Transform Pt1

In this episode we begin a series which will delve deeply into transformation and also the exploration of Zen Buddhism. I’m working on a longer post that will follow in about a week. Stay tuned.

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13 thoughts on “Transform Pt1

  1. hi Robert, its good to hear your voice back with us once again. Sounds like you’ve had an intresting start to the year.

    You mention that you will be talking more this year about Buddhism. I have been listening to many Buddhism podcasts & there is one thing that primarily confuses me about it all. – FAITH
    I know Buddhism doesn’t seem like a religion but there are elements of it that seem to require faith.
    I was born a Christian and went to church utill i was 15 and the whole ”just believe” thing was what made me question and finally leave the religion. I’m loving Buddhism but there does seem to be a few elements that are a bit… far out. (ie heaven, hell, millions of lifetimes, ‘re-incarnation’ etc etc)

    If you could shed some light on these aspects at some point in your podcasts it would be much appreciated

    best wishes – Peter Silk

  2. Hi Robert,

    I’m glad you are still podcasting. I find your podcasts to be really helpful. I usually listen to them at work in my cubicle at work. It’s a great place to slow down.

    Anyway, I have a question. I have recently just started to meditate regularly and I did the level I Shambhala training a couple weeks ago. I’ve been taking a look at what makes me miserable. I’ve noticed that almost all my relationships I feel suffering from. Including a lot of family relationships. It seems as though no one is willing to budge except me. And I’m tired of budging. And there are a lot of unsaid words of hurt and frustration.

    Just recently I reached out to my mother through e-mail and was really honest about some things but in a loving way. I had no intention of wanting to be hurtful and crafted my words as skillfully as I could. In the past she usually responds to me by rolling her eyes and not taking me seriously. At 28 this has gotten a little old. Her response to this letter was very little. She said, “may you find peace. love, mom”

    This was really hurtful to me. Not what she said but what she didn’t say. After this I’m seriously thinking about not communicating anymore and certainly not stretching out for closeness ever again.

    What is the right approach to something like this? At what point do I stop trying? And of course I have a number of similar friendships with people that don’t take me seriously. At least, that’s how I feel anyway. Is it ok for me to do a clean sweep and get rid of all my relationships that I feel don’t work? That’s what I want to do.

    Thank you! Thanks for what you do. I hope all is well with you.

  3. Thank you. I listen to you most nights on my ipod. I have listened to your anger series and your drugs and alcohol series about 80 times so far since january. I have read Tolle and Chopra and they do not compare to you. Tolle is too dry and soulless (plus his accent is really irritating), Chopra is just too long winded and beaty around the bushy. You, robert, are the best. Simple straightforward and practical. As you can see from here, there are a lot of people who are very grateful and indebted to you. xxb COME BACK SOON!!

  4. Hi Robert,

    I must say that I too have grown fond of your podcasts. I enjoy listening to them as well and I find them very informative and soothing. As someone already said, I too am curious about Buddhism. Being born and raised a Roman Catholic, I have gone through all of the Catholic “rituals and motions”, but I regret that I have found very little comfort and solace in this church. It just never really captured or engaged me like Buddhism seems to be doing. I too seem to have a problem with the whole notion of faith.

    Anyway, I will continue to explore and learn and I’ll try to keep an open mind about all things. Your “Quiet Mind” podcasts certainly have done much for me in my spiritual journey I look forward to hearing more from you in the near future. Best wishes to you and your’s and Peace upon us all. – R

  5. This podcast really opened new doors for me! I agree that if there is a “purpose” to life, it is transformation.

    A few podcasts ago you talked about embracing the loneliness inside of you, of facing it and letting it get “as bad as it can” (my words, not yours). I really think this is something I need to do, the next step. My life has been building up to it for some time. I would really appreciate a podcast that goes into this, and how to do it, in more depth.

    Also, you’ve mentioned the “7 steps to a Quiet Mind”, but I don’t think you’ve mentioned all seven, or at least not all at once. Would you post what those 7 steps are?

    Thanks so much for these podcasts. They have really brought everything together for me.

  6. @ Anonymouse,

    Hi, I just thought I would give you some encouragement, because I have wrestled with some of the things you’re describing. I don’t want to give you any “advice”–ultimately in times like these, you must follow your heart and do what you feel is right.

    That said, it is very difficult, but I have learned that we must base our sense of self-worth on ourselves and not on what other people think or say. Like Robert said in one of his podcasts, we have to give ourselves the “pat on the back” because unfortunately we can’t rely on anyone else to do it for us (and if you have someone who does that for you, you’re very lucky).

    As for whether or not to take certain people out of your daily interactions, that is up to you. In my own experience I have learned that certain people I know are just “negative” and there is no “getting through to them”. Trying to convince them of anything, trying to get them to understand or acknowledge my point of view, or trying to get any kind of validation or encouragement from them, is just a waste of my time and energy. I always remind myself, “We must choose our battles carefully. Don’t waste energy on a battle you cannot win.”

    It is most hurtful when those closest to us, who should support us, don’t. I am sure it is possible to achieve a state of mind and being where such negativity does not affect you, but for me, I am not at that point yet, and negative people can “bring me down”. Therefor, I have chosen to associate as much as possible with people who are “positive” and supportive, and to limit my contact with those who are “negative” or don’t understand me. For me it is a matter of finding a balance, because I don’t want to excommunicate anyone.

    There is a particular person in my family who is like this for me. I still talk to her, and try to be supportive of her, but I don’t “hang out” with her, and I don’t bring up things of a spiritual or philosophical nature because I know where that road leads.

    I am by no means suggesting what you should or shouldn’t do, only sharing the thoughts I have had in the hopes it may help clarify things for you, if only because you disagree with them. :)

    I wish you the best of luck. Ultimately, take care of yourself. Like Robert said in a posting on here, a drowning man can’t save anyone. Once you are standing on a solid foundation and have found inner peace, perhaps then you will have more success with the people that are giving you troubles.

  7. Hey, this is a message in reply to Ron (above)

    I have been doing some research on introductions to buddhism. There’s a lot of them out there, some better than others.

    I’d like point you towards teacher ‘Hyon Gak’
    Loud charasmatic American monk with an amazing way of teaching.
    Look him up on ‘google video’, there are 3 main video’s. (1)-intro to zen talk at a school in florida. (2)-a 12 part talk on the diamond sutra (highly reccomended) and also (3)-an 8 part talk on Bodhidharma.

    Also a very good introducer to Buddism is an American monk Kasala Bhikshu who has a podcast called Urban Dharma.

    Hope these may be of some help to people.

  8. In response to Peter.

    Thanks for the information. I will make sure to look into them as you suggest. I did locate the “Urban Dharma” podcasts that you mentioned, but I have not had the time to listen to any as of yet. Thanks for sharing this information.


  9. To Darrell,

    Your comments struck a chord with me as well. I can relate to a lot of what you said. The difficult part is not just in the recognition of those relationships that are negative, but in trying to maintain those relationships – particularly those of close relatives – while trying to avoid certain conversations or philosophical debates. I too have tried to the approach of avoiding these people, or those conversations, or those philosophical issues, but they sometimes cannot be avoided. It is a constant struggle – for me anyway. I’m still working on it though and I’ll keep trying because as you (and Robert) have mentioned, a drowning man cannot save anyone. True enough.

    Best Wishes.


  10. Wow ! im here in the moment and in my mind im applauding another great performance.Yet again robert is on “point” , im struggling to carefully craft words that do this podcast justice.Its not the first time ive listened to this particular pod cast so i was kinda surprised second time around how much more i gained MMmmmhhhh. Robert many many thanks Namaste..

    S (london U.K.)

  11. Hi im here in the moment too, or trying my bestest to be. I´ve finally got a grip of how this website works, sorry im not very internet savvy. I´m so excited everyone is gaining so much from listening to you robert. I really do think that accepting what is so will work for you anonymouse. Although it is difficult. Also thanks for your further recommendations peter silk. Take care, everyone xxb

  12. Thank you for your podcast and for sharing your journey with us. It is good to hear someone share their experience, strength and hope while they are struggling with the same things we are all struggling with.

    I am currently struggling with ‘labelling’ and with repeating the same ‘mistakes’ over and over and over until I become aware and can see myself doing it and start working on trying something different.

    Here’s a great poem that made its way to me while I was searching for answers one day.

    Poem from the book The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

    Autobiography in Five Chapters

    1) I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost… I am hopeless. It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.

    2) I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I’m in the same place. But it isn’t my fault. It still takes a long time to get out.

    3) I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I still fall in… it’s a habit. My eyes are open. I know where I am, It is my fault. I get out immediately.

    4) I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.

    5) I walk down another street.

    Thanks for putting a face and a voice to the struggles I am facing. Best wishes to all in their journeys of spiritual transformation.

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