You know the feeling — it’s Friday and you’re ready for the weekend, but there’s a voice inside your head that’s whispering, “Don’t get too excited because Monday is right around the corner.” Or that other feeling on Mondays when the same voice is telling you, “Friday is a thousand years away and it’s going to take forever to get there.” This is what senior Buddhist teacher, Ethan Nichtern, describes as the perpetual “commute.” In an interview with Business Insider, Nichtern elaborates, “A commute is a trip where you’re trying to get somewhere, but you don’t really enjoy the journey. You’re not really present for the journey — the journey is kind of garbage time to get you to something that’s meaningful.” In schlepping from job to job, and from relationship to relationship, fueled by an anticipation of finding something better, we end up missing the point entirely.
So how does one deactivate this perpetual commute state of mind? The one surefire solution, Nichtern suggests, is to turn down the volume of that radio station that’s playing in your head. And in order to take the off ramp and escape that toxic cycle, you need to practice meditation to fully maximize and unfold the power and beauty of the present moment. There are lots of ways to learn meditation online, of course, but Nichtern tells Business Insider the full experience of meditation is learned in group settings. “You can start online, but these teachings really thrive when they’re not just content. They thrive in relationship with fellow practitioners, mentors, and teachers, so I do think it’s always better to find you know physical groups or physical teachers and classes if you can … I think the best thing to do is definitely to find a class that’s an introduction to meditation … I think if you can find a place that has some grounding in a longer tradition, so it’s not just like somebody decided to invent their own meditation tradition. This is why I love Buddhism, is that it’s a full psychological and spiritual tradition that’s evolved in different cultures over thousands of years — so there’s some integrity and some depth there.”
You can read Business Insider‘s full interview with Ethan Nichtern at BusinessInsider.com. And be sure to grab your own copy of Nichtern’s new book, The Road Home: A Contemporary Exploration of the Buddhist Path, on Amazon, as well as visit his home at EthanNichtern.com. And if you want to learn more about how to turn off that annoying radio station in your head you absolutely must CLICK HERE.
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