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Practical Guidance On Mindful Living & Overcoming Common Obstacles – Joseph Goldstein

Practical Guidance On Mindful Living & Overcoming Common Obstacles – Joseph Goldstein

Joseph Goldstein has been a pioneer in bringing eastern wisdom to the west and is certainly one of the worlds most respected Buddhist teachers. Joseph has studied and practiced meditation for over 40 years under the guidance of eminent teachers from India, Burma, and Tibet.

Joseph is a cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society and the Barre Center for Buddhist studies in Massachusetts. He is the author of several practical and powerful books about Mindfulness, Meditation and Buddhism.

In this interview Joseph offers us practical guidance on walking the path to mindful living with more wisdom ease and lightness. You will discover today…

  • The common challenges and pitfalls on this path and how to overcome them.
  • What ‘waking up’ really means.
  • The stages on the path of mindful living
  • The common misconceptions and misunderstandings people have about what meditation is and what it can deliver.
  • Profound and simple advice for those starting out with mindfulness practice.

Plus enjoy a 15 minute practice of mindfulness led by one of the worlds most respected teachers.

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Show Notes

Join the ’31 days of mindfulness challenge’ here

Come and join the community discussions at any time on our Facebook page

Learn more about the Barre Centre For Buddhist Studies.

Check out Josephs upcoming retreats and the Insight Meditation Society.

If you want to explore Josephs books you can also check them out here.




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Buy full access pass

Purchase a full access pass to unlock downloads for the full interview transcripts, audio, video and separate audio meditation tracks.

Upgrade for Full Access Pass

Buy full access pass

Purchase a full access pass to unlock downloads for the full interview transcripts, audio, video and separate audio meditation tracks.

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585 Responses

  1. Chris Harkess

    Thank you again for another perfect session. I feel very lucky to have this mindfulness summit available to me at no cost and I feel very grateful that you Melli have brought this to us all. I enjoy your grace and your commitment to mindfulness – walking the talk and increasing the capacity of mindfulness in the world.

  2. Anne

    Thanks so much for all the preparation and good listening required to bring out the best in his teaching. I’ve been very drawn over the years to the Buddhist “methods” for mindfulness and have found them particularly helpful to me because I see the great good that mindfulness can bring to my daily living, but for me it also feels very much like a spiritual practice. Thank you for placing yesterday and today back to back. it seemed beautifully intuitive to do so.

  3. Pamela

    Ugh! 5 minutes in and I was totally distracted by the interviewers need to comment on the speakers wisdom, to the point of actually interrupting the speaker. Whether ego or enthusiasm are the cause, I think I’ll stick with my Jon Kabat Zinn CDs and give this a pass.

      1. Andres

        pleseee let the speakers speak with not so many interruptions. They sometimes cannot complete their ideas. Also I ‘d suggest to let them full screen so the interviewer shaking her head doesn’t distract us. Thank you all for the effort!

  4. Nicole

    I’ve tried to listen to both speakers and I just can’t relate – I’ve had to stop after 20 minutes. I didn’t even know they each had meditation minutes at the end.

    1. Chris Smith

      I agree with the comments about the host’s responses.
      The intros to the first two speakers were too lengthy to my ear, and all the agreements sometimes cut into the speaker’s mike so I can’t hear the rest of the wisdom she’s agreeing with so enthusiastically. I’ve practiced Vipassana & Zen meditation for about 25 years, so perhaps the lectures have been too introductory to me. That said, I really think 20 minutes of dialogue is plenty prior to an experiential practice lead by the speaker of the day. Please consider offering the practices as stand alone audio clips so the crux of the session isn’t lost in all the discursive content. Namaste.

  5. Marilyn Snow

    I want to congratulate the host on her exceptional knowledge and obvious experience with mindfulness practices. I appreciate her contributions, and at both sessions felt she added to the presentation. This is a wonderful project, and like many have commented, I have tried to “push a llittle” for friends and family to participate. For all of you who worked on the project, thank you. I look forward to the next days ahead.

    1. NANCY

      I agree also. Our host is asking intelligence, well thought out questions to help us beginners understand & grasp a sense of this journey we want to explore. Please don’t post negative criticism . If it is not for you, then walk away quietly & continue to search for what might be beneficial for you.

    2. Nanette

      Thank you for acknowledging the hosts efforts in providing us all with such quality experiences through these interviews. I agree with you completely, and am grateful to be able to participate in a month long summit with such amazing people from around the globe! If not for this summit, it would be difficult for me to do so otherwise.

  6. Dina

    I am truly enjoying this Summit and am so impressed with the idea and tremendous undertaking! Melli, your interviews are thought provoking and energizing. I love the format of the interview, meditation and that final question. And the experts you have brought to this are truly amazing — this is such a gift! Only 2 days into it, and already I have heard 2 of my favorite Mindfulness experts, learned/been reminded of so much, and really appreciated the meditations. Also. I feel the energy of so many people from around the world who are participating too!

    I can only imagine the courage, hope, wisdom and incredible amount of time and energy it would take to create such an amazing and inspiring experience available to so many people around the world! What more could we ask for?! So, thank you so much to Melli, Matt, the experts and everyone else who is involved in creating this experience! Thank you, thank you!

  7. Evelin

    This is so great!
    Lets appreciate this and take it for what it is. These people have taken out their time and effort to help those of us who are not anywhere near as experienced as they are. Lets enjoy this month, lets learn what we can from all these amazing people. Lets take the best and forget the rest. Thank you Melli and your guests, regards from NYC
    Onward and Upward-GR

  8. Bobbi Pineau

    Both days you have talked about some great resources. Is there a list somewhere that we can see each of the titles you have mentioned?

    This is such a wonderful opportunity and I am thankful for sharing in it.

    Well done!

  9. Kristine Willems

    I enjoyed the meditation today, as I did yesterdays. It was interesting learning how we can acknowledge our suffering however yet still seek to push it away…I know I do this but not quite sure how to go about accepting it. I ask myself whee does this come from, how am I feeling it, how is it affecting me, but how do we work through it to the other side? And very helpful to know thre is an ebba dn flow to the experience of mindfulness over time and especially bringing mindfulness into our day to day speech.

  10. Shannon Sexton

    I so appreciate the time and effort that was put in to offering us this summit at no cost. It is an avenue for reaching out and spreading the importance of mindfulness globally. Thank-you”

  11. Nicole

    This showed me how much more I have to learn. I want to explore mindful communication and practice it daily. In addition, I love the concept of a practice, “begin again and again and again.” Something I am familiar with but often find when it comes up, like in todays interview, I was in deep need of a reminder. I really connected with the “be simple and easy.” My dad used to say “Im easy come, easy go.” while he never was actually speaking of the path of mindfulness The way Joseph explained simple and easy is exactly how I always took my dad’s saying and usually what I mean when it pops out of my mouth. Thank you for this moment you provided for me today to reflect on my path.

  12. MICHAL

    Dear Melli and Joseph,
    I have listened, hopefully mindfully (-:
    And have a question:
    When investigating what is the cause, do you mean understanding what emotions / thoughts / wrong believes etc.
    Or also the cause of the emotions / thoughts / wrong believes etc.
    I ask this because I believe that many times the cause may be rooted in our very long history, (ancestors, etc.)
    So, many times, thinking we really know the cause is an illusion.
    I truly appreciate your answer.
    And I want to thank you Melli and all the team to doing this amazing work!
    Thank you so much!!!

    1. Flic

      I don’t know if this will help, but I interpreted the cause as being the motivation behind the reaction. The emotion is not necessarily wrong, rather reactive. Say if you notice that you are snapping at someone in response to something. When you notice your reaction investigate what emotion is there eg anger and what was the motivation behind it eg to get someone to do something the way you want them to do it. I guess you could recognise that as being part of a delusion that it must be done a certain way, or your way. Thinking then about the concepts of peace and compassion, we can then respond from those mind sets, eg recognise that people have the right to do things the way they want to and our annoyance is only about our desire not being met, which is simply a temporary experience.

  13. Prasanna Gurumurthy

    It has been such a pleasure listening to the speakers and being able to understand what mindfulness is.
    Just a note: Bhagavad Gita was not written by Buddha. Gita are verses that Lord Krishna recited to make Arjuna understand the nuances of life, in essence teaching mindfulness to Arjuna during the epic war of Mahabaratha.

  14. Danielle

    Although I read many of the objections to the distractions, I found that by closing my eyes, I could focus on the interview and would often experience that ‘aha’ moment. Easy and Simple really resonated with me since I tend to over complicated just about everything in my life. Not dramatizing day to day activities was a remarkable observation and one that very clearly resonated. I understand that all of the speakers will be different in their style and delivery and that is reflective of life in general. We take away something from each person and hopefully expand on it in our own lives. Looking forward to the rest of the month.

    1. Danielle

      I just realized that one can’t edit their comment. There was a least one in the above comment. It is also noteworthy that Joseph mentioned beginning again and again. I had a lot of distractions around me and subsequently did the meditation a few times. I found myself frustrated at not having the ideal circumstances in which to meditate. Not holding on was a new experience for me. Letting go of the frustration and not judging but simply being and observing was a very liberating experience.

    2. Eileen Fenwick

      I so agree I closed my eyes and just listened to the interview that way I was not distracted by anything and got so much from it. I also loved the concept of easy and simple which I need to bring into my life.
      Thank you and looking forward to the rest of the month’s teachings which was potentially looking to be a difficult month is now just another step on life’s path.

  15. Rosann Lampkin

    I have thoroughly enjoyed both days and look so forward to continuing on this month-long mindfulness summit! Although I have never met Joseph personally, I consider him a teacher. Two things that really struck me today were:

    1.) that when we deal with our difficulties/suffering with kindness, interest, and inquiry, it will always lead us back to the 4 Noble Truths
    2.) the importance of becoming mindful of our habits and patterns regarding speech

    Thank you Melli and Joseph for today–I am loving the way this summit is unfolding, feel completely at ease with the personal interview style, and am so happy and grateful to be on the bus! rosann

  16. Caroline

    Only day 2 and I am amazed at the wonderful wisdom that has been shared. I am also disheartened by the comments of so many here that are perhaps needing to pursue gratitude for the generous time and consideration that has been put forth by so many; not only in front of our eyes but behind the scenes as well. I can imagine the amount of work and expense that has gone into putting something of this magnitude together and then to share it with the world. I can appreciate the frustration of delayed gratification in not being able to purchase resources to help as I go through this daily too. Please let us be grateful to Melli and the vast panel of experts (who are donating their time to share their experience) that have come together for the benefit of us all. All good wishes Melli and everyone.

    1. Caroline

      PS….my apolgies for my reference to the panel of experts in indicating the “donating” of time. I mean to clarify by saying they are choosing to spend their time in the interview.

  17. Teresa Gray

    Most enjoyable and (may I say) enlightening! Those simple words “be simple and easy” will from now on always be on the back of my mind specially before I speak and fall a sleep. I have become for too long on “auto pilot” so glad I can now disengage.. so simple and easy but so powerful! Thank you

  18. Carol Piros

    I am truly enjoying this summit and look forward to hearing what the next speaker has in store. Such a great idea. A great way to start or end my day. So much wisdom. Enjoy the “quiet time” as well with each session. Thank you so much.

  19. LeeOra Scott

    Again, I appreciate and am honored to be a part of the summit. Having the opportunity to learn from these expert speakers is a privilege. I have practiced some meditation in the past but have not found the ability to be disciplined enough to stay on track. I am currently working on becoming a Reiki master and I love Yoga. Yoga has changed my life. I am hoping that this summit will help me to be more disciplined in taking up the practice of Mindfulness more seriously. My take away tonight struck me with awe because I had a dream many years ago. Very vivid and I still remember it to this day. I won’t get into the details but the message was “the world needs to be simplified, easier”. Crazy!

  20. Darren

    Gratitude. Thank you Both.

    “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”

    ― Mahatma Gandhi
    (Courtesy: GoodReads)

  21. Tracy greenwood

    a picture in my mind
    a mountain.
    on its peak sit the old and wise.
    each silent, venerable.
    each a master of their spiritual tradition.
    their seperate paths
    ending here
    facing the same dawn

  22. Tracy greenwood

    a picture in my mind
    a mountain.
    on its peak sit the old and wise.
    each silent, venerable.
    each a master of their spiritual tradition.
    their seperate paths
    ending here
    facing the same dawn

    Thank you Melli for a wonderful start to the summit

  23. Wendy

    I am absolutely loving all the information the summit is providing me. I am grateful to all the energy involved from all the people involved who have made this experience happen. 🙂

  24. Madhuvanti

    I found todays lecture and 15 minutes meditation particularly good…..iwish to find answers to questions related to the material world and relationships…i hope i will be successful Thanks!

  25. Kat

    When you are trying to learn to meditate, when you observe your body, are you suppose to notice and respond, or just notice? For example, you notice your left hand is in a fist, do you relax it? Or you notice a tightness in your belly, do you try to relax it? Explore why it is there, or just notice it?
    thanks for any feedback,

    1. Mia crowell

      Interesting question, I say notice, make a space around your action that includes no nutty no worry feel it and also what else is happening, breathe, allow thoughts and considerations to flow around under and over this tangle or tightness. Fine to do nothing or to choose a correction but not bossy harsh or forced. Breath will usually be enough to sooth the tangle. Stay with yourself throughout. There is no limit to the potential shenanigans our body and mind can and will come up with. no problem, be gentle with all parts of the practice, it is going to happen again and again in many ways. Some days will feel better than others but don’t hold on to the bad or good, just gently patiently generously humorously easily breathe and let some space into your mind

  26. kathleen lindahl

    I am getting a lot out of this summit and enjoying the speakers and the exercises. I didn’t know what to expect, but wanted to see what this opportunity offered in personal growth. I would not have ever done this at this time in any other venue. I participate in the evening after work, which is stressful, and this is a wonderful way to disengage with that negativity and seek peace. Thank you so very much!

  27. Carmen Pereira

    I really enjoyed this interview. More profound insights. I especially appreciated Joseph’s comment that mindfulness and meditation are not hobbies. They are tools that can have profound effects on our lives, so we should take them as seriously as we do eating well, exercising; we should see them as integral to our lives. And, also, that one of the key characteristics that leads to perseverance in conscious living is the cultivation of compassionate curiosity.

    As to the interview format, I would like to say that I disagree with a person earlier who said that these interviews are not a conversation, but that the speakers are, or should be, speaking only and directly to the audience. As I see it, the interviews are a conversation in which I (and thousands of others) am included. I like Melli and the speaker talking to each other because it makes me feel like I am in the room with them. It’s more personable, more real, more accessible. If it were just the speaker talking, it would feel more like a speech in which the speaker speaks from a prepared script. Also, with the interchange of communication between Melli and the speaker and at times the audience when the audience is addressed, the concept of community is reinforced. I like that.

    I continue to look forward to the forth coming interviews! Thanks, again, Melli and Matt.

  28. Dustin Glaseman

    Thank you, once again, Melli! The light conversational tone of the interviews, allows for a level of truth and connection that may not be possible otherwise. Your tine and energy is greatly appreciated.

  29. Roy Lipski

    I suspect these sessions are pre-recorded, so there’s no point harping on about the interview style; it’s done already. In any case she’s not a professional interviewer and not pretending to be – just someone moved to share something she’s passionate about. It’s too easy to throw stones from the spectators’ stand. Good on all those involved for having created this. Yes we can all see imperfections, but no one is forcing us to watch these videos – let’s choose to take the good that is on offer. There’s much more here than in what we spend most of our time on. Find a way; make it your own.

  30. June Fox

    I appreciate both of these two programs, The guests have been totally wonderful and fresh and easy, joyful. The meditation practice very soothing. I felt such peace after it. I also had a hard time with the interviewer being such a sweet, pretty, little thing with a tiny voice and shaking head. I would suggest that we get a smaller picture of her and a larger picture of the speakers. I have needed to take her out of the picture to enjoy the speaker. BUT I am very grateful for this program and hope she learns from it if she wants to keep on with these sorts of things.
    Mindfulness is a life saver.
    Thank you. I lookforward to the rest of these programs.

  31. Kim buchanan

    Thank you! I was unable to listen yesterday, so this was MY day 1 for this. I’m relatively new to true mindfulness practice, but have been doing visualization practice for >20 years. Excellent point made that this is ” practice”– and practice = progress, not perfection ( perfection is an impossible goal and trying to achieve it only misery).
    Very excited for more!

  32. John Andrew+Wesley

    I am so excited and humbled by the generosity, wisdom, and genuine compassion that Melli and these leaders in the field are sharing with us. I am so excited to continue growing and learning more about myself, the universe, and God as I understand God through the practice of being mindful. Today’s message about simple and easy really encouraged me to move away from my ego full of judgement, especially self-criticism. Looking forward to continue this 31 day adventure with all of you! I don’t have facebook but my email is JuanAndrew08@gmail.com if anyone wants to reach out. Love and Blessings! John Andrew

  33. h foster

    This has been a wonderful series so far. I am grateful to be able to participate for free esp since I am still quite a novice to mindful practice. Thank you so much.

  34. Kelly Sterrett

    I have tried to watch this 3 times. As I am I person that is really trying to calm my mind, I find it extremely distractive to have “ad lib”. If you are going to have speakers, then let them speak, not show that they agree with what you say.

    I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to have free viewing and help from people you believe are experts, please give me a chance to hear them.

  35. Laura Nash

    I am truly enjoying sitting at the feet of these masters! Thank you, Melli, for bringing us all together.

    Also want to let you know that my audio kept cutting out today — did anyone else have this issue? I had to pause and restart every minute or so to keep the audio alive. Perhaps it’s my computer, but I didn’t have that issue the first day.

  36. Sherrill

    I think this is a wonderful event, and it’s a real gift to have the opportunity to listen to these eminent practitioners. Bravo to the organisers in pulling this together. Thank you!!
    I really enjoyed the first 2 speakers, however, I’m afraid I have to agree with comments made by others in regard to the host’s performance. Her enthusiasm is obvious, but I think active listening skills should be reserved for 1:1 or small group discussion and not used when one has the role of interviewing a speaker for an external audience. Her constant little comments and interjections are really intrusive. She needs to act as a facilitator – ask the question, and then sit still and be totally silent while the guest speaker talks. Personally, I can also live without the host’s inclusion of comments about her own practice. Again, I don’t think these are appropriate for an interviewer to share. I’m here to listen to these wonderful world-renowned guest speakers’ wisdom and be involved in the mindfulness practices.

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