Transcript for Episode 7 – Paul Linn – Vipassana Meditation

hey guys another episode of the human

experience here this was pretty good

Paul has been teaching for a long time

like thirty two years so a lot of my

questions about the pasta were answered

after this interview and there’s a

centering calm feeling that Paul kind of

carries with him when you’re talking to


so hopefully you guys enjoy this one I

know that the years wrapping up here and

there’s only should have one more

episode for 2014

kind of feels weird to say that it’s

almost 2015 so yeah we’re you know the

podcast is doing really well we are

completely booked until March of next

year anyway I’m gonna just shut up and

let this episode well hopefully you guys

enjoy it

thanks for listening we’re here with

Paul Lin of the the pasta society and

Paul just like to take a moment to

welcome to welcoming you to the human

experience Paul welcome thank you thank

you very much it’s good to have you here

man I think meditation is is definitely

an important part to our everyday

experience and you know what the

possible the pasta sounds like another

word to people you know another Sanskrit

kind of word that I should probably know

the meaning to what is it so what does

it mean actually it’s a it’s a Pali word

Pali is similar to Sanskrit only it was

the language of the common people

whereas Sanskrit was more for the higher

class or higher echelon people and the

word Vipassana it’s got different

translations but I think the most

effective translation in my view is it

means insight it means to see clearly

hmm yeah that’s that’s really intriguing

you tell us more so what is what is um

what is the pasta involve well the pasta

I mean it’s it’s a in one sense it’s a

meditation technique or set of technique

in another sense it’s it’s a way of

really understanding of perceiving life

and you know the the point of the

meditation is to open our understanding

to really open our mind open our heart

to reality and you know this has to

occur in a way that’s you know

experiential it has to be direct and in

order to come to that in most cases a

practice or a method you might say is

helpful for many people I mean some

people just get lucky and they kind of

wake up and see clearly you know through


sometimes there’s a trauma and people

will see clearly you know beyond the

conditioned mind in that circumstance

some people have this experience you

know when they’re dying other people you

know go into nature and they’ll

experience a deep connection that opens

them you know beyond their typical

ordinary perception but for you know you

might say handy daily use meditation

comes in extremely well and it’s very

very simple practice I’d like to just

make a differentiation between what

sometimes is called mindfulness because

sometimes will pass and it’s also

translated as mindfulness mindfulness

meditation in concentration

concentration is something that happens

you know for all of us to varying

degrees as we live our lives in

concentration is definitely part of a

pasta but the point of concentration if

we were able to concentrate our mind

would be to direct that concentration

into clearly seeing things as they

really are is the way it’s often spoken

in the teachings to see things as they

really are not as we think they are

not as we believe they are and not as

we’ve been told they are but as they

really are interesting so so it seems

like Western culture is a bit behind in

regards to meditation versus Eastern

culture why do you think that these

these systems are kind of starting to

pervade our culture here in Western

society mm-hmm

one thing is because it’s it’s so

effective I mean you know it’s it’s such

a buzzword nowadays meditation and

mindfulness the National Institutes of

Health is spending more money right now

as we sit here studying meditation than

anything else in the history of that

institution it’s an amazing process it’s

primarily based at the University of

Wisconsin in Madison and what that’s

going to do eventually I think is going

to take meditation it’s going to just

blow it wide open and and and pull off

sort of the you know religious

connotations even the spiritual

connotations it’s going to bring it

right to this level of deep and profound

practicality and I think that’s one of

the things that’s really really

intriguing about it is that interest

education medicine as it enters the arts

this you know I just hear more and more

and more all the time about all these

different ways that people are applying

meditation applying mindfulness now

because it works it really it helps

people in so many different ways hmm so

do you do you think that attend a course

is something that you would recommend to

everyone or is it suited for some people

and not others

let me just give a little background

that particular course that 10-day

course that is that that’s a style of a

pasta if you and I went into Burma right

now we would find somewhere between 30

and 40 or more very potent you know

powerful lineages of the pasta

meditation and all of these would be

styled slightly differently that

particular 10-day course that is taught

worldwide in the tradition of SN Goenka

who recently passed away is a beautiful

course it’s a very effective course and

yeah I would recommend it to just about

everybody it is intensive and it’s nice

to know what you’re getting into and be

committed and they ask you if you come

on that kind of course they say look you

know basically you know this is what

we’re doing and you’re not going to know

what it’s like to get into it of course

but you know you know what they’re

looking for serious

committed people to come and do that I

remember when I did my first course back

in the 80s I didn’t really know what I

was getting into and there were these

very good-looking actors that showed up

from New York City and they were

watching us almost like we would like

specimens they kind of like we’re

looking at us and we were having dinner

and they were watching us and they were

they were they were very sort of

attractive people dressed very well and

they were watching us with big eyes and

then eventually they just disappeared

and I think they probably said you know

what this isn’t for us I mean I don’t

know that’s just my imagination but you

know for me like many people that that

practice is very very intensive and it

works very very well one of the

downsides of that is it does have a lot

of concentration in it and and so

there’s a recommendation to keep up that

practice if you’re going to utilize that

because for me there was a kind of a

split between that style of a pasta that

concentration practice and the rest of

my life I have these wonderful

experiences in the meditation and I get

very concentrated and focused and then I

come out and be you know pretty much as

neurotic as ever when I engaged in the

rest of my life and it took some years

to really kind of in a way sort of bring

these these different you know aspects

of my experience together such that the

mindfulness and some of the effects of

the mindfulness were actually you know

directly translating into my life in a

more complete and whole way yeah yeah I

you know during the research for this

interviews kind of watching the Goenka

videos and on YouTube and he mentions

these subtle realities that in first you

kind of start focusing on your your

breath and your watching your breathing

and then he mentions these sort of

subtle realities that start to surface

what are some of those subtle realities

that he’s talking about yeah they’re

really not that subtle I mean he might

be talking about something that I don’t

know about but things like calmness and

tranquillity and contentment and


you know these kinds of qualities are

there in all of us and what happens when

you sit down and and meditate and begin

to actually release yourself from you

know a lot of excessive thinking most of

us probably think a lot more than we

need to

you know our minds get very habituated

into conceptualizing and and viewing

life through our concepts and ideas and

as you settle down beneath that you sort

of go you know underneath or behind your

cerebral cortex and just kind of relax

and settle down you actually start to

experience these subtle things and there

and there and there

they’re pretty direct and they’re pretty

easy to get in touch with as long as

your life isn’t so chaotic and and

stressed that you know when you sit down

that’s all you really experience for a

while until that that dissipates beyond

that you know it’s certainly in the way

that Goenka talks about the the

possibilities for human realization he’s

really even talking about these sort of

realms of existence that this is hard to

kind of talk about like is this in the

body or is this something that happens

when you you’re you’re done

and you leave the body who knows for

sure I don’t it’s it’s conjecture but

you know for me there’s there’s no point

in ruling these things out nor if I had

at the same time if I haven’t

experienced it then there’s not a lot of

value I think in clinging to it is you

know this is the truth so I haven’t seen

it then it’s not really the truth but

things like loving kindness and

compassion sympathetic joy these

qualities you know like for example

loving kindness would be really feeling

love for all things and all beings when

your heart just really opens up

compassion would be you know the most

intelligent and true and fundamental

response to suffering and difficulty

sympathetic joy would be like somebody

wins the lotto and instead of like I go

God 9 nothing good happens to me yeah I

like actually feel like really good for

that other person’s good fortune like

I’d really just like hop on that you

know wave of goodness there and

happiness and I experienced that and

then equanimity which is really

emphasized a lot in that but

style of apana is this balance this

capacity to be with what’s happening in

a nonreactive and open responsive way

and that really is a very very subtle

and ever-deepening thing to really find

what it means to not just feel balance

physically but feel balance mentally

emotionally and then in a way to even

transcend your perceptions of balance

such that for example the time of the

buddha there was a a story about you

know how he he meditated with his

teachers anyone as far as he could with

them and then he said look my mind is

still afflicted I still have suffering

like how do I deal with this and I said

ah you know you can’t really take that

out you know you can’t really fix that

just hang out with us you got it real

quick you learn the method just study

here stay you know a lot of students

want to learn is just stay here he said

no I gotta go I mean I need to find an

ultimate truth of release from this

angst that I feel as subtle as it may be

so he kept meditating and then he found

this meditation he called it he called

it V then I’m not Oda they then I mean

sensation not Oda means extinction its

extinction this is really interesting to

me very subtle distinction elimination

of all feeling Pleasant unpleasant

neutral there’s three kinds of feeling

in Buddhist psychology pleasant

unpleasant and neutral and all of our

emotions would be classified in those

three feelings they use the word mental

feeling in a be Dharma Buddhist

psychology but imagine most of us feel

very conditioned by feeling you know if

it feels good we like it if it doesn’t

feel good if it doesn’t feel good enough

we start to not like it you know adjust

adjust adjust adjust as one fellow that

went on one of those 10-day retreats

very smart guy medical doctor or you

know very open minded guy in many ways

he never stopped and did the technique

the whole 10 days he’s going like this

and he never stopped and he didn’t get

anything out of it and he went away very

judgmental he said that was a waste of

time that’s like well of course it was a

waste of time you didn’t do it you know

you didn’t stop but you know that would

be like agitation based on a lot of you

know difficult feeling that he was

having I guess

so this Vaden on the road hog which

would be just a very deep state of

transcendent absorptive spacious freedom

Wow still in the body Xavier still in

the body but even on their order now

nobody’s apparently at that time the

Buddha had found this so he had to name

it you know yeah they actually come up

with those those words I mean he went

further than that like in terms of

experience subtleties there was like at

that time there was a word for the atom

was called a kelapa kalapa was a pali

word for the atom he said he saw

something more subtle in his meditation

than the atom and so you had a name that

he called it ithaca lapa which is a more

would be like the quark I guess or

something but just even more subtle so

you know our what happens when we settle

down as we begin to see an experiment I

use the words see I mean directly

experience we begin to directly

experience things much more intimately

much more subtly much more closely and

it it seems to me at least that that

deepening is infinite that it’s not it’s

it doesn’t have a limit to it that that

waking up or realizing our potential is

not like a state that we arrive at and

it’s done

it’s an expansive opening into infinity


so there there does seem to be an aspect

of putting your body and your mind into

this sort of uncomfortable state how how

does that kind of relate to what what

you’re talking about

well hopefully not not too much in the

sense that you know if you sit down to

actually begin some say formal

meditation because the point really of

this formal meditation

would be to open you up so you could see

that that awareness is ongoing it’s the

context of our life and that and that

the the formal meditation begins as

something that helps you realize that

it’s possible to actually live

meditatively more and more of the time

and what that means is to actually be

relatively free from affliction living

and doing all the things that we do so

when it comes to you know this is sort

of discomfort that some people will

experience when they both first it down

well if your life internally you’re

externally is untidy you know if you’re

if you you know your diets not good if

if you you know have an exercise if you

haven’t taken care of yourself then

you’re probably going to be

uncomfortable for a little while until

you settle down and hopefully get past

some of that surface tension some of

that surface stress can peel off but as

far as sitting down and sticking your

legs up in a full Lotus that’s pretty

dumb unless you know what you’re doing

and your hips are opened up in your

knees it’s a nice posture if you know

how to do it and it works but you know

in goenka’s courses you have to sit on

the floor and there wasn’t any walking

meditation and it’s pretty intensive you

know you sit for an hour and they asked

you not to move at all and it was

incredibly painful until you begin to

open up and get through some of that

surface tension and not usually takes in

a ten-day course you know most people by

the six seventh day they’re really

starting to open up eighth ninth day and

it’s like whoa you know like whole new

world of experience is available there

and then the tenth day comes and you

start talking everybody and everybody’s

full of energy and they’re you know if

they know each other they’re kissing and

hugging if they don’t know each other

they might be kissing and hugging and

you know it’s you know it’s pretty cool

you never might see these people again

but you know you feel extremely intimate

because you’ve shared this very very

deep you know experience of silence and

meditation so you know that discomfort

the Buddha said the first noble truth of

these Noble Truths or truths of

existence he said is soft

and what does that mean it it means that

that life is has an element of

unreliability about it you know that

everything that’s happening here is is

transient and changing and if your minds

attach to that which changes you suffer

right here and so that’s where the real

pain comes from that’s where the the

misunderstanding is and that that’s that

that’s the perception or that’s the

conditioning that hopefully the

meditation can help help alleviate why

do you think that the breath is so

important to understanding meditation

yeah because it’s an object that’s there

all the time you don’t have to

manufacture it you don’t have to imagine

it the other thing about it is that it’s

both a physical and mental process in

other words obviously you know breathing

is what in part keeps our body alive so

it’s a physical process but also it’s a

mental process in that our state of mind

our emotional state influences our

breathing and so if you start observing

your breathing and I’m talking about

like the natural breathing not doing

like breathing exercises we breathe a

certain way like a pranayama that’s

that’s okay too but that’s different

what happens is you start to actually

your mind starts to actually be seen

through the breathing you experience

your state of mind you experience your

emotional state there when your state of

mind changes you say your mind becomes

more calm your breath is changing so

there’s a there’s a linkage there the

other thing that’s helpful about the

breathing is that from a psychological

perspective you know we could just say

to use a simple model there’s a there’s

a conscious of subconscious and an

unconscious mind and the unconscious in

this sense is you know everything we’re

not yet conscious of so that would be

and some people’s – super conscious mind

as well the gate or the door between the

conscious and the unconscious can be

softened and opened by attending to the

breathing and that’s pretty interesting

because what tends to happen then is you

know and this is what people have a hard

time with at first sometimes if they’ve

got a lot of stuff unresolved inside sit

down start to pay attention to their

breathing and they don’t get calm right

away they actually get kind of like

they feel stuff coming up because the

breath is actually helping their mind

open and so whatever is there is going

to start to surface if the person has a

lot of fear in there they have a lot of

sadness maybe they have a lot of

confusion doubt that’ll just start to

surface and they’ll start to see that

and if they if they understand how to

practice meditation correctly they’re

responding to that by opening by being

curious and interested rather than

bailing out and going and having an ice

cream and watching television right what

do you what do you say to people who

have deep rooted traumas that attend

these courses well it can be challenging

if you have a if you have a lot of

trauma and you come on a meditation

retreat sometimes you’re gonna have a

hard time unless you have good good

guidance and oftentimes folks are going

to benefit from from psychotherapy who

have trauma if they’ve got a lot of

unresolved things meditation is really

good for some things it’s not

particularly the greatest thing for

trauma unless the person has a real

stability of mind I had a fellow once

who came and he was of really had

profound epilepsy very very sort of bad

grand mal seizures and he was a really

interesting guy he was a martial artist

and he took himself off the medication

while he was in the in the course in the

meditation and he let himself go through

the experience I don’t know whether this

was good or not but he let himself go

through the experience and he said it

was fine he was okay with it I I was

nervous and this guy was like you know

an unusual human being in the sense that

he was he was like a real warrior and I

was like okay you know I’m gonna hang

with you I’m gonna watch this I’m gonna

learn from you but you’re really doing

something unusual here psychological

trauma emotional trauma it can be tricky

and so I think what has to happen there

is you know you got a kind of person

needs to make sure they’re getting

proper guidance

perhaps they are ready to perhaps not

meditate quite as intensively and I had

a good friend that at one point years

ago I did three months continuously of

the meditation and I had a guy as a

roommate and and this guy would do a

three-month course every year so he’d

been on he was up to like his tenth year

like that means like three months out of

12 he’s in intensive meditation the

whole 12 three months and he’s like on

his 10th retreat and and he and I were

like roommates not that we were you know

talking cuz it’s silent and at the end

of that like we were like two and a half

months into that and the teachers told

him to stop meditating and I asked him

about that after the course was always

said what was that about he said well he

was really really really really badly

abused as a child and he started to

encounter some of that material and they

told him to just ease off just take it

easy just go for walks just go into the

woods you know walk around don’t

meditate intensive Lee and I think they

made a choice there because they felt

perhaps this wasn’t the best way to

approach this you know that if you have

a lot of trauma in your life that came

from say early childhood with parents or

with caregivers who weren’t treating you

correctly number one those experiences

won’t tend to come up so much in

meditation they might but but what

they’ll do is they’ll come up in

intimate relationships and the best

place to heal those experiences in in is

in a corrective intimate relationship

therapeutically meditation can help kind

of soften you and make it available but

in terms of actually working the

experience through oftentimes the

therapeutic relationship is very helpful

for that and necessary it’s very very


so I’m trying to formulate my next

question here why do you think that this

type of activity affects evolution so

much i I understand that there is

a conscious we have a conscious mind and

a subconscious mind and it almost seems

like the two are at war or in

competition or something so how does how

does Vipassana allow you to recognize

these things is it is it the aspect of

cancelling out all of these external

influences like your phone and the

internet and information that the only

reason for that is that most of us

wouldn’t get all that settled if if we

kept being attentive to those things if

you want to get to a more sensitive

undefended and open space you know with

let’s just say now the body might

process a meditative setting a quiet

meditative setting is very helpful for

that as far as this conflict yeah you’re

pointing to something that’s it’s really

kind of fascinating Freud once said that

the best thing you can have is ordinary

typical human sadness like that’s as

good as it gets and he didn’t you know

as much as he had insights into the

unconscious mind some wonderful insights

he he he didn’t get to the transcendent

understanding of things as exhibited by

that statement the best you can get is

ordinary human sadness so just go with


know the the the the the the rub or the

conflict between what we want and what

we actually have is profound

it’s a extremely subtle and

not-so-subtle thing so I’m not I’m not

trying to sort of just take what you

said and pull it into this one little

configuration here of what we want

contrasted to what we have the illusion

is that we can have a happiness through

our senses and through contact with this

world of things

that will ultimately satisfy us and it

never does because all these things in

this world are constantly changing my

relationships my objects my comfortable

mind states my emotions these things

that I’m not talking about this in a

pejorative way these things by nature

come and go so part of the resolution of

this of this you might say rub between

what we want and what we actually have

is you when you begin to see the nature

of experience this is where insight

happens most people if you say what’s

going on they can tell you they can say

well I’m thinking about my car and I’ve

got to change the oil and now I’m gonna

go and have dinner with my friend and

try to get to bed early I got to go to

work tomorrow

I can tell you what’s in their mind how

you feel they might be able to tell you

how they feel how’s your body they can

tell you about that they’re aware of the

content of their experience and they can

describe that when you meditate what

happens is you go inside that content

you begin to see the process of

experience and this is where all

experience is the same you see the

actual process of everything the process

of your thoughts your emotions your

sensations your breathing your

perceptions you even see the process of

consciousness itself and what this

process is is change is transformation

everything is becoming something other

than what it was the moment before this

second this millisecond this instant is

dissolving never to happen again in

exactly the way it just happened boom /

boom / boom / and so when we’ve been to

actually see this experientially this

this grass being clean this friction in

the mind this conflict you mentioned

releases the mind released just a little

bit or might release a lot or in some

cases is kind of rare it totally

releases completely releases and doesn’t

come back boom and in that what’s

happening then is a human being is

experiencing and is absorbed and is

established in the two nature of their

mind the true nature of the mind is

liberation freedom from suffering wow

that is really interesting man it you

know I just I have a roommate and she

recently attended a 10-day course and

was through through my research I I

found I guess there was this Indian guy

who we took the course and he started

experiencing the sensation of sort of

disconnecting from his body like he

would try to feel his finger and his

finger was no longer there and he was he

was starting he said that he was

starting to feel like he was completely

outside of his body and he was kind of

watching the experience happened from

like above himself mm-hmm is that

something that is common or it’s not we

all common it happens spontaneously

sometimes to people where they were you

you can a couple of things can happen

the body can dissolve meaning like the

sensation of the body becomes so subtle

that it’s just the body just sort of

disappears that’s not necessarily out of

the body it’s but it’s a very different

experience of the body it’s it’s really

actually seeing the body for what it

really is and or experiencing as it

really is which is its ephemeral it’s

changing there’s literally more space

between the molecules that supposedly

make up this form than there are

molecules I mean literally

scientifically true out of the bodies a

little bit different like sometimes

people will go outside the body and

they’ll be experiencing the body sitting

there and they’ll be up on the ceiling

they’ll look down on it there’s nothing

really special about that it’s just for

some people that it it lets you know

that you’re not just your body that’s

kind of cool and in some cases it’ll

actually dissipate a fair amount of fear

of dying if you have that in you

it’s like well like it happened to me

once I was doing yoga and I just lay

down to do like a corpse pose and I just

just went outside the body and I was

looking down it was like wow cool and

then I got like nervous I felt

nervousness come up and I was like

gravity like I was back in the body was

like it never happened to me before

then I relaxed I went cool now some

people who actually practice that that’s

that’s like not part of a traditional

apana Buddhist meditation they pretty

much consider that sort of like

extrasensory phenomena and don’t really

put a lot of emphasis they just kind of

say well just observe that okay what

happened there well you’re seeing the

nature of things right you’ve seen that

things come and go okay that came and

went okay no big deal it’s the same

process everything comes and goes the

mind sometimes wants to make something

special out of this dat or the other

thing that is a prison in a way because

if I say this is special then I’m

excluding these other things when I

begin to really open up everything is

equally special that’s really really

cool to me that’s like justice finally

hmm so is it’s not just that we have

negative thoughts that we’re trying to

eliminate but also we it’s it’s both

it’s all the qualities of thought it’s

any thought so so then is it that you’re

you become sort of more pure by by

disconnecting the the attachment that

you have the assignment that you have to

thought well actually what happens is

isn’t so much like a disconnection from

thinking or even necessarily a

diminishment in thinking although that

sometimes happens it’s seeing thoughts

clearly for what they really are and as

you see the thoughts are by nature

they’re just it’s just energy really

constantly transforming then your mind


this isn’t something that happens to

effort it’s happened spontaneously your

mind stops being is attached to thoughts

therefore then it doesn’t quite so much

matter whether there’s thoughts are not

thoughts people who sit and this is a

very common misconception they said in

what they want to try to do is get quiet

well everything that you’re going for

generally it means you’re threatened by

the opposite so if I’m trying to go for

a peaceful mind then I’m going to be

threatened by confusion and chaos think

about if a sec if I’m if I’m very

attached to my youth I’m threatened by

old age attached to heterosexuality

threatened by homosexuality attached to

vegetarianism threatened by meat eaters

attached to meat-eating threatened by

vegetarians attached to Republican debt

and by the Democrats goes on and on and

on when you begin to actually see the

nature of experience and that means

thoughts as well naturally the mine

opens and doesn’t continue to be as

attached that’s how it works this effort

to be not attached is another kind of

attachment or people who say I’m gonna

try not to be identified with anything

now they’re busy trying to be not

identified with anything so identified

with not identified it’s a sort of a cat

chasing its tail or a mobius strip it

just goes round and round and round

that’s actually what the Buddha called

that he called that samsara he called

that perpetual wandering it’s the human

being wandering in the mind wandering in

the place to this place at that place

seeking what seeking the strange but

seeking actually hopefully the end of

wandering Wow Bob Dylan had a blind for

that he called it nodirectionhome that’s

cool so is there is there an aspect I

mean what makes you pause on meditation

so much different than the other

meditations that we see or what we hear

about hmm

not really that much the foundation of

of all meditation really is awareness

itself I actually back in the 70s began

with Transcendental Meditation which is

like a mantra and it worked great I mean

I get really blissed-out and very happy

but I was still quite unintegrated and

you know fairly neurotic in other places

and but I was having some wonderful

experiences relaxing you know calmness

happiness things like that the pasta has

a wonderful gift in that at least as I

understand it and teach it it opens up

at full integrative you might say

framework for your whole life and the

mindfulness or awareness itself is the

context of our life and as you begin to

see this experientially then you know

what we would call ordinary human

awareness like I mentioned that before

like what are you doing oh I’m sitting

in my room talking to Xavier we’re doing

the podcast you know what time is it’s

9:00 that and so forth that’s ordinary

awareness meditative awareness is inside

ordinary awareness it’s hiding inside

ordinaire awareness meditative awareness

–is seeing things observing things

without interfering with them so it’s

right here and everybody experiences

this to some extent meditative awareness

as this meditative awareness wakes up it

starts to permeate more and more of your

life and it has wonderful health

benefits distressing benefits and of

course it has the benefit of bringing

insight and that’s what transforms our

life that’s where real happiness comes

from it comes from insight it doesn’t

come from getting what we want it

doesn’t come from things it doesn’t come

from even states of mind and states of

body those those can make you happy to

some extent but they all change insight

insight is what really brings happiness

you know Goenka said that he made an

analogy about a tree he said that by by

looking at our root issues and going

down into the roots because a tree can’t

be healthy unless you treat its roots

and and everything else so he said that

by going down and addressing the root

issues of our of our problems like

really looking at the roots of our of

what causes suffering what causes all

these uncomfortable feelings that’s

where the real transformative change

occurs do you agree with that oh

absolutely absolutely no question and in

the classic teachings and that goink is

very very classical I mean he’s a

staunch true Hindu by birth who was

awakened through the meditation but said

I’ll keep my religion even though this

you know Buddhist meditation because

you’re not supposed to shift if you’re a

Hindu you don’t jump out and become a

Buddhist that’s like bad yeah I can

imagine you don’t do that but yeah greed

hatred and delusion greed wanting what I

don’t have hatred not wanting what I do

have delusion being confused about it

those three forces are rooted in

ignorance ignorance not meaning like I’m

stupid necessarily though I could be

ignorance means ignoring the truth of

the way things really are not seeing not

experiencing things as they really are

experiencing things through this lens of

conditioned thought and perceptions so

right away we could when I say this you

could think oh well the thing is I got

to get rid of the thoughts you’re not

gonna get rid of the thoughts the harder

you might try to get rid of the thoughts

the more you’re going to be at conflict

thoughts may dissipate or they may not

dissipate the important thing is to

begin to see the nature of the thinking

so you see the nature of that greed

hatred and delusion and you see you know

what I used to call these things

defilements these are incredibly

interesting forces that do generate

suffering when they’re not seeing

when they when they’re seeing clearly

they come they appear and they dissipate

so what do I have some people is they

start to sit and let’s say they have a

lot of wanting in their mind a lot of

greed they start to see that clearly and

they start to see that unfolding they

start to see that dissipate and all of a

sudden they’re happy and they’re smiling

sitting there watching their mind full

of wanting because their minds not

reacting suddenly it’s amazing or they

have a lot of hatred it may have a lot

of anger or a lot of confusion that’s

that’s probably the hardest for people I

think if it isn’t fear its confusion

when they start to experience confusion

really experience that doubt uncertainty

which is a kind of fear that’s where it

starts to become very tricky and people

will sometimes want to stop that want to

not meditate you know they want to pull

away because it’s it can be very

frightening you know you can you can

start to feel very very lost even and to

have proper guidance at those times it’s

incredibly important because you can you

probably unless you have some kind of

affliction where you’re going to go off

and take drugs or something and you know

harm yourself you’re going to be okay

but you can get spun out because as you

as you go into your experience really

deeply it’s like surgery do you think

it’s dangerous for a person to leave a

course early it depends on what

motivates them to leave you know if they

if they were feeling very violent and

they left the course it could be a

little tricky they could go off and

maybe do something really unskillful so

you know generally though what will

happen is the intensity of the

meditation you know in the pain that

they’re experiencing is usually what

drives people to want to leave and then

they’ll just go back into their habits

and not that much bad things will happen

you know but they won’t they won’t

continue to progress they’ll come away

sometimes like my friend the doctor I

mean he was okay but he he came away

with so much more he was very

sort of what’s the word subtly

judgmental human being he was very

cynical had a cynicism about him and I

think maybe the course and his

experience of it the fact that he didn’t

do it strengthened a certain amount of

cynicism in his mind for a while and you

know these nothing really lasts so even

if a person goes on a bender you know

it’s it’s it’s gonna sort out and in

time hopefully the issue would be if

somebody had some real you know

psychological disturbance and they left

the course early you know that would be

a little bit tricky you know it’d be it

could be a little bit like the analogy

would be somebody goes into intensive

psychotherapy and an inpatient setting

and then they decide to pull out halfway

through when they’re really engaged with

some very painful material that probably

wouldn’t be the best idea right so so I

was looking at your your your history

and I noticed that you are a

transpersonal psychologist yes how did

you does this kind of go hand in hand

with what you’re doing with

transpersonal psychology and meditation

kind of a parallel there or two separate

entities now they’re very very


you know the psychology you know the the

forward edge of psychology is in this

interface with the wisdom traditions and

you know Buddhism is a wisdom tradition

it’s not just a religion but this

interface is where the transpersonal you

know wakes up it’s it’s where psychology

opens into spirituality really and so

for me it’s been a very natural blend a

very you know easy blend and it turns

out that you know a fair number of

people that I see in therapy will at one

point or now they’re engage in some

meditation and some will do it quite

intensively and really integrated into

their life and some people come in

through meditation and then they see the

need for some therapy and so they’ll do

some therapy as well but they they just

complement they just braid really really

beautifully together it’s it’s very easy

I find an almost seamless

huh very cool man we’re we’re

approaching the end here is there

anything that you wanted to kind of get

out any messages or suggestions to

people who are looking into the pasta

and and find it interesting yeah thank

you that’s a wonderful offer you make

there to to just and I’d emphasize you

know the opportunity to experience it

directly reading about it is interesting

there’s a lot of great books and more

and more all the time but I would say

you know actually having you know

setting aside some time to not just

maybe sit for 10 or 15 minutes but to

actually you know do a course of

meditation that’s where you really can

see what meditation can offer is that

even if it’s just a weekend and you and

you stop and you give yourself to that

case in point you know my I have two

children there ones in mid-20s and the

others of early 20s the the youngest one

is a third-year college student and he

he came on the last retreat that I

taught and he kind of came out of the

blue he said I want to come on this I

said really it great I said can I ask

you why he said well you’ve been doing

it for 40 years there must be something

to it and number two he said I I want to

slow down I want to give myself a chance

to shift he had a really profound

experience and he said I want to do more

of it he hasn’t read much about it and

then every now and then you know he’ll

ask me a question he goes dad what about

that third mark of existence could we

talk about that he’ll pull out something

from the you know the teachings but

mostly he’s just been enjoying the

experience of it and and that’s what I

would recommend to people is that you

know they really give themselves a

chance to taste it directly through

through an actual you know period of

time where they practice it and that’s I

think you know it’s like I listen to

other people play the piano I might like

the piano play the piano myself but when

I really start to experience it

through my own direct plane and I know

what it is right is there a website that

people can find more information about

you sure two websites that there’s the

Vipassana website it’s WWF Florida

papasan org and then there’s a website

that I have for psychotherapy it’s w WT

e some DTS om t calm and that means

transpersonal somatic therapy that’s the

that’s the therapy that I practice very

very cool man thank you so much for

doing this I really think that the pasta

does have something to it and we can we

can learn a lot by just looking at

ourselves and with that I’m gonna wish

you guys a good holiday and it’s Xavier

and it’s a human experience we will

catch you guys next time thank you so

much David appreciate it thanks Paul

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