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Aug. 22, 2021

Excel In The Modern World Using An Ancient Practice

Excel In The Modern World Using An Ancient Practice

This season we are going to look at life changing habits and how to achieve them.  Habits, after all, can either support us or hinder us!  Please welcome today this week’s special guest on the show, meditation teacher and author Nate Rifkin!  Nate describes his journey as going from suicidal to happy. 

Nate inspiringly changed his life around via combining ancient mystical practices with modern strategies for living.  He is passionate about helping others get real results from their spiritual and meditation practice. His book titled ‘The Standing Meditation became an Amazon number one release!

I love it when people turn their life around and I am humbled to have Nate on the show. 

This show also included a meditation inspired by the talk/

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Nate's website

Other ways to contact him.

 naterifkin.com

www.linkedin.com/in/nate-rifkin/

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Transcript

0:00  
I'm your host, The Gentle Yoga Warrior. And please welcome to the show today, meditation teacher and offer. Nate Rifkin. . Nate describes his journey as going from suicidal to happy, Nate inspiring he changed his life around via combining ancient mystical practices with modern strategies for living. He is passionate about helping others get real results from their spiritual and meditation practice. His book titled The standing meditation became an Amazon number one release. I love it when people turn their life around. And I'm very humbled to have Nate on the show. So without further ado, join us from Colorado. Nate Rifkin. Hi, Nate. Welcome to the show. Hello, Jane. Thank you for having me. I'm honoured to be here. Oh, it's such a joy to have you on the show. So today, we're going to talk about how to excel in the modern world. Taking inspiration from Nate's book, excelling in the modern world, I'm sure it's a hot topic for many of our listeners live could feel at times too complicated. With all the knocks that come our way. There's no surprise that we can sometimes find ourselves on a downward spiral. Yet, what if there was another way? What if one could turn one's life around into something more in line with what one needs rather than what one wants? How can excel in this ever changing world full of oodles of pressure? In the words of Wayne Dyer, miracles come in moments Be ready and willing. On that note, I thought who better to speak to us today on excelling in the modern world? The new net sum net? What does excelling in the modern world mean to you? And what inspired you to talk about it today? Oh, that's a great question.

2:02  
excelling in the modern world means are we able to navigate an environment that's much much more complicated and chaotic than what we existed in a few 1000 years ago. I mean, I love the modern world, because we're also interconnected, I mean, you and I get to have this conversation, even though we're in different parts of the planet. So I think ultimately, all the progress we made is for our good and will be for our good. But it also presents new challenges. It means that we are more separated from nature, and we have to consciously reconnect with nature, it means we're more separated from other human beings that like in a more tangible, physical, nearby way. So we have to consciously recreate that. And we're part of larger groups instead of smaller, more intimate ones. So we have to consciously recreate that connection. And most importantly, maybe the biggest challenge, maybe the biggest challenges, we are inundated by beeps and bloops from technology and we're constantly distracted, we're bombarded with sensory stimulation. So we have to consciously learn to reconnect more with ourselves and learn more about ourselves. And as a result, paradoxically, by going inward and going deeper into ourselves that's how we'll actually be able to excel because by doing that, we can get rid of our self sabotaging patterns we can get rid of our emotional stagnation or emotional hang ups and in our

3:36  
we can make an ally of her thoughts instead of an enemy and that's all that's not just a really cool thing in the modern world I think that's mandatory so so it's more crucial than ever we have to do this I completely agree with all those points is absolutely essential and it's so easy to get distracted with your your phone beeping yourself or anything or message popping up on the internet. And in many ways, it's an easy way to procrastinate from being within ourselves by having all this external stimulation all the time and i don't know i i find that if I don't watch myself I can easily go down that route. Whereas with practice I've learned not to but I can completely empathise why many may not feel that they need to go and go within and connect but how is such an central component mastery, as you said, to our happiness and feel our growth is well, I just want to say I loved how much I've read a few books so far and about 200 pages into it. Because I only I only started it beginning of this week but i i o ism is I don't know I just I my the way you're so honest and to a point you allowed yourself to be vulnerable.

5:00  
But also so powerful by going through the process that you did. And I particularly find your story inspiring. And I'm going to recommend this book to all my students, I think it's

5:16  
I've learned a level that's new from it, I, I really feel connected with the standing meditation that you describe. In the in the book, I've only done it for a few minutes or not on the scale that you're doing it but I can, I can really see the value, particularly with those who find it difficult to meditate and sit still and be within it really offers something so much more and something

5:46  
accessible for so many people. Because I think sometimes we just sitting in one space, it can be very hard, especially everyone's got a body that's simple enough to do that. And, and with everyone's mind the way it is. And going back to your story that we will talk a bit more about this, but I'm going back to your story.

6:07  
Can you explain to our listeners, if you don't mind why you're in such a dark place. And I know that you wish you were working on waving a sign on a street corner for a while.

6:20  
Yeah, yeah. So I can definitely tell you that.

6:25  
It really begins with when I was a child, because I was born to a family that was really emotionally disconnected. You know what I mean? Like really emotionally shut down.

6:36  
And I was like a pretty angry kid. And as I got older and grew into teenager, I started like getting depressed as well, because all that anger is just kind of turning toward myself.

6:48  
And I, I got even worse than Junior High School in high school. And my I kind of figured my way out was in college, because I'd been a new environment. So I went to college, I went to giant school called a UMass Amherst. And I was actually more miserable than ever there. Because I realised I could show up in a new place, but I'm still the same guy. You know, I'm still I still have the same thoughts, I still have the same patterns. And it seemed like everyone else was happier than mate, which, which wasn't true. But I think a lot of people were just more functional, and they're just having a much better time. And I felt like I was falling behind. I was just comparing myself to everyone else. So I but I did have one kind of good part of my life, which is I liked working out. I like fitness and lifting weights. Sort of like my doorway into transforming oneself is like my first hint that you could really, truly do that. And I want to like combine that with some kind of a business. I want to be an entrepreneur. I didn't know how but that's what I want to do. And I started thinking, if I'm so miserable here, should I really keep paying money to be unhappy in a place to wait and wait and wait to get a degree?

8:07  
I decided not to.

8:09  
And I mean, I don't know if it was the right choice. But that's what I did. So I dropped out of college. after just three semesters, I said goodbye to nobody. I think the only person I knew I left was my roommate, because they probably came back after the break and was just like, this guy's gone. And someone new is here.

8:27  
So I actually did start a business actually started a business with my older brother selling yoga products online. He's great, you know, he's an expert. And so he was the talent and I ran all the business side of things. And I use my own personal credit to fund the business. And I started going deeper into debt.

8:47  
Because I just didn't know any of the fundamentals about business. And I was really depressed, I was really lonely. And I was getting more scared because I was just maxing out credit cards. Now here's the thing, during all this time, I'm doing like self help stuff. And studying that and believing it like I'm setting goals. I'm visualising my success and all all like the typical practices, you know, one learns and something was missing. Something must have been missing or I was, you know, cursed because I didn't achieve the single goal that I set. And I was just I get really really frustrating bitter, and that's when I was so alone and so lonely that I really thought about killing myself a lot. My looping looping thoughts are just really just driving me nuts.

9:37  
So that was the like the darkest place especially I was even drinking. I was starting to drink alcohol every morning.

9:45  
So one one day.

9:48  
I teach teacher who's teaching me business and marketing and a bunch of other students. I was just wanted to students start teaching a meditation from the spiritual tradition called Taoism, which I

10:00  
I'd heard of, but I never really knew anything about. And it was and it was a meditation done in the standing position. And he explained how it has a really rich tradition going back 1000s of years, but it's very little known in the West.

10:14  
And the more I heard learned about the more I thought oz is cool, like, secret, you know, makes it made me feel cool to be able to practice something like this, because I was somewhat into the idea of meditation, his connection to the, the concept of ci, and energy, but I didn't know anything, but something drew me to it, you know.

10:37  
And I start, so I started practising it, and it was, and then like, you've probably experienced, you know, it's done standing up, but it's done with your knees unlocked. So it's not like you can just chill out, like you're standing in line at the katraj, you know, the convenience store or something, it was my thighs, when it first started, were challenged with the effort. So I started with just 60 seconds. And I added five seconds a day.

11:03  
And something happened, because I'm starting to feel pretty good.

11:07  
And I started to feel better and better. And I actually got, I was still, by the way, drinking every morning, I would do the meditation first and then I go drink. So but something happened, where I start to feel so good that once I got to certain levels, like wow, I'm actually like, you know, my thoughts aren't is like looping and self hating. And I'm actually like, feeling kind of good. And I took a drink. And I didn't feel any better. The alcohol just made me feel a bit more drunk. So I thought, I wonder what will happen if this trend continues. And lo and behold, like, within a day or two, I was feeling even better for meditating. And when I took a drink alcohol, it actually brought me down.

11:46  
And so I stopped drinking alcohol in the morning.

11:50  
And it wasn't willpower, I was I didn't really consider myself like an alcoholic. I mean, someone could probably debate me on that. But it's all good.

12:00  
But I just didn't want to anymore because it didn't feel as good. So this LED, I kept on going and I kept on increasing the time and increasing the time and other people were remarking that, hey, you know, something's different about you.

12:13  
And then one day, I remember doing this practice, and I felt like my body just lit up like a light bulb or like the sun. And I felt so good that I remember sitting down on my futon thinking myself,

12:28  
I'm going to dedicate the rest of my life to this practice, because it's the only thing that's actually ever worked to make me feel better.

12:36  
And, like you said, at the sign spinning, like they're my outer life still needed a lot of turnaround, you know, and there are a lot of ways, right, I was able to navigate through that. But that's inwardly how I started to change. And it was, it was the key to everything. Wow, that's a very honest, brave and touching and inspiring account. And it sounds magical. And I've had that experience myself, when I got really deep into yogic training, I just suddenly decided I didn't want to drink. It wasn't that I was against drinking, it just kind of dropped off. And it didn't feel it's kind of hard as well, when I was teaching. And then if I had been out drinking the night before, and then going to teach a yoga class, it kind of just didn't feel

13:24  
no judgement just didn't feel kind of in alignment. And when I got deeper into the meditation as well, that kind of dropped off at dropped off for me. But I also be on your point about self help books, because I'm, I do like self help books. And there's some really valuable ones and they're amazing. But it's kind of, you know, if you're in debt, which I've recently cleared, if you're in debt, and you're not in being able to manifest the things you want, you kind of start feeling like you're a failure, or you're kind of an inadequate because it's all about Oh, yeah, you just need to have a positive mindset. But sometimes that's not enough, right? You can't is

14:01  
to find a different way in.

14:04  
Yeah, yeah. And I think a lot of like, self help stuff simplifies things so much to make it accessible. That makes it a little bit too simple. Like, you know, the idea that it's like, oh, you can you can do anything and have anything you want. I disagree. I think we all come into this life with a certain amount of karma, where there's just like, there's stuff that's just on the life to do list, you're going to have this set of challenges you're going to be you're going to go through this. Yeah, I think we also have freedom of choice and some free will. But I do think that there is sort of like

14:40  
a, like I said, a to do list for us, for us to do so. And sometimes we can feel really bad if we're, we feel like we're stuck in a certain place when actually that's kind of where we're meant to be. So yeah, I think self help can interfere with that. Oh, yeah. 100% and agrees because of Maybe someone's life mission is to

15:00  
You become a millionaire while someone else is to learn to love the simple things and it's just it's just not one one shoe fits all and I do think the karma and I do agree for February well there was karma but also freewill and it's kind of you know, like, and having lots of money isn't a bargain but it's not necessarily what's going to enrich someone's path so it's kind of having the awareness to find the riches coming from going within if if only Morpheus could see that wish, I think more and more people are and again, it's not about being better than anyone else if they can't but I just know from my experience and talking to guests like yourself how much life can transform when we learn to find peace within because the external world and in many ways we're kind of here for a very brief moment like guests on this planet and,

15:52  
and, and really like it the end of the day doesn't really matter and if one has a Ferrari or not, you know if that's not going to help enrich our path and our life journey.

22:07  
What you said about making it sacred honour? It's such an honour, isn't it to make something sacred because then, like you said, you can choose how sacred you can make it and the habits, definitely, definitely forming a positive habit like that definitely definitely helps because it is a seat like a jumper, like you know, when people do knitting, you're making all the little stitches and you can increase the number of stitches that you do. But if you if you knit all the stitches together, it kind of puts it in the bank in a sense where your your brain or your or your body gets used to doing something the same time each day. And then by artists honouring oneself. Yeah, I love that. But the sacredness. So thank you for sharing that. That's amazing. For sure. So talk about surrender, the word gets thrown around a lot in the spiritual circles. So how would you convey how to surrender to beginner on this meditation journey? That's a great question. Yeah, I when I first started hearing about the term surrender, I thought that meant giving up or sitting around doing nothing. I mean, I had absolutely no context for what that meant, which which meant my mind was close to how crucial it is. I kind of life had to force me to figure out what surrender was. So actually, well, what happened what happened to me was that once I started meditating, my inward life turned around, but I still have to turn my outer life around. And I ended up my life actually got more chaotic. I had a business fall apart I two partners in the business and a different startup I was a part of, and they kicked me out of the business, and all my income dried up. And I was in so much debt that I actually went through a bankruptcy, and I got a job spinning signs on the street corner, which

24:07  
I chose that because I just want something easy just to pay the bills. And I still want to make a go somehow as being an entrepreneur. So I chose that I could listen to audiobooks all day. And I was actually the happiest I've ever been. Because Finally, I was financially stable. Now how the heck could I be financially stable spending besides Well, I also moved into the cheapest place I could find. I cut out all expenses, got rid of my television. And I just spent money on rent food, gas for my car car insurance.

24:42  
And that was it. I was able to save money and even give a little money away to charity and and still have some leftover. So I what was happening was I was surrendering to what life wanted me to go through so that I could learn

25:00  
What I needed to learn and do what I needed to do so I could grow and grow into the kind of person that ultimately could build the life I wanted.

25:12  
It was kind of like the universe is listening to being like, Oh, you have these dreams and these goals. Okay, we're gonna put you through the wringer first. So you can be the kind of person that can have that, Oh, you don't want to go through the wringer. Okay, we will force you through the wringer because we're so nice.

25:27  
And they're having their objective, but they're pretty compassion like that. So.

25:32  
So

25:34  
I was forced into surrendering. But that's how I learned about the concept of surrender, which is, it's not about giving up. And it's not about doing nothing. It's about focusing on what you can control and focusing on your own inner growth and not being so clinging and attached to getting a certain specific outcome on an arbitrary timeline that you thought

26:00  
it's surrendering to, to receive what you're going to receive on the timeline that the the you could call it the universe in the spirit realm has for you. And the beautiful part about surrender like this is it makes you more centred person. And it increases your perception, perceptions. And because it makes you more centred person and increases your perceptions. It it actually allows you to be able to sense if there's something better for you, if there's a better opportunity, it paradoxically, by surrendering, it actually makes you better equipped to build the life you want. Because when we're desperately calling for something, I mean, we rarely, rarely get it. A metaphor I like to use is like if you're at a friend's dinner party.

26:52  
And you start like saying, okay, I want the main course, could you bring out the dish now? No, I really want it now. You're going to be an awful guest. But that's how a lot of people treat their lives.

27:04  
And the when I started thinking of it that way, I got this, like, visceral reaction is like, oh, no wonder I like my, my life was such a train wreck. Look how, look how rude I was being to the universe.

27:18  
Whereas if you just work on being the best you you can be. And I worked and that's how that's what I did. I worked on instead of setting goals, I throughout all goals, I stay focused on daily disciplines instead.

27:31  
Saving money in the moment, not thinking I just saved money later.

27:36  
You know, working on my writing ability, because I love to write and then that's how I want to make, make a vocation out of

27:45  
and then letting the results

27:48  
come as they're going to come. So so that's Yeah, so that's how surrender is not about giving up. Because you can work just as hard but it's just it's on, it's on you. It's not like grinding your teeth hoping for something external or inwardly demanding it because it's, it's ultimately fruitless. Anyway.

28:06  
100% is almost like having a humbleness and a kind of respect for oneself and the universe by instead of like trying to grasp things that you said if you're trying to grasp something, it's like he said, It seldom comes your way and things have a special way of unfolding sometimes in the least unsuspecting way and if we're grasping onto it must happen at this timeline. now now now, and we are being very rude guests and I like I like your description of the route dinner guests. And yeah, we can be is it just ends up, we end up just blocking everything and blocking our flow blocking prana ci we just end up kind of being kind of like kind of stiff and unable to like relax and let go because I found that myself the times when I really let go and just surrendered and trusted. unexpected things have worked out whereas I'm like, why hasn't this happen now and like kind of like like almost like a child having a tantrum? Yeah.

29:15  
It just doesn't work does it? So night and your book, it blew me away. And also your transformation and your journey and your honest account. I thought you were very honest and aware as well as your shadow. Because we were what we are shadow and light and and how you were able to learn by things that weren't serving you and kind of uplift yourself to I would describe as a vibration that was in match with your life's path. And the way you were able to see the big picture in life. And I love the way you leave delicious tastes of what the next chapter has in store and you didn't just write it in a way that was all this

30:00  
Just how we do the meditation. I like the journey in that you feel like you're on a journey with you because you're showing you're not just showing the end result. Oh, this is how I am. Now you're, you're unsure, you're showing Rafa the process? And what inspired you to write it that way? Was it just let you explain? Oh, that's a great question. And thank you so much. I really appreciate that, you know, part of what you're saying now is part of really what inspired me to keep working on my book is I really wanted to

30:31  
make it something that would really impact, you know, people who read it.

30:36  
So what what inspired me is kind of a funny story. I started writing the book probably about four years ago. And I wrote an entire first draft. And actually, this is perfect, because talk about like, patience and surrender, and really having to actually walk the talk that I was writing in the book.

30:56  
I had the manuscript done, and I actually, my wife knows an editor, and I had the gut feeling. It's like, Oh, yeah, let's let me ask this editor, she'll look at the book. And she did. And she kind of helped me with the first chapter that and she really, like in her mind, she was being harsh, and like saying, you know, you got to do this and was like, really worried. And I told her, like, Look, if I'm going to get upset by your critiques, then I really shouldn't be writing this book.

31:25  
I should go back and practice some more. And then ultimately, she said, You know, I'm really not that. I mean, she thought it was a cool concept, a cool book, she, she's, she thought had a tonne of potential, but she's like, I'm really like, I got other clients and I make, I don't think I'm the right editor for this. I'm like, okay, so I had to be centred about that. I didn't claim her grasp, like, No, no, I want to get this book out the door. Now. I was like, Okay. It's like, but I'm gonna find someone for you. Like, okay, so she, she, she, she looked around, and it took a while. And then she introduced me, someone. And my gut was like, and about this person. And interesting thing happened, I performed an experiment where I had a conversation with her on the phone. And we agreed that she would follow up with me. And, and then I waited a week, and I never heard from her. So I followed up. And again, I never heard from her. And I realised, oh, yeah, this is not meant to be. Because often, not every time sometimes in life, we're meant to really charge forward and the universe wants to see how bad we want or how good we want it.

32:32  
But oftentimes, if something is stuff consistently is just like, not quite right, or not quite working out. Sometimes it could be that little signal. It's like, No, no, not for you, not for you. But in the past, I'd be so engulfed in my fear and greed, that I would ignore the signals. But in this case, I was just like, Alright, let it go. And I just let the main script sit there for several months, or a few months or something like that. uncharacteristically, it was just weird. So it's like, you know, I'm just gonna wait. And then one day might that the original person, the friend of my wife was just like, Oh, I know, the perfect person introduced me, we met up, hit it off. And he, he, he convinced me, I don't know how he did this. Like, I was so excited when I got home after like, he gave me a bunch of critiques. He had convinced me to throw the whole thing out and start over. And somehow I was happy to do it. I'm like, What a great editor. This guy's good. So what he said to answer it, but answer your question. But what he said was, look,

33:31  
if you want to really connect with people, he said, you could write a manuscript, or how do the meditation, you just want to get it done fine. But if you really want to connect with people, they need to know where you're at. And they need to know like, how, and this change you and to do that they need to know who you are. And not only that, it's just like he said, he actually kind of locked into the hole.

33:54  
using something ancient to work in the modern world. He's like, you know, how do you use Taoist principles today? So that he encouraged me to write about that. So that's why I broke it down to and I asked him about this, I'm like, how about I just do a story from my life, how it impacted me and what I learned and how the reader can use that knowledge. So it's kind of like it shows what I went through the the human side of the journey, and also how it can be applied today and not in a monastery a few 1000 years ago. So that's my long winded answer.

34:32  
It's a brilliant answer. And yeah, that was for something that was so important to you. That was a real sign that you had got to a place where you could surrender because you weren't kind of you know, that you think oh, an editor and that sometimes when you think lachelle is my only chance kind of thing where you don't I mean, it's like that's when he's kind of grasping what other chance will I get again, but you didn't do that you trusted it and and

35:00  
I was lucky that it wasn't like you made your luck or you, you were in the right vibration for the right editor to come your way and hence, your book is made it into print. And that is fantastic. And yeah, I just, I also found really honest was how you saw the humaneness in your teacher, as a yoga teacher, my job I feel is to always make my my students better than me. So in a sense that they take it kind of to the next level, I really found it nice what you said, and you could see the flaws in your teacher, but you kind of let them go gratitude. And I really thought that was really honest and real and, and my favourite quote was

35:45  
daoists don't meditate to take a break from life, but to learn about life and themselves. And that really summed up this form of meditation, because you have also always set and still be one that is wonderful. I do do meditation like that, don't get me wrong, but it's, I found this was in many ways this whole meditation feels more relevant in the times that we're in and more accessible for other people to find a way into meditation. Are there any other tips that you could give our listeners on how to meditate? Just something? take home? Oh, yeah, absolutely. Um, one, one thing I really love is to start off without even thinking of it as meditation and to instead focus on the breath. And that's, that's a massive part of Dallas meditation. And especially what I love to do is to place one hand on on my belly, anyone can do this and one hand on my like upper chest. And when I breathe in, I breathe through my nose, and exhale through my nose, I made sure that they my hand on my belly rises up and falls with my breath, but not necessarily the hand on my chest. Now later, you can integrate both, but you want to start with the hand on your belly first. Because you want to verify that you really are breathing so deep, that your belly expands, and, and then and then relaxes back down. So

37:19  
there are several reasons why this is so crucial one, this is a sort of breathing you do when you are in a, you're signalling to yourself, you're in a calm, relaxed state, you're not just facilitating that state, you're actually signalling that you're okay, you're not in danger. Because when we breathe into our upper chest, that's panic. That's danger. Unfortunately, we most people do that chronically. Now, when you first start breathing deeply like this, you're also giving your organs and massage, your diaphragm is actually squeezing down into your liver, your pancreas, your spleen, large and small intestine, stomach, somewhat even your kidneys. Because you know, they're down, they're not not directly getting pressed up, but they're down there.

38:05  
And, as a result, that is going to trigger the release of a lot of emotional gunk that's built up emotional stagnation. So just by breathing deeply and taking time to do that, you're actually going to start resolving old emotional patterns. And it's not often it's not going to be comfortable, it's going to be you're going to feel anxious, you're going to sometimes feel upset or angry just by sitting there and breathing deeply, memories will pop up. But it's all good, because it's all finally getting processed.

38:37  
So that's my takeaway is that

38:41  
by doing this, you're giving your mind a focus. And paradoxically, by giving your mind a focus, as you progress, you'll be able to kind of slip into that meditative state where your thoughts quiet down, it's super cool. Whereas if you do kind of sit and try and quiet your thoughts, it can be frustrating, you know. But, but this, the way I like to say is like, it gives your mind a bone to chew on. because your mind is a problem solver. So give it the problem of breathing deeper into your belly and feeling what that feels like. It's simple, but it's deceptively simple as it can actually be a very transformative practice. Completely transformative. And then I feel sometimes when those emotions come up, it's like we can, they can be there and we allow ourselves to feel them but without kind of going into the drama, we kind of become a bit more of a hole. I always find that so when I've done any kind of practice and then maybe fear comes up I kind of breathe into that fear and allow it to be there but it's not that it's just it's a feeling that's come up it's not me but it's just a feeling I'm feeling and just allow it to then come back to me and then I become a bit more whole from that process. But that's kind of my experience from it. So yeah, right on. Yeah.

40:00  
Yeah, me too. Me too. Brilliant. And

40:04  
besides your wonderful book, which we will leave more details on, what are you reading or listening to at the moment, which may inspire our guests? Is there anything you would recommend? Oh, that's a great question.

40:19  
I'm one of those people that like, throughout the house, there's like a book here and a book over there. And I'm like, halfway through all of them.

40:28  
So I've tried, I've tried to remember like, which ones that I'm, that I'm actually enjoying, because I'll be honest, like, half the time, or more than half the time I like, put down a book and I just stopped reading it, because it's just not, it's not the best I I finally giving myself permission life to actually close a book and not finish it. So.

40:50  
But one book that I I've really gotten a lot out of, and that I returned to frequently is is called Deep work by Cal Newport. It's, it's a, it's a great, it's, it focuses on one's career. But it's a really, it's a really great book on

41:07  
achieving a really high level of focus on something, which I think is perfect for today with the amount of digital distraction we have. So that's a really lovely one. I've always got a copy of the doubted Jing near me. And it's a short book, it's it's almost like a series of poems. It's 80. It's 81 verses. And that's, that's a really beautiful book, especially if you're in a really great spot. And you've done some deep reading to sort of page through it and see what, see what lessons jumped out. So I would highly recommend that one.

41:42  
And I'm also reading right now I'm reading

41:45  
lead yourself first, and I forget the author's name, but it's a really cool book on how a lot of leaders throughout history have used solitude as a way to navigate really difficult challenges. And there's a lot of really cool historical examples. Like, one I'm just remembering now is Jane Goodall when she made tremendous breakthroughs in learning about how I think it was chimpanzees behave.

42:13  
That I had no idea about this. But there's a really cool story about how she first when she first started studying, she had to I think there's two other people with her. But eventually, I think one of them got a little bit too sick. And the plan was not for her to wander into the jungle alone is to observe animals up close. But through solitude, she actually discovered that

42:40  
it was best to approach the animals casually and not sneak up on them. Like a because because you seem like one can seem like the animals predator when you do that. And it was all because of solitude that she discovered all this so anyway, but yeah, the and I probably reading a few other books, but those are probably the coolest ones I can remember now. They sound pretty cool all of them.

43:55  
What's the best way they can connect with you? absolute best way is a website does standing meditation.com and I right now that that actually goes straight to my books page on Amazon. Oh, fantastic. I'll leave I'll leave a link in the description. But do go to the standing meditations.com to connect with Nate Rifkin. So, Nate, thank you for reminding us about being sacred and healthy habits. And I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of your book. Thank you for your time and joining me from Colorado. Thank you so much, dear listeners, stay tuned as I will be including a guided meditation inspired by today's talk.

44:38  
So it's best to do meditation,

44:41  
in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. Not when you're operating machinery or driving etc. You can just pause this podcast and reconvene from the safety of your home or somewhere peaceful outside where you won't be disturbed.

45:00  
With always, the breath brings the lifeforce, the prana, the CI into our very essence. So as you slowly start to take some calming deep breaths in and out, initiating the breath from the diaphragm. So if you're not sure what that means you can just gently have the fingertips at the bottom of the ribs just below the ribs facing towards each other. Unless you inhale, see if you can expand into those hands so that the breath comes from low in the body. And as you exhale, you feel as if you dispel all that stale

45:52  
as you then bring in some fresh

45:56  
oxygen, and then you just let it all go.

46:02  
I find if you are easily distracted, or

46:08  
you're finding it hard just to sit and breathe. If we try and make the exhalation a little bit longer is actually a

46:17  
bit more kind of

46:22  
more for the mind to focus a little bit. So as we now take our journey

46:30  
into what may be a healthy habit

46:38  
majan that you're on the top of a great big field, like a rolling field of luscious green

46:49  
grass, scattered with wild flowers.

46:56  
And as you walk through this grass

47:01  
with sandaled feet, you feel his feet gently touch down on the ground, and your hands gently run through the long grains of grass.

47:18  
And then the scent of summer flowers. No matter what time of year you're listening to this podcast.

47:28  
cascade around your very being.

47:35  
As each step is done with mindful in your imagination,

47:43  
mind mindful calmness.

47:48  
Nothing more to do but just softly put one foot in front of another.

47:57  
Doesn't matter what acts distractions may or may not be there. Your focus right now do one is just to walk down this rolling Medal of joy softly each footstep calmly on the grass, the sound of the grass blowing gently in the breeze.

48:30  
Little field mouse darts past

48:40  
followed by a string of its little babies all following this little speelde moms.

48:51  
You see a great big,

48:55  
giant poppy

48:59  
red

49:03  
with the ink

49:11  
of the brightest red petals. You smell that puppy and you continue on foot softly through the grass.

49:24  
One foot after another.

49:30  
And then some farmers catch that strayed way, way way from home.

49:38  
Softly comes up to you as you find a space to sit down on the ground. The grass softly flattens as you lay out and look up to the bright bright sun.

50:02  
And the cat kills up beside your feet.

50:07  
And you realise that all this struggling, all this striving. All this need to be someone

50:18  
doesn't really matter in this moment.

50:22  
Instead, you're closing your eyes, and you're just feeling within your being, what healthy habits can serve me?

50:37  
What can I start off with doing four minutes a day? What will help me find my way,

50:55  
whatever pops into your head. That do one is what

51:03  
you may need to do

51:07  
and what else so allow whatever to pops into your head to simply be.

51:14  
Allow it to be there. Allow your mind's eye to feel and see. And just make a mental note of that healthy habit. As you feel the gentle kiss of the sun. The little farmers cut ones off.

51:33  
And as you gaze into the water, it's so clear as can be.

51:42  
The water is very, very shallow.

51:45  
And on the ground, there is a gift for you.

51:51  
A gift to help you on your quest.

51:55  
something small and simple. Something will allow you to

52:02  
learn to be gently accept the gift.

52:08  
Put it in your pocket. And thank the medal, the river, the cat, the puppy for whatever they symbolise for you.

52:19  
The beautiful beat of the sun.

52:23  
As you splash your face with a call water

52:28  
and you come back to the day. Come back into the moment come back into the room.

52:35  
Neither ecstatically happy nor sad but balanced in your being knowing that you too can make healthy life changing habits.

52:52  
So nice deep inhalation, nice deep exhalation again a deep deep inhalation, a deep, deep exhalation, feeling the breath

53:06  
become greater and then smaller. And then just allow the breath to be normal as you come right back into the moment right back into the now. So thank you for listening dear one.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Nate Rifkin Profile Photo

Nate Rifkin

Meditation teacher and author

Meditation teacher and author Nate Rifkin! Nat describes his journey as going from suicidal to happy.

Nate inspiringly changed his life around via combining ancient mystical practices with modern strategies for living. He is passionate about helping others get real results from their spiritual and meditation practice. His book titled ‘The Standing Meditation became an Amazon number one release!