Investigating resilience as a factor of mindfulness, David Nichtern & Michael Kammers offer tangible thought experiments for uncovering our relationship with attention.
David Nichtern and his self-proclaimed “pod-kick” Michael Kammers are back for another David’s View uncovering the ‘Three R’s of Mindfulness.’ Moving on from last episode’s discussion on resonance, the Dharma Moon duo explore the intricacies of this week’s topic—a key one for the times—resilience.

Mindfulness & Resilience
David Nichtern and Michael Kammers discuss the topic of resilience. Dancing the “Mindfulness Macarena,” they examine meditative resilience through the metaphor of physical training, characterizing it as a developed quality which allows the processing of more energy, along with more ease in subsequent returns to practice.

“Resilience is that part of mindfulness practice where you develop this strength—it’s like training a muscle. If you’re learning tennis you train the muscles to move in a certain way together in a certain sequence, and they become stronger. Stronger means they can process more energy, they can return to that pattern more easily. So resilience has a quality of strength and also burning in a pattern that you can more easily return to.” – David Nichtern

Toe Stubbing, Mind Wandering // Pace of a Buddha (5:00)
What happens when you stub your toe? Where was your attention before you stubbed your toe, during the stubbing, and right after? Contemplating the value of meditation’s main instruction of being attentive in the present moment, David and Michael offer insight into the functional importance of cultivating resilience in our mindfulness practice and daily lives. From here, they talk about speediness versus groundedness in relation to great beings like Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

“When we’re lost in thought or distracted we do stub our toe and we do have car accidents. Not to be all judgmental about it, but when I ask, ‘Where is your mind right before you stub your toe?’ the odds are your mind was not tuned into the physical experience. The synchronizing of mind and body at that moment were unsynchronized. When you stub your toe, that is a really interesting moment of pure colliding of mind and body. Because they weren’t synchronized they crashed together like a big wave on a beach.” – David Nichtern

Ballon Thought Experiment // Self-Centeredness & Compassion (18:01)
After sharing reflections on a cool thought experiment aimed at uprooting the experiencer from identification with the experience, David and Michael speak to the self-centeredness and compassion in how they relate to resilience in our lives.

“Resilience is also compassion. You’re including yourself in your circle of compassion by being willing to be with your experience, and having the belief or the knowledge that your awareness and space are bigger than that and can be held by it. That inspires me to meet the world with resilience over and over again.” – Michael Kammers



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