support them, right? And so it's it's not so cut and dry, but it's really this is why they're closing piece. So that leads to cloudiness and heedlessness. So if you know that a particular product is not good for your Constitution, not good for your body, it has you acting in a particular way.


And many times we don't recognize we are acting a particular way, but it's our community because our families, our friends are songa who will let us know. Can we hear it?


Can we receive it? Hopefully we can hear it the first time. Sometimes it's the hundredth time, hopefully it's not never heard that leads to either harm or death in some way. I had. So to put a fine point on it, if you know, we like to have a glass of wine once in a while and it doesn't lead to harm to ourselves or others, it's not a quote unquote breaking of the precept, not from what I understand for laypeople.


Now, if you take certain vows, monastic vows, this is where the precepts shift, but we're just talking about for lay folks. So there are certain monastic vows where, no, you are not drinking any alcohol is a list of what you cannot take in these lists of what you cannot engage with. And as we evolve as a culture and a society, there are new things that get added to it from my understanding. But in terms of how people interact with this fifth precept, it's really interesting because you could think of a whole broad spectrum of things as intoxicants in this way.


I mean, maybe works in intoxicant. You know, I know people I don't want to name any names, but his initials are Dan Harris, who, when he gets super stressed out around work, can get high off of the attention or whatever. And who knows how? I mean, I have questions about how good is that for me, how good is it for the people around me?


And so it really this fifth precept, if understood in this sort of panoramic way in which you're describing it, if I'm hearing you correctly, can bring you into a pretty deep investigation of how you're interacting with lots of. Substances and toxicants processes in your life. Let me turn them back to you for a moment, then you mentioned go a little bit deeper into that that exploration that you have with the intoxicant of work. What is that high? I shouldn't have talked about myself.


What is the high yeah, there are lots of highs associated with work for me because.


And the classic story that I've kind of dined out on for a long time is that I got addicted to.


Covering combat as a young reporter not long after 9/11 and ended up in war zones all over the place, and it was intoxicating in that it was very exciting. And as somebody who's quite ambitious, it was advancing my career and getting there as a sort of sea level fame associated with it as well. And and then also as somebody who's idealistic, there was a sense of, yeah, I'm doing something important here. And then that led to a kind of depression that was undiagnosed, that then led to intoxicants of a much more easily understood variety, including cocaine, and then that led to a panic attack on national television.


I'm older and well, at least marginally less stupid now, but nonetheless, there it can be intoxicating to have this podcast grow in audience. It can be intoxicating when somebody says nice things about me on Twitter.


It can be intoxicating when I work really hard and finish a book, which is I'm working on a book right now and it's not going to be finished anytime soon. But all of those things can run me down.


And also, if I'm stuck in my head around them or stressed out about them can make me unpleasant to the people in my orbit.


Does any of that make sense? It makes perfect sense and it really does. And I appreciate you being open here. It's important for us to be able to understand how we are using our platforms. Right, and so we have this practice, at least the practice that I've been taught every day, reminding ourselves of our intention while also re inquiring with the intention, the intention to go to work, the intention to work in the way that I'm working or where I am working, just checking in with that.


It doesn't need to be a big thing in that way. But it's a conversation that is a reminder of our relationship, how am I using these platforms? And is that word using am I using it on behalf of non harm? Again, the press being the guideposts. Or am I using it in order to feed some piece of me that it could be the self? Again, we talked about Ainata, not self, but am I using it to feed myself these likes in these clicks and these hearts?


Do I want to be seen in a particular way by someone? And these platforms know this, we have this beautiful document that just came out, social dilemma, I think is the name of it was a compilation of these reminders for more than a decade of the addictive nature of not only social media, but technology itself in a ways in which these companies know the human psyche and know how we engage with these platforms, these gadgets, because they themselves are human.


They know how we all function. So they just feed that addictive piece, those parts of our brain. I want to get to Haiti. You've had some neuroscientists and some very smart people on this platform who talk about these elements of the brain. So I encourage the audience to go back and listen to those parts. But these very addictive dopamine pieces of our minds that just get fed and fed and fed in so many different ways for me. And this is where I have to go into the vows that I've taken in this life that's connected to my soul, towsend path and the body, sort of a path which have these precepts and then some more, where I not only am investigating these addictive pieces and these conditionings within myself, but doing so on behalf of others.


And we have this very unattainable outreach plan, this vision where we say we are going to help save all beings. OK. So that's a good idea. I'm down for it, I take vows for that, then I'm just going to start with this corner that I'm on. I'm going to cut it down just a little bit. And to do it in a way, again, that is not about me uplifting myself or being in a higher rank because the Buddha talks about not comparing in the practice.


No one is above. No one is below. No one is even equal to. But this emphasis on may we be free? May we be liberated from these forms of addiction, from these hindrances that block us from being a true relationship, wholesome, not harming relationship with each other, let alone ourselves? I love that you mentioned social media as a. As an intoxicant, because it certainly can be I'm not a Luddite, but I do think that's just another area that's rich for sort of our exploration.


What's our relationship to it? How are we, as you said, using it? You've talked quite a bit about or referenced a few times the Buddhist notion of selflessness, not not self. This can be a very tricky concept for people. I myself understand it only episodically when you refer to selflessness within the construct or context of the precepts. What do you mean in the most sort of down to earth way?


The ways in which I may insist. My way of thinking to a certain situation or insists my values and my morals in a situation or project them onto someone. Insist things may be a certain way. This is a form of. Dominance, if you would, trying to dominate in some way, shape or form be. The one and only center. So it's OK and we need to center ourselves very often, especially when it comes to care and health care and folks who give so much to others.


We're not talking about that type of center, but being the true center of. Attention. Not listening. Within the practice of listening to listening practice is to understand the energy of it is not to respond. But it's to understand. So how can I in every situation, listen, in order to understand and from there appropriately respond as opposed to centering response first why I'm not listening and I'm in my own body, my own head, not even in my body in that point, in my own head about what I'm going to say next.


No matter what this person is saying to me. And this is not even a verbal thing. This is a physical language. We have verbal language. We have physical cues. How can we really pay attention and pick up on all of it? And to do so with some spaciousness and patience. Good to know one another over time, get to know the situation over time, not rushing. Not trying to get to the next best thing, and that could be a very subtle way of feeding the addiction of let's keep on going, let's keep on moving a form of entertainment.


Can we really be entertained in a way where we're connected versus I'm going to use you to entertain me and you are going to make me feel good?


No, thank you. I want to share a quote with you, a dear author who I love and follow, who is also a Buddhist practitioner, this is Bell Hooks, which many people know. So this this piece that is a precept to me. This is the overarching piece of non harm. Bell Hooks has this quote where she says, Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.


Knowing how to be solitary is essential to the art of loving, when we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape. In the languaging around this is so beautiful because as we said before, we are not alone. Feeling as if we are believing that we're alone as a form of confusion is very different than loneliness. I understand loneliness very well. We can feel as if with a lone person on a particular journey.


When I able to connect with the whole of the of the nature and how we are engaging in life when we are feeling alone in some sense. Discerning the difference between loneliness and alone, hmm? I had a really understanding and this again, this is what I love about that quote, is that I think there's an intentional usage of that word alone in correspondence with solitary. As well, in that first part of the sentence, we're learning how to be solitary.


Which is this internal investigation. Learning the difference between loneliness and alone. Which gives us this hopefully more. Language, deeper language of the felt sense, how we are feeling, what is true here, what is it that we actually need? What is it that we can ask of someone of a situation, of a system of constructs, what is it that we can name? So that we are not going into those places, we're not engaging with people and using them as a means of escape, of what is really asking to be known and named internally for us.


We've run away many times of what is being revealed. This is what I love about this movement of the buddhadharma of mindfulness is that there are more and more places for folks to be in community. While engaging in a solitary way. With themselves internally investigating not only what is going on, but what is true.


For them in that moment and being guided, being guided by teachers, facilitators, mentors, community. I love that quote, I took it, and this may be the result of the fact that I'm writing about the relationship between self-love and loving other people, so I took it to that place. I've been thinking a little bit about this. None of these thoughts are original.


They're all stolen from other people, including the Buddha, but the kind of double helix or mutually reinforcing nature of self-love and loving other people. And when I heard that Bell Hooks quote from you is the first time I've heard it, I really like it. I remembered something that a soon to be ex girlfriend said to me in my twenties when we were like having a conversation about breaking up. And she said something to the effect of if you can't be with yourself, you can't be with anybody else.


And so that's what came to mind for me when I heard that quote.


Does that any of what I just said land for you?


Of course. I mean, if it lands for you, then it lands for me. If we get something out of it. That is a reminder. Some investigation and self-love. Yes. And I'll take it even further. Angela Davis was also a practitioner. Reminds us about radical self love, radical self care, radical being, the root of it all in this understanding of the buddhadharma, bringing us to the roots of our self care of our self.


Yes, so self care, self love, love yourself in order to be with someone else. Yes. Because ultimately and I mean that ultimately it's all the same thing. That's right. Much more of my conversation with Josiane Tomaree Gibson right after this. CarMax is taking car buying confidence to the next level with their new love your car guarantee. Now you can take your time to make sure you found the perfect car for you, starting with a 24 hour test drive.


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I would deeply appreciate it if you took a few minutes to help us out by answering a survey about your experience with this podcast. The team here is always looking for ways to improve. And we'd love to hear from all of you, but we would especially like to hear from those of you who listen to the podcast and do not use our companion app. But we also want to hear from anybody. So there's a special emphasis on that population. But anybody who listens and has the time, we'd love to hear from you.


Please go to 10 percent dot com forward slash survey. That's 10 percent dot com forward slash survey. The link will be in the show notes. Thank you. Let's go back to Joseph. So we've covered precepts one in five in our remaining time, let's go through two, three, four. The second one has to do with not stealing, not taking what is not freely offered, if I recall correctly.


Yeah, yeah, that's right. Is it as simple as like just don't, you know, shoplift or what else can we apply to. It's that and it's in honor of what you said earlier about. This has all been written before, this has all been said before, it's not mine. Honoring lineage, honoring ancestry. You know, I was trying to come up with the math around this, how much of this so called me this Josiane is actually being shared out right now, for example, and I could maybe bring it down to a point zero one percent in some way.


So ninety nine point nine nine nine nine, blah, blah, blah, is ancestors, lineage, elders, siblings that is being shared through this vessel. And then I'm interpreting it just as you interpreted that Bell Hooks quote, your interpretation of it, it landed for you a very beautiful way. I resonate with it, but yet that quote landed for me just slightly different when I received it. This is how the buddhadharma, the abundance of the buddhadharma is a reminder of the abundance of this earth.


The abundance that we have inherited, and yet it is not ours. Not so much, and so we honor in this way, I've mentioned this quote before, but I heard Joseph once quote a monk whose name I can't remember as describing. When you identify with your emotions like anger or something like that, when you claim it is yours, it's a misappropriation of public property. I. Yeah. I love that the misappropriation, appropriation, colonization, there's so much that we can get into with that then, right.


And there's energy that lends itself to reclamation. To reclaiming, again, not only what is true. But what has always been true and what has always been true is that we are a part of honoring a lineage and history in this moment that is being born in the life that is then nourishing. What is to come and what is to be. May we name it as such? As reminding us of the ways in which our own bodies and hearts.


Have been misappropriating our own bodies and hearts have been conditioned, have been colonized in some way. How do we create space where we can truly reclaim what is true here? Again, this is something that I'm able to do later on in life. I have been more readily and more easily with this freedom that I feel inside coming out more as a gender nonconforming, non binary being. And this has been a gift that I've given back to myself that was gifted to me from the very beginning, this understanding.


So let me see if I understand that I'll try to restate it and hopefully I'll be somewhere in the neighborhood of accuracy, we're talking about the second precept, which sort of narrowly understood is don't take something that's not yours and that's actually important. We shouldn't steal not only because it harms other people, but it it doesn't feel good if you're paying attention to harm other people. But you can go deeper with it. Like don't steal other people's ideas. Don't claim notions that are.


Ancient and abiding as yours, your original ideas, and then even deeper. Don't even claim your emotions as yours, because that can be the source of an enormous amount of suffering if you view your anger as.


Just anger not. Josephson's bespoke form of rage and dance like special sauce rage, then you can you're taking a lot of the fuel out of it.


And then you said finally that you can see how our minds have been. Colonize that ideas. Bias's. Can be injected into us by the culture. I think about my friend Severna Selassie often quotes I'm going to mangle the quote, but Krishnamurti, I believe, who said you think you're thinking your thoughts, but you're actually thinking the culture's thoughts.


And that was exactly the quote that came up for me. And I'm glad that they said they said that because it's so, so real. Because that's the belief, that's the confusion. And we double down on it, triple down on that, we claim those thoughts as ours, we claim them. We do we even claim other people's identities. This is where I was I was going when I was talking about my own identity and being able to come out in a way, but doing so, that also honors the lineage and the agency of those who put themselves out there.


First and foremost, that created some space and some language for me to do so. I do a civil rights movement to the LGBT movement, I do all of these movements as giving us face heart language. That's not only involving humanity, but returning us to this radical roots of our love and harm, our compassion. Let's do the third and fourth precepts. I've forgotten what they are.


So can you remind us for sure? So we have the third refraining from sexual misconduct and then refrain from false speech three and four. Let's stay with three for a second.


How do you incorporate refraining from sexual misconduct in your life? How do you interpret this?


Or the physical incorporation has been made being abstinent for some years. That engaging in sexual activity at all, but this is my own personal interplay with a deep rooted need, if you will, to ordain and become a monastic with this understanding that that's probably not going to be the reality of this life. And so how am I embodying these precepts in everyday life as a layperson, how am I going to ordain for myself to honor myself in this way and even before abstaining?


And this is a practice of that bell hooks. Quote. Again, not using someone sexually as a means of escape. Can I be with someone in a way that I'm really with them? We are really together. We understand what our likes and dislikes are. We understand what it is that I may be doing that this person may not be with, may not feel good. Hey, even if you meet someone new in the one night stand, you know, I hesitate to say this during a pandemic, if not encouraging this in any way.


But to really have the conversation that's around consent. To really have the conversation and sometimes I know people say, oh, that's that's a turn off is going to be a buzz kill. But there's a way in which you can really take a moment. Engage with one another. Are we cool, like really say the words. Is this something that you want? Can we be here together? And just go with it, go with that flow of non harm as you are engaging with one another and finally refraining from harmful speech or the way it's often phrased in the Eightfold Path is right speech that we could do several episodes on right speech.


There's so much here.


But could you say a little bit about how you understand this precept in your life? This precept to me is a reminder to honor this interplay of speaking one's truth, but doing so in a way where you're also not dominating the situation, being open to receiving feedback. Being open to giving feedback. What may be so-called right speech for me may be free speech for someone else. Can I be open to understanding and hearing that? There has been a lot of false speech that has been spewed from a lot of different angles over the years and decades and centuries, that for some people it was spewing know it felt like it was right.


And there was a lot of to me, this confusion and hatred, bigotry, systemic oppression with those speeches which lead to action. Hey. And so with this again, we even think of these as in a three part series, if you will, you have.


The view, you have an intention and then you have the action. And so that's how I practice with these in this way. Even if there's an accident and I wasn't so present with the accident, can I reflect with what my intentions were before making that action? And even with going deeper than that man, understand the viewpoint with with the perspective with which that fueled that intention. This I'm practicing in reverse. What are my views and how are those fueling my intentions and how will those viewing my actions and my actions be non harming?


My words be non harming.


And being open to receiving feedback, to be in communication, to learn to evolve. It's not about me over the last couple of years, I've been working with these Buddhist communication coaches, their names are Dan Clurman and Moodies to Niscayah. Google them. If you're looking for somebody to do this, work with their because they're extraordinary. And I found that what they've taught me about how to communicate clearly, but also in a way that does not. Activate the amygdala of my interlocutor if I'm applying the skills correctly, and this actually is a larger point about all these precepts, that might be a good kind of notion to close on here.


On one level, it is about sort of behaving ethically in the world. On the other hand, and this gets back to this sort of oneness of self-love and other love. On the other hand, it is a kind of self compassion to refrain from unwise speech because it causes so much turmoil and tumult and churn in my own mind when I'm being an idiot, which I have a strong propensity toward that being judgmental, speaking in a way that's overly dogmatic, saying too much at one time without making sure that it's landing for my conversation, partner not listening, being in my own head and planning what I'm going to say next as opposed to actually.


You know, paying attention to what's being said, all of these skills I've spent a lifetime honing and actually just kind of gets to, as I was mentioning before, a larger point about these precepts, which is. And you'll correct me if I'm wrong here, but what I hear as a through line as you talk about these precepts is enlightened self-interest, that they can come off as rules and you can we can get legalistic about them if we want.


But actually, what I'm hearing you recommend is to think about them with interest, with investigation, to hold them pretty lightly, to not be dogmatic about them.


Because you're exploring ways to not harm other people, which, of course, in the end is to your benefit, because the way we're wired as social beings is that when we harm other people were causing ourselves harm. Does any of that make any sense? I said a lot there. You did, but it makes sense in that to me is also part of the investigation. Everything that you just said. The key thing I was trying to draw out there was that there is we can think of precepts as rules or we can think of them as ways to help us lead a happier life.


And in that sense, it's enlightened self-interest.


Yes. So I pause.


I pause only because this part that you said, you can correct me if I'm wrong, that's, well, pausing because it's not about falling in a good way in this way, but it's us being a conversation and a dialogue. And I like I again, what you're sharing with me and how it's landing for you. How are you expressing it? It lands for me. And it's some place that I love for you to explore. And I would love to see and feel how that evolves for you.


Because we are taking care of others. Yes, but we have to take care of ourselves first. This is a selfless nature of centering, centering yourself. Censoring yourself on behalf of. That's an intention right there when I said, you can correct me if I'm wrong, I didn't mean whether I was wrong about. Well, I didn't mean only that whether I was wrong about, you know, factually about the precepts, but I meant more whether I was misstating your understanding of the precepts.


And I was hearing and maybe I'm just going in this direction because I'm so naturally self-interested.


But I was hearing this theme of, yeah, in the end, you should do this not only because it's the right thing to do, but you should investigate these.


Buddhist ethical precepts, because it will lead to a calmer mind for you and those are both related.


Yes, I completely agree. The common mind being the to mind our body. The one of it. The calmness of the heart when we speak something falsely and it resonates and it hurts in the heart, and I'm also fascinated with folks who don't have that resonance, that vibration in the body when they hurt someone. I would like to know what that's about. And I have built myself up to be in capacity to have that conversation again, putting myself out there to have those conversations on behalf of folks who are not able to engage in those conversations with someone that is out there causing harm.


With a system or something that is causing harm. But I am working on myself in a way that puts a protective field, if you will, this meta protective feel, the Brahma Bihar's Vasella, the formal protection around this minecart body as I engage in very harmful situations. And doing that on behalf of all of us, including the people who are causing harm. Maybe to be redeemed. There is a place for us all. And I also know when this is this is not the time for this person who is not the time for me to engage with them, and that's all good.


Well, it's been a pleasure to engage with you, and I really appreciate you taking the time to do it in closing, if people want to get more. Exposure to you, is there a website I know you've done you're doing a lot of work with IMS that people might be interested in, can you? You may not be comfortable doing this, but can you plug yourself a little bit?


So I'll plug the vessel of the offerings as so as there's IMS and we just started a 30 day challenge that's in honor of Joseph Goldstein's reissue of Experience of Insight book, which I very humbly provided the audio for the audio book. For that, our dear teacher. I'm also on the Teacher's Council for New York Insight Meditation Center in New York City and offer their end for the month of February through. March for six weeks through the Visitors' Mountain Retreat Center, I'm engaging with three dear teachers on Seela these precepts in everyday life.


So we'll have a six week workshop on how we are engaging with these practices. And that's with Aaron Treat, Victoria Kerry and Brian Massage to Visitors' Mountain Retreat Center. Like I said, a huge pleasure to get to know you a little bit, and I look forward to continuing the relationship in the years to come.


Same here. Dan, thank you for having me. Thank you to your team.


A lot of great people. Now it's just me. Who are you talking about?


Not so bad. All right. Right, right. Right, right. Thank you again for sharing it.


Thank you. Big thanks once again to and thank you as well to everybody who worked so hard to make this show a reality. Samuel Johns is our senior producer, Jay Cashmeres. Our producer Jules Dodson is our A.P. Our sound designer is Matt Boynton from Ultraviolet Audio. Maria Wartell is our production coordinator. We get a ton of really helpful input from our colleagues such as Ben Rubin and Toby Djent point Liz Lemon. I should also mention Ray Housman weighs in on occasion with very helpful notes as well.


Thank you, Ray. Also, a big thank you to my ABC News comrade's Ryan Kessler and Josh Cohen. We'll see you all on Friday for a special bonus episode with two of our favorite meditation teachers. This is a really good one, an unusual bonus. We'll see you on Friday for that. I give you one definition of an unusual car. Oh, I don't think that was ever in question. Marvel Studios first series has arrived on Disney Plus.


You you're but I think to help the universe. He's expanding Juanda, can you read me one, Wanda? Welcome home. Marvel Studios, Wanda Vision. I think we handled that well. First two episodes now streaming exclusively on Disney plus.