By Leo Babauta
In this webinar, I shared ideas about how to transform your relationships and I answered some awesome questions.
I’ve broken this webinar recording into two parts:
- Part I – My Talk: Transforming the Relationship (See notes)
- Part II – Questions & Answers: I answered questions about maintaining equanimity, visualization, dealing with self-criticism, regulating emotions, and more!
Part I: Leo’s Talk (with notes)
Here are the notes from my talk (video is below the notes):
By practicing being open-hearted and fully feeling our feelings and the present moment, we change how we relate to our lives.
Meditation – just noticing experience, inwardly & outwardly
* We often reject our experience, not liking a situation or something about another person or ourselves.
* We can see when this happens when weâ€™re mentally or outwardly complaining, when we feel resistance to doing something and procrastinate or run to distraction, when weâ€™re angry or frustrated or hurt
* There is nothing wrong with feeling these emotions, but itâ€™s good to become aware that itâ€™s a sign that weâ€™re rejecting something about our experience
* We can often reject those emotions as well â€” we donâ€™t want to feel sad, lonely, angry, hurt, upset, depressed
* All of this adds up to a difficult relationship with our experience â€” imagine if we had a friend, but only wanted to be around them when they were being the way we wanted them to, and when they were hurt or going through a hard time, we turned away from them and wanted to do something else
* They would not feel like we had a good relationship with them, like they could trust our presence and friendship.
* This is the relationship we have with our moment-to-moment experience
Changing the relationship:
* When we start to practice mindfulness with whatever struggle weâ€™re going through, we start to change this relationship
* We start to show ourselves that weâ€™re willing to be with whatever comes up, no matter how uncomfortable
* Weâ€™re willing to stay
* Weâ€™re even going to practice being open, curious, gentle, friendly
* Maybe even find compassion and love for whatever weâ€™re feeling
* It wonâ€™t feel good, especially not at first â€” itâ€™s hard being with difficult emotions and situations
* But just like with a good friend, weâ€™re not only going to be there in good times â€” weâ€™ll stay with them even when things are hard. Especially when things are hard
* The goal is not to end the difficult feelings. Itâ€™s not to exit from the difficulty. Itâ€™s to transform our relationship
* In the end, we develop a good relationship with whatever weâ€™re experiencing, and a trust that we can be with it, even be friendly and compassionate
* We start to develop a curiosity about our experience, not judging or thinking we know, but a radical not knowing, a radical curiosity to want to know more about whatever is in front of us
* We develop an open heartedness, dropping the barriers between ourselves and others, ourselves and life, exposing our raw tender heart to the world, courageously
Part II: Questions and Answers
Questions answered in this video:
- Is this similar to practicing equanimity as during vipassana meditation?
- How could this open hearted ness be visualized? Do you have any analogies, ie the ocean refuses no river?
- Talk about self criticism, anger frustration with self
- The difficulty I experience is the need to regulate my emotions that come up when I practice feeling the experience fully. For example, she for example, if I concentrate on being hurt and what that is like, I want to cry, but often it is not quite appropriate for the place/time Iâ€™m in or I am afraid and not comfortable to be THAT open