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From ABC, it's the 10 percent happier podcast. I'm Dan Harris. Hey, guys, I hope you had a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Before we get to today's bonus talk from Norman Fisher, a quick announcement and an invitation for New Year's.


We here at 10 percent are going to do a whole series of episodes where we say goodbye to the dumpster fire of 2020 and kick off twenty, twenty one by taking a counterintuitive approach to the whole New Year, New You narrative, which strongly implies that you have to completely reinvent yourself. That line of thinking is often based on shame and self-loathing. Our line of thinking is that perhaps we can flip the script a little bit. We are going to be exploring the science based case for the rather cheesy notion of self-love.


And then we're going to take the crucial next step of helping you operationalize that idea in your life. Obviously, there are a whole lot of questions you might have. Like if you love yourself, will you slide into sloppy resignation? How do you do self love anyway? Isn't it just an empty platitude, etc., etc.? Hence this invitation. We would love to hear from you and we will answer your questions during the New Year's series right here on this podcast.


So to submit a question or simply to share your reflections, dial us at six four six eight eight three eight three to six six four six eight eight three eight three to six and leave us a voicemail. The deadline for submissions is Monday, December 7th. If you're outside the United States, we've put details in the show, notes on how to submit a question via an alternate method. So that said, let's get to today's bonus talk with Norman Fisher.


You may remember Norman from his appearance on this show not long ago, is really popular episode. And Norman is a Zen priest, a poet, the author of several books, including The World Could Be Otherwise. And today he's talking about generosity, which makes a lot of sense around Thanksgiving. He calls this practice emotional yoga. I like that. So over now to Norman.


Hi, this is Norman Fisher. Life is generous. It's abundant and expansive, never stingy or small minded. It keeps on going, bubbling up and expanding wherever it has a chance. The grass is on the hillside are ready to burst out green as soon as a little rain falls and a little sunlight peeps through. Weeds and vines tangle all over the place, life stopped in one place, pops up somewhere else. Nature is prolific. The practice of generosity is one way to reflect this abundance.


We are living creatures who share in life's great abundance, freedom and energy. We always have possibilities. Why can't we be as generous as tres? If as living beings, we are heirs to a generous spirit, what blogsite? I find that the stinginess of our minds, our desire to judge, evaluate, separate, define often stops us from opening to the abundance that must be within us living beings that we are. How do we go about challenging and opening up our stingy attitudes about reality?


First, we can pay close attention to our thoughts and viewpoints. We can study our minds in meditation and the rest of life by noticing whenever we feel pinched, small, fearful or stingy, whenever we clench up with defensive or protective feelings. In meditation, we can learn to identify these feelings in our bodies and minds, noticing the tightness in our chests and breathing, the clenching in our shoulders and faces, the old familiar, paranoid and panicky trains of thought.


With lots of patient repetition and training, eventually we learn how to notice these things before they run away with us. We learn to catch ourselves in midstream and just literally stop. We take a conscious breath or two and ask ourselves, is this really true? Am I really under attack? Is there really not enough to go around? And we ask further, what are the effects of this habit of mind? This doesn't happen all at once. This process and these questions are practices, we take them up repeatedly, we work at them.


Usually when we ask these questions, we answer no. What's bothering us is probably more a matter of pride and habitual defensiveness. In fact, when we reflect further, we notice that the consequences of this habitual response are not good. We end up with words, deeds, feelings and thoughts that cause us trouble. If we investigate and intervene like this again and again, we will eventually see our small mindedness for what it is and unsuccessful and foolish habit based on inaccurate information, a bad attitude.


Doing this consistently takes mental discipline. It's a kind of emotional yoga. But when you are motivated and determined, you can do it, especially if you have the support of your meditation practice in a community of friends to help you. Meditation practice is the best way I know to cultivate the expansive attitude of generosity. It is, of course, possible to sit down and meditation crabbed into yourself, obsessed with your thoughts, worries and the constrictions of your situation.


To practice generosity in meditation is the opposite of this. You open up your fear and anxiety soften, and you sit in the middle of the great gift of limitless, imaginative life. How do you do it? The next time you meditate, come into connection with your body and breath. Let yourself relax and focus your attention not so much on your thoughts, feelings or sensations as on the spaciousness that surrounds them. Awareness is wide without boundary. Within this wide openness, always there, though, you may not have noticed it before.


Thoughts and feelings arise and pass. Some of them you like, some of them you don't. That those thoughts and feelings slip into the background and allow the spaciousness of the mind to come forward. Relax into that generous spaciousness. This takes time, it's a process. Be willing to keep sitting like this every day and bit by bit, you will be able to see some daylight in your basic attitude that wasn't there before. Patches of blue sky peeking through the clouds.


Of course, attitude isn't enough to practice generosity, you have to actually do generous actions. Give gifts to your friends, to family members, to those in need. Send greeting cards to friends on any occasion. A wealthy person may give large gifts of charity or public welfare. But no matter how much you have, you can always give a gift of any size and shape is good for the heart and appreciated by the recipient. You can also give love to give others the sense that they matter, that they are respected, cared for, secure within a loving reality.


Make it your business to call or visit a friend in need practice, saying to someone, how are you? And actually meaning it. These expressions of generosity are grounded in an attitude of generosity. And that has no rational bounds. The Zen master dog and wrote that with the generous heart, you will get flowers on a distant hillside, treasures you possessed in a former life, even things that don't belong to you. You will give what you see and hear and imagine, you will give a line of scripture, a penny, a blade of grass, even a particle of dust.


Norman, thank you. Really appreciate that. Before I go here, 20, 20, as we all know, has been, let's just say interesting.


So this year we're offering 10 percent happier subscriptions at a 40 percent discount. We don't do discounts of this size all the time. Of course, nothing is permanent. I think the Buddha said something about that. Nothing being permanent. So get this deal before it ends on December 1st by going to 10 percent dotcoms in November. That's 10 percent. One word all spelled out, dotcom, November for 40 percent off your subscription to the 10 percent happier app.


That does it for today. We'll see you here on Monday with a fresh episode. Streaming on Disney plus, I don't see how you can break a horse like that. She'll come around from the beloved classic Black Beauty really are comes an inspiring new vision. The rescues have a time limit here.


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