How To Feel Safe, Loved and Connected

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Rick Hanson, bestselling author of Buddha’s Brain and Hardwiring Happiness, shares this wonderful talk and meditation instruction on how to feel safe, loved and connected.

“Can this turning toward the beneficial, the pleasant, the wholesome—can turning toward experiences like gratitude or pleasure in everyday life in the body or feeling loved by the people and then deliberately internalizing that—because that’s what I’m really zeroing in on—installation, registration, learning, change—can that be like [soma] in the brave new world, a book, a kind of in a sense I’m going to add to this I suspect the person was bringing up a kind of spaced out, diluted, just happy, you know, like pan glass I think in candid. Is it best of all possible [we’re old to] know who had me worry, Alfred Newman, or the rest of that? It’s a very legitimate concern. It’s a very legitimate concern, one I thought a lot about, how to do this especially someone like myself who you know comes from a very Buddhist perspective to recognize this the ways in which craving of various kinds including [solemn] craving can lead to suffering and harm. Alright.

And a couple of things here, the first is that while any method can be misused, right, any method can be misused, and I think there’s a place for simply being with our experience and just being with what is without doing anything with it, including deliberately trying to internalize it. It’s a very fundamental part of life and a fundamental part of practice. So we’re speaking here only about one aspect of practice, the aspect of cultivation, the growth of the good, growth of strength, growth of skills, growth of resources, capabilities, resilience. The doing of that, number one, makes us more able to deal with the bad because it’s through having these resources inside that a lot of research has shown tend to incline this toward being more altruistic, patient, kinder, more pro-social, more cooperative, more forgiving, let’s say, toward other people because it’s where our own cup runneth over and also when people feel like they’re running on empty, my first focus I say was about mothers who very often you know I think many transit a kind of depleted mother syndrome where they feel like they’re running on fumes. It’s harder and harder to deliver the good day in and day out a thousand times a day to a vulnerable precious being who dirty little secret of parenting is sometimes quite annoying, right.

As they say in the airplanes, put on your own oxygen mask on first. So it’s really important to grow resources inside, alright. And then second which is now a segue to the second question, I think it’s really interesting that generally speaking when people internalize experiences of feeling fundamentally safe and protected and alright right now and strong and efficacious that they’re hammering set of a nail, as people do that they actually gradually become less fearful and angry and less combative toward others. Also as people repeatedly internalize experiences of gratitude or gladness or accomplishment or everyday pleasures of the body, drinking water when you’re thirsty, putting on a jacket when you’re cold, snuggling in to bed when you’re tired, you know, chocolate, etcetera, as people really internalize those experiences including the fullness of this present moment, they gradually become less greedy, less grasping, less driven to attain goals, and you know prove themselves, and also as people repeatedly internalize, feelings of being included or seen, or appreciated or liked or loved or cared about, or people repeatedly internalize experiences of feeling love and compassion and kind, seeing the good in others, seeing the good in themselves, and also as people internalize experiences of self worth, as confidence, guess what also happens, they tend to be less envious, jealous, hateful, aggressive, discriminating, prejudice and war-like toward other people. And that’s the segue really in to the second question which the person raised, “How do we be in the world and engage efforts which are so often based on stress and drivenness and fear and anger and striving to impress other people become important?” It takes one to know one so I know about this way of being often.

You know how do we aspire, how do we engage life fully? How do we be ambitious without tipping in to the dark side? So I want to talk about that. Okay so far? So one way to do this is to think in terms of the evolution of the brain, brain stems, subcortex, cortex loosely associated with the reptilian, mammalian and primate human stages of evolution. Alright. Or to put it a little differently as a kind of metaphor that’s very simplistic, inside each one of us, I certainly recognize it inside myself, there is a little lizard, a little mouse and a little monkey. And again, being very kind of metaphorical but it’s an easy way to just sort of register this and explain it to other people, as the brain evolved in to these three stages—lizard, mouse and monkey—so did our capacities to make the three fundamental needs of any animal including a complicated animal like us loosely associated with these stages of evolution, the brain has become more effective that meeting our fundamental needs for safety, satisfaction and connection. So we have these three over arching needs that are managed by three over arching systems that have helped us be safe by avoiding harm, help us be satisfied by approaching rewards, and help us be connected by attaching to others. There are three very familiar ideas in psychology, three very familiar motivational systems—avoiding pain, approaching pleasure and attaching to others. Okay.

So we have these three needs, three systems and basically again to simplify, the brain has two settings. It has two ways of going about meeting these needs. So we have three needs and two modes or settings or ways of meeting these needs. In the first case, when people experience that their needs are met, the brain defaults to its resting stages: sustainable equilibrium in which the body repairs and refuels itself and recovers from stress and the mind is colored in terms of safety satisfaction and connection or the general sense in three umbrella words of peace, contentment and love. That’s what others and I have called the responsive mode of the brain or to simplify, the green zone. Okay. That’s kind of good news. That’s the equilibrium condition of the body-mind system. On the other hand, we’ve also evolved a second mode, a second way of meeting our safety needs, in which when we feel that one or more of these core needs is not met, we don’t feel safe in our core or we don’t feel satisfied or we don’t feel loved or connected to others. The brain fires up in terms of a fight or flight response or really freezes in terms of over activation of the parasympathetic wing of the nervous system and we move in to what others and I have called the reactive setting of the brain, the reactive mode or the red zone, in which bodily resources are burned, long term projects are put on hold and there’s a sense of destabilization in the body. It’s a departure from equilibrium. And in three umbrella terms, the mind is colored by a sense of fear, frustration and heartache in terms of safety, satisfaction and connection. Alright.

Now if you have a familiarity with the four noble truths of Buddhism, you might recognize that the green zone is a kind of summary neuropsychological operationalization is a third noble truth. There’s not much sense of craving there. Why? Because the causes of craving are not so present. What are the causes of crazing? The causes of craving from a biological neuropsychological standpoint are predominantly a sense of deficit or disturbance. When you’re in the green zone, when you experience that your basic needs are being met, there’s a sense of fullness and ease rather than deficit or disturbance. The reactive mode, the red zone, is a very summary neuropsychological operationalization and the second noble truth because then there’s a sense of deficit and disturbance which drives great. I try to work backwards. What in the world is going on in the brain of a Buddha or a saint or someone following on a practice or ourselves in a really good day? And then figure out, okay, how can we stabilize that state by repeatedly experiencing it, you know, activating that state or various factors of it and then installing them in the brain?

In other words, through repeatedly having responsive mode, green zone experiences, and installing them in your brain, you become increasingly able to engage life on a basis of an already internalize increasingly and unconditionally, increasingly independent of external contingencies, internalized felt sense of peace, of strength, of feeling protected, of contentment, of feeling already fulfilled, already rewarded, already accomplished, already grateful and glad and in increasingly internalized felt sense of love. Already feeling loved enough, already feeling included, already feeling of value instead of shame and feeling love and compassion toward other people. See the big picture there? And that for me that creates a fantastic path with heart, a beautiful path repeatedly internalizing responsive mode experiences when they’re authentically available to us is a beautiful way to fill ourselves up on the inside out and gradually undo the underlying causes of craving. To put in a summary way, cultivation on those craving. We can still engage life, you know, aspire, protect ourselves and those we care about, you know, work things out with other people. But we don’t do it on the basis of fear of frustration and heartache, not at least in our core, you know, red thoughts and feelings and desires may arise in a generally green brain. Right. And my personal hope is that somehow we’re going to get a critical massive brains. My rough number is a billion kind of stuck in the green zone engaging life, speak the truth to power, sticking up to themselves, asserting themselves, writing books, building companies, building houses, planning trees and what not but a billion brains on green I think would change the course of human history.

Okay. So to really, really summarize and [you know hear me up to say] and then we’ll do a little practice with this, ready, pet the lizard, feed the mouse and hug the monkey. Alright. Okay. Comments or questions about this kind of framework? Like any framework, it’s imperfect. It’s a simplification but three needs, two settings, one practice, you know, taking the good. Alright. Yeah. You are the person who raised the question so I’m going to give her first dibs.

Female: Can you give an example of people really engage with the world from this place like the green zone like I was [inaudible] in that category [inaudible] come to mind but do you think they’re engaging [inaudible]?

Sure. And I again I would say think of yourself in situations let’s say where there are threats, I’m talking about safety system and do each one and then I’m going to ask you what could be for you these days a very high value experience to start looking for having and then especially internalizing? Okay. Because that’s what you really need to stay in the green zone. So think of situations where maybe you felt threatened. It was a scary situation and you were anxious but it didn’t cloud your mind. You could hang in there with it and there was a sense of being resourced enough to deal with the threatening situation. Right. That would be you are green in the face of a challenge or different situation maybe there’s a loss. Some you love passed away or a pad or what have you or there was some kind of frustration but there was a holding of it in a bigger perspective. We could stay green about loss or frustration or disappointment. And same thing in relationships, you know, we can be in situations where other people. I’m dealing with a situation like that right now in my kind of personal and business life, they overlap in this case, where you’re just dealing with someone who sort of have mistreated you. You know when you go through with, was I really mistreated here, you go, “Yeah, I really was mistreated here. They really did step on my toe and kind of grinned evily.” No, not quite with that but [inaudible]—but can I be with that person without a mind that’s hijacked, you know, while being assertive and clear and not get so attached to what’s happening in to mind of this other person?

And I think there are many everyday examples about that. I mean so I’d [inaudible] yes, there are examples like Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Ansan Suchi, many other people who in the face of provocation just stayed very centered and very clear but we have many examples of that in everyday life. I think of it a little like sailing, you know. I’ve done some sailing. I’ve sailed a boat without a keel one time and I capsized it immediately of course because I was an idiot and there I was upside down in Tomales Bay like what you know realizing, I should have buckled my life jacket before I fell on the ocean. Lessons learned. So but the deeper the keel of the boat, the more you can be brave and go out on the deep dark blue because you can afford to sail out there when the wind is blowing hard, alright, because you got that keel and if a gust hits you hard, you recover more rapidly and you can see the obvious metaphor for a relationship so you’re willing to, as Brene Brown puts it, dare greatly and increasingly risk our vulnerability because we have deepen our equanimity, in effect, what I’m trying to do a lot in a Buddhist frame which may not be relevant for many people but for those who it is is really try to operationalize what the Buddha was really talking about as best we can gather in the earliest written discourses of his teaching or that of his immediate followers and how do we think about it modern neuro psychological terms in ways that lead to skillfulness. Alright. Make sense? Okay.

So here’s a personal story. Now, if you think about, well I’ll tell you my quick story. You may have heard me tell the story because I do tell the story but so I as I grew up, my parents in a very decent loving home kind of lower middle class, suburban setting in southern California, my parents where caring and loving, and they took good care of us so no terrible traumas as I grew up. Alright. I wasn’t repeatedly bullied. I wasn’t beaten. I didn’t grow up in a scary dangerous you know impoverished neighborhood, so I didn’t have huge issues in terms of safety. Those weren’t my big issues. Alright. Okay. Also growing up, there was enough food to eat. We weren’t hungry and I was successful in school so I could accomplish goals. I was the oldest at three kids. I learned how to get off my parent’s radar so I could presume my evil schemes on my own and successfully attain them. So I didn’t have big issues with the satisfaction system, with approaching rewards. Alright. But growing up, my parents were very poor at empathy for different reasons. In other words, they were loving but it was hard for them to really register who they were loving or understand what was going on over there. And second I was very young going through school, very late birthday and I skipped a grade, so I was you know typically two younger than many of my peers. And I had many experiences also linked to being shy and kind of anxious, of being rejected, dismissed, unwanted, devalued, cast out. Alright. Not terrible compared to what happen to many, many people, right, but actions have consequences or causes have effects. I ended up with what I felt like a hole in my heart. I didn’t get enough. It was partly the presence of the bad but mostly it was the absence of the good which can be equally consequential, you know, more consequential. Alright.

So my issues were in the attaching system, connection, the connection made, right. So I tried to satisfy my needs, take care of my problem by being stronger, more determined in terms of safety system, right. We’re protected, that’s nice, but it didn’t fill the hole in my heart. It was like I had scurvy, I needed vitamin C and I was taking iron pills. Iron is nice but it didn’t meet my need. Also I would look for experiences of fun, pleasure, party hardy, and be successful and accomplish goals in terms of the satisfaction system, approaching rewards. I can get a lot of rewards or work on gratitude, that was nice again. I had a lot of fun but it didn’t fill the hole in my heart. It didn’t address the need that was in the relationship system. It was only when I started really looking for legitimate moments when I was included and wanted and liked and valued, you know. People would include me in going out to dinner. A girl would smile at me in the elevator. Two girls would smile at me, that was a good day, you know stuff like that, and then I would let myself feel it. This was in college. I started doing this and then I really took it in and I listened to the longings in my heart, I was hungry. I was in pain. Pain is a motivator. That’s when things really started to change for me.

Episode by episode, mo’ betta’, you know individual episodes didn’t make much difference but the gradual accumulation of the internalization of the soul food that I really needed added up big time for me as the years went by. See the basic idea? So question for you is, what’s your vitamin C? And a map, that may not fit for you but it often is a map. Is it a lizard, mouse or monkey problem, you know? In a sense for me, it’s a monkey problem. It was a relational type issue. Alright. What’s your vitamin C these days? What if it were more present in your mind would really make a big difference for you? See the basic idea? And so you can you know you can think about it, wow, you know am I dealing with threats? Am I anxious? Am I irritated a lot? Do I feel kind of helpless? That’s probably a safety system issue. So resources like feeling protected or feeling alright right now or feeling strong or feeling like you have agency, you’re hammering out a nail, where of others you have allies, you know, especially internalized allies. It’s this saying in Alcoholics Anonymous, the mind is a dangerous neighborhood, never go in alone. Right. We have these internalized allies rather than internalized oppressors or at least deal with those internalized oppressors. Maybe that’s where your vitamin C is.

On the other hand, maybe you’re grappling with frustration or disappointment or you feel [floored], alright, or you haven’t been able to attain a major goal, or you’re trying to sustain effort toward a goal and you’re not motivated enough. Or maybe your life is kind of bland, you know, not very satisfying. That would be more like issues in the satisfaction system, the reward system, and how to approach rewards better. So what would a person vitamin C would be things like repeated internalization of experiences of gratitude, thankfulness, or experiences of gladness or happiness or experiences of goal attainment, you know, accomplishment, success, or experiences of the fullness of this present moment of consciousness, or experiences of just wholesome pleasures, you know, the delights of life altogether. See that’s where the vitamin C is with them. And then if you are like me, you know, issues around in the attaching system, multiple experiences of feeling included or seen, or appreciated or liked or loved, or feeling compassionate or kind or loving yourself because love is love whether it’s flowing in or flowing out, that would tend to fill the hole in the heart. That’s the vitamin C. This basic idea?

What do you think about it? Okay, good. So what if it were more present in my mind these days would really help me maybe deal with an external challenge or deal with a long standing internal issue? And then how can I, you’re asking this for yourself—how can I go out and have more of these sorts of experiences? Or if I’m thinking about my child, what would really help my child if it were more present in his or her mind? More confidence, more feelings of friendship, more sense of worth, more sense of being able to make stuff happen. What would really make a difference? And then how can I look for ways to help my child have those experiences and then really, really take them in? Questions or comments about this chunk, this part right here? Great.

Female: The thing about practicing [inaudible]. That was a great question because we try to be compassionate and understanding and so I see people who in myself included don’t have enough boundaries after all [inaudible] practice.

Yeah, that’s right. You know for me early on, I mean I was numb from the neck down in my early 20’s and also anger was the one, it was definitely the prohibitive emotion. You know, parents had the monopoly on the expression of anger in my family growing up, right. And I remember when I did this little workshop and I begin to start having these experiences of being powerful, being strong and because we would create these artificial settings and you kind of play active, but I begin to notice that’s what it was like and I would really try to register that’s what assertiveness feels like. And also register the difference between crazy assertiveness and rage with clean, strong, serious determined, gravity, saturated assertiveness, unilateral assertiveness, and that right there is the experience to really register, you know. Right. Or gosh, remember the time when I was stern with our daughter and to me on the 0 to 10 stern scale, you know, I was like a 1 but to her it was like an 8 because she’s a little kid, right, and I typically and intended, I mean I still do, kind of underestimate my own personal intensity capacities. And I remember the look of horror in Loise’s face like shock, damn, no more, no mas. I ain’t going to go there again, you know. Just like that, that’s an opportunity. What’s our learning curve from what we need to register whatever it might be? Okay. Yeah, in the back.

Female: About the conscious and non conscious pattern, a lot of what you described sounds like let it be conscious, let it [inaudible].

Oh for sure, that’s really true. And in a sense I’m really kind of asking a very I guess I just sort of come to appreciate the value of what feels like kind of old school obvious stuff than under our nose, you know. I think of the George Orwell quote, “To see what is in front of one’s nose,” no, “to see what is under one’s nose takes a constant struggle.” Right. The question is, what would be good to learn these days, right, for ourselves, for our children? What would be good to learn? What would be good to grow you know? I think of the mind is a little bit like a garden. You know we can practice with it in three fundamentally different ways. We can simply witness the garden, open awareness, choice as awareness, bear witnessing just what’s there. I think that’s the most fundamental and profound motive engaging the mind and practice. Second, we can pull weeds in the garden. We can reduce the negative or prevent it arising in the first place. That’s the second great way to engage the mind. And the third is to grow flowers, is to cultivate the wholesome, to plant seeds and protect them, fertilize them and so forth until they bear fruit. And all three are important. The one I’m focusing on here is just one of the three, but if we are zeroed in on what are those resources that would make a big difference for ourselves these days, we can make an enormous difference in ourselves and other people. Maybe one more person then we’ll do a little practice and finish up. Yup.

Female: I just was wondering in terms of the example of the assertiveness that you—that example and setting boundaries or saying no in general, would that be a safety system?

Right. In my little model again is based on lots of other models I sort of synthesized and integrated them and you’ll see similarities to what I’m talking about. So it was not some kind of wild and crazy notion. You know three basic needs, two ways of going about medium, you know, to simplify. Some of major areas cross over systems like for example, being assertive, often you have to be assertive to be safe but it’s also an interpersonal issue because someone is being invasive and not respectful. Right. Also in terms of this way of thinking, I like this theoretical framework I used because it’s quite flexible because we can draw upon other systems for the service of one system. Right. So to feel safer, we might you know get a bold lock, that’s direct safety, on our front door. We could also potentially deliberately seek a job that would give us more money so we could live in a safer neighborhood, so we’re approaching that reward and we could also potentially get a nice friendly dog to live with us, right, to attach to us, to help us be safer for example. Yeah.

Depression for example cuts across all three systems because one, you know when people are traumatized—and safety violation, one of the primary symptoms is depressed mood. Also after people have a loss, depression tends to come and in terms of interpersonal trouble, depression blue mood tends to arise. So you know certain issues cross this model but I think that often we can be guided by our internal sense of what does our heart long for. So if you’re looking for what your vitamin C these days, you know, one giveaway question is what would have made all the difference in the world when (fill in the blank)? What would have made all the difference in the world when I was growing up in terms of what I experienced? Not so much what circumstance would have been different but what I felt from them, or what do I really really long for? Those are two kind of giveaways I think. Alright. So quick review then we’ll do a little practice. I’ll quote the Buddha and then we’ll end. Alright. Okay. This evening has gone by very rapidly for me. I don’t know about you. It feels short. Yeah. Lots of these materials are available freely on my website, I’m putting another talks and stuff, and you can always get the book, Hardwiring Happiness. This is kind of a quick summary of that. But thank you.

So quick recap, it’s good to grow the good, right, of any kind—resilience, feeling entitled to be assertive. Growing resources inside that push against the internalized oppression we’ve acquired based on being on the target of sexism or racism, or any other form of prejudice or discrimination, or we want to grow perhaps various factors that the Buddha has talked about like compassion or loving kindness or wisdom or moral virtue, right. We want to grow the good. How do you grow the good? How do you get it in the brain? It’s a two stage process: activation, installation. And if you don’t do installation, no learning. Momentarily pleasant, no lasting value. Humbling takeaway. Alright. How do we install? We enrich the experience. There are five very well known factors: duration, intensity, multi modality, felt in the body, novelty and personal relevance and we also sensitize and prime memory making systems by feeling and intending that the experience really sink in. And if we want optional step, we can be aware of both positive and negative material at once making the positive more prominent and since neurons are fired together, wired together, the positive will associate with the negative gradually soothing it, contextualizing it, easing it and potentially replacing it. Flowers crowd out weeds. Alright.

So we’ve talked about doing that and if you wanted to do it in ways that have very high impact, look for those particular resource experiences or those particular strengths to grow inside yourself that address your needs these days, whether it’s dealing with some external challenge or some long standing issue inside your own mind, with the metaphor you know pet the lizard, feed the mouse, hug the monkey. So that you have a brain that’s increasingly stabilized in the green zone even when the oatmeal starts to fly. Okay. That’s our recap. So little practice, want to try something to wrap it up? So I do a little thing routinely. I do it often when I’m meditating. I do it when I wake up first thing in the morning, sometimes it’s just before bed, I’ll do it if I start feeling kind of unbalanced. I activate, I self activate a sense of peace, contentment and love so that craving starts to fall away in each one of those systems. So I don’t need to resist what’s unpleasant in terms of peace. As contentment grows, I don’t need to grasp after or chase what’s pleasant. And as love grows, I increasingly don’t need to cling to what’s heartfelt. So we’re going to go through that right now about a minute or two each. And you might do what I do increasingly and just play around this on your own and see what it’s like increasingly to feel like you’re coming home to the green zone, your resting place. So here we go.

If you could notice you’re alright right now. I’ll start with peace, then contentment, then love. Relaxing as you exhale….

Pause 33:47 – 33:56

Recognizing that you’re in a protective setting among good people.

Pause 34:00 – 34:07

You’re also a strong person. You have strengths that can enable you to deal with challenges so that you can afford to let unnecessary anxiety fall away.

Pause 34:20 – 34:25

Letting unnecessary bracing or guarding or tension or vigilance fall away.

Pause 34:33 – 34:38

Letting any unfounded sense of threat fall away and coming home and resting more and more deeply in a growing sense of peace.

Pause 34:53 – 35:12

A level of peace, a space of peace that can contain anxiety or uncertainty.

Pause 35:25 – 35:30

With peace at your core.

Pause 35:36 – 35:57

Letting a growing sense of peace move to the back of the mind and focusing now on encouraging gently and authentically a growing feeling of contentment, a sense of well being with no wish for this moment to be any other than the way it is. You can help grow the sense of contentment by bringing to mind things that you feel grateful for or glad about.

Pause 36:26 – 36:37

Encouraging feelings of gratitude or gladness to fill your mind.

Pause 36:41 – 37:02

Thinking of things that make you feel happy or contented.

Pause 37:11 – 37:29

As contentment grows, there’s a falling away of any frustration or disappointment or drivenness. No need for any of that.

Pause 37:42 – 38:13

And then letting the sense of contentment move to the back of the mind and finding a growing sense of love calling to mind beings who care about you even if it’s an imperfect relationship, calling up experiences of feeling included or liked or loved.

Pause 38:59 – 39:24

Opening to receive these experiences of feeling liked or loved. Being warm and caring toward yourself to let yourself actually feel these things.

Pause 39:43 – 39:56

Also being aware of your own warm heartedness, your compassion and kindness and caring and love for others.

Pause 40:04 – 40:10

Loved and loving.

Pause 40:14 – 40:30

And as your mind and heart and body are increasingly filled with love, there’s a falling away of any kind of struggle with other people. Envy falls away. Hurt falls away. Any kind of chasing of others who are trying to be important or impressive, all that falls away. No need for it. Greening the heart in effect with love.

Pause 41:17 – 41:42

And then as we take just a few more moments to finish up, a more global or integrated sense of peace, contentment and love altogether. Your home base, a sense of coming home, disturbance or deficit, falling away, craving, falling away. Present here at home.

Pause 42:18 – 42:45

[Bells ring softly.]

There’s a saying in Tibet and elsewhere that if you take care of the minutes, the years will take care of themselves. That’s our opportunity. Minute by minute, breath by breath to see the good that is available to us and to be a friend to ourselves in part out of service to others, to grow the good over here so we have more to offer to them. And to look for that good and really letting it land and coming into an intimacy with it for many reasons simply to enjoy life more, to show up more for the good that’s here instead of, oop, missing it as it goes on by. Alright. Also to grow various resources, psychological resources, inner strength inside to deal with life, to be more effective, to be more successful, to be more skillful in relationships to do that and also if this interests you to gradually internalize so much good inside that craving falls away. There’s less and less of a basis for it. If there’s no basis for it and you’re more and more able to as it said walk increasingly evenly over uneven ground through equanimity, not underestimating the power of little experiences gradually internalized and accumulated over time. According to Buddha here, he said, “Think not lightly of good saying ‘It will not come to me’. Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the wise one gather it little by little fills one’s self with good.” May you and I fill ourselves with good. May we help others fill themselves with good for our own sake and in widening ripples known and unknown, seen and unseen eventually hopefully helping the whole wide world. Thanks for your attention and time tonight and go to family program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center.

Author: Sean Fargo
About Sean Fargo At the peak of his career as Director of Asian Operations for AsiaEXP, Sean Fargo traded in his worldly aspirations to explore the inner life by ordaining as a Buddhist monk for two years in the Thai Theravada tradition. Since disrobing in 2010, he has supported thousands of meditation practitioners at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, facilitated mindfulness classes in San Quentin and Solano State Prisons, and has lead several workshops at Inward Bound Mindfulness Education teen retreats. A dedicated student of spirituality and mindfulness, he has studied with Jack Kornfield, Analayo Bhikkhu, Phillip Moffitt, and many other teachers in the US and Asia. His teaching path is guided by Guy Armstrong, Senior Teachers Council member for both Spirit Rock Meditation Center and Insight Meditation Society. Founder of, he offers secular mindfulness e-courses with certifications available for personal and professional skill sets. Enrolled in New Ventures West's Coaching Certification Program, Sean expects to certify as an Integral Life Coach in November 2014. He graduated with honors from University of California at Santa Barbara’s Global Studies Department in 2000. Sean offers private instruction to adults, teens, companies, and organizations. Contact Sean Fargo for more info.

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