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Jan 25, 2021

Master meditation teacher Robert Beatty walks us through: the basics of meditation, how to start a meditation practice, principles of mindfulness, understating the roots of suffering, how concentrating on the breath can lead to insight, and healthy vs unhealthy coping. 

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Guest Bio: Robert Beatty is co-author of Mindfulness for a Happy Life as well as founder and guiding teacher of the Portland Insight Meditation Community. He has worked with thousands of students and, as a practicing therapist, has created a unique synthesis of Buddhist methods of awakening and healing and those of western psychotherapy.

Episode Sponsor:  Today’s episode is sponsored by Stages Cycling, makers of industry leading cycling computers, power meters, heart rate monitors, and indoor studio bikes. When I say industry leading I’m talking about last year's Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar uses a Stages power meter and cycling computer. They are legit!

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We discuss:

  • When starting a meditation practice, the importance of knowing what your ‘fantasy’ is about meditation [06:50];
  • Why having a meditation teacher is essential and how Ruth Denison influenced Beatty’s practice [08:30];
  • The paradox of 2 truths:  skillful effort to restrain unwholesome mental states and the effort to bring into being wholesome mental states [12:30];
  • Beatty’s guided meditation for the novice [15:00];
  • What it is in mindfulness that we’re actually being mindful of [25:10];
  • Driving a car The Headless Way [28:50];
  • Why it is almost universal in meditation practices to use the breath as the primary meditation object [30:15];
  • Beatty’s opinion of meditation apps [35:37];
  • How intentionally letting go of your thoughts and concentrating on your breath can lead to deep insight [38:38];
  • The 3 characteristics of existence and how they provide spiritual insight [42:30];
  • Using meditation as a purification process to help you let go of stuff (or people) that cause negative emotions [48:50];
  • A skillful way to come back to your meditation object that is not self-criticizing [51:30];
  • The metaphor of the two arrows and how it can be applied in daily life [54:50];
  • Healthy vs. unhealthy coping mechanisms [01:00:00];
  • The reasons people come to meditation [01:06:00];
  • Beatty’s aspirations [01:09:30];
  • Why ‘should’ is such a violent word [01:10:00];
  • And more.

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