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[00:00:03]

From ABC, this is the 10 percent happier podcast. I'm Dan Harris. Hey, guys, it's Friday, so we're dropping a bonus meditation and today's meditation really picks up on a theme that we developed in the episode on Monday where we talked about emptiness with Guy Armstrong. Emptiness is one of the trickier concepts in Buddhism sometimes goes by the name of not self or selflessness or ego looseness. And a lot of people get hung up on this, myself included, because it's hard to understand the argument that we don't exist.

[00:00:45]

But that's not quite the argument. The argument is that on some really important foundational, fundamental level, there is no you. But of course, on a relative level, on a day to day level, you do exist. You need to put your pants on and make appointments, et cetera, et cetera. But if you really look at your mind, whatever is arising in your mind and try to find the you in it, you won't find it.

[00:01:12]

And one way to make this super practical, super helpful is to look at thoughts. If you look at your thoughts, they really feel when viewed from the perspective of an untrained mind, they really feel, as Joseph Goldstein, who you are about to hear from, often says, they can really feel like little dictators. The thought comes into your mind and then you just act it out blindly. But if you look at your thoughts, actually, you'll see that again.

[00:01:39]

As Joseph says, they're little more than nothing. These thoughts. And when you have that perspective, then you don't need to take them as seriously. And that is really liberating. So here is Joseph with a meditation on thinking. One of the challenging aspects of this practice of paying attention to these quickly passing thoughts is that thoughts are very slippery. They slide into the mind. And so we need to pay particular attention to the arising of these thoughts and to do it in a lighthearted way as we pay more and more attention to these kinds of thoughts arising many, many times during the day and doing it with a light heart, doing it from a place of interest, from a place of investigation.

[00:02:30]

We find ourselves abiding in a much more spacious and much more open quality of mind that allows the thoughts to arise and pass away in a field of awareness. As you begin the sitting sit comfortably in a dignified posture. But the backstroke, but not stiff. Letting the eyes closed gently. Settle into your body. Feeling the body in the sitting posture. And simply sit and know you're sitting. As you're aware of yourself sitting. You might also begin to know that the body is breathing.

[00:03:48]

Breathing in no, you're breathing in, breathing out, no, you're breathing out. At different times. You may hear different sounds. There may be loud sounds, there may be soft sounds, they may be pleasant, they may be unpleasant. Simply rest in the openness. And be aware of how all sounds appear and disappear. Again, return to the awareness of the body set and now you're setting. When thoughts arise in the mind, as soon as you become aware that you're thinking, make a soft mental note of thinking.

[00:06:26]

The idea in meditation is not to stop thinking, but rather to be aware when we are thinking. To see it as simply another object of mindfulness. Whenever you become aware of a particular mood or emotion of mind state. Make that very experience the object of your meditation. Becoming mindful of the particular mood or emotion. So they were actually investigating the nature of our experience. There will be many times when the mind seems to be carried away by trains of thought.

[00:10:57]

At whatever point you become aware that you've been lost for an extended period of time. In that moment, I'm becoming aware. Simply acknowledge that and begin again. And when you're ready, you can open your eyes and reconnect again with the world around you. This concludes our meditation. Big thanks to Joseph, and if you enjoy that meditation with Joseph, we have many, many, many more meditations from him on the 10 percent happier app, including our flagship course, which is called The Basics in the Basics.

[00:13:00]

Joseph and I discuss the fundamentals of meditation. We do a lot of myth busting and Joseph leads you through seven days of meditation. It's a great way to get started. So go check it out. In the meantime, have a great weekend. We'll be back with some new episodes next week, really diving into the themes of grit and resilience in this anxious, tumultuous time. We'll see you then.