In his interview with venerable meditation teacher Joseph Goldstein earlier this week, Rick Hanson asked Joseph what was he working on now in his practice. Approaching 70, Joseph replied aging, and then specified finding the balance between service and seclusion – balancing the teaching and writing he has offered practitioners for 40 years with deepening his own practice and facing his own mortality.
The answer to finding the balance lies in mindfulness, not simply paying attention to thoughts and feelings but stepping back from those thoughts and feelings into an awareness that leads to wisdom. As Rick and Joseph explored the expansion of mindfulness in this country – paying attention without judgment – into parenting, schools, corporations, Joseph voiced his wish that a core group of practitioners would remember that a diligent path of mindfulness leads to enlightenment as well as stress reduction and less bullying.
Rick Hanson’s respectful and revelatory interview with Joseph Goldstein is the first of a new webinar series called Hardwiring Happiness, available without charge through En-theos. (To register: http://www.entheos.com/Hardwiring-Happiness.) Future guests include: Stephen Porges on Resilience; Todd Kashdan on Imagination; Marci Shimoff on Courage; Sharon Salzberg on Love; Kristin Neff on Confidence; James R. Doty on Contentment and Rick Hanson doing the wrap-up of the series on Hardwiring Happiness.
(You can pre-order your hard copy of Rick Hanson’s forthcoming book, Hardwiring Happiness, and get a free bonus gift – a multimedia presentation of Dr. Hanson’s Your Best Brain workshop.)
This first interview reminded me of the following quote from the beloved Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore: I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.
May you find your own balance between service and seclusion, service and joy.